I’m just sayin’

By Mir
January 7, 2008
Category Quick Tips

I’m not particularly interested in a political or ethical debate on this one, so take the information for what it’s worth and use or discard as you see fit. I’m just offering it up as a matter of observation.

Did you know that Walmart takes returns without a receipt? Any item they carry, they’ll accept as a return at the current store price. They’ll give you store credit on a gift card.

If, say, you ended up with a killer toy deal from Amazon that you didn’t need but would cost you more to return than you’d recoup, that might be something you’d like to know.


  1. Now that’s a girl after my own heart. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Beware, though. I think Wal-mart may have a policy about the number of receipt-less returns one can make in a certain time frame. Not sure if that’s across the board or only in departments like electronics. Of course, I could be completely wrong, but I know there’s SOME store out there with that policy cuz I have friends who’ve been denied returns after unloading several receipt-less birthday presents.

  3. I did the same with a couple of books that was handed out at the office holiday party. Got a gift card at B&N instead of some crappy self-help books. I think a number of stores will do this, as long as it’s not abused.

  4. Wal-Mart’s policy is 3 strikes and you’re out. They will ask to see your Driver’s License and will enter your ID so that they can track your returns. Just as long as you don’t go overboard in a 12-month period, they are pretty cool about returns. Not that I would know ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. They have the policy of 3 strikes you are out that they adopted beginning Jan. 1st of this year (at least in our area). Also, they accept returns w/a receipt only for 3 months. If the receipt is past 3 months they will not accept the return. I hate that they started this new rule. It is posted in their returns section.

  6. A Walmart near me actually had a caveat on this recently. Someone stole an expensive food processor at one Walmart (and I KNOW you’re not suggesting anyone out-and-out steal anything!) and then attempted to return it at a Walmart across town.

    Well, the Walmart that had the theft quick-like notified the other Walmarts.

    Just so you don’t go getting any big ideas ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ll start saving for bail money just in case.

  7. I would say don’t do it, but it is walmart. They deserve to be put out of business by any means.

  8. Last time I tried it, Toys R Us (also Babies R Us) cheerfully accepted a return without a receipt. They didn’t even shame me the one time I tried to return something that they don’t, in fact, carry.

    I wish Target was better about returns. I love that store, but returns are a PITA, even with a receipt.

  9. Target does the “receiptless” returns as well – only 3 in a year period. Most stores are going to the driver’s license registration part as well – if you’re a serial “returner” you can be barred from returning things. I know people who love to shop “just for the high”, and then return. They have been banned from a few stores for it.

    I recently returned a toy guitar (to exchange only) at Walmart. It WAS purchased there, but for whatever reason, I could NOT find the receipt in the mass of holiday receipts I had. They did the “even exchange” but I still had to be put into the driver’s license registry. sigh….oh well.

  10. The Target out here can look up the item if you purchased it with a CC or debit card. So if you don’t have your reciept but you did purchase it and know you paid way more than what it’s on clearance for you can get back the amount you paid. They can even put it back as a credit to your card or give you cash. (I like the credit back otherwise I will promptly go spend the money I just got back on more stuff I don’t need.)

  11. I think some of it depends of your area as well. I know the Target here will not take an item if you don’t have a receipt and paid cash (else they can look it up by card number). The item I had was even Target’s own brand.

    The babies R’ us here USE to be great. I even brought back a car seat I had for months and months with no receipt (got it for my baby shower), when I realized the weight was too high for my baby. They changed policy, though, and later wouldn’t take an item I had in a box with receipt because it was over 3 months. They wouldn’t take back anything without a receipt, and it had to be in the original box. The Toys r’ us here is very strict and will only take back stuff, or even exchange, with a receipt or gift receipt.

  12. Maybe a month or so before Christmas the Walmart by us told my husband that they no longer accept returns without a receipt. He asked to see where the new policy was posted for customers and since they didn’t have it up they took the stuff back for store credit. But just an FYI that some stores are changing policies…

  13. That “three strikes” policy can be a doozie. A friend of mine tried to return some pajamas to Target several years ago and it was her fourth receipt-less return so they turned her down. She called me from the parking lot after being escorted out by a security guard because she was throwing such a fit . . .

  14. That would feel like stealing to me. I couldn’t do it.

  15. actually walmart has their items coded a certain way so they know if you purchased the product at their stores or not…i tried to return some baby items that they did carry (and i thought were from there) but the items were actually from target, not walmart..and walmart could tell they weren’t from their stock. not only that, but yeah, it’s just plain wrong and a bargain is one thing, but not out and out stealing.

