Target Return Policy – Is it as Flexible as they Say?

Strolling through the aisles of Target is like a pastime for many people, but what happens when you have second thoughts about that impulse buy or you bought something from that didn’t fit?

Not only does Target have amazing products, but their return policy is just as amazing. You can return it in-store or via mail and it’s generally free.

With almost 2,000 stores in the United States, it’s easy to find a store to return your items, but you can always ship online products back too – just be ready to head to your local UPS store.

Here’s everything you must know about Target’s return policy.

Target’s Return Policy in a Nutshell

Most people can return Target purchases for up to 90 days and get a refund or make an exchange. But be careful, some items have a shorter window and Target RedCard holders get an extension. Always read the receipt or Target’s refund exceptions online in the item description.

Target does state they reserve the right to refuse a return if the item is opened, damaged, or you don’t provide a receipt, but they are pretty lenient with these guidelines.

You can make returns in-store or via mail. If you ship the items to the Target Return Center, shipping is free.

Target RedCard Holders get More Time

If you’re a Target RedCard holder and you use it for your purchase, it buys you an additional 30 days on most items. This applies to purchases made in-store and online. 

You Must Make Electronic Return Decisions Quickly

Target has a much shorter window to return electronics. You have 30 days from the date of purchase to return them. Apple products are an exception, though. They must be returned within 15 days to get a refund.

Mobile phones also have a shorter window of only 14 days from the date of purchase to return them. Be careful because mobile phones may also have a $35 restocking fee and if you bought a carrier contract, you might pay early termination fees too.

Target Owned Brand Items can be returned for up to One Year

Many people don’t realize this, but if you aren’t satisfied with any Target Owned Brand items, you have a year to return them. They keep expanding their brands, but a few of the most popular include – A New Day, Kona Sol, All in Motion and Made by Design. Here’s a full list of the Target Brands that have a 1-year return policy.

Items you Cannot Return to Target

Some items you cannot return to Target even within the 90-day window. Like most stores, you cannot return gift cards or prepaid cards. You also cannot return personalized items, digital downloads, open collectibles, and opened breast pumps.

Opened music, DVDs, video games, and software cannot be returned for a refund. However, you can exchange them if there’s something wrong with it or if you bought it for the wrong platform, but you can only exchange them for the same title.

Airbeds can also only be exchanged for something similar. For example, you can’t return an airbed and use the money to buy clothes. It’s an exchange, not a return.

You can Even Return Opened Beauty Items

Have you ever bought a beauty item and decided you hated it? It’s frustrating to think of the money you just threw out the window, right?

The good news, Target has a flexible window of opportunity for returning beauty items. 

If you buy a beauty product at Target, take it home and try it, finding out you don’t like it, you can return it. Not only that, but they give you 90 days plus another 30 days if you’re a RedCard holder. 

Target Returns – How and When You’ll Receive your Money

For the most part, you’ll receive a refund with the same method you used for payment. If you return the item in-store without a receipt, you may get store credit (gift card) and if you purchase online with a Target gift card or PayPal, you’ll receive an eGiftcard in your Target account. 

How long it takes to get your refund depends on the method of payment:

  • Target RedCard – 2 days
  • Third-party credit card – Up to 5 days
  • Returns mailed into the Online Return Center – 7 -10 days after the return is processed

No matter how you paid, if you want the return as a Target gift card, that’s always an option, just let the team member know that’s how you’d like your refund.

How to Return Purchases to the Store

You can return any purchase in-store. You can stop in any Target store and return using these steps. Here’s a list of brick-and-mortar Target stores.

  1. Log into your account

This is the account you used to make the purchase. All of your orders are stored here for easy returns.

  1. Choose Orders 

Navigate to the orders page. If you’re using the Target mobile app, choose ‘Purchases.’ Browse through your orders until you find the one with the product you want to return.

  1. Select the order you want to return

Choose the items you want to return by clicking on them.

  1. Choose Return

Make sure you select all items you want to return from the order.

  1. Select Return to Store

This lets Target know you’ll be heading to a local Target store to return the item in person.

  1. Receive a barcode and head to the store, showing the team member the barcode

You’ll receive a barcode that you can print out or show on your mobile phone to make the return process simple.

  1. Head to the Target Guest Services Desk

Most Guest Service Desks are located at the front of the store. Bring your items and barcode for a simple return process.

