Walmart Return Hours: Tips For A Smooth Return

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While making Walmart returns is never fun, there are ways to make the process smoother. Part of that is being familiar with what Walmart's return policy is, particularly around big shopping holidays like Black Friday and Cyber Monday including Walmart return hours for your nearest location. Many retailers offer extended return periods for merchandise purchased during the winter holiday season, but since 2020 they've lengthened the qualifying period even more.

Whatever time of year you're shopping at Walmart, it's important to know the details of Walmart's return policy so that you can ensure a painless process when it comes to necessary returns. Read on for all the details on Walmart online returns as well as the in-store process, how the holiday season affects Walmart return center hours, and the kinds of items eligible as well as Walmart returns violation.


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Walmart's Return Policy Overview

What is the Walmart returns policy? It applies to items purchased from either Walmart stores or Walmart.com. If you've purchased something from the website, you can make a Walmart online return via mail within 90 days of receiving your order. If you've purchased something from a physical Walmart store, products can be returned within 90 days of the purchase date.

SEE ALSO: Here's Why Walmart's Return Policy May Surprise You

The 90-day return window is only valid for select items; some categories such as electronics may have a shorter window. Note that a receipt may be required to receive a refund in your original form of payment; without a receipt, you may still receive a refund but it could be in the form of a Walmart gift card instead of cash or credit.

If you've opened an item, even if it's basically in its original condition, you may still not be able to receive a refund. Some items have very short return windows, and beyond that you may be eligible for an exchange, or nothing at all.

What Are Walmart Return Hours?

If you need to make a return the store, most Walmart return service hours fall during regular store hours. That means if a store is open overall from 6 am to 11 pm, you should be able to make a return at any point during that time. Even so, it may be a good idea to plan to make your Walmart return a couple of hours after your store opens or a couple of hours before your store closes to ensure you have plenty of time to handle the return and to increase the odds of there being enough staff on hand to expedite the process.

While Walmart customer return hours usually follow the regular store hours, that's not always the case. You should check with your local store for normal operating hours so you'll know the exact window you can make your Walmart returns in. If you need help finding your local store information, you can go to Walmart's website. Look in the upper left corner of the home page and you should be able to see a small map indicator with the name of your store or your shipping location, depending on if you've chosen shipping or pickup as your shopping method. Click on the location which will open a box and you can click the right arrow next to the location there to see an entire list in your area. From there, you can click to expand the box and then click the button "Store Details" for any location you're interested in. That should open another page that will provide the regular store hours including sensory-friendly hours, as well as any hours for departments on-site, too, such as the pharmacy, auto care center, vision center, and more. If there are different Walmart return hours compared to the overall operating hours, this will likely be where you find those specific details.

Customers have 90 days to make Walmart returns on most items purchased in-store or online.

Return hours at Walmart are typically dictated by the overall store hours, but know that Walmart return hours on Sunday could differ depending on the location. Particularly if a location has many different operating hours for varying departments, it's more likely that the Walmart return desk hours could be for a shorter period of time than the overall store.

What is the Time Limit for Walmart Returns?

Walmart's return policy states that "most items" can be returned to a store within 90 days. If you need to return a purchase made online, you should be able to mail it back within 90 days of receiving your order.

However, there are exceptions that can affect the time limit for Walmart returns as well as the process. For instance, items purchased through the Walmart Marketplace may only have a return window of 30 days, while items that are considered luxury as well as wireless phones have a much shorter window to return them of just 14 days. Some products may have restrictions on being mailed back if they contain things like batteries, while oversized items can't be returned to stores. Shoppers can return unopened alcohol and tobacco items, but only to the original store they were purchased from. And anything that requires assembly must be fully disassembled and repackaged before returning whether to a store or via the mail.

Can I Return an Opened Item to Walmart?

The short answer is that it depends. Some opened items can be returned to Walmart, but others can't. For example, trading cards can't be returned to Walmart whether they're opened or unopened. Other items may be solely eligible for an exchange within a certain period of time, while some products simply have very specific windows of time to be returned even if they're opened.

Opened or used items that can only be exchanged at Walmart and not returned include unlocked opened phones and even then only within 14 days; drones within 30 days; air beds and air mattresses within 90 days; durable medical equipment within 90 days.

When Will Walmart Return to 24 Hours?

While Walmart Supercenters used to be open for 24 hours every day, during the pandemic, many stores scaled back their operating hours. These days, the hours can vary based on the store's location, but common ranges are from 6 am to 11 pm local time. As for when the chain will return to 24 hours, there aren't any plans currently in place for every location to do so; that said, some individual stores may return to 24 hours if Walmart believes there's a need and it has enough staff to warrant the decision. For now, though, if you need to make a Walmart return, you'll need to plan on handling it during regular business hours.

