10 Big Changes and Quirks in Store Return Policies

Photo by Tinatin / Shutterstock.com

Most retailers’ return policies have remained about the same this holiday season as they were last year. But notable changes have occurred at some retailers.

Some major retailers have shortened their return windows. Additionally, a few retailers have made their general return policies more lenient, and many are also offering extended return windows for the holiday shopping season.

These are among the findings of Consumer World’s latest annual return policy survey, released Thursday.

The following five retailers are among those that Consumer World found have made their policies stricter:

  • Costco: Return period for major appliances reduced from open-ended to 90 days.
  • Macy’s: Return policy reduced from open-ended to one year.
  • Target: Return period added for drones (14 days).
  • Toys R Us: Return period added for drones (30 days).
  • Walmart: Return period added for drones (15 days).

The survey found the following five retailers have return policies specifically for holiday purchases:

  • Best Buy: The return deadline is Jan. 15 for most purchases made from Oct. 30 until Dec. 31, although “elite” members may get more time.
  • Kohl’s: The return deadline is Jan. 31, 2017, for premium electronics purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 25 of this year. The department store chain defines “premium electronics” as products by certain manufacturers, which are listed on Kohl’s “Exclusions” page.
  • Marshalls: The return deadline is Jan. 23 for purchases made from Oct. 16 until Dec. 24.
  • T.J. Maxx: The return deadline is Jan. 23 for purchases made from Oct. 16 until Dec. 24.
  • Toys R Us: This retailer has a “secret holiday policy,” Consumer World reports: Most items bought from Sept. 1 onward can be returned until Jan. 28. On the other hand, video game hardware, cameras, music players, netbooks and e-readers must have been purchased no later than Nov. 1 to qualify for a return until Jan. 28.

Have you had any difficulties returning holiday purchases in the past? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Reasons You Should Not Delay Retirement
5 Reasons You Should Not Delay Retirement

Could you be waiting too long to quit working?

8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper
8 Secrets of an Expert Thrift Store Shopper

Here’s how a veteran thrift shopper scores the best deals — and turns a profit from them.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More
10 Ways Retailers Trick You Into Spending More

Think you’re a savvy shopper? Find out how retailers persuade you to dig more deeply into your wallet.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
12 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say
This Cellphone Carrier Has the Worst Network Quality, Customers Say

One major wireless provider stands out for the least reliable call, messaging and data services.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.