How to Return Purchases via Mail

If you don’t want to (or can’t) return your items to a Target store, you can mail them back using these steps.

  1. Log into your Target account

You’ll find your order history here. Choose the order you want to return and the specific items you’re returning.

  1. Select Return by Mail

This tells Target you want to ship the items back and will need a shipping label. They’ll need a little more information from you since you won’t be speaking to a Guest Services Representative.

  1. Choose the reason for your return

There’s a dropdown box for you to select the reason for the return. 

  1. Select your shipping address

If the address isn’t correct or you need to edit it, go back into your account to edit it.

  1. Submit the request

Once you submit the request, Target will provide you with a mailing label to print. 

  1. Package the items

Make sure you include all pieces and accessories, and that the product is in its original condition.

  1. Place the label on the outside of the box

Make sure the label is visible and safely placed on the box.

  1. Drop it at your local UPS location

Just head into your local UPS store and drop the box off – no payment is needed. 

*Please note, if you are returning multiple items even if they are from the same order, they may require separate shipping labels. Follow the prompts carefully so your returns get to the right place and you get your refunds on time. 

Returning Items without a Receipt at Target – It’s Possible

If you don’t have your receipt, there are a couple of ways you can still return your purchase. It helps if you have a account and pay with a card associated with it or use the Target Circle app. All purchases are tracked in both systems even if you don’t pay with a RedCard.

If you don’t have a account or use the Target Wallet, a Team Member may be able to look up your purchase in-store. Bring the original payment method with you even if it’s a third-party credit card and see if a Team Member can look up the purchase.

If they can find the purchase, you’ll receive a refund back to your original payment method. If they can’t but they accept the return, you’ll receive a merchandise return card.

Just be careful, they do collect an ID and if you abuse the system, they may not allow any more returns without a receipt from you.

How to Return Items from a Target Registry

Target is a popular store to register for your wedding or baby shower, and we know why. They offer a generous 1-year to return most unopened gift items from a registry. You just need your registry barcode to initiate the return.

Use these simple steps:

  1. Log into your Target account

This is the account you created when you created your registry (unless you already had a account).

  1. Click on Registry

Once you’re in Registry, select the registry you are returning an item from.

  1. Under Offers & Benefits, click on Start a Return

This is where you’ll select the item you’re returning along with the store you’re returning it to.

  1. Print your barcode or bring it to your Target store

Make sure you visit the same Target store that you chose in the return process. Your barcode is only good for that specific store.

If you’re returning and not exchanging an item, you’ll receive a Target gift card for the amount if it was logged on your registry (the purchaser logged it when they bought it). If it’s not logged, you’ll receive a merchandise return card that you can only use in-store (they cannot be used online).

Target Return Policy FAQs

Can I return a gift someone bought from Target?

The easiest way to return a gift someone bought from Target is with a gift receipt. Just be careful, you cannot return a gift on the same day it was bought, you must wait until the next day. When you return the item, you’ll receive a Target gift card for the amount. You can return the item in-store or online using the methods noted above.

Does Target refuse online returns?

Not all returns are accepted by the Target online returns center. They stick to their guidelines regarding the item to be unopened and unworn. Other reasons they may decline an online return include if you’re outside the return window or it is an item they don’t accept for returns.

If you have an item you opened but need to return, your best bet is to bring it to the store and talk to a person – they are often understanding enough to accept open items when it’s for a good reason.

Will I get a refund on buy one get one free item?

If you take advantage of a buy one get one free sale but only return one item, you’ll receive a prorated amount as a refund. The target applies the discount proportionately to each item, giving you the appropriate refund.

Can I return to Target after 90 days?

90 days is Target’s return policy, but if you’re a RedCard holder or you bought Target Branded products, you get an additional 30 days and up to 1 year respectively. All other purchases are restricted to the 90-day return window.

Final Thoughts – Target Returns are Easy!

Target makes returns simple and you get an extended amount of time to do them. With their large selection of Target Branded products, you might find most of your purchases can be returned for as long as one year.

They do stick to the unopened and unworn requirements, though, so make sure you are sure about a purchase before opening it or wearing it. 

If you don’t have a receipt, chances are you’ll still be able to return it, even if you only get a merchandise return card, chances are you’ll be shopping at Target again in the near future and can put it to good use.

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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