Target doesn’t just offer a massive selection of products and a wide variety of payment methods, but it also has one of the more generous return policies among its competitors.
In today’s guide, I’ll be sharing must-know Target return policy secrets to answer all your questions and help you get the most out of the system. Let’s hop in!
Most stores operate under a standard return policy window. This allows customers a period between 14 days and up to 1 month to return items that didn’t work out.
Target is different though; its general return policy window is 90 days for most types of purchased items. This period applies to any buying method you use, be it online, in-store, or via Target Same-Day Delivery.
Up to this point, the shared information may not be a “secret”, so here’s what many people don’t know:
If you’re a holder of Target’s RedCard, any item you buy with your card will be eligible for an additional return window of 30 days.
In other words, RedCard holders can enjoy a 120-day return window from purchase instead of the standard 90 days.
If you’re not familiar with Target’s RedCard, it’s basically Target’s credit card. Besides an extended return window, the card costs no annual fees and offers a 5 percent discount on all purchases at Target (online and in-store).
Another way you can get an extended return window is by making use of Target’s holiday return policy.
This policy delays the start of the return window for all items bought between October 6 and December 25, then initiates them from December 26.
As such, most items that fall under Target’s standard 90-day return policy must be returned before March 26. As for items purchased using Target RedCards, they must be returned before April 25.
Additional modifications include the following:
- Returning mobile phones that fall under the 14-day return window must be done before January 8.
- Returning Apple products (phones not included) that fall under the 15-day return window must be done before January 9.
- Returning electronics and Entertainment items that fall under the 30-day return window must be done before January 24.
Sometimes we buy food items that we think we’ll love but end up realizing we don’t. It could be a coffee blend that didn’t taste as expected or a protein powder that you don’t see yourself actually using.
The good news is, Target will accept returns on food items. They’re subject to the same standard return policy window of 90 days or 120 days for RedCard holders.
This brings us to the question: Does this apply to opened food?
While the return policy didn’t address this aspect specifically, a quick chat with Target’s customer service revealed that you can return food items within the standard return policy window of 90 days or 120 days.
That said, you need to have a receipt or another proof of the purchase.
Have you ever tried returning an item within what you thought was the standard window, only to find out that this particular category followed a different policy?
I certainly did. I bought some earbuds and went back about 40 days later to return them, but found out that I was way off the eligibility period.
Here’s how it goes at Target: you only have 30 days to return or exchange most electronic and entertainment items.
But that’s not all. Apple products have an even shorter return window of 15 days, whereas mobile phones stay eligible for a refund or exchange only for 14 days.
If you do take a mobile phone back, it’s best if you return it unopened. Otherwise, you may have to pay a restocking fee of up to$35. Still, this doesn’t happen in all states.
What if you’re not happy with a purchase that you made from a Target-exclusive brand?
Well, there’s good news; you’re not limited by the standard 90-day or 120-day return window.
Instead, you get a whole year to take the item back!
That’s right, you have 365 days from the date of purchase to make up your mind about whether to keep or return the items. Additionally, Target will accept the return even if the item is used or opened.
That said, you need to have a receipt or another proof of purchase, especially for worn brands. This is to keep people from exchanging or buying secondhand.
But it gets better. Target owns brands in just about every niche you can imagine.
This means that you can take advantage of the long return window for a wide variety of purchases, including clothes, groceries, party supplies, beauty items, electronic accessories, and more.
To help you out, here’s a comprehensive list of Target-owned brands:
- Art Class
- All In Motion
- Sun Squad
- Made By Design
- Universal Thread
- Future Collective
- Cat & Jack
- Original Use
- Smith & Hawken
- Sonia Kashuk
- Knox Rose
- Kona Sol
- Joy Lab
- Favorite Day
- AVA & VIV
- Project 62
- Bullseye’s Playground
- A New Day
- Room Essentials
- More Than Magic
- Hearth & Hand with Magnolia
- Up & Up
- Hyde & EEK! Boutique
- Open Story
- Shade & Shore
- Mondo Llama
- Good & Gather
- Cloud Island
- Boots & Barkley
- Stars Above
- Market Pantry
- Goodfellow & Co
- Wild Fable
What if you want to return an item that you paid for in cash or by card but don’t have the receipt, packing slip, return barcode, or any other proof of purchase?
Most people would tell you “tough luck”, but that doesn’t have to be the case.
If you paid with a debit or credit card, you can get a refund after the cashier runs a lookup for your receipt. Remember to bring the card that you used with you.
On the other hand, if you paid in cash, you can get a refund from the cashier in the form of a Target merchandise return card.
This isn’t an ideal scenario as the card will probably be loaded with much less money than you originally paid for the time.
The reason is that you’re given the lowest price for the item in the last 60 days if you don’t have a receipt.
Also, you can’t use the merchandise return card to buy from Target online or purchase in-store Starbucks, alcohol, or gift cards.
Not to mention, there’s a limit on the return value you can get without a receipt. Every 365 days, you can return items worth up to $150 without a receipt.
This is to prevent fraud attempts. Target will scan your ID to keep track of such activity.
You can return most Target purchases even if the items are opened as long as you didn’t pass the allowed time window.
For example, you can take back beauty products within the standard window of 90 days or 120 days even if opened. You can also return opened items such as food, products from Target-owned brands, and appliances.
That said, Target doesn’t explicitly state these as rules in its return policy.
According to customers’ experience, most opened items are fully refunded but the ultimate decision is up to the store manager handling your request.
Not to mention, some select products aren’t eligible for returns or even exchanges once you rip their seal open (more on this next).
It’s not enough to just learn about the items you can easily return. A big part of maximizing your shopping experience at Target is to familiarize yourself with the products that are exceptions to the standard return policy.