Can You Return Items at Walmart Anytime?

You can initiate a Walmart return online anytime, but Walmart returns in-person must be done during normal business hours. Additionally, some stores may stop taking returns before the store actually closes, so be sure to check with your nearest location before heading out to make a return.

For the most part, if a Walmart location is open something like 6 am to 11 pm, you should be able to make returns at any point during that time. However, there's a chance that based on a location's staffing, the customer service desk may not open until slightly after the store itself does, and it could close earlier than the store does as well. If you have any doubts, give your local store a call to see if there are any time-related restrictions on making a return. Additionally, it's important to make sure that you take every step possible to expedite the process to make things easier on both you and the store associates.

What is the Return Deadline For Walmart?

It depends on the product that you're returning to the store. The following categories have specific return windows:

  • 2 days: Major appliances.
  • 14 days: Most wireless phones.
  • 30 days: Cooling and heating items, consumer electronics, electric scooters, hoverboards, most marketplace items, PCs and related components, Verizon postpaid wireless phones, vacuums and floorcare, and Walmart Protection Plans
  • 60 days: Contact lenses, hearing aids, prescription glasses and contacts
  • 90 days: Walmart+ memberships (unless used or activated); home and garden equipment; tires; photo prints, personalized items, and photo products; toilets, toilet bowls, and urinals
  • 365 days: Perennials, shrubs, and trees (must be returned in-store)

For most other items, Walmart returns can be made within 90 days of purchase for in-store items and within 90 days of receipt for online orders.

What Items Cannot Be Returned to Walmart?

There are a handful of categories that can't be returned to Walmart. However, note that the store will reserve the right to deny any returns it deems unacceptable. According to the Walmart return policy, the following items are Walmart returns violations and therefore not eligible for replacement, returns, or refunds:

  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Airsoft and air guns, BB guns, crossbows, vertical/archery bows
  • Pepper spray
  • Gas-powered recreational vehicles
  • Used or mounted tires, wheels, rims, snow tires
  • Trading cards (unopened or opened)
  • RV sewer lines, toilets, toilet bowls, and urinals (used or installed)
  • Precious metals
  • Adult personal massagers, pregnancy tests, ovulation tests, and home diagnostic tests such as COVID-19 tests
  • Prescription medications and devices
  • Items containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Hygienic medical equipment

There are also services and digital products that are ineligible for returns as well, including:

  • Gift cards
  • Prepaid cell phone cards
  • Prepaid gaming cards
  • Video game download cards
  • Sim cards
  • Video on demand

What Time Does Walmart Customer Service Close For Returns?

Most of the time, the Walmart customer service desk should close at the same time as the store itself does. However, in some areas, the return desk may stop accepting returns slightly earlier than the store closing for the day. This could range depending on the store and location, so it's always best to check with your nearest one to see if they have any return restrictions. It may be that the return desk closes an hour before the store, or it could be a few hours before the store closes, so it's best to give the location a call before you head out to make sure you have time to make your Walmart returns.

Can I Make a Return After Money Center Closes?

Yes, returns can be made after the Money Center closes assuming the return desk is still open. Walmart returns don't have anything to do with the Money Center, so unless the return desk and the Money Center close at the same time, you should be able to make your return no matter when the Money Center closes.

What is the Walmart Returns Phone Number?

Have a question that you can't find the answer to? You can give Walmart customer service a call at 1-800-925-6278 (1-800-WALMART) to speak with a customer service team member and ask a question about your local store.

The Process For Walmart Customer Service Returns

First, you'll want to sign into your Walmart account either online or in the app to start your Walmart return.

  1. Choose the items you're returning as well as the reason for doing so
  2. If you want to visit the store in-person to make a return, you can then choose "Return to store" to generate a return barcode for the associate to scan. If your items are eligible for Walmart curbside returns, you'll see the option there as well.
  3. Review the return info and if everything looks good in the summary, go ahead and submit your return.
  4. Check your email for confirmation and bring the confirmation email with you to the store along with the products you're returning.

If you're making a Walmart curbside return, you can park in a pickup parking spot and then follow the instructions laid out in the Walmart app.

Walmart receipt curled up.

What Else Should I Consider When Making a Return at Walmart?

When making a Walmart return, it's not all about the hours you can do so. There are other things to keep in mind to save yourself the hassle of having a return rejected or the process slowed down.

Holiday Season Extended Returns

During the winter holiday shopping season, Walmart will often extend its return policy to allow shoppers extra time to make returns once the holidays are over. For instance, the extended period will often kick in on or around October 1 and apply to purchases made through December 31 of the same year. Those purchases can typically be returned to Walmart through the following January. There may be some exceptions to this policy, so when in doubt, be sure to check with an associate for the specifics on any purchases you've made.

