Skip To Content
    Posted on May 24, 2012

    The Best And Worst Return Policies Of Stores Where You Actually Shop

    You've probably heard about the great return policies at Costco and Kohl's, but what about the sites that sell clothing and shoes you actually want to wear? Here's a simplified but comprehensive list of all the return policies that are too mind-numbingly boring to sift through yourself — and a last resort if a store won't take your merchandise back.

    • Free returns with pre-paid shipping label

    • You can return anything anytime, even lingerie and worn-out shoes. You could buy this $3700 cape, wear it for 3 winters, and return it as long as you keep the receipt.

    • Free returns with pre-paid shipping label

    • Anything can be returned at anytime, even if it's falling apart, shredded, emblazoned with a giant wine stain, been sitting on your porch for the last ten years, or from the '80s (although vintage L.L. Bean is, for the most part, awesome)

    L.L. Bean must have rebranded at some point because this shirt from the '50s looks certifiably insane compared to what they sell now. The lucky owner of this shirt could still return it to this day.

    • Free returns with pre-paid shipping label

    • Anything can be returned at anytime, but it must be unworn

    • Besides selling a lot of career pumps, you can find a cute handbag on here every once in awhile

    These round sunglasses are only $12 from Aldo.

    • 365-day return window

    • They may even take back barely-worn shoes

    • 60-day return window

    • 61-90 day window: store credit only

    • After 90 days, items can be returned in-store only for store credit, with or without a receipt

    • Opened products are returnable

    Used up your entire $500 jar of Kate Somerville peptide cream? You could ostensibly still return it.

    • 60-day return window

    • Anything over 60 days is credited with the current selling price

    • Fragrances and cosmetics must be unopened

    • 60-day return window

    • Returns without receipts are allowed for store credit

    • Free gifts must be returned along with purchases (which seems slightly wack)

    • Opened products are returnable

    • 30-day return window on refunds

    • 60-day return window for store credit/exchanges

    • 30-day return window

    • Returns after 30 days are credited with the current selling price

    • 30-day return window

    • 30-day return window

    • Merchandise must be unworn but there's no mention whether tags need to remain intact

    *** Same return policy for

    This pretzel pool float is $18 from UO.

    • 30-day return window

    • 30-day return window

    • Applies to all clothing and shoes fulfilled by

    *** This policy also applies to, Amazon's niche shoe and handbag website.

    • 30-day return window

    • Price tags do not need to be attached

    • 28-day return window

    • 15-day return window

    • After 15 days, returns subject to $10 fee

    • 14-day return window

    *** Fun Fact: they offer a same-day shipping option for Manhattan for those emergency outfit occasions for $25.

    You could flounce around the house in this $4150 Prabal Gurung gown and then return it two weeks later. From Net-a-Porter.

    • Returns must be requested within 5 days

    *** Farfetch is a conglomerate of small boutiques from around the world, which normally don't offer free return shipping.


    They sell legitimately experimental pieces like this anime-print wedding dress by Jenny Fax, $4603 from

    • Return anytime

    • They'll take anything back, regardless of whether the tags are still attached, receipt or no receipt

    • However, return shipping fee is $5.95

    Return any of your used shabby chic wares to Anthropologie, they probably won't know the difference. By the way, here is a $188 dress with cute little donkeys on it.

    • Return anytime

    • Tags don't need to be attached

    • You're responsible for shipping and shipping costs

    • 60-day return window for refunds

    • Anything over 60 days can be credited with the current selling price

    • Tags must be intact

    • $5 shipping fee

    • 60-day return window

    • $5.95 shipping fee

    Yeah, it might take you at least 60 days to decide whether you will actually wear these shoes in real life.

    • 45-day return window

    • $6 return shipping fee

    • Tags aren't necessary unless you're returning sunglasses or swimwear

    *** Same return policy applies for Banana Republic.

    • 45-day return window

    • Store credit/exchange only (refund only if item is defective)

    Items bought online may not be returned to a retail store (!!!)

    • You're responsible for shipping and shipping costs

    • There's no mention whether tags need to be attached

    Before you make that Gilt purchase, brief yourself on their unusually complicated return policy.

    • 21-day return window

    • If you don't want to pay a return charge fee, you're only eligible for store credit

    • If you want a refund under $100, the return charge fee is $9.95

    • If you want a refund over $100, the return charge fee is $14.95

    This return policy is surprisingly crappy given the competition (Amazon, Sephora, etc.)

    • 30-day return window

    • Return postage fee of $4.99 will apply

    • 10% re-stocking fee will be applied on all returns over $200

    *** Same goes for

    • 30-day return window for online purchases

    • Only store credit/exchange for any in-store return

    • In-store purchaes must be returned within 21 days

    • You're responsible for shipping and shipping costs

    The #1 reason to shop at Forever 21? The alarmingly cheap and cute lingerie, which you normally don't return anyway.

    This return policy isn't that lame, but it's lame that they recently amended it in order to seem more like a "real boutique."

    • 30-day return window (it used to be 60 days)

    • Absolutely no returns after 30 days

    • Return shipping deducted from refund: one item $5.95, two or more items $7.50

    *** Also applies to

    You can actually file a claim and get your money back through the credit card company.

    • "If you are dissatisfied for any reason (within 90 days from the date of purchase), with an eligible item of personal property purchased using your covered Visa card, and the retailer will not accept the return, you will be reimbursed in accordance with the Return Protection terms and conditions."

    • "Coverage is limited to $250 per eligible item and up to $1,000 annually per account. Items must be received by the Benefit Administrator in like-new/good working condition."

    • "If you become dissatisfied with a product you purchase using your eligible MasterCard card within 60 days of purchase, and the store will not accept a return, you may be eligible for a refund for the cost of the product up to $250."

    • "If you try to return an eligible item purchased in the U.S. within 90 days from the date of purchase and the merchant won't take it back, American Express® can refund the purchase price."

    • "You can be covered for up to $300 per eligible item, excluding shipping and handling, up to $1,000 annually per Card account."

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form