3 shopping bags with a blend in front of one bag.

Small appliances have a long history as holiday gifts, and this season is no different.

“Air fryers, multi-cookers, slow cookers, coffee makers, blenders, and mixers are all trending this season,” says Claudette Ennis, a Consumer Reports market analyst who tracks small appliances.

Sometimes, though, you can get too much of a good thing. When you receive one too many air fryers and don't want to regift or donate, your recourse is to either store it for next holiday season or return it.

To help you get the most out of your unwanted gifts and purchases, here is CR's guide to the small-appliance return policies of the most popular small-appliance retailers among our members.


Go to Consumer Reports’ 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider shopping tips, and much more.

More on Shopping

Most retailers allow you to return online purchases in-store and vice versa. There are pros and cons to both.

Returns are free when you make them in person. If you prefer to skip the trip to the customer service line, you can mail or ship the return, but you may incur shipping costs. Check the retailer's website for instructions on printing a return label and getting your paperwork in order. You may need to work up the nerve to ask for a gift receipt from the gift giver.

In many cases, you'll need proof of purchase to get the full value refunded. For returns without proof of purchase, some retailers will provide a refund or merchandise card that's good just for in-store purchases. For those types of returns, you'll need to provide a valid ID.

All 24 retailers below are included in our annual survey of the best places to buy small appliances, in which we ask 48,000 Consumer Reports members about prices, selection, and service (but not about returns). Some retailers rise to the top, while other shopping experiences are less satisfying.

Costco's return policy is the most flexible. There's no time limit for returns, and the highly rated warehouse store covers return shipping costs for items purchased on Costco.com. But even some of the stingier stores are more generous this time of year; they've extended return windows over the holidays into January.

Return Policies for Small Appliances

Abt
Time frame: 30 days for most items. Can be returned to a store or via shipping service.
Extended holiday returns: Through Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020.
Who pays for shipping: Customers are responsible for return shipping costs unless the product arrived damaged or is defective.
Proof of purchase: Required.
Full Abt return policy

Amazon
Time frame: 30 days for a full refund.
Extended holiday returns: Items shipped between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned until Jan. 31, 2020.
Who pays for shipping: If a product is eligible for free returns, that's indicated on the product detail page. (Amazon says it offers at least one free return option on most items delivered to addresses in the 50 states.) Products eligible for free shipping must be returned using a trackable shipping method.
Proof of purchase: Required. 
Full Amazon return policy

Bed Bath & Beyond
Time frame: 30 days for seasonal items; 90 days for small kitchen appliances, robotic vacuums, baby monitors, and other electric devices; 120 days for mattresses; 180 days for most other items. Can be returned to a store or via a shipping service.
Who pays for shipping: Shipping is free for most online orders.
Proof of purchase: Preferred but not necessary. A customer service employee can look up any purchases made in the past year. If the purchase record can't be found, you can get a refund for store credit at the current price, less 20 percent.
Full Bed Bath & Beyond return policy

Best Buy
Time frame: 15 days for most items. Members of My Best Buy Elite or My Best Buy Elite Plus rewards programs get 30 or 45 days, respectively. Items can be returned to a store or via shipping service.
Extended holiday returns: Items bought between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned through Jan. 14, 2020.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. The cost of return shipping is deducted from the refund for items returned using a prepaid label from Best Buy's online returns center. Best Buy refunds shipping costs for returns that are the result of a store error. There's a 15 percent restocking fee on certain items.
Proof of purchase: Required.
Full Best Buy return policy

BJ's
Time frame: One year for most items. Products purchased at a BJ's can be returned to the member services desk of any BJ's. Customers who purchased an item on bjs.com can return it at any BJ's or call the company's member care line to get authorization and shipping instructions. Customers with Online Access Memberships can't return an online order to a club location.
Who pays for shipping: BJ's will cover shipping if an item is damaged or defective.
Proof of purchase: Preferred but not necessary. BJ's can look up your customer number to find the receipt and send it to you.
Full BJ's return policy

Canadian Tire
Time frame: 90 days for most items.
Who pays for shipping: Products must be returned in-store.
Proof of purchase: Required. The company can verify purchases made with credit, debit, or the My Canadian Tire "Money" loyalty program within 90 days from purchase.
Full Canadian Tire return policy

Costco
Time frame: No time limit. Products purchased at a Costco location can be returned at the returns counter of any Costco warehouse. Items ordered at Costco.com can be returned to any Costco warehouse or via a shipping service.
Who pays for shipping: Costco.
Proof of purchase: No receipt necessary with the exception of a few items, including electronics, tires, and batteries.
Full Costco return policy

