11 Details in Walmart’s Return Policy That Even Experienced Shoppers Overlook

These commonly overlooked rules in Walmart's return policy could cost you a refund.

A Walmart storefront
Updated June 6, 2024
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Walmart is an easy and convenient way to shop for home goods, electronics, groceries, and more.

But what if you have to return something to the store? Perhaps you’re not satisfied with the product, it’s defective in some way, or another issue causes you to need to take it back. Maybe you’ve realized that returning the item might even lower your financial stress.

Before you return to the store, here are a few things you need to know about the Walmart return policy.

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Electronics must be returned within 30 days

Valerii Apetroaiei/Adobe household appliances and gadgets store

Walmart has a 90-day return policy for most items, but there are some purchases that you’ll need to return sooner if you want to take them back.

Electronics — including laptops, tablets, e-readers, computers, and televisions — can’t be returned after 30 days. This means you’ll want to have all the correct measurements and the ability to return your item to the store before making a big-ticket, electronic purchase.

A return can be refused with or without a receipt

Wayhome Studio/Adobe unrecognizable woman holds receipts and pencil

Although Walmart’s return policy is quite generous, the store manager has the final say on whether or not an item can be returned.

If you don’t have an item’s receipt, your purchases will need to go through a more robust verification process before determining whether you’re allowed a return. This includes presenting a valid, government-issued ID.

You can return flowers and trees within one year

jekatarinka/Adobe flower and garden department in a supermarket

If you tried to step up the curb appeal of your home and your efforts didn’t quite pan out how you hoped, you can return some of the greenery.

You have up to a year to return trees, shrubs, or perennials if they don’t work out, but you will need a receipt to get a complete refund.

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Walmart+ members can have returns picked up at home

The Toidi/Adobe Walmart + membership in store sign

Do you have a Walmart+ membership? The service offers great perks for members, including free delivery from your local store on qualifying orders and free shipping on orders from Walmart’s website.

If you don’t like an item, you can enjoy easy returns straight from their doorstep. Simply choose an item to return, and the store will come to your home for pickup. 

Some restrictions apply — like needing to be present to show your return barcode — so you’ll want to check your Walmart+ plan for complete details.

You can get a refund on food items with the store’s “fresh guarantee” policy

Minerva Studio/Adobe man shopping in a supermarket

One of the great things about Walmart is its grocery section, where you can pick up several items for your pantry or fridge.

But what happens if something ends up being less than fresh? You can still return produce, meat, bakery items, and more. Note that some items might not be entirely returnable, but you could still be refunded.

Some items are exchange-only

Sergey Ryzhov/Adobe man chooses inflatable tourist sleeping pad in sports shop

While you may want to get cash back into your pocket, there are some items that Walmart will only exchange and not refund you.

Medical items that have already been opened, like crutches or slings, can only be exchanged for a similar item. You’ll also be limited to exchange only for opened drones, airbeds, and air mattresses. 

Review Walmart’s return policy before purchasing these items; some also have a smaller exchange window than others.

You can track your return date on Walmart’s site

sharafmaksumov/Adobe Walmart website on the display of PC

Walmart can keep track of your purchases if you have an account and let you know how much time you have before your purchases are no longer eligible for refunds.

So if you want to return something but aren’t sure about the deadline, log into your account on Wamart.com and check on your purchases to see how much time you have before something is no longer eligible for a return.

Cellphones have their own return policy

fizkes/Adobe girl feel stressed with cellphone problems

Most items can be returned within 90 days, but cell phones have stricter limits. For example, you can only return a cell phone within 14 days of purchase if it's still unopened. 

However, opening the box with the phone could restrict your return options, and you will likely only be able to exchange it for a phone of equal or lesser value.

Walmart will take back its in-store brand items even if the package is empty

Brett/Adobe Generic bleach bottles on a supermarket shelf in a Walmart Supercenter

There are some great advantages to buying in-store brands compared to name brands, such as saving cash on a product that may be just as good as the name brand.

Another advantage is that you can return a Walmart in-store brand product even if the packaging is empty. So as long as something is a private label brand — like Great Value and Equate — you can return a less than satisfactory item.

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You don’t need a receipt if you paid with a credit card

fizkes/Adobe man using payment terminal device and credit card

You may have bought a product and tossed your receipt as soon as you got home, only to realize that you have to return what you purchased.

Don’t worry about digging through the trash to find a receipt if you purchased the items with a credit card. Instead, take the item to Walmart, and the store can use the number of the credit card you used to initially purchase the item to locate the receipt and offer a refund.

You don’t have to get out of your car to make a return

Dragana Gordic/Adobe woman driving her new car at sunset

It can be frustrating to park your car and drag an item in to return it. Fortunately, Walmart offers additional convenience with a curbside return option, so you don’t even have to leave your vehicle. 

You simply drive up to your local Walmart’s designated curbside pickup area, and a team member will help you handle your return.

Bottom line

PhotographrIncognito/Adobe Walmart storefront

Walmart can be a great option if you’re trying to save money or you want to buy different items that are conveniently all under one roof, but remember to keep the store’s return policy in mind depending on what you buy and when you plan to return it.

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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.