Companies and Brands

15 Most Insanely Generous Return Policies

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When you think about all the purchases you have ever made, there are undoubtedly an equal number of returns. The biggest challenge isn’t that you’ve made purchases and returns, it’s that some companies offer far more generous return policies than others. Brands like Costco and Nordstrom are famous for their far too generous return policies that allow customers to return almost anything. 

The reason for generous return policies is quite straightforward. According to Qualtrics, companies with highly rated customer experiences saw their stock performance increase 45% between 2019 and 2022, while companies with low customer experience ratings saw their stock returns decline 21% in the same period. With this in mind, let’s look at some of the most generous return policies in no particular order. 

Why Does This Matter? 

Source: Sviatlana Zyhmantovic /
Some retail stores have insanely generous return policies.

Even though the Qualtrics data provides the answer, is it a fair question if you’re wondering why 24/7 WallSt is covering this topic? Ultimately, many companies on this list are publicly traded, so that’s one immediate reason. The second is that many of these companies are used as barometers for retail shopping, which strongly indicates the economy’s health. This and many other important topics are regularly covered on 24/7 WallSt. 

1. Nordstrom

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Nordstrom is widely viewed as having one of the best return policies around.

If there is any company in America that is best associated with a flexible return policy, it’s Nordstrom. Subject to rumors for years, Nordstrom is widely believed to take just about everything back, even if you don’t have a receipt and didn’t purchase it at Nordstrom. While there are some limits to its flexibility, Nordstrom does not have a time limit on returns and will refund you on a gift card if they can’t find a history of your purchase without a receipt. 

2. Costco

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Costco is another retail store that is applauded for its customer-friendly return policy.

Like Nordstrom, Costco is another retail location widely understood to have one of the most generous return policies. Labeled as a “risk-free 100% satisfaction guarantee,” Costco offers a lot of flexibility with its returns, and for many purchases, there is no time limit. While there are some restrictions around electronics (90 days for returns), for the most part, you don’t even need a receipt since all purchases are tracked as part of your Costco membership. 

3. Target

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Target has a very generous return policy for its Red Card holders.

Target is another brand that has won over its customers with a flexible return policy. There is a bit of a caveat here: You need to be a cardholder of Target’s RedCard, but if you are, the policy is very flexible. For most purchases, you have up to 120 days to receive a full refund or up to a full year if it’s a Target-owned brand. There are some restrictions on electronics and Apple products, but for the most part, Target’s in-store and online return policy has won over plenty of customers. 

4. Zappos

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Zappos has a well-deserved reputation for being customer-friendly with returns.

An Amazon-owned brand, Zappos offers one of the most flexible return policies around. It’s almost unheard of for any retailer to offer free returns for 365 days, especially on shoes. If you are not 100% satisfied, Zappos will give you a full refund, but the only caveat is that the shoes must be unworn. Better yet, Zappos will even let you make a return at any Whole Foods Market for in-person returns. 

5. Kohl’s

Source: Jonathan Weiss /
With a 180-day return policy on most items, Kohl’s has a generous return policy.

Kohl’s is another brand known for its very generous return policy. It accepts returns up to 180 days after the purchase date, which gives you half a year to make returns, with or without your original receipt. There are some exceptions, like electronics and items purchased during the holidays, but even without a receipt, you can still receive a Kohl’s gift card. 

6. L. L. Bean

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L.L. Bean has one of the best return policies for an outdoor brand.

As well as being considered one of the best retailers because of its customer-friendly policies, L.L. Bean is unsurprisingly generous with its return policy. The company states that if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can return it for up to one year if proof of purchase is available. This might be a receipt or purchase history