  16. I am really of two minds when it comes to swindling massive corporations out of a few dollars. I think “This can’t be good for my karma…” but then I think “Does a corporation have karma?” and “If I were living in a shack on a wee patch of dry mud and Walmart decided to build a megamart on it, would they even bother to knock on the door before bulldozing my home?” And then I don’t feel so bad. I haven’t done the old return switcheroo, but I have learned how to call just about any company or store and voice my dissatisfaction in a very effective way. This year, I received (at no cost, mind you) replacement parts for my out-of-warranty vacuum, a new metal trashcan (shipped from Germany, no less), a second set of Corningware storage dishes (though only two pieces of the first twleve piece set were broken), a second dollhouse with furniture (because a couple of pieces of the first dollhouse’s furniture were imperfect), a replacment toy cash register (the drawer on the original is sticking…), and a second pirate ship playset (the first was a bit damaged in shipping). All of this without having to leave the comfort of my home, all withour having to produce a receipt, prove my claim, or return the original (!!!). So with some Elmer’s glue and a handy husband, I donated a lovely dollhouse, a pirate ship, and a cash register to some deserving kids. The companies, in return, get a star for excellent customer service, and they’ll write off their bit of damages and losses, just like they budgeted.

  17. yes, i had that problem at TRU….i wanted an even exchange, no reciept, they refused. so i bought the exact item and returned the dud a couple days later. haha, tru!!

  18. Okay, so, which part of “I’m not interested in a political or ethical debate” did some of you not understand…?

    Walking out with merchandise you stuck under your coat would be stealing. Getting a cash refund for something that you didn’t buy there would be pretty squirrelly, ethically, IMHO. Getting store credit (which you then turn around and spend there) is—to my mind—at the very far edge of the “questionable” continuum, but it doesn’t hurt the store any.

    Please note that I didn’t suggest you lie and say you bought it there. If you can walk up to the return desk and say “I don’t think this came from here” and they’ll still take it back, I don’t see the problem. I would see a problem with it if you had to lie. (I would also have a problem with returning a billion things, which is why I’m pleased they’ve instituted the 3 strikes rule.)

    Again, if it offends you, don’t do it. I’m not trying to convince anyone. I was just offering it up as information.

  19. Toys R Us in my area have told me they do not do ever a receipt-less return. That is why I do not shop there ever. I just think stores need to have a policy to cover returns of gift items that did not come with a receipt. Of course, then I just stock up my gift closet!

  20. Well, gee, now I feel kind of bad. Um. Sorry? ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Right Mir, I agree with you. You said, “Iรขโ‚ฌโ„ขm not interested in a political or ethical debate.” And then all that stealing talk and blah, blah, blah is a little rediculous. Had you said, “I do this all the time, and I am totally for it, go ahead etc.” That would be a different story. You are just giving out a little advise, and if people don’t agree with you ha, whatever. Keep your opinions to yourselves.

    Thanks Mir.

  22. Mir–Ha ha, I was thinking EXACTLY what you commented.

  23. About a year ago, I bought a couple of those Crest Whitestrips from Wal-Mart and I hated them, so I wanted to take back the second box. For the life of me, I could not find the receipt, so I didn’t expect a cash refund, just an exchange. I have never returned anything to Wal-Mart, with a receipt or without – and I was told that if an item was over a certain amount of money that they wouldn’t accept it without a receipt. THen she said that it’s real easy for people to steal stuff and then take it back. I was really offended – but then another woman came over and said it was no problem. So, sometimes I think it depends on the person you are dealing with.

    TRU around here won’t take anything back without a receipt. They can look it up on the computer if you bought with a credit card, but even then, it’s a huge pain. I also discovered at Christmas that if you want more than one gift receipt, you have to ask BEFORE the transaction.

  24. Gotta say that TRU was nothing but wonderful with the duplicate new baby things we received but no gift receipt was included. Target, on the other hand, barred us receiptless returns for life (not kidding) after we came in with our fourth “I know this onsie was so nice of my aunt to give me, but we had a boy, not a girl, and he was full term, not premie so we can’t use this ever even if we were planning to raise him as a girl, so please give us store credit, you’ve already taken our souls, Target.”

    We tried another Target and this teenage girl at the return desk got really red in the face and said very quietly, “I’m sorry. You’re banned. Forever.” This was before the new Target policy of no receipt, no return, no credit went into effect. I like to think that I helped create that policy.

    So thanks for the heads up on Wal-Mart. There isn’t one close, but I’d make the effort.

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