As an American consumer, you have the right to enjoy easy returns and refunds. However, if you’ve ever dealt with a difficult company, you’ll know it’s not always easy to exercise this basic shopping right. No one wants to get stuck with unwanted goods or be put through the wringer for a shopping mistake—especially during the holidays. For easier returns, we recommend shopping with one of these great companies.
Bed Bath & Beyond: Easy-Peasy Returns With or Without Receipt
If you have a receipt when making a return at Bed Bath & Beyond, you’ll get a full refund (with few exceptions). If you have a gift receipt, you’ll get a merchandise credit.
No receipt? If your item was purchased within the last 365 days, Bed Bath & Beyond will try to find a record of the transaction. If the store can’t, you’ll still get an exchange or merchandise credit—just for 20 percent less than the current selling price.
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Bloomingdale’s: Oh-So Accomodating
For most items at Bloomingdale’s, you have 365 days to make a return for a refund or store credit. If you don’t have a receipt, there are a few options. The store can credit your Bloomingdale’s account or issue a merchandise credit (provided you don’t have a Bloomingdale’s account). Either way, the no-receipt policy states that, “You will receive the lowest selling price in the last 180 days.”
Do note that some categories have restrictions. For instance, you can’t return certain special event dresses once the tag is removed, and you can only return mattresses within five years or purchase.
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Costco: Return at Any Time
Zappos’ one-year return policy is generous, but it’s eclipsed by Costco’s return procedures: There’s no time limit for returning most products purchased from the discount retailer. Simply bring them into your nearest Costco store for a cash or check refund.
Electronics are one of the few exceptions, but the 90-day return policy on TVs, computers, cameras, touchscreen tablets, MP3 players and other consumer gadgets should be adequate for most shoppers.
If you’re returning products years down the track, it’s understandable that you might not still have your receipt. That’s no problem at selected Costco stores that can look up purchases using your membership number.
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JCPenney: Easy, Simple and Sweet
JCPenney’s policy depends on the item and whether or not you have a receipt, but here are some of the general rules. If you’ve got your receipt, you can return an item to JCPenney at any time. Without a receipt, products are good for exchange or store credit at the item’s lowest selling price within the last 45 days.
For furniture returns, you must return within 30 days with a sales receipt. Fine jewelry must be returned within 60 days, and the same goes for electronics. Special occasion dresses have to be in original condition with the green return tag in place.
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Kohl’s: No Receipt Necessary
Kohl’s is already adored by deal seekers thanks to its constant rotation of sales. But the store’s return policy rocks, too. You have a full year to return an item for a full cash refund. Kohl’s Charge purchases don’t even require a receipt. If you wait longer or don’t have a receipt, you can still get store credit or a corporate-issued refund. Gift receipts qualify for store credit.
If you’re returning in-store, bring the item along with the receipt. If you’re returning by mail, fill out this return form, pack up the merchandise, and ship everything back prepaid.
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L.L.Bean: 100% Guarantee and Hassle-Free Returns
L.L.Bean is another retailer who doesn’t believe return policies should have time limits. The store likens its customer guarantee to the old-fashioned promise that comes with a handshake and will happily accept goods for exchange or refund at any time. There are reports of customers returning 10-year-old sweaters that have sat unworn for years. Along with the open-ended time frame, L.L.Bean will also accept goods in any condition. One Planet Money worker has been returning L.L.Bean backpacks whenever their zipper breaks for two decades now.
The policy is notoriously lenient, but if you’ve got your heart set on a cash refund, you’ll need a receipt. Without one, you’ll need to accept an exchange or gift card for the item’s current selling price.
L.L.Bean Visa cardholders can also receive free shipping on returns using prepaid labels available online. If you don’t have this loyalty card, you can print one of these labels for $6.50.
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Macy’s: 180 Days to Make a Return
You have 180 days to make a return at Macy’s. Now, there are exclusions that must be returned within 30 days; Apple smartphones, for instance, must be taken back in 14 days, and Last Act items must be returned within 30 (get details here).
Note: Macy’s holiday return policy extends returns for items purchased from November 1 to December 31 until January 31, 2018. And if you don’t have a receipt, Macy’s still lets you make a return in most categories—you’ll just get a store credit for the item’s lowest selling price in the previous 180 days.
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Nordstrom: No Questions Asked—Seriously
Nordstrom is famous for its incredibly liberal return policy. In fact, legend has it that a customer in the ’70s successfully returned car tires to a Nordstrom store—the funny thing being that Nordstrom doesn’t sell tires.
The main takeaway from Nordstrom is that “there is no return policy,” so to speak. This means there is no return time limit, no receipt required and no paperwork. Purchased an item online? The store provides free return shipping, or you can take the item back to a physical store.
Now, Nordstrom does take a stricter approach to its special-occasion dresses. If you return a dress, it must still have its tag on it. Also, Nordstrom Rack has a different return policy. There, you have 90 days to return used merchandise as long as you have the receipt, original tags and a photo ID.
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REI: Satisfaction Guaranteed
At REI, you can return or exchange anything from the store within one year. The only exceptions are outdoor electronics (must be brought back within 90 days). Note: REI won’t accept returns on items for normal wear and tear or damage caused by accidents or improper use.
Also, hold on to your receipts or make purchases through an REI member number. If the store can’t locate proof of your purchase, you might not be able to make the return.
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Target: Return Without a Receipt
We’ve mentioned Target’s exceptional return policy before, but it’s worth repeating. This American department store will offer refunds or exchanges on most unopened items in new condition within 90 days of purchase. Target is so confident in the quality of its Target Owned Brand items that an extended one-year return policy applies to these.
Target will even accept returns if you’ve misplaced your receipt; store staff can simply use your credit card details to look up your purchase.
You can also return items you bought online to any regular Target store. Just take the item, your packaging slip and the card you used for payment to the guest service desk of your nearest store.
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Trader Joe’s: Full Refund on Used Items
Department and fashion stores aren’t the only ones impressing customers with their return policies. Trader Joe’s sets the benchmark among grocery stores with its own generous return policy.
The store offers free refunds on all the items it sells, no matter why you want to return them, whether they’re open or not. That means you don’t need to hesitate to try dill pickle–flavored potato chips or salmon jerky. Simply buy them, taste them, and if you don’t like them, you can get your money back. There are even reports that Trader Joe’s has accepted returns on moldy cheese left forgotten in the fridge.
Zappos: Free Return Shipping and Full Refund Within a Year
Many shoppers will accept an item that’s not quite right to avoid paying to ship it back to the online store. But with fashion e-tailer Zappos, you don’t need to. The online shoe and clothing store will happily waive the shipping fee for United States customers, so you don’t have to squeeze into those too-tight peep-toes.
Zappos will also accept returns for a full refund within 365 days, so long as the product’s still in its original condition and packaging, so you’ve got plenty of time to decide if the goods really work for you. If you’ve still got questions about how things work, you can talk to a Zappos representative at any time of the day or night via the site’s 24/7 live-chat feature.
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You can shop with confidence with these retailers whose returns policies are some of the best around.