10 Popular Stores With the Worst Return Policies (#8 Really Hurts)

You'll wish you never bought from these stores after seeing their return policies.
Updated March 22, 2024
Fact checked
 Woman looking at cardboard box

We receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

We’ve all had a disappointing experience: You buy something and find out it doesn’t look as good at home as it did in the store or on a website.

Most retailers understand that customers change their minds about items and might want to return them. However, some stores are more accommodating than others when it comes to returning these goods.

Here are some stores with lousy return policies. If you think there is a chance you'll return an item, perhaps it’s best to skip purchasing it at one of the following retailers so you can save money shopping.

Earn cash back on everyday purchases with this rare account

Want to earn cash back on your everyday purchases without using a credit card? With the Discover®️ Cashback Debit Checking account (member FDIC), you can earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month!1

With no credit check to apply and no monthly fees to worry about, you can earn nearly passive income on purchases you’re making anyway — up to an extra $360 a year!

This rare checking account has other great perks too, like access to your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay, no minimum deposit or monthly balance requirements, over 60K fee-free ATMs, and the ability to add cash to your account at Walmart stores nationwide.

Don’t leave money on the table — it only takes minutes to apply and it won’t impact your credit score.

Apply for a Discover Cashback Checking account today

Barnes & Noble

Victoria/Adobe logos of the cheescake factory

Bookseller Barnes & Noble has a 30-day return policy for most items purchased in its stores or online. However, there are some exceptions to this policy that can make it hard to keep more cash in your wallet.

For example, to get a refund, the retailer's Nook e-reader must be returned within 14 days.

The company doesn't allow returns of digital content such as e-books and audiobooks, and you can't return magazines and newspapers.


Heorshe/Adobe apple store in hong kong

Apple products like phones or laptops are expensive, so be careful with your purchases.

Apple’s policy allows you to return or exchange an item within 14 days of purchase with the original receipt. You also have to remember to return the item in its original packaging with all the wires and accessories included to get a refund.

Best Buy

wolterke/Adobe best buy logo outside store building

Best Buy is another electronics company with a tight return window. It accepts returns within 15 days of purchase for most items. Activatable devices get just 14 days.

In many states, the company also charges a restocking fee of $45 for activatable devices or 15% of the purchase price for other items.

Get a protection plan on all your appliances

Did you know if your air conditioner stops working, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover it? Same with plumbing, electrical issues, appliances, and more.

Whether or not you’re a new homeowner, a home warranty from Choice Home Warranty could pick up the slack where insurance falls short and protect you against surprise expenses. If a covered system in your home breaks, you can call their hotline 24/7 to get it repaired.

For a limited time, you can get your first month free with a Single Payment home warranty plan.

Get a free quote


Graphicroyalty/Adobe problem with blocked credit card

Wish has a 30-day return policy for items, but there are plenty of exceptions.

For example, Wish doesn't let you return unsealed audio or video recordings or computer software, and perishable goods are also generally not returnable.

Some merchants who use Wish to sell their goods also do not allow for returns.


Mike Mareen/Adobe amazon logistics center

Amazon makes it easy to return many items within 30 days of purchase. However, third-party vendors also sell on the site, which can complicate returns.

Most of these vendors offer 30-day returns, but some may have their less-generous return policies.


JHVEPhoto/Adobe Lululemon sign

On many items, Lululemon offers 30 days to return an item. But if you mess up, you might be stuck with an item.

For example, products must be unworn and unwashed. You must also generally ensure that the tag is still attached.


nenetus/Adobe woman paying something online

ThredUp can be a great option for finding unique items and giving them a new life. However, the company’s return policies might drag down your enthusiasm.

The retailer requires items to be postmarked within 14 days of you receiving the item, which is a tight return window compared to other clothing retailers. You must also pay a $3.99 restocking fee to return the item.

Verizon Wireless

DW labs Incorporated/Adobe Verizon

Verizon Wireless purchases must be returned in 30 days, which is typical for many retailers.

However, Verizon Wireless isn’t so outstanding regarding its restocking fee: The company charges customers $50 when they return a wireless device.

Saks Fifth Avenue

DW labs Incorporated/Adobe saks & company on fifth avenue

If you buy an item from Saks Fifth Avenue, watch the calendar for returns by mail.

If you start the return process more than 14 days after you purchase an item, the retailer will take $9.95 out of your refunded amount to cover shipping.

Stop overpaying when you shop online

Shopping online has its perks. It's super convenient, but it can be time consuming to find the best deals. Instead of hunting for coupon codes (that don't always work!) and opening tons of browser tabs comparing prices, you can try Capital One Shopping.

Capital One Shopping makes saving money effortless. Just add the browser extension and when you check out, it'll scour the internet for coupon codes to help you save cash. And before you check out at 25+ major retailers, Capital One Shopping will notify you with a friendly pop-up if the item you're buying is available cheaper somewhere else.

Capital One Shopping is free to use and won't show you ads. Add it today and stop overpaying!2

Get Capital One Shopping now


William/Adobe j-crew store sign

Like many retailers, J.Crew has strict rules about unworn and unwashed items to be returned within 30 days.

Mailing your return to the company will also cost you money, as the retailer deducts $7.50 from the funds returned to you to cover shipping costs.

Bottom line

dark_blade/Adobe happy african american woman shopping

A good return policy is a smart shopping hack that can help you save money, so savvy shoppers should look for stores that don't meet that standard.

There are times when shopping at the retailers on this list makes sense. But if you're unsure about a product, you might want to purchase it elsewhere.

Discover®️ Cashback Checking Benefits

  • Earn 1% cash back on up to $3,000 in debit card purchases each month1
  • No minimum deposit, no minimum balance, and no account fees
  • Access your paycheck up to 2 days early with Early Pay
  • 60K+ fee-free ATMs and make cash deposits at Walmart stores nationwide

Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

Want to learn how to make an extra $200?

Get proven ways to earn extra cash from your phone, computer, & more with Extra.

You will receive emails from FinanceBuzz.com. Unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy

  • Vetted side hustles
  • Exclusive offers to save money daily
  • Expert tips to help manage and escape debt