Your Holiday Return Policy Guide

Your Holiday Return Policy Guide

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This year, some retailers have made the return process infinitely easier, with extensions that include purchases made on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Amazon, for instance, has expanded its free return policy to include more categories of merchandise through January 31. Apple’s holiday return policy allows purchases made between November 15 and December 25 to be returned through January 8, a major extension of its usual, 14-day return policy.

To help you navigate your holiday returns, we’ve rounded up a list of some of Wirecutter’s favorite shopping destinations and brands that offer free returns around the holidays (and, in some cases, beyond). Just be sure to check the policy of the specific retailer before sending in returns: Some stores have been tightening their return policies, requiring a receipt or forcing in-store returns by excluding pre-paid mailing labels.


Amazon has expanded its return policy, now including more items eligible for free returns, like electronics, household goods, pet supplies, kitchen appliances, shoes, and apparel, among other things. Items bought between November 1 and December 31 are eligible for free returns through January 31, making it possible to return anything you may have nabbed during a Black Friday sale. Amazon’s standard return policy allows free returns only on clothing, apparel, and bedding within 30 days of purchase.


Apple typically allows a 14-day window for free returns on purchases, but the holiday return period will be extended through January 8 on most things bought between November 15 and December 25. Final sale products include Apple Store gift cards, Apple developer products, Apple print products, and opened software (as long as it hasn’t been installed).

Bed Bath & Beyond

Much like Target, Bed Bath & Beyond doesn’t have a specific holiday return policy—but the home-goods store does offer a 180-day return window for items with a receipt. Some seasonal items, like Christmas and Hanukkah decor and New Year’s products, are limited to a shorter, 30-day period.

Best Buy

Almost every purchase made at Best Buy between November 1 and December 31 can be returned through January 14, excluding cell phones, cellular tablets, and wearables, AppleCare monthly plans, and major appliances. Shoppers with a My Best Buy membership (which is free to join) qualify for an extended holiday return window—Elite members will receive 30 days from their date of purchase (if 30 days extends past January 14); Elite Plus members have 45 days.


L.L.Bean doesn’t offer a special holiday return policy because its standard return policy is already quite substantial: Returns are accepted within one year of purchase for a refund as part of a one-year warranty. After a year, the retailer will consider accepting any items for return if they’re proved to be defective.


Much like L.L.Bean, REI offers a 365-day return window for most purchases, regardless of season. Exclusions include outdoor electronics, such as activity monitors, GPS-enabled devices, and emergency-communication devices (which have a 90-day policy) and used gear (which can be returned within 30 days of purchase).


Though Target doesn’t have a holiday-specific return policy, its usual stance on returns is quite generous. Most unopened items returned within 90 days will receive a refund or an exchange; Target RedCard debit and credit card holders are privy to an extra 30 days to return almost all items purchased with the Target RedCard. Though Target won’t issue a refund for opened items, most of the time an even exchange or a store credit will be issued.


Walmart offers an extended return time frame for most items purchased between October 24 and December 25. If an item has a 14- or 30-day return window, Walmart will start that window on December 26. Items with a 90-day return period do not receive an extension.

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter
Keyword: Your Holiday Return Policy Guide

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