If you’ve bought movies, music CDs, software, or video games from Target, you can only return them if they’re perfectly unopened.
If you do open them, you won’t be able to get a refund. But you’ll be allowed to exchange them at the store for the same title.
In the case of video games, you can exchange the same title to be compatible with a different console or platform. For example, Xbox instead of PlayStation.
No matter the type of gift card you’re rolling with, there’s no way you can return it for a refund. This applies to both physical and digital gift cards, as well as a restaurant gift card, a Visa, or a good ole Target gift card.
Here are some other items with exceptions in their return policies:
- Similar to opened movies, music, software, and video games, you can’t return airbeds after they’ve been opened. You can only exchange the airbed for the same or a similar model.
- If you buy a gasoline-powered machine (generator, bike, and so on), you can only return it in-store after you’ve emptied it of all the gas and/or any hazardous residue. Also, you must take it back within 90 days from the date of purchase to get a refund.
- If you purchase a drone from Target, your return policy window is only 14 days. Any longer than that will make you ineligible for refunds or exchanges.
- If you buy glasses from Target Optics, you can only get a refund if they were damaged during delivery. As for contact lenses, they must be completely sealed and unmarked.
- You can’t return or exchange the following products:
- Unsealed/opened breast bumps
- Digital downloads
- Personalized items
- Detective or opened collectibles (for example, Barbie dolls, action figures, and sports cards)
You probably know that you can buy alcohol and spirit drinks from Target. But what about returning them?
Well, whether or not you can return alcohol to Target is a matter of state laws, not Target’s return policy.
In other words, some states allow customers to return alcohol, and in these states Target also accepts it. For example, Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
But in states that don’t allow alcohol returns, Target doesn’t do refunds for alcohol (unless the beverage is spoiled or flawed). For example, Arizona, California, and Texas.
If your state allows alcohol returns, the Target-owned wine and spirits brands will also be eligible for the exception return policy window of 1 year. Here’s a comprehensive list of these brands:
- California Roots
- Casa Cantina
- The Collection
- Jingle & Mingle
- Rosé Bae
- Wine Cube
You can’t immediately get a cash refund on a cash or card purchase if you don’t have the receipt, even if you go back to the store where you originally made the purchase. You also can’t get a gift card in its place.
That’s because Target’s system requires at least 24 hours to process the purchase. This means employees can’t look up your purchase right away and will need a receipt to track it.
Keep in mind that same-day returns don’t apply to all store branches.
So, if your original store isn’t one of them, you may be able to work around this issue by driving to a different location that supports same-day returns.
Remember the no-receipt refund I talked about above?
Well, what if I told you there’s a way to forever save your receipts? This means you’d always be able to return purchases and never have to refund items for less than their original worth!
All you need to do is sign up for a Target account. This is totally free of charge, and with the Circle program, you can even get some money back on every purchase.
Once you’re a member, you can simply give your phone number to the cashier at checkout or scan a barcode and your purchase details will be saved in your account.
From there, whenever you want to make a return, just whip out your Target app and start a request.
A gift card promotion usually involves you making a purchase that’s worth a certain value so you get rewarded with a gift card. For example, the promo could be something along the lines of “spend $50 and receive a $15 Target gift card”.
To meet the $50 condition, let’s say you bought five $10 items. Now, if you want to return one of those items, you can collect a prorated refund to keep the gift card.
Following the example, your refund will be about $3 less than the original price of the item.
One of the best secrets about Target’s return policy is related to clothing items. To be honest, I believe it’spretty laid-back compared to other chain stores.
The clothes don’t need to have the tags intact for you to return them. You just need to bring them back within 90 days from the date of purchase along with a receipt, a Target account, or the card you used for payment.
If you want to return one item that was part of a BOGO (buy one, get one) offer, Target will give you a refund but after it’s split between or prorated of the original retail price of the item.
Here’s how this works:
Let’s say item A retails for $70 and item B costs $30.
In a BOGO bundle, both items will cost $70 and you get a discount of $30. In other words, you get $30 off of a $100 total purchase.
These numbers translate into 30 percent savings on each item. Now, if you want to return any of the items, 30 percent of the item’s original price will be deducted from the refund.
So, you’ll get $49 as a refund for item A and $21 for item B.
Of course, you don’t need to do the math yourself. The return amount should be indicated on your BOGO receipt from Target.
Through Target Plus, you can buy items from a wide selection of Target-approved third-party partners online. But what if you want to return any of these products?
Luckily, Target made it easy to return Target Plus items. You can choose either of the following options:
- Ship the items back by mail for free. You should find printable return labels in your order details.
- Go to a local store and head to Guest Service. Make sure to bring your return barcode (also from your order details) along with you.
Purchasing items on clearance is a great opportunity to save some money. But can you return such items to Target?
You can easily get refunds for clearance items as long as you take them back within the appropriate return policy window.
- Bonus tip: you can do with a clearance item just about everything you can do with a non-clearance item, except getting a refund for a further discounted price.
A fantastic feature you can use via Target is an online registry. This lets others know what items you’ll be happy to receive as a gift.
If you get a gift for a wedding, baby shower, birthday, or any other event from your Target registry and you’re not aware you want to keep it, you have a whole year to make up your mind.
That’s 365 days from the date of the event, not the date of purchase.
All you need to bring to complete the return is a receipt or a printed copy of the “Gifts Purchased” section from your online registry.
If you’re a regular Target shopper, you need to know the nooks and crannies of this giant retailer’s return process.
Such information can make the difference between a satisfactory shopping experience and some wasted money. Be sure to go through all the Target return policy secrets in this article to take full advantage of the system.