Exchange
Time frame: 90 days to the store or by mail for most items.
Extended holiday returns: Items purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 may be returned through Jan. 31, 2020.
Who pays for shipping: Exchange will pay for the return only if the item arrives damaged or doesn't function.
Proof of purchase: Not necessary. Returns with receipts will be refunded in the same form of payment as the original purchase or as an Exchange gift card. Without a receipt, Exchange will offer a merchandise card equal to the item's value.
Full Exchange return policy

HSN
Time frame: 30 days for most items.
Extended holiday returns: Most items bought between Sept. 21 and Dec. 24 can be returned through Jan. 31, 2020. Items purchased through HSN's Christmas in July event (July 8 and 9, 2019) also are eligible for the extended holiday return period.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. If UPS is used, the cost—$7.95 for 5 lbs. or less and $9.95 for more than 5 lbs.—is deducted from the credit or refund. Customers using the HSN card on a purchase that qualifies for VIP Easy Return will get a $5 credit ("Spendable Kash") added to their card. "Spendable Kash" credits are good for up to 6 returns per year but must be used within 90 days.
Proof of purchase: No.
Full HSN return policy

Home Depot
Time frame: 90 days unless noted in the store's return-policy exceptions. Purchases made with a Home Depot credit card or a Home Depot commercial account can be returned within a year of the date of purchase. Items can be returned to a store or via a shipping service.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. If your order is eligible for online return, you can print out a shipping label and drop off your item at a UPS location. Original shipping charges will be refunded in the event that the return is the result of an error by Home Depot.
Proof of purchase: Required, though in-store returns made without a valid sales receipt may be eligible for a store credit at the item's lowest advertised price. When returning at a store, bring a copy of your receipt or shipping confirmation email, the credit card you used, and a valid ID. Purchases made with a credit card, debit card, or check may be in Home Depot's system within 90 days of the transaction, and up to one year for Home Depot cardholders.
Full Home Depot return policy

JCPenney
Time frame: Any time if you have a valid receipt, with a few exceptions (such as fitness trackers and jewelry). JCPenney says the "quickest and easiest" way to get a refund or credit is to return your item to a store, but you can also use a shipping service.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. You can print out a return label on the store's website.
Proof of purchase: Required for full refund. Items returned without a receipt are eligible for an exchange or refund at the item's lowest selling price within the last 45 days—issued as a merchandise credit—assuming you provide proper identification. (JCPenney says it reserves the right to limit returns or exchanges with or without a valid receipt.) If you have a gift receipt, you can exchange the item or get a gift card at the receipt price.
Full JCPenney return policy

Kohl's
Time frame: 180 days except for "premium electronics," which must be returned within 30 days in the original packaging.
Extended holiday returns: Items with a time-limited return purchased Nov. 1 through Dec. 25 can be returned until Jan. 31, 2020.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. Use the shipping label that came with your merchandise or print one out from the website. Kohl's doesn't accept returns by mail of items purchased in-store.
Proof of purchase: Preferred but not necessary. With a receipt, you get a refund or even exchange. If you don't have a receipt and Kohl's can't find a record of your purchase in its system, you'll get a merchandise credit based on the item's lowest 13-week sale price—assuming you produce a valid ID. (The company says "additional processing may be required.")
Full Kohl's return policy

Lowe's
Time frame: 90 days; one year for items purchased through Lowe's commercial accounts. 
Who pays for shipping: Lowe's offers prepaid parcel-shipped merchandise returns on many items purchased on Lowes.com. If you didn't receive a prepaid return slip, you must return the item in-store. Any original shipping charges aren't refundable.
Proof of purchase: Required for full refund. But in most cases Lowe's can retrieve a lost receipt with the original credit card or checking account number, MyLowe's card used for the purchase, or by your phone number. For returns without a receipt, the company may, at its discretion, issue an in-store credit for the item's current selling price; valid ID is required.
Full Lowe's return policy

Macy's
Time frame: 60 days for small electrics (including small appliances); 90 days for most other merchandise. Items purchased in-store must be returned to a store. 
Extended holiday returns: Small electrics bought between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned until Jan. 31, 2020. 
Who pays for shipping: Macy's. Items purchased online can be returned in-store or by mail. Print out a shipping label on its website or use the one that came with your merchandise.
Proof of purchase: Required for full refund. To get a complete refund in the original form of payment, provide your original receipt, the credit card you used, return label, packing slip, order or shipping confirmation email, or registry number. Without a receipt, you still may be eligible for store credit for the item's lowest selling price within the last 180 days.
Full Macy’s return policy

