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 with a receipt. For perishable food items, Walmart will offer a refund or return, depending on the item. This must be done in person, not through the mail.
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, though returns without a receipt may have to go through a verification process, and this also applies to non-perishable food items and frozen food. 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 $10, you can be given a cash refund. If the item costs more than $10, you may be issued a gift card for the amount.
If you aren’t completely satisfied with the freshness of a perishable food item, you can receive a refund under Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee.
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 $10, you can be given a cash refund. If the item cost more than $10, 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.
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.
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.
Perishable items cannot be returned by mail. If your online order arrived defective, damaged, or spoiled, go to Walmart.com or the app to receive a refund or replacement. You can also visit your local Walmart.
You’ll need to do the following:
- Log in to your Walmart.com account and locate the item.
- Start a return and select the reason for doing so.
- Select refund or replacement.
- Choose a method of return and review the information.
Note: If you bought food from a Marketplace seller through Walmart.com, you may or may not be able to make returns through Walmart. Individual Marketplace sellers have their own return policies, which can be found in the item’s listing.
How to Return Food You Bought with WIC or SNAP
Many food items sold at Walmart stores are eligible for the Women, Infants, 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.
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?
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!
You’re welcome, Lisa!
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?
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.