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Walmart Return Policy: A Shopper’s Guide To A Policy That Is Not Always Clear

Seasonal | July 31, 2023 Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

When you shop at Walmart chances are you’re going to buy a new pair of kicks or a flashlight that converts into a screwdriver and realize later that they don’t fit or it doesn’t work properly or whatever. Making returns or exchanges is an inevitable part of shopping, and one that should be seamless and simple. Think that’s all on America’s largest retailer? Think again. 

Walmart may be responsible for having a clear and consistent Return Policy and honoring it, of course, but if you want to return or exchange items you’ve purchased without any stress or hassle, the first thing you need to do is get familiar with the Walmart Return Policy.  

We’ll help you learn the process for returns and exchanges at your local Walmart store as well as discuss how Shop Your Way can help you to earn on everyday purchases and redeem them on the brands you love.

checking walmart gift card balance
Source: Pexels

What is Walmart’s Return Policy?

The general rule for most products sold at Walmart is that you have 90 days from the date of purchase to make a return. However, there are some exceptions depending on the item category that shoppers should know about. (Check out Walmart’s return policy for the most up-to-date info on different product categories.)

9 Items with Unique Return Policies

Items with Specific Return Requirements

1. Indoor and outdoor furniture: These items can be returned within 90 days if in new condition and original packaging.

2. Mattresses: Mattresses can be returned within 90 days if in new condition and original packaging.

Items with Shorter Return Windows

3. Airbeds: Must be returned within 15 days of receipt. 

4. Electronics: For electronic items such as computers, tablets, cameras, and drones, you have 30 days to make a return or exchange.

Items That Cannot Be Returned 

5. Prescription medications 

6. Hazardous materials

7. Firearms, ammo, fireworks, explosives

8. Perishable goods

9. Gasoline-powered equipment

Walmart has a specified list of gasoline-fueled products which are non-returnable, encompassing dirt bikes, go-karts, scooters, and ATVs. However, the retailer does accept returns for other gas-driven equipment like lawn mowers and chainsaws, provided the gas is emptied from the equipment prior to return.

What if You Don’t Have Your Receipt Handy?

To ensure smooth processing of your return or exchange request at Walmart, it’s essential to have your receipt handy. However, if you’ve misplaced the receipt or received an item as a gift without one, Walmart may still be able to process the return using alternative methods such as transaction lookup (using credit/debit card details) or by checking your account history for online purchases.

In cases where no proof of purchase can be found, Walmart might offer store credit based on the lowest selling price of the item within 90 days prior to the return date. Keep in mind that non-receipted returns are subject to approval and may require valid government-issued ID.

Walmart provides shoppers with the opportunity to return most items bought within a 90-day period, permitting them to acquire either reimbursement or an exchange.

Key Takeaways: Walmart’s return policy allows customers to return or exchange items within 90 days of purchase, with some exceptions such as electronics (30-day window) and perishable goods. Receipts are preferred but alternative methods can be used for non-receipted returns, although they may require valid ID and approval.

browsing through wlmart clothing
Source: Pexels

How to Make a Return at Walmart

  1. Locate your receipt: For the smoothest, stress-free return, you should have your original purchase receipt with you. This will help the store associate verify the details of your transaction and determine if you’re eligible for a refund or exchange. In other words, it makes the process go the quickest and simplest. 
  2. Check the return window: Find the date of purchase on your receipt to determine if the item is still in the return window. Most items can be returned within 90 days of purchase; however, some exceptions apply.
  3. Repack the item: When returning an item, make sure it’s in its original condition with all tags attached, accessories included, and packaging intact. For electronics or other products that require assembly, disassemble them before bringing them back to the store.
  4. Contact customer service for online order returns: If you purchased an item from and want to initiate an online return instead of visiting one of their physical locations, contact their customer service team through chat or phone call by visiting their Help Center.
  5. Or head to your local Walmart: If opting for an in-store return, visit your nearby Walmart store with your items and receipt. Locate the customer service desk (usually situated near the entrance) where a store associate can assist you with processing your return.
  6. Don’t forget your wallet: Keep in mind that Walmart may require identification for returns without a receipt or if you’re returning high-value items. You may also need the credit/debit card you made the purchase with if you don’t have the receipt handy. 