Meijer
Time frame: 90 days for most items.  
Proof of purchase: Required for full refund. If you paid by credit card, debit card, EBT card, or personal check, the store can find your receipt for 21 days; if you used your mPerks account, the store can find your receipt for 90 days. For returns without a receipt, you'll get the lowest sale or promotional pricing; valid ID may be required.
Full Meijer return policy

Menard's
Time frame: Generally 90 days, though the policy varies depending on the item. If you return an item with a receipt more than 90 days after purchase, you're entitled only to an in-store credit.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. Items purchased through Menards.com may be returned by mail or to a Menard's store, though the company says, "it is at the individual store's discretion whether or not to accept the return."
Proof of purchase: Required. Returns without receipts are made at the discretion of Menard's. If granted, you'll get a refund at the lowest price offered for the item, including discounts from coupons or rebates. A driver's license or state ID is required for returns without a receipt.
Full Menard's return policy

P.C. Richard & Son
Time frame: 30 days for full refund on unopened, unused items.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. Online purchases can be returned by mail or in-store. Contact customer service to begin the process.
Proof of purchase: Required.
Full P.C. Richard & Son return policy

QVC
Time frame: 30 days.
Extended holiday returns: Purchases made from Sept. 22 until 11:59 Eastern time on Dec. 24 can be returned until Jan. 31, 2020 for full refund. Items purchased through QVC's Christmas in July event also are eligible for the extended holiday return period. Restrictions may apply; for example, Blowout Clearance Price items are excluded.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. Use your own shipping service or one of the carriers listed on the "Q Return Label" that came with your package. If you use one of QVC's carriers, return shipping fees, based on package weight, are deducted from your refund. Your package is eligible for a free return pickup by the U.S. Postal Service if your Q Return Label says "Parcel Return Service." 
Proof of purchase: Invoice required. Your original packing slip counts.
Full QVC return policy

Sam's Club
Time frame: Any time, with a few exceptions for items such as automotive batteries and tires. Most, but not all, purchases made on SamsClub.com can be returned to any Sam's Club location. If an online purchase can't be returned to a store, that will be noted on the model page. Purchases made at a walk-in store can't be returned to SamsClub.com.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. The return-label fee will be deducted from your refund. 
Proof of purchase: Required. An original receipt or printed order is preferred, but if not available, customer service can help process the return.
Full Sam’s Club return policy

Sears
Time frame: Within 30 days; 45 days for members of Sears' Shop Your Way program. Sears Outlet stores have a different return policy. Items purchased through Sears.com Marketplace are subject to the return policies of the individual seller.
Extended holiday returns: Most merchandise purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 can be returned until Jan. 31, 2020. 
Who pays for shipping: The customer. Shipping charges will be deducted from your refund unless the return is the result of an error.
Proof of purchase: Required. With a gift receipt, you can make an exchange or get a gift card.
Full Sears return policy

Sears Outlet return policy

Sur la Table
Time frame: 60 days.
Who pays for shipping: The customer. Returns can be brought to a store or mailed. Customers who print out and use the prepaid UPS return label that Sur la Table provides pay a standard $7 shipping fee. 
Proof of purchase: Required. With a gift receipt, the refund comes in the form of a gift card.
Full Sur la Table return policy

Target
Time frame: 90 days for most items. Target RedCard debit and credit cardholders get an extra 30 days for nearly all items purchased with the card at Target and on Target.com.
Who pays for shipping: The customer, unless the return was due to an error by Target. Returns can be made at a store or via a shipping service.
Proof of purchase: Required. Target can track purchases made with a Target-related credit or debit card, major bank credit card, personal check, or Target gift card. If the item was a gift to you, you'll get a gift card for the return, assuming you have either a gift receipt or packing slip. Items without proof of purchase that are approved by the store's guest services department will be refunded in the form of a merchandise return card, which can only be used in-store. You'll need a valid ID to start that process. 
Full Target return policy

Walmart
Time frame:
90 days for most items. You can return or replace items sold and shipped by Walmart.com in-store or by mail. Items purchased at a Walmart store must be returned in-store. Customers can start the in-store return process before entering the store by using the Mobile Express Returns feature in the Walmart app.
Who pays for shipping: Walmart. Print out a prepaid shipping label on the website.
Proof of purchase: Preferred but not required. To return or exchange items without a receipt, you must present a valid government-issued photo ID at a store. Refunds for items of more than $25 that are returned without a receipt will be given in the form of a Walmart gift card.
Full Walmart return policy

Williams Sonoma
Time frame: 30 days. You can make returns at a store or through a shipping service.
Who pays for shipping: In most cases, the customer. Print out a label from the website and take the package to a UPS store.
Proof of purchase: Required.
Full Williams Sonoma return policy