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Return Policies for Gifts Your Friends and Family Bought Online

Gabrielle Olya
·5 min read
TriggerPhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto
TriggerPhoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Due to the pandemic, your friends and family members may be buying holiday gifts online and having them sent directly to you this year. If you receive a gift in the mail that you don’t want, you should be aware of the retailer’s return policy and return window to ensure that you can return or exchange the item before it’s too late. Many major retailers — including Amazon, Best Buy and Macy’s — have extended their return windows for the holiday season, but others have not.

Read Again: Return Policies for Gifts Your Friends and Family Bought Online

To make sure you don’t get stuck with a gift you don’t actually want, take a look at the return policies at some of the most popular retailers.

Last updated: Dec. 28, 2020

tagsmylife / Shutterstock.com
tagsmylife / Shutterstock.com


Amazon.com and most third-party sellers on the site allow for items to be returned within 30 days of receipt of shipment. For the 2020 holiday season, most of the items shipped between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned until Jan. 31, 2021.

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View Apart / Shutterstock.com
View Apart / Shutterstock.com


Items purchased at the Apple Online Store that are received between Nov. 10 and Dec. 25 may be returned until Jan. 8, 2021. You can’t return any of the following items, however:

  • Opened software

  • Electronic software downloads

  • Software upgrades

  • Apple gift cards

  • Apple developer products

  • Apple print products

You can only return products purchased directly from Apple. If you received an Apple product that was purchased from another retailer, you must return it to that retailer.

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Juan Llauro / Shutterstock.com
Juan Llauro / Shutterstock.com

Best Buy

Best Buy has an extended holiday return policy that’s eligible for purchases made from Oct. 13 through Jan. 2, 2021. The purchases can be returned through Jan. 16, 2021 — but there are exceptions. The return policy does not apply to items purchased with a third-party contract, such as cell phones, cellular tablets, cellular wearables and AppleCare monthly plans; holiday products, like artificial trees, lights and decorations; and major appliances. Major appliances must be returned within 15 days of purchase.

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Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

The Home Depot

Most new, unopened merchandise sold by Home Depot can be returned within 180 days of purchase. If you do not have a gift receipt, however, you should try to return the item ASAP. Although Home Depot typically does require a receipt for a return, the retailer may be able to locate a receipt in its system within 30 days of purchase, as long as the purchase was made with a credit card, debit card or by check.

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Macy’s accepts most returns by mail and in stores within 90 days of purchase for free. If a purchase was made during the holiday season — through Dec. 31 — it is returnable through Jan. 31, 2021, or within the 90-day period, whichever is later.

However, certain types of products have their own return policies, which you can find on Macy’s customer service website: Apple products, tech accessories and tech watches, Last Act merchandise, furniture, mattresses, area rugs, lighting, designer merchandise, vendor direct merchandise, Bluemercury merchandise, Macy’s Beauty Box, food and beverage, and Macy’s Optical.

Returned items must be in original condition with original tags attached.

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NoDerog / Getty Images
NoDerog / Getty Images


There are no time limits for returns or exchanges, so you can take your time deciding if you want to keep or return your gift. Returns can be made in-store, curbside or by mail. If you don’t have a receipt, a refund will be provided at the item’s current price on a Nordstrom Gift Card.

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Burdun Iliya / Shutterstock.com
Burdun Iliya / Shutterstock.com


Overstock accepts returns within 30 days of receipt. The product must be in new or unused condition, with all inserts and accessories intact. Note that you may be responsible for shipping charges; Overstock will only cover return shipping fees if you received the wrong item or if the item is defective.

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Sergiy Palamarchuk / Shutterstock.com
Sergiy Palamarchuk / Shutterstock.com


ShopDisney will offer an exchange, credit or refund within 30 days of the gift’s shipping date. Items must be in new, original condition with tags and tickets attached. If you have a gift receipt, a full refund in the form of a merchandise credit will be issued.

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jimkruger / iStock.com
jimkruger / iStock.com


Target allows for returns or exchanges of unopened items in new condition within 90 days. However, some items have a modified return policy, but it should be noted on the packing slip you received with the item. You can also check Target.com for the item description to see if a modified return policy applies. You may not be able to get a refund or exchange if you have opened the item, if it is damaged and/or if you don’t have a copy of the gift receipt.

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Sue Hwang / GOBankingRates
Sue Hwang / GOBankingRates


According to its website, returns are available for nearly everything Walmart sells. Different items have different return windows, however, ranging from 14 days to 90 days.

For the holiday season, Walmart has extended these return windows on items purchased between Oct. 16 and Dec. 25. The holiday return windows are as follows:

  • 14 days: Return by Jan. 8, 2021

  • 30 days: Return by Jan. 24, 2021

  • 60 days: Return by Feb. 23, 2021

  • 90 days: Return within 90 days from delivery date

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Return Policies for Gifts Your Friends and Family Bought Online