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Need to Return a Gift? Here Are All the Major Retailers' Holiday Return Policies

If you got something for the holidays you don't need, here are the return windows for Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Macy's.

Katie Teague Writer II
Katie is a writer covering all things how-to at CNET, with a focus on Social Security and notable events. When she's not writing, she enjoys playing in golf scrambles, practicing yoga and spending time on the lake.
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Katie Teague
3 min read

Most Amazon items can be returned within 30 days.

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Now that the holidays are behind us, you're probably done shopping for the year. And if you have gifts that you or a recipient didn't want or need, it's important to know what the big retailers' return policies are in case you need to make a return.

See below for the return windows and policies of Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Macy's. For more shopping tips, here's how to cut shipping costs at these retailers.

Between deals and other benefits, the Target Circle Program can be a great way to save money. Know that bargains can vary widely from one retailer to the next. To make sure you really are getting the best deal as you browse products, you'll want to check prices. CNET's Chrome Shopping extension can help you do that by finding the best discounts and promo codes.

Amazon returns

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When you purchase items on Amazon -- even Amazon Warehouse -- you typically have 30 days to return them, which is not a lot of time if you're buying gifts you intend to give during the holidays. My suggestion? Open the item to check that it has all the parts and pieces, and to make sure it's what you had in mind. If not, box it back up and ship it back as soon as possible.

If you do keep the item that you plan to gift past 30 days and the recipient finds that it doesn't work for them, they can still get a refund for up to 80% of the total price on an Amazon gift card. They can also choose to exchange the item for another size or color, for instance.

Note that some Amazon sellers may have different return policies.

Walmart returns

If you buy something from Walmart either online or in-store, you typically have a 90-day window to return it. However, Walmart does offer extended holiday returns for items purchased between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, giving you until Jan. 31, 2024, to make a return. That way, if you buy something as a gift during a good holiday sale, you or the person receiving it will have ample time to take it back.

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Target has an extended holiday return policy.

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Target returns

If you buy something at Target and decide you'd like to return it, you have 90 days to do so. And if you have Target's credit card, the RedCard, you have 120 days to make the return. If you're returning a Target brand item or something from your registry, Target gives you a full year.

Target also has an extended holiday return policy for certain items. Here's how it works:

  • For all electronics and entertainment items (excluding Apple products) purchased between Oct. 1 and Dec. 24, a 30-day refund period will start on Dec. 26, and items must be returned by Jan. 24, 2024. 
  • For Apple products (excluding iPhones) purchased between Oct. 1 and Dec. 24, a 15-day refund period will start on Dec. 26, and items must be returned by Jan. 9, 2024.
  • For mobile phones purchased in-store or online as a pickup order between Oct. 1 and Dec. 24, a 14-day refund window starts on Dec. 26, and items must be returned by Jan. 8, 2024.

Best Buy returns

Best Buy gives you 15 days to return items you've purchased, and 14 days if it's an activatable device like a phone or tablet. If you're a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total member, you have 60 days to return anything you've purchased, excluding activatable devices.

If you're returning a gift you received, you'll get store credit for the purchase price if you return it in a store. If you return the gift by mail, the gift buyer will get the credit.

If Best Buy follows last year's holiday return policy, items purchased between Oct. 24 and Dec. 31 will have until Jan. 14 to be returned.

Macy's returns

Any item purchased from Macy's must be returned within 30 days. If it's an item from a gift registry, you have 90 days from the event date to return it. 

If Macy's follows last year's holiday return policy, items purchased Oct. 3 and later have a 90-day return window. This policy would end Jan. 31, 2024.

For more, here's how to save on your next Target shopping trip. And here are nine Amazon Prime tips you shouldn't forget.