Return windows of 30 or 90 days are typical — even at Amazon. A few retailers, like Kohl’s and Bed Bath & Beyond, give you a more generous 180 days.
And then there are a few retailers that give you 365 days to make returns — and a handful that will accept returns at any point in time.
Following is a closer look at the return policies of some of these rare retailers with especially long return windows.
Not only does each chain typically give you at least a whole year to return a purchase and receive a full refund, each also gives you the option to return online purchases to their brick-and-mortar stores or covers the cost of return shipping.
Just note that even the most liberal return policies generally require proof of purchase. So, if you don’t have your receipt, you may receive merchandise credit instead of being refunded in the original payment method, or you may receive a partial refund.
Also, if you’re shopping for gifts, you might want to confirm how the retailer treats gift receipts before you buy. Even some of the following retailers will offer only merchandise credit if someone has a gift receipt rather than the regular, full receipt.
1. Bath & Body Works
If the scent you selected from the vast selection at Bath & Body Works isn’t just what you wanted, you can return it at any time.
The retailer’s return policy reads:
“We just want you to love it! Return anything, anytime for any reason. 100% Guaranteed.”
Just hang onto the receipt: Without it, your return will be subject to the policy of the individual store.
For more tips for shopping the mall’s best-smelling store, check out “5 Simple Ways to Save at Bath & Body Works.”
3. Eddie Bauer
This 99-year-old retailer has long been known for its product guarantee, as we detailed in “15 More Indestructible Products Totally Worth the Price.”
As for its return policy, Eddie Bauer accepts returns within one year of purchase.
If you’re an Adventure Rewards member, you don’t even need a receipt to receive a full refund, as Eddie Bauer keeps copies of receipts for its rewards members.
The Ikea 365-day return policy gives shoppers one year to make a return for a full refund.
The only catches are that you need a receipt and that the item cannot be “dirty, stained, damaged or abused,” Ikea says.
For more Ikea shopping tips, check out “5 Simple Ways to Save More at Ikea.”
5. L.L. Bean
L.L. Bean long had a legendary return policy, taking back items at any point in time, until changing the policy last year. The current return policy is still noteworthy, though, giving you one year to make returns, and possibly longer in some cases.
The current policy — which applies to products bought on Feb. 9, 2018, or thereafter — states:
“If you are not 100% satisfied with one of our products, you may return it within one year of purchase for a refund. … After one year, we will consider any items for return that are defective due to materials or craftsmanship.”
Recreational Equipment Inc., better known as REI, guarantees 100% satisfaction.
The retailer’s return policy begins:
“We stand behind everything we sell. If you’re not satisfied with your REI purchase, you can return it for a replacement or refund within one year of purchase …”
The only exception is outdoor electronics, which must be brought back within 90 days.
However, keep your receipts or make purchases using an REI member number. Because if the store can’t locate proof of your purchase, you may be out of luck.
That means if those strappy heels don’t look quite as cute on you as they did on the model, you can send them right back. Just don’t wear them to the party first — returns must be unworn and in the original packaging.
Unlike the previously mentioned retailers, Zappos does not have brick-and-mortar stores, so you don’t have the option to return shoes locally. But Zappos will give you a prepaid label for returns, sparing you the cost of shipping.
What are the best, and worst, return experiences you’ve had? Tell us about it below or on our Facebook page.
Maryalene LaPonsie and Karla Bowsher contributed to this post.