Walmart Return Policy for Opened Items

It's helpful to know Walmart's return policy when you receive an unwanted gift, or you've made a purchase you no longer need -- especially if you opened the item or damaged the packaging.

Walmart accepts returns of most open and unboxed items as long as you still have all the included parts and accessories.

Walmart sign outside of a store

You can return online orders to Walmart even if you don’t have the original box or packaging, while in-store purchases generally require the barcode to process returns.[1]

I detail more about this policy below, including exceptions and how you’ll receive your refund.

Walmart’s Return Policy for Opened Items

Walmart accepts most returns with an open box, even if you used the item.[2][3]

This includes purchases like vitamins, razors, SD cards, calculators, AirPods, board games, and more.[1]

There are a few exceptions. Once opened, you cannot return unlocked cell phones, air mattresses, DVDs, video games, and some medical supplies, though you can exchange defective items.[1][4]

Time Limits

Most items bought in store and online at Walmart are returnable within 90 days of purchase.[5][2]

Some items are only returnable for 30 days, such as select Marketplace Seller items and some electronics (as previously reported).[1][3]

Opened and unboxed major appliances, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, or dryers, are available for return or exchange within 48 hours. After 48 hours, you’ll need to consult the manufacturer’s warranty for repair and replacement options.[6][7]

Without the Box

You can return purchases even if you destroyed, recycled, or threw away the original packaging.[3]

However, Walmart may not accept returns for in-store purchases without the box or packaging, even if the item is undamaged and you have the receipt.[1]

Walmart store managers have the final say on returns and generally require the packaging with the barcode intact to confirm that you bought the item from Walmart rather than a different store.[3][1]

You can call your local Walmart before visiting to confirm whether it’s willing to accept your return without the packaging. If it won’t accept your return, you can check with other Walmart locations in your area or resell the item.

Fully or Partially Assembled Items

You can return in-store purchases that are partially or fully assembled, such as grills, strollers, and sewing machines.[1]

You can also return a swimming pool that has been opened and assembled, although it must be disassembled to a reasonable size for returns.[1]

However, online purchases must be unassembled for return shipping. This includes online purchases that you return in-store; Walmart ships Marketplace items back to the original seller.[1]

Note that the store manager may deny your return if you damage the product while assembling or disassembling it.[1]


If Walmart accepts your return, you’ll typically receive a refund to the original payment method.[4]

Note that no-receipt returns will only receive a cash refund if the item is under $10.[4]

Returns without a receipt valued at $10 or more will receive a refund on a Walmart gift card after passing Walmart’s refund verification process.[8]

Tip: I have a designated spot where I keep receipts for at least 90 days, so they’re always on hand when I need to make a return.


What if I have the box, but it’s damaged?

Returns for in-store purchases are at the discretion of the store manager, but many stores will accept damaged packaging as long as the barcode is still legible. You can return purchases with damaged packaging, but if you’re mailing in the return, you’ll need to repackage the item(s) in a secure box for shipping.[1][3]

Can I make a return using curbside drop-off?

Yes, as long as you can initiate a curbside return in the Walmart app. You will use the app to select the item, choose a Walmart location, and check in when you’re on your way. Once you’ve parked, use the app to let Walmart know you’re there, and an associate will come out to your vehicle to finalize the return.[7]

Does Walmart throw away returned items?

This depends on the return. Walmart restocks most unopened items. It may resell open-box items that are still like new at a reduced price. Walmart disposes of returned food items and defective purchases.[1]

In Summary

Walmart accepts returns for most opened and unboxed items within 30 or 90 days, as long as you have the original packaging.

If you lost or threw away the packaging, you can still return online orders; however, in-store returns are at the discretion of each store’s manager.

You can also return assembled items that were purchased in-store to your local Walmart, though online orders must be disassembled for return shipping.

Feel free to share your own experiences and advice on returns below. You’re also welcome to ask questions or answer someone else’s inquiry!


  • Alexandre Grand-Pierre

    I just went to Walmart to return an air matress. The box was opened but the item was inside neatly and the box was still in great shape, but they said I couldn’t get refunded for an item that is opened. I could only exchange it for the same item, or something of similar or lesser value. Is this some new policy? I’m just going to go back home an old glue the box back shut lol. Would I be able return a Walmart item at a different Walmart from the one I purchased the item at?

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Lindsey Desmet

      Hello, Alexandre! You can return most Walmart purchases to any store. However, this policy regarding air mattresses is not new; Walmart only allows you to exchange an air mattress with an open box. We have updated our article to reflect this. We also cover the policy in detail in our article on Walmart mattress returns.

  • Nancy Livengood-Miller

    My son bought a 6 pack of Angry Orchard Rose. He barely got one bottle down. I tasted it and couldn’t drink it at all. It tastes awful. He has the other 5 bottles in the carton and the receipt. Will Walmart take this back with one bottle gone? Thank You!

    • First Quarter Finance logo
      First Quarter Finance | Lindsey Desmet

      Hello, Nancy! Walmart usually only allows returns of alcohol when the product is unopened/complete, and only in states that allow alcohol returns. If your state does allow alcohol returns, the Walmart store manager will have discretion over whether to accept a six-pack with one bottle missing; you may want to call your local store before visiting. For information about the return laws in your state, see our article on whether you can return alcohol. Best of luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *