Walmart Return Policy for Opened Items: Return Without the Box? etc

Walmart keeps its return policy relatively straightforward. But can you return an item to Walmart if you’ve opened the packaging, destroyed the packaging, or even thrown it away? What about that desk you half-assembled, only to find that it didn’t fit in your office? Not all purchases are straightforward, so it’s good to know if you can return an item that isn’t in its original condition.

Keep reading to learn more about specific details about the Walmart return policy on opened items…

In This Article

What Is Walmart’s Return Policy on Opened Items?

Walmart’s return policy allows customers to return most items bought in-store and online within 90 days of purchase. Select consumer electronics, including computers and tablets, must be returned within 15 days of purchase.

To receive a full refund in the form of your original payment, be sure to bring your receipt. You can return items without a receipt for a cash refund if your purchase was under $25. Returns without a receipt valued $25 or more will be refunded in the form of a Walmart gift card.

To be eligible for a refund, products must be returned with the original manufacturer’s packaging and accessories. As long as returns are accompanied by their original packaging and parts, they should be accepted — even if you’ve opened the package. So can you return an item to Walmart without the box? No.

In most cases, Walmart will accept returns, even if the manufacturer’s packaging is ripped or damaged. Noteworthy exceptions include books, music, video games, and movies (as previously reported). Air mattresses are another exception; you can only exchange them if open. These products must be returned within 90 days “unused, unopened, and unmarked.” However, defective items in these categories may be returned after being opened, provided you produce the original packaging and a receipt.

Suggested articles: Walmart’s Return Hours, Walmart’s Online Return Policy, and Walmart’s Policy on Returning Car Batteries

Can You Return an Item You Already Assembled?

Walmart’s return policy does not explicitly address returns of partially assembled items, so we reached out to the company’s customer service department. According to several customer service representatives, if you present a whole, undamaged, and disassembled product accompanied by the original manufacturer’s packaging, you should be able to return even a partially assembled item.

For questions regarding specific items, you can contact your local Walmart or consult the virtual help-desk for confirmation regarding in-store and online purchases.

Can You Return an Item If You Destroyed or Threw Away the Original Packaging?

If you damaged or threw away the original packaging, Walmart is not required to return even undamaged items with receipt of purchase.

Walmart managers, however, wield some discretion in accepting or rejecting individual returns in-store. Individual stores may maintain different return policies; therefore, it is best to call your local Walmart if you threw away/destroyed the original packaging. Questions regarding returns of online purchases without original packaging can be directed to Walmart’s virtual help-desk.

Can You Return a Damaged, Defective, or Broken Item?

Walmart’s return policy covers items that were already damaged when you bought them. If you buy an item and open it at home only to find that it is defective, broken, or missing elements such as accessories, you can return the item for either a replacement or a refund.

This policy includes items purchased in stores or online. Note that if you are returning an item purchased online to a Walmart store, replacement options will depend on whether an equivalent item is available.

If the item becomes damaged after purchase, either by you or by another person (such as a relative), you generally cannot return it, even if you have the original receipt and packaging.

Even items covered by a Walmart protection plan are typically not eligible for return or replacement due to accidental or intentional damage after purchase. There are a few exceptions, though: protection plans for laptops, tablets and mobile phones cover damage from accidents like drops and spills.

In Summary

Now you know about the Walmart return policy for opened items — including if you need the box. Walmart returns most items if they are brought back in the established return window. Returns must include their original packaging and accessories. Packages that are opened or ripped are usually still considered acceptable. Returns without the original packaging or completely destroyed packaging are not officially returnable but may be accepted at the manager’s discretion. If you are unable to include the manufacturer’s official packaging with your item, contact your local store or Walmart’s virtual help desk to see if the item can be returned. It’s also important to note that damaged items are only eligible for return if they were damaged when you purchased them — not if you or someone else damages them after purchase — with the exception of laptops, tablets, and mobile phones covered by protection plans.

Suggested article: Can you buy with a credit card but return with cash?

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4 comments

  • Alexandre Grand-Pierre says:

    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?

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      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 says:

    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!

    • Lindsey Desmet says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      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!