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Retail Companies With No Extended Holiday Return Policy for Purchases and Gifts

Return Policies of the Largest US Retailers Without Special Holiday Return Terms


Most major U.S. retail companies change their return policies for the Christmas holiday shopping season to accommodate both gift buyers and gift receivers with longer and more lenient return terms.  Some retail chains, however, do not create special holiday or gift return policies, which sometimes makes Christmas gift returns difficult or impossible.

This is a list of the standard return policies of the major U.S. retail chains that offer no extended or special return policies, and the consequences to the shoppers who make purchases governed by those return policies.

1. Bath & Body Works Standard Return Policies

Because Bath and Body Works has a "no sale is ever final" return policy at all times, there is no need for special or extended holiday terms.  There is no time limit for returns, and with a sales receipt or shipping invoice, a refund will be issued (excluding shipping and handling charges). 

Gift returns require not receipt, and the original credit card is not required.  Gift returns can only be made at brick-and-mortar Bath and Body Works stores, even if the orignal purchase wa made was made on the website.

2. Costco's Customer-Friendly Return Policies Need No Holiday Changes

Well known for its customer-friendly return policies, Costco makes no holiday changes because their return policies are liberal 365 days of the year. 

Costco will refund membership fees in full for any Costco customer who is dissatisfied with their membership.  Aditionally Costco's standard merchandise return policy is:

"We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell with a full refund."

The only limit on returns is a for purchases is a 90-day time limit for refunds on televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, iPOD / MP3 players and cellular phones.
Refunds for internet purchases include a refund of shipping and handling charges.

3. CVS Return Policy Could Create a Holiday Hassle

Just because CVS labels its return policy as "hassle-free" doesn't mean that holiday gift recipients will agree.  CVS hasle-free returns have to be made within 30 days.  So that MP3 or GPS that you purchase in pre-Black Friday sales might have to be returned before Christmas Day rolls around.

CVS is much more lenient, however, about the return of CVS branded products.  Those store brands have a 100% satisfaction guarantee and can be returned opened or unopened for a refund, "no questions asked."  (Receipt or shipping invoice is required for all refunds, whether they are CVS branded or not.)

4. Don't Delay with Dell - Plenty of Policies to Prevent Returns of Dell Products

If you're ordering any products directly from Dell, here are two important pieces of advice - buy late and return fast.  Dell has no extended return policies for holiday gift-givers, and their standard return policy states that all returns must be made within 21 days of the shipping date.  (This is not 21 days from the date you RECEIVE the product, this is 21 days from the date they SHIP the product, regardless of how long it takes to reach your doorstep.)

Customers must follow the Return Merchandise Authorization process and failure to do so may result in your returned product being discarded without you receiving any credit for it at all. Partial credit might be issued for products “at Dell’s discretion” just because they want to do it.

Dell also charges a 15% restocking fee, whether you open the package or not.  One fine print tip about Dell returns is to not refuse the delivery because that will just cause you more problems and delays with your Dell return.

Click here for Dell’s complete return policy

5. GameStop.com Stops Merchandise Returns With a Long List of Non-Returnables

GameStop.com stops excess merchandise returns with a long list of conditions which make your Gamestop.com purchases non-returnable.  GameStop specifically instructs its customers not to return products if:
  • more than 30 days has gone by since the packing slip was prnted
  • the product has been opened (taken out of its plastic wrap).
  • the item is not in its original condition.
  • anything is damaged, played, or is missing parts.
  • it was part of a bundle, unless you send the entire bundle back
If you ship something back that’s non-returnable, you won't get a refund and you also won't get your item returned either! That's one good way to stop returns!

6. Most Sales Are La Final at La Senza - A Limited Return Policy Contradiction

"Due to the intimate nature and hygienic standards of certain items," there's a long list of what can't be returned at any time for any reason to international lingerie retailer La Senze,  Non-returnable items include:
  • panties
  • babydolls
  • bodysuits
  • hoisery
  • teddies
  • swimwear
  • any lingerie set that includes a panty
If you attempt to return these items, La Senza will quickly send them back to you at your expense.

This might be an more understandable, except that La Senza is owned by The Limited, which also owns Victoria's Secret, which has a liberal "no sale is final" policy.  The inference is that the more expensive the undergarments, the more hygeinic the customer?  Considering Victoria's Secret models, one might think the opposite is true.
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