5 Items Sam’s Club Won’t Let You Return Even With a Membership (Plus More Details)

Membership or not, Sam's Club has a no-return policy for these products.

Sam's Club storefront
Updated July 18, 2024
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Sam’s Club has a generous return policy. Thanks to the Club’s 100% satisfaction guarantee, shoppers can return just about anything for either a refund or replacement.

Even better, you can return the item at any time — no matter how long ago you made the purchase — and whether you bought it in a store or online.

However, if you want to save as much money as possible, get familiar with these exceptions to the Sam’s Club return policy.

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Gift cards/prepaid cards

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Sam’s Club sells gift cards (often at a discount) to retail shops such as Ulta and Old Navy, popular restaurants such as Panera Bread and Texas Roadhouse, and entertainment hubs such as AMC theaters.

The shop also sells prepaid cards from American Express, Visa, and MasterCard, making buying gift cards at a price lower than face value at Sam's Club a smart shopping hack

However, once you buy a gift card or prepaid card, you can’t take it back or exchange it for a different card. Whether you purchase the card online or in stores, it can’t be returned for a cash payout.

Tickets

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Sam’s Club members get exclusive access to discounted tickets to events such as Broadway shows and big-name concerts.

But don’t buy tickets through Sam’s Club unless you’re sure you can make the event: Tickets can’t be returned.

Customized products

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When you turn to Sam’s Club for a customized birthday cake or another personalized item, know you won’t be able to return it.

Of course, no matter where you shop, ordering a custom product is a risk. Consider this a reminder to make sure you love the design you pick for your pet-themed magnet or family photo tumblers.

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Wholesale Trading Program purchases

Heorshe/Adobe inside of shenzhen sam's club store

Three of the nearly 600 Sam’s Club locations are home to the Wholesale Trading Program. At these clubs, domestic and international wholesalers can make bulk purchases, as can other store owners.

The Wholesale Trading Program isn’t open to the general public, so this return exception probably doesn’t apply to you. But just in case, note that high-volume Wholesale Trading Program purchases can’t be returned for either refunds or exchanges.

Prescription medications

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Precisely 566 Sam’s Club locations have pharmacies that can be used by both club members and non-members alike.

Generally speaking, these pharmacies don’t accept returns on prescription medications.

Check with your club on these items

Joni/Adobe wines and champagnes at sam's store

Certain items might or might not be returnable. It all depends on your individual Sam’s Club store. 

If you’re planning to purchase one of the products listed below, consider calling your store ahead of time to make sure you can bring back the item if you need to:

  • Alcohol (spirits, beer, and wine)
  • Automotive tires
  • Automotive batteries
  • Cigarettes
  • Tobacco
  • Eyeglasses
  • Hearing aids

Return these items within 90 days

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There are items at Sam’s Club that can be returned, but only under specific conditions. Some of the priciest purchases you can make at Sam’s Club have return restrictions, specifically, most electronics and major appliances.

So, if you use your Sam’s Club card to lock down a deal on a fridge, Bluetooth speaker, washer, or microwave, make sure you’re committed to the purchase. 

Otherwise, your savings could turn into a net loss — although only if it takes more than 90 days to change your mind.

Return these items within 30 days

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If you’re a dirt bike enthusiast or commercial kitchen owner, you fall under a small group of people who should be aware of a Sam’s Club’s return-policy restriction.

Motorsport items and commercial heavy machinery purchases must be returned within 30 days for a refund or return.

Return these items within 14 days

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Sam’s Club sells a variety of prepaid, postpaid, and no-contract phones. While you can return these items, you only have two weeks to determine whether or not a specific phone or contract will work for you.

Other phone-related electronic purchases — such as a wireless mobile controller or external power bank — likely fall under Sam’s Club’s 90-day electronic return policy. 

However, if you purchase a phone-related device, double-check with your cashier on the return policy, just in case.

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Bottom line

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Sam’s Club offers fantastic bargains that can help you keep more money in your bank account

But to make the most of your club membership, you’ll want to get familiar with exceptions to Sam’s Club’s otherwise generous return policy.

Otherwise, you could find yourself stuck with an item you don’t need and no way to recoup your lost costs.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.