Can You Return Food to Walmart (Perishable & Non-Perishable)? Solved

Short Answer: You can return unopened non-perishable or frozen food items within 90 days to a Walmart store or by mail for a refund or replacement. Some restrictions apply, however, to returns of perishable food items and WIC- and SNAP-eligible purchases. Most fresh foods are covered by Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee, which means you can get a refund or replacement if the food is spoiled or damaged. We have what you need to know about returning food to Walmart in-stores and online below.

Walmart Food Return Policy

You can return non-perishable food items to Walmart for a refund or replacement within 90 days. For perishable food items, Walmart will not accept a return, but it will provide a refund or replacement if there was an issue with the item.[1]

A store manager will have the final say on whether a food item can be returned or not; it will depend on where you purchased the food (i.e., in-store or online), if the item is perishable or non-perishable, and whether or not you have the receipt. Some food items have even more specific return policies — for more on special return policies for grocery items, see our articles on how to return alcohol to Walmart and how to return baby formula to Walmart.

How to Return Food You Purchased In-Store

Walmart accepts in-store returns within 90 days with or without a receipt, and this also applies to non-perishable food items and frozen food.[2] To return food items that you purchased at a Walmart store, the item must be unopened and unused, unless there is an issue with the quality, such as if the item is stale. As long as the item still has a visible barcode to scan, it is eligible for a return, a Walmart customer service representative said.

To request a return, take the item to the customer service center. If you have a receipt, a refund will be issued in the form of your original payment. If you don’t have a receipt, you can still ask for a refund or replacement. If the item costs less than $25, you can be given a cash refund. If the item costs more than $25, you may be issued a gift card for the amount.[2]

As noted above, you cannot return perishable food items to Walmart. If the item is not edible, you can receive a refund under Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee.[1] Simply contact Customer Care at (800) 925-6278 and explain when you bought the item, the issue with the food, and whether you prefer a refund or replacement. You may also be asked to provide the order number from your receipt.

To request a return, take the item to the customer service center. If you have a receipt, Walmart will issue a refund in the form of your original payment. If you don’t have a receipt, you can still ask for a refund or replacement. If the item costs less than $25, you can be given a cash refund. If the item cost more than $25, you may be issued a gift card for the amount.

Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee

In general, perishable food items from the deli, produce, bakery, and meat departments cannot be returned. However, if you are unsatisfied with a perishable food item because it was damaged, defective, spoiled, or otherwise not fresh, you can receive a full refund.[1]

To get a Fresh Guarantee refund, bring your original receipt to the customer service center at the Walmart store where you bought the food. You’ll receive a refund in the form of your original payment. You don’t need to return the food item to get a refund.

Note: There are limitations to the Fresh Guarantee for WIC and SNAP purchases — we discuss these below.

How to Return Food You Purchased Online

You can return non-perishable food items that were purchased on Walmart.com by mail or to any Walmart store. Returns must be made within 90 days of your purchase date. Non-perishable food items should be unopened and in the original packaging to be returned.

To return food items in-store, you’ll need to provide your order number or a return receipt. You can find and print a returns receipt by logging in to your Walmart.com account. If you can’t print a return receipt, bring the shipping invoice or packing slip to the customer service center.[2]

If you want to return non-perishable food items by mail, you’ll need to log in to your Walmart account and click “Start a return” and then “Return by mail.” To process your return:

  • Choose your reason for returning the item
  • Select whether you would like a refund or replacement
  • Print a pre-paid label for shipping your return

If you ordered perishable food items online and they arrived defective, damaged, or spoiled, you can contact customer service for a refund and replacement, as noted above. You’ll need to provide the following:[1]

  • The order number
  • The date the package arrived
  • The condition of your order when it arrived
  • An explanation of the problem

Note: If you bought food from a Marketplace seller through Walmart.com, you cannot return those particular food items to a Walmart by mail or in-store.[1] Individual Marketplace sellers have their own return policies, which can be found in your email order confirmation.

How to Return Food You Bought with WIC or SNAP

Many food items sold at Walmart stores are eligible for the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) program and/or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

For WIC food purchases, you can exchange expired or defective items for a fresh identical item. For SNAP food purchases, you can exchange items for another SNAP-eligible item or return the item for a refund to your SNAP account. You can find more specific information in Walmart’s guide to return exceptions.

How to Return Recalled Food

If a food item you purchased at Walmart has been recalled by the manufacturer or the Food and Drug Administration, Walmart must accept the return, even if it is open or was purchased more than 90 days ago. You do not need a receipt to return recalled food items.[1]

In Summary

You can return non-perishable, unopened food items that you purchased at a Walmart store or on Walmart.com either in-store or by mail for a refund or replacement. If you have a receipt, you can get a full refund in the form of your original payment. If you don’t have a receipt and the item was less than $25, you may be eligible for a cash refund; if it was more than $25, you may receive a Walmart gift card in the amount. If you purchased perishable food that is spoiled, damaged, or unsatisfactory, you can get a refund under Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee. Additionally, food purchased with WIC and SNAP can typically be exchanged or refunded to your SNAP account.

6 comments

  • Lisa Walker says:

    I bought a box of cereal and it’s stale and of course, the box is open. The expiration date is August 2020. I have the receipt. Can I return it to Walmart?

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, Lisa! Yes, you should be able to return the cereal. We contacted Walmart and were told that food can be open at the time of return if there is a quality issue like staleness. Just bring the item and receipt to your local store. We have updated our article to include this information. Best of luck with your return!

  • Darla Alexander says:

    I bought a canned ham with my SNAP card. Opened it and it was bad. Returned it and customer service put the refund on credit card instead of SNAP card. Is this ok?

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, Darla! Did you use your credit card to pay for a part of your order? If so, that was probably why the associate gave you a refund on your credit card. If you purchased that particular item using SNAP benefits, this was an error on part of Walmart. You are not responsible for the error, however, and your benefits will continue as normal.