Best Buy Return Policy – Can you Return Electronics?

Best Buy is the go-to electronics store for just about everything from computers to cameras and major appliances. They have a low price guarantee and they stand behind your purchases. If you aren’t 100% happy, they’ll make it right with either a return or an exchange.

Like any store, though, there are policies, some that are stricter than others. Here’s what you must know before shopping at Best Buy.

The Return and Exchange Period

Most stores have a strict return and exchange period for electronics. Some stores don’t even allow you to change your mind and return electronics, but not at Best Buy.

They give ‘standard customers’ 15 days to return electronics and if you’re a Best Buy TotalTech Member, you get 60 days to return electronics.

But, if you buy an activatable device, aka cell phone, tablet, or cellular wearable, all customers (standard or TotalTech members) get only 14 days to return the items.

Keep in mind, that this return period applies to defective products too. If you receive an item that is defective or damaged, watch your return window or you may not be able to return it.

TotalTech Members

The TotalTech membership costs $199 a year, so it’s not worth it just to get the longer return window. But, if you’re a ‘techie’ and shop at Best Buy often, it might be worth it to you. If it is, you get the benefit of a much longer return period of 60 days. 

Holiday Return Periods are Longer

Best Buy usually extends its return policies for holiday purchases. The extended period applies to purchases made mid-October (this year it was October 18) through January 2. Purchases made during that time can be returned until mid-January (this year it was January 16). 

Please note, this does exclude holiday-specific items (Christmas trees, garland, etc.) as well as activatable devices). 

Check with Best Buy each holiday season to see the exact dates of their Holiday Return Policy as it changes every year.

Watch the Restocking Fee

Restocking fees aren’t something you see very often any longer, except at Best Buy. If you return an activatable device, you’ll pay a $45 restocking fee. 

Other products subject to a 15% restocking fee include:

  • Drones
  • DSLR cameras
  • Mirrorless cameras
  • Electric bikes and mopeds
  • Leg and body recovery systems
  • Premium camcorders
  • Projectors and screens
  • Special order products

If you must pay a restocking fee, it comes off your refund. For example, if you returned a drone and it cost $200, you’d get $170 back.

Exceptions to the Restocking Fee Rule

There are a few exceptions to the restocking fee rule. If you never opened the box, you won’t pay a restocking fee. Say for example you bought something online but changed your mind before it arrived. If you don’t open the box and immediately return it, you’ll save on the restocking fee.

TotalTech Members also never pay a restocking fee and if you live in any of these states and the purchase and return occur within these states, there’s no fee:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina

Shipping is on You

If you return items to Best Buy via mail – shipping charges are on you. Best Buy doesn’t offer free shipping labels to cover the cost of returns. That’s why it’s best to make your return in person at a local Best Buy store, but if you can’t, there is the option to mail it back.

Some Items Cannot be Returned

Unfortunately, not all items can be returned at Best Buy despite their promise to stand behind their customers.

You cannot return final sale products, custom orders, and personalized orders. You also cannot return:

  • Prepaid cards
  • Gift cards
  • Memberships
  • Home standby generators
  • Plumbing items
  • Consumable products (opened)
  • Key fobs
  • Digital content
  • SIM kits (opened)
  • Completed services

How Long Before you Receive your Refund?

Returns made in-store have the refund processed immediately, but it may take a few days before it hits your account. The timing depends on your bank.

Returns made by mail have a 7 – 10 day processing time. This doesn’t include the time it takes for your bank to post the refund, which could take up to an additional 10 days.

How Will you Receive your Refund?

If you prefer to return an item versus exchange it for another, you’ll usually receive your refund the same way you paid for it. For example, if you paid with your Visa, the credit will go back to your Visa.

However, if your purchase was $800 or more and you paid in cash or $250 or more and you paid by check or debit card (without a Visa or Mastercard logo), you’ll receive a check in the mail within 10 business days.

If you paid with a gift card, the refund will go back to the gift card. If you no longer have it, call 1-888-BEST BUY for a replacement.

Returns Without a Receipt are Limited

Best Buy isn’t keen on providing refunds for purchases without a receipt. If you purchased online and have a Best Buy account, they may be able to look up the order using your email. If not, the return may be denied.

How to Return Items at Best Buy

Best Buy allows returns in-store and online. You can return items to any Best Buy location, not just the store you purchased them from. Online purchases may also be returned in-store.

Here’s how.

In-Store Returns

Returning your items in-store ensures a faster refund and you avoid shipping charges. Find your local Best Buy and use these steps.

  1. Package the items in the original packaging with all accessories included
  2. Find your receipt or packing slip
  3. Bring it to your local Best Buy

If you don’t have all accessories or the original packaging, you may still be able to return the item, but they’ll deduct a small amount off the total.

Mailed Returns

If you don’t want to or can’t get to a Best Buy store, you can mail the items back to Best Buy. Shipping costs are your responsibility though. Best Buy recommends sending them via USPS with tracking or UPS.

  1. Package the items in the original packaging with all accessories included if possible
  2. Place the packing label in the box
  3. Print your return label if you don’t have one

Mail the return to:

Best Buy Returns Center

600 Park Loop Dr

Suite D

Shepherdsville, KY 40165

Best Buy Return Policy FAQs

How strict is the Best Buy return policy?

Best Buy’s return policy is among the stricter policies for most stores. This isn’t surprising since they sell electronics and appliances, which most stores don’t even allow to be returned. 

Best Buy also requires the products to be in like-new condition. This means they should be sanitary, undamaged, and should include all pieces. They do grant some exceptions if you’re missing a small accessory, however, you’ll receive a smaller refund to make up for it.

Can I return the items I opened to Best Buy?

Yes, Best Buy does allow opened items to be returned. But, to get a refund, they must be in perfect condition and the return must be within the return window. Fortunately, the Best Buy return policy applies to all products including clearance, open boxes, and refurbished items.

Can Best Buy refuse a return?

Like any store, Best Buy has the right to refuse a return. Overall, they are pretty liberal with their returns, but each store has its own policies. Ultimately, the return decision is up to the store manager if there is a question about the ability to return a product.

It’s always a good idea to keep the products with their original packaging and accessories, using them as little as possible until you decide you’re keeping them or are outside of the return window.

Can I return to Best Buy without a receipt?

You can make returns at Best Buy without a receipt, but it’s up to the manager’s discretion if they’ll accept it. Fortunately, there are other ways to prove your purchase, especially if you purchased the item online with a Best Buy account or you made the purchase with a Best Buy credit card.

Final Thoughts – Act Fast with your Best Buy Returns

Best Buy offers a great return policy for items that most stores don’t allow to be returned, but you must act fast. Unless you’re a Best Buy TotalTech Member, you get only 15 days to change your mind.

This applies to defective products too. The best way to not miss your window of opportunity is to use the product as soon as you get it to make sure you want it and that it works. Keep it in good condition and mark your calendar for 15 days past the day you receive the product so you make up your mind in time to return it should you decide you no longer want the item.

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.

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