How Do You Return An Item Purchased from Third-Party Sellers on

Walmart’s marketplace platform includes items from third-party sellers which means the return process might differ slightly. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Contact the seller directly: Reach out to the third-party seller by logging into your account on and navigating to “My Account” > “Purchase History.” Click on “Contact Seller” next to the relevant order. Let them know you have an item you need to return along with any relevant details in your initial message.
  2. Follow their specific instructions: Each third-party seller has its own return policy; therefore, it’s essential that you follow their guidelines when making a return or requesting an exchange. To find the return guidelines specific to each seller, view the order confirmation email, or visit their website.
  3. Await further communication: The seller should respond within two business days of receiving your request. They’ll provide additional information about how to proceed with your return or exchange.
  4. Additional fees: Some sellers may charge restocking fees or shipping costs associated with returns; always review their policies before initiating any transactions.

Key Takeaways: To make a successful return at Walmart, locate your receipt and ensure the item is in its original condition. Check if the product falls within the return window and bring identification for high-value returns or those without receipts. For online orders, contact customer service through chat or phone call to initiate an online return instead of visiting one of their physical locations.

How Can I Receive a Refund at Walmart?

Depending on the item, its condition, and whether you have the original receipt or not, your return may be eligible for different types of refunds.

Cash Refund

If you paid with cash or check and have the original receipt, Walmart will issue a cash refund for items returned within their specified return window. For purchases made using a debit card as “cash”, the same policy applies.

Refund to Original Payment Method

If you used a credit card or other electronic payment method, such as PayPal, Walmart will typically process your refund back to that same method. This includes returns both in-store and online. In both scenarios, make sure you have the original receipt of purchase. 

If you decide to visit the store for the refund and you don’t have your receipt, a valid government-issued photo ID will be required.

In this case Walmart will  accept your return if your ID information is valid and  matches with the stored in their secured database.

Gift Card Refunds

Refund via Store Credit

If you don’t have your original receipt but still want to make a return at Walmart within their designated time frame, they may offer store credit instead of cash or returning funds to your payment method. Keep in mind that without proof of purchase, Walmart may decline your return or limit the number of no-receipt returns you can make.

walmart shopping cart
Source: Pexels

How Can I Make an Exchange at Walmart? 

If you prefer to exchange an item rather than receiving a refund, Walmart allows exchanges for items within their specified return window. This is especially helpful if you received a damaged product or need a different size or color.

Simply bring the item and any necessary documentation (such as receipt or the order number) to your local Walmart store’s customer service desk.

If you can’t find your receipt, present your government-issued photo ID. Walmart may honor the lowest current price, in which case you can go pick up a small item or put the credit toward a bigger item in your cart.

Key Takeaway: Walmart offers various refund and exchange options depending on the item’s condition, original receipt availability, and payment method. Customers can receive cash refunds for purchases made with cash or check, while credit card or electronic payments are typically refunded to their respective methods. 

Is Walmart’s Online Return Process Different?

If you’ve made a purchase on Walmart’s website, there are some special considerations to keep in mind when making an online return. While the overall process is similar to returning items purchased in-store, there are additional steps and potential fees involved.

How to Start an Online Return

  1. Log in to start your online return: Headover to Walmart’s website and log in. Click on ‘My Account’, ‘Track Orders’.
  2. Select “Start a Return”: After selecting ‘start a return’ you will be given a free return label. You’ll be given options for either shipping your item back or returning it at a local store, depending on eligibility.
  3. Package your item: Package your item in the original package that you received. Include the box too.

Restocking Charges Are Possible

While most returns won’t incur restocking charges, select categories of merchandise may be subject to these fees upon being returned. Here are a few of the big ones:

Electronics: A restocking fee of up to $35 may apply for certain electronics like drones or GPS devices.

Large Appliances: A restocking fee of up to $85 may apply for large appliances such as refrigerators or washing machines.

Key Takeaways: When returning items purchased on Walmart’s website, customers can either ship the item back or return it in-store. Most online returns come with a prepaid shipping label, but certain exceptions may apply where customers need to cover shipping costs themselves. Some merchandise categories may also incur restocking fees upon being returned.

Common Questions About Walmart Returns

Do I need a receipt for my return?

In most cases, having a receipt will make the return process easier and faster. However, if you don’t have your receipt, Walmart may still accept your return. They can look up your purchase using the credit or debit card used for payment or by scanning the barcode on the item’s packaging. If they cannot locate proof of purchase in their system, they might offer store credit instead of cash back or refunding to the original form of payment.

Can I return an item after 30 days?

The standard Walmart Return Policy allows returns within 90 days for most items; however, there are exceptions such as electronics which must be returned within 30 days from purchase date.

What if I lost my shipping label for an online order?

If you misplaced your shipping label when returning an online order via mail, simply visit your account on, find the order in question and select “Start a Return.” From there, you can print out a new shipping label. Keep in mind that return shipping fees may apply for certain items.

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