What Is Walgreens’ Return Policy? Time Limit, No Receipt, etc Answered

Short Answer: Walgreens accepts returns on most items within 30 days of purchase, as long as you have the receipt and a valid photo ID. Refunds are issued back to the original method of payment. Without a receipt, your return will be subject to a store manager’s approval; if your return is allowed, you’ll likely be issued store credit in the amount of the lowest selling price of the item in the last 30 days. You can return in-store purchases to another Walgreens location as long as the item can be found in the store’s system; online orders can be returned in-store or by mail. The Walgreens return policy also applies to Duane Reade stores. For more details, see below.

Walgreens Return Policy

Walgreens allows for the return of most items within 30 days of purchase as long as you have the receipt and a valid photo ID, corporate customer service representatives said. Walgreens’ official return policy is also available on its website. The Walgreens return policy is consistent across all Walgreens and Duane Reade locations, and you can usually return Duane Reade items to Walgreens stores (and vice versa). However, note that store managers have the discretion to accept or refuse a return and will not accept all returns between the two brands.

In-store purchases can be returned to any Walgreens or Duane Reade store as long as the item can be located in the store’s system. Keep in mind, inventory may vary by location. If a store associate is unable to find the item in the store’s system, he/she will not be able to process a return. In this case, your best bet will be to return to the store where you purchased the item.

In-store returns can be made at a check-out station any time the store is open. To find out your local store’s hours, use the Walgreens store locator.

During our research, we found that Walgreens keeps track of returns. That means if you frequently return items — particularly for large totals and without a receipt — you may be banned from future returns.

To verify the following information, we contacted Walgreens stores in Arizona, Colorado, and New York, as well as Duane Reade stores in New York City.

No-Receipt Returns

To make a return without a receipt, you’ll need to get a store manager’s approval. If your return is approved, you’ll likely receive store credit for the lowest sale price of the item in the last 30 days.

A store associate may be able to look up your receipt using your phone number or Walgreens Balance Rewards number. For more details, see our article on Walgreens’ receipt lookup policy.

Opened Item Returns (Including Makeup)

With the exception of consumable products and personal care items, Walgreens accepts returns on most items even if they’ve been opened. Items like food and makeup can be returned if the item is defective. If the item is not defective, a store manager will need to approve the return.

Items not packaged but with tags or labels can often be returned even if the tags or labels have been removed. This includes clothing.

In addition, all Walgreens-brand products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you are not happy with a Walgreens-brand product, including opened consumable products, you can bring it back for an exchange or refund at the manager’s discretion.

Return Policy After 30 Days

There is a strict 30-day return period for all customers. Walgreens Balance Rewards members do not receive additional time to make returns. After 30 days, a store manager would need to approve a return and, if approved, you’ll likely receive store credit for the item’s lowest sale price in the last 30 days.

Pharmacy and Medicine Return Policy

By law, prescription medications cannot be returned to Walgreens or Duane Reade. Over-the-counter medications that require you to show a driver’s license — like products containing pseudoephedrine — cannot be returned because the purchase has already been documented and logged with the state. Other over-the-counter medications are eligible for return within 30 days of purchase. Sexual wellness items are final sale and cannot be returned.

Gift Card Return Policy

Walgreens/Duane Reade gift cards, third-party gift cards, and phone cards cannot be returned.

Photo Return Policy

Photo products, including prints and customized items, cannot be returned. However, if the prints or products are defective, you can request that they be reprocessed.

Sale and Clearance Items

Sale and clearance items can usually be returned within the 30-day return window with a receipt. However, store managers may refuse the return of sale or clearance seasonal merchandise.

Online Return Policy

Online purchases can be returned in-store or by mail within 30 days with proof of purchase. If you no longer have your online order receipt, you can look it up by signing in to your Walgreens.com account.

From your Walgreens.com account, you can also initiate a return by mail. When you request a free return shipping label online, you can schedule a USPS pickup or drop the package off at your local post office. (USPS pickup services are not guaranteed in all areas.)

Orders placed online for in-store pickup can be returned in-store.

Refund Policy

Refunds for returns processed in-store will be issued back to the original method of payment; if you used a credit card to make the purchase, be sure to bring the card with you when you make the return. The store will process the return immediately, but it can take up to a few days for the credit to show up in your account, depending on your bank or financial institution.

For online orders returned by mail, it can take up to 30 days from the time the return is received for the refund to process back to your original payment method.

4 comments

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, L! You can usually return Duane Reade items to any Walgreens or Duane Reade store. However, managers do have final discretion on returns and may deny your return, particularly if the item does not appear in Walgreens’ system when the associate scans the barcode. We have updated our content to include this information.

  • Considering this article was written recently, I just wanted to make it known that nowhere in Walgreens return/refund policy does it state “For debit card purchases, you’ll have the option of a cash refund.” In fact, that is not the case as they don’t (at least they’re not supposed to, per their return policy) give the option of cash back if paid by debit card. While I know it happens as it’s a lot less hassle for a cashier dealing with unhappy customers, but that is not Walgreens’ policy.

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hello, Becky! We apologize. We received that information from store customer service representatives, but have removed it from our article to reflect the corporate policy. Thank you for bringing this to our attention!