14 Stores With Customer-Friendly Return Policies


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customer buying shirt from saleswoman
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Some people are so hard to shop for that you just end up having to make your best guess — and sometimes those gifts miss the mark. To reduce gift-giver anxiety, some stores relax their return policies during the holidays. But these 14 retailers have rules for returns, refunds, and exchanges that are extra-generous year-round. If you're concerned about giving a gift that is destined to go back to the store, start your holiday shopping here.
Nordstrom store
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Nordstrom handles all returns on a case-by-case basis, and there's no time limit. A receipt isn't necessary, although it can help store employees quickly find a purchase in the system. However, Nordstrom reserves the right to refuse returns and won't take back special-occasion dresses if the tag is removed or the dress looks worn. Related stores, including Nordstrom Rack, HauteLook, and Trunk Club, have their own return policies.
L.L. Bean
Photo credit: L. L. Bean by Mike Mozart (CC BY)


L.L.Bean caused a stir early in 2018 by abandoning its longstanding lifetime guarantee. But its new policy is still pretty lenient, giving customers one year to return L.L.Bean products for a refund with proof of purchase. Customers must also pay a $6.50 return shipping fee (waived if you have an L.L.Bean Mastercard), although the retailer does ship replacement products for free.
row of vehicles under the Costco Wholesale sign
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Costco applies a no-time-limit return policy to most of the products it sells. However, there are a few exceptions, such as the 90-day return window for select electronics. Special rules may also apply to cigarettes, alcohol, diamonds, items with a limited life span (such as batteries), and special-order products.
Bath and Body Works
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Products purchased online can be returned to Bath & Body Works at any time if a customer is not completely satisfied. Without a receipt or invoice, the retailer offers an exchange for a different product or store credit. Customers returning a purchase by mail, rather than to a store, are responsible for the return postage.
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Items from Bloomingdale's can generally be returned within 365 days of purchase. A receipt isn't required; however, without one, Bloomingdales will issue store credit, or put credit into the customer's Bloomingdale's account. Online purchases can be returned to stores or sent back via UPS, free of charge. When returning a gift, you need a gift receipt to receive an exchange or store credit.
Bed Bath & Beyond
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Bed Bath & Beyond has a generous one-year return policy. If you have the original sales receipt or a gift receipt, the retailer will refund the purchase price or issue store credit. If you've lost the receipt but the purchase can be found in the sales system, you can get your money back; otherwise, you'll receive store credit only. Online purchases can be shipped back at no charge or taken to a store.
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REI customers can make a return and request a refund or replacement within a year, and there's no time limit for items that have a manufacturing defect. However, ordinary wear and tear and improper use aren't part of REI's 100-percent satisfaction guarantee. Gift recipients can receive a refund for unwanted or defective items as long as they have proof of purchase.
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There's often no time limit on returns to JCPenney with an original or gift receipt. Products can also be exchanged without a receipt for store credit equal to the lowest selling price from the previous 45 days. There are a few exceptions to the no-time-limit rule, including a 60-day deadline for fine jewelry and a 10-day window for smartwatches and fitness trackers. Customers have only 48 hours after delivery to return major appliances, furniture, mattresses, fitness equipment, and electronics, and these are subject to 15 percent restocking fees, as well as pickup charges in some cases.

logo of the brand 'Zappos'
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Zappos built its brand on a generous return policy, making it easy for consumers to try, buy, and exchange shoes. It offers free returns on all products within 365 days of the purchase. However, shoes must be unworn and in their original packaging to qualify.
Macy's Department store
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Macy's gives customers 180 days from the date of purchase to return or exchange what they buy. There is no charge to return items by mail. With an original or gift receipt, Macy's will refund the purchase amount or award store credit. Without a receipt, store credit is the only option.

Kohl's store
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Kohl's offers to accept returns at any time with proof of purchase. The only exceptions are "premium electronics" (the retailer doesn't specify what these are), which have a 30-day return window. If you've got a receipt, Kohl's will refund the purchase price or give you store credit; without proof of purchase, you'll receive store credit. Online purchases can be returned to any store, free of charge, or shipped back in the mail, but customers must pay for return shipping.

Photo credit: SweetBabeeJay/istockphoto


Just because that sofa or side table looks cute in the catalog or showroom doesn't mean it'll make your living room look picture-perfect once you get it home. Ikea gives shoppers 365 days from the date of purchase to return items for a refund. Can't find the receipt? Ikea will award you the value in store credit.
Land's End
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This clothing retailer has a fairly lenient return policy, although shoppers would be wise to read the fine print. Lands' End promises to exchange or refund the price of any item "at any time," but if you want your money back, you have to return the item with a receipt within 90 days. If you don't have the receipt or miss the 90-day window, Lands' End offers store credit only.
Photo credit: helen89/istockphoto


Competition among women's fitness apparel retailers is fierce, and Gap-owned Athleta makes a point of promoting its generous return policy to attract shoppers. Unlike most other clothing chains, Athleta encourages customers to try their purchases by accepting returns of garments that have been worn once. There's no time limit, and return shipping is free. Proof of purchase is required, however, and gifts can be exchanged for store credit only.

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