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Big retailer return rules
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Return rules at 8 big retailers

Last reviewed: January 2011
Retailer General policy Full refund within 30 days on unopened items, including books, CDs, DVDs, video games, software, and any other merchandise in new condition with original packaging and accessories. One year for some baby items. Partial refund for other items after 30 days. Kindle can't be returned after one-month trial. Amazon pays return shipping for baby items, clothes, or television sets. Books with obvious signs of use as well as CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, software, and video games with plastic wrap removed can be returned for half the purchase price. Policy doesn't apply to items bought from independent or marketplace sellers.
Best Buy 14 days for computers, monitors, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, and radar detectors; 30 days for all other products. Original receipt and photo identification are required. There's a 15 percent restocking fee on any opened notebook computer, projector, camcorder, digital camera, radar detector, GPS device, or in-car video system. There's a 25 percent restocking fee on special orders, including appliances.
Costco 90 days for cash refunds on televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, MP3 players, and cell phones; open-ended for most other products. Costco's basic policy: "We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell with a full refund." Online purchases can be returned to a store. A receipt is not essential because a membership card is linked to every purchase.
Home Depot 90 days. Goods must be accompanied by a receipt, in unused, "like-new" condition, and include original packaging; 30 days for air conditioners, gas-powered equipment, and holiday-décor items. Live goods such as holiday trees and wreaths, plants, and cut flowers are not returnable (except if damaged or dead in case of plants). Receipt might not be necessary for check, credit-, or debit-card payments. Special orders and order cancellations are subject to a 15 percent return penalty. Online purchases are returnable to stores.
Sears 90 days with receipt or e-mail conformation and original packaging; 30 days for home electronics, mattresses, air conditioners, gas-powered equipment, jewelry, and watches. Video games, CDs, DVDs, computer software, and sports/toy collectibles must be unopened for a refund or exchange. Exchange only for other items returned opened or with labels and tags removed. Fifteen percent restocking fee on electronics returned used, without original box, or lacking original packaging and accessories. Restocking fee also applies to other goods such as mattresses, built-in appliances, sporting goods, lawn and garden items, and automotive merchandise. Craftsman hand tools and Lands' End merchandise can be returned at any time. Tools qualify for free repair or replacement; Lands' End goods qualify for refund or exchange.
Target 90 days. Items must be unused, in original packaging, and accompanied by a receipt. (Gift givers can request a gift receipt up to 90 days from the date of purchase.) However, the chain will allow cash customers to return up to $70 worth of merchandise without a receipt every 12 months, with reimbursement in the form of a gift card. Music, movies, video games, and software cannot be returned if opened. No receipt is necessary to return goods bought with a credit card, debit card, check, or gift card (assuming the store can verify the purchase). Most purchases can be returned to a Target store. A 15 percent restocking fee applies to camcorders, digital cameras, portable DVD players, and other portable electronics.
Toys "R" Us 90 day for most items accompanied by receipt or online packing slip; 45 days for unopened/factory-sealed video systems, games, and accessories; computer software; VHS cassettes; DVDs; music; electronics; radio-control items; trading cards; collectibles; and consumer electronics. Refunds are issued in original payment form (debit-card and cleared-check payments in cash) except when an online order is returned to store; then the refund is a merchandise credit. Online purchases are returnable to any Toys "R" Us or Babies "R" Us store.
Walmart 90 days for most items; 45 for computer components and accessories; 30 for camcorders and digital cameras; 15 for computers. Music, movies, and software products must be returned unopened. Returns without receipts are accepted, but three or more such returns within 45 days will trigger a red flag, and the return will have to be approved by a manager. Goods bought online can be returned to any Walmart.