SEE ALSO: Walmart's 2024 Holiday Hours: What Deal Seekers Should Know

Walmart Marketplace Purchases

The Walmart Marketplace is made up of third-party sellers, so their return policies will differ from the standard Walmart return policy. Because of that, it's very important to note a seller's return policy when shopping online so you can take the appropriate steps to make a return if you need to. One important thing to note is that while Walmart itself doesn't charge a restocking fee, the third-party Walmart Marketplace sellers may do so, particularly for items such as luxury goods and large products that could be considered freight, like major appliances, heavy furniture, and others like them. The restocking fee can be as high as 20% so be sure to check a Marketplace seller's return policy before purchasing an item, just so you can know what to expect if you find that you need to make a return.

Walmart Online Returns vs. In-Store Returns

In-store returns may be preferred by shoppers as they carry some advantages over online returns. While they can be slower, the refund process can be faster, especially if you're getting a cash refund. That'll be immediate, whereas other forms of refunds can take anywhere from a few hours to several days.

Online returns can be somewhat more convenient in that you can initiate the process online and then simply mail your item back, but if you have to take the item to a UPS store for drop-off or something similar, you have to make time to do so. That paired with waiting for the refund to be processed can lengthen the process and cause a headache for shoppers if they have to repeatedly check on their returns to see what stage they're in as well as checking on the refund status.

Does Walmart Take Returns Without a Receipt?

Returns at Walmart are sometimes accepted without a receipt since associates can look up Walmart online orders by using the email address or phone number tied to your account. For in-store purchases, if you paid with a debit or credit card, the employees should be able to look up your purchase that way. Either way, Walmart returns without receipts are entirely possible, though having one can make the process much easier.

Tips For a Smooth Return Process

Start the process online or in the app. Get the best of both worlds by starting your return online or in the Walmart app and then proceeding to your nearest location to finish the process. By getting a jumpstart on the process this way, you can expedite the whole thing and take care of this errand faster, while also potentially receiving your refund sooner.

Opt for curbside if possible. If you begin the Walmart return process in the app, you'll be able to see if the item you need to return is eligible for a curbside return. If so, you may want to consider utilizing this method as it means you can stay in the comfort of your car and wait for a store associate to come to you. This is a particularly convenient way for shoppers to make returns when they don't want to be inundated with requests from small children or have to worry about wrangling them inside to get to the customer service desk and keep track of them while taking care of the return process.

Walmart return hours can vary from store to store, so if you have doubts, check with your location before heading out.

Have your receipt. While an associate may be able to look up your store purchases made with a debit or credit card or your online orders via a phone number or email address, this adds to the entire process and can make things take longer than necessary. On top of that, you may not be eligible for a refund without your receipt, so if you have any doubts about a Walmart purchase, be sure to keep your receipt for at least the duration of the return period. That way, if you do need to return an item, this will help to make the process much smoother and could also make the associates more likely to work with you for a solution if you've passed the return window.

Online Return Process

The Walmart online return process can be started either by signing into your account online or the app. Then you can choose the item you want to return and how you want to return it -- in this case, you'll want to choose "by mail". From there, you can either find instructions, the shipping label, and barcode via the app, or you'll receive what you need to the email address associated with your account. From there, you can take the next necessary steps to continue the return process. If you lose the details, you can also find them in your account again by visiting the order details page in your account. Note that you may have to wait up to 10 business days to receive your refund when returning items this way, so be patient and keep track of when you sent the item back. That way, if it seems like it's taking too long, you can check on the status and then chat with customer support to find out if there's something wrong or if everything is on track and just proceeding slower than you expected.

Walmart returns online will take longer than returning an item in-store, but if you're having your purchase refunded to a credit or debit card, it can take up to 10 business days either way. Even if you see a refund pending on your card or your bank account right after making the return it likely won't completely go through for several hours if not longer. If you're looking for a convenient way to make your Walmart return online, sending it back by mail may be the best way to go.

Making Walmart returns likely isn't anyone's idea of fun, but with these tips and knowing how the process works, you can help to ensure you have a smoother experience overall.

Julie Ramhold
Senior Staff Writer/Consumer Analyst

Julie's work has been featured on CNBC, GoBankingRates, Kiplinger, Marketwatch, Money, The New York Times, Real Simple, US News, WaPo, WSJ, Yahoo!, and more. She's extolled the virtues of DealNews in interviews with Cheddar TV, GMA, various podcasts, and affiliates across the United States, plus one in Canada.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).

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