Special holiday return policies of popular stores


Consumer World compiled a great list of the special holiday return policies of some of the most popular stores such as Amazon, Best Buy, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Kohl's, Target, Costco, etc.

Consumer World is run by Edwgar Dworsky, a highly respected consumer rights attorney. It is pretty sweet having an attorney read the return policy fine print for you, but I advise you to use the chart only as a general guide. Make sure you check out these policies for yourself before making a return or purchase.

"Some retailers relax their regular return deadlines at holiday time by extending the return period into January. Remarkably, in Consumer World's spot check of in-store return policy signage, some stores failed to post the terms of their holiday policies."

Note: Following return policies reflect 2006.

Amazon.com January 31 (for most items shipped 11/01 through 12/31) 15% restocking fee: open computers.
Best Buy January 8 (for camcorders, digital cameras, printers, monitors, projectors, radar detectors); January 24 (all other items bought since November 1). Computers: 14 days from purchase only.
Buy.com Holiday return policy eliminated.
Circuit City January 25 most items; January 8 for 14 day items including computers.
Costco No deadline (except computers).
Kohl's No deadline (with receipt).
Marshalls January 6 (for purchases October 29–December 6).
Overstock.com By January 10, initiate return of most items purchased November 1 or later.
Staples No deadline for office supplies. (January 6 for electronics and furniture bought since November 24).
TJ Maxx January 7 (for purchases October 29–December 6).
Target Target: 90 days from purchase (15% restocking fee on portable electronics, digital cameras, camcorders; specially marked clearance items only qualify for current sale price).
Toys R Us 90 days (45 days for unopened electronics, video products).
Wal-Mart 90 days most items (other items: 15 days [PCs], 30 [cameras], or 45 [PC accessories]).


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Guest's picture

is there really NO DEADLINE for costco? like i can return my plasma after using it for 2 years??

Will Chen's picture

Costco is famous for it's "no questions asked" return policy. Urban legend has it that some students never buy furniture because all they do is use Costco stuff for 9 months and return it all after they are done.

That is the CURRENT policy. Rumor has it, though, that Costco might be changing their mind about this liberal return policy. If I find out more I'll definitely let our readers know. But for now, as far as I know, Consumer World is correct about Costco.

Will Chen's picture

I just checked my Wise Bread mailbag for the first time today and wow, you guys REALLY want to know about Costco.

I think I'll do a little digging on your behalf.