Apple Return Policy – Can you Really Return Apple Products?

Apple products aren’t cheap, so you want reassurance that you can return them. But does Apple have a good return policy?

Surprisingly, the answer is yes. We were shocked to learn how excellent the Apple return policy is, even if you opened a product and didn’t like it.

Apple Return Policy Overview

Apple has an average return policy that gives you a couple of weeks to decide if you want to keep the product, but they have specifics you must follow.

What’s fantastic is you can try the product and still return it. Of course, there are exceptions, especially if you bought it from a third party or have a wireless contract with the product, so keep reading to learn more.

Standard Return Policy

Apple gives you 14 calendar days from the day you receive your product to return it. During this time, you can return products online or in-store, but only if you bought them directly from Apple. In addition, you must include all cords and adapters that came with the product.

Set your calendar for a day or two before the return period ends, especially if you plan to go to the store to return it. If you’re one day late, you can’t return the product, so don’t sleep on it if you don’t like it, and plan how you’ll return it, either online or in person.

Holiday Return Policy

Apple provides a slightly more extended return period during the holidays. The dates change each year, but products purchased from the beginning of November through Christmas Day can be returned through the first week of January.

For example, for the 2022 holidays, for products purchased from November 4 – December 25, shoppers may return through January 8. So if you shop early, you still can return the products if needed. 

The closer you buy the product to Christmas, the less time you get to change your mind, but if it’s a gift you buy before the crowds start, you can rest assured knowing you can return it if needed.

Returning Apple Products not Purchased at Apple

You must follow each store’s return policy if you purchase Apple products from a third-party retailer. Some stores allow returns and exchanges, and others don’t. However, you cannot return the products to an Apple store.

Ask about their return policy before buying an item to ensure they’ll accept a return if you don’t like it. If not, consider shopping at the Apple store.

Items you Cannot Return to Apple

Like most stores, there are certain products you cannot return to Apple. 

  • Open software or software downloads
  • Gift cards
  • Apple Developer products
  • Apple print products

Canceling Wireless Services with an Apple Return

If you purchased your Apple product from Apple and got wireless services from a wireless carrier, you must contact the wireless carrier about their return policies.

Apple only handles the return of the product, not the wireless service. Each company has a different process; some require you to sign a contract, which may tie you into the services for a certain period. 

If you cancel early, there will likely be an early termination fee, so always read the fine print before signing.

Receipts aren’t Necessary for Apple Returns

One great thing about the Apple return process is you don’t need your receipt. If you bought the item online, log into your account and find a list of the products you ordered. If you shopped in-store, they’ll have a log of your purchases and can process your return.

You can Return Items you’ve Opened

Another great thing about the Apple return policy is you can open a product, try it, and return it if you don’t like it. Just make sure you’re within the 14-day return period. The exceptions to this are software and printed software licenses if the seal is broken.

Shipping Items Back is Free

Apple doesn’t charge shipping fees, even when you return products. So if you don’t like what you bought, you can ship it back and schedule a free pickup. You can also drop it off at your local carrier. As long as you use the prepaid label they create, you don’t pay anything to ship it back.

Damaged Items are Overnighted to You

If you receive a damaged item, Apple goes above and beyond to make it right. You can process the exchange online, and they’ll overnight the new product to you. You can process the return in-store or online, but by the next day, you’ll have a new product in hand.

How to do Returns at Apple

You have two options to return Apple products – ship them back or return them in-store. Here’s how it works.

Ship Apple Products Back

If you ordered your Apple product online, you could follow these steps to ship it back within the 14-day return period.

  1. Sign into your Apple account
  2. Go to the Order Listing page 
  3. Select the item you want to return
  4. Click Start a Return
  5. Confirm the items and click Initiate Return
  6. Click the Print Return Label button for each item you’re returning
  7. Package the product in its original packaging
  8. Schedule a pickup with the chosen carrier

Return Apple Products In-Store

Whether you bought your Apple product in-store or online, you can return Apple products in-store. Locate a store in your area, and bring the product, all accessories, and the original packaging to the store.

An Apple associate will help you process the return and receive your refund. 

Receiving your Refund

You’ll receive your refund via the same method you used to purchase the product. Apple processes refunds immediately, but your bank determines how long it takes to receive them.

Most refunds take up to 7 business days, so it could take a bit before you see it in your account.

Here’s how the refund process works:

  • Debit or credit card – Apple refunds the amount to the card used. The processing bank may take five business days to handle the request.
  • Apple gift card – You’ll receive your refund via an Apple gift card sent by email unless you request a physical card. You’ll receive the emailed gift certificate quickly, but a physical card takes a few days to a week because it comes by mail.
  • Apple account balance – If you paid using your existing Apple account balance, the refund would instantly go back to the same account.

Exchanging Apple Products

If you want an exchange versus a return, exchanges are subject to the same time limits as returns. If you have an engraved product or custom Mac, they are only eligible for returns.

Can you Return Gifts to the Apple Store?

Apple has a dedicated Gift Returns page to make returning gifts simple. All you need is the serial number on the product’s box or the order number if you have it. Of course, you’ll also need the UPC from the box.

You can only process gift returns via mail. Follow the instructions when you enter your order number and print a label to return the product. Apple will alert you when they receive the item, and you’ll receive an Apple gift card for the refund. 

You can also visit your local store to process a gift return.

Apple Return Policy FAQs

Does Apple have a 30-day return policy?

Apple doesn’t have a 30-day return policy. You get 14 calendar days items, but certain items are excluded, including software, print products, and gift cards. You can try the products and decide if you like them.

Can you return Apple products after you open them?

Yes, Apple has a great return policy. Try the product for a few days and return it if you don’t like it. Just make sure you have all the accessories and original packaging.

Does Apple have a restocking fee?

Apple doesn’t have a restocking fee. They require you to return all components with the product, though, including the original packaging. But you will receive 100% of the purchase price when you return the product.

Can you return an iPhone for a different color?

You can exchange your iPhone within 14 days for a different color. However, the color you want must be in stock, and you must process the exchange within the return window.

Can you return engraved Apple products?

If you ordered engraved Apple products, such as AirPods or a Macbook, you can return them but cannot exchange them. This means you can get a full refund but can’t exchange it for another product. You must also process your return online – Apple associates in-store cannot process these returns.

Final Thoughts – The Apple Return Policy is Flexible

The Apple return policy is flexible whether you bought it for yourself or as a gift. Make sure to follow the 14-day policy unless it’s the holiday season, and you’ll find it easy to return products at Apple.

Don’t forget, though, if you signed a contract with a wireless provider, you must deal with their policy too, which may not be as forgiving.

Kim Pinnelli is a personal finance freelance writer and contributor. She lives in the Chicago suburbs, writing from home for the last 13 years. Kim enjoys helping people understand personal finances and writes on topics about saving money, investing, planning for retirement, and ways to increase income. In her free time, Kim enjoys hanging out with her 3 children, reading, crocheting, and spending time outdoors.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Register New Account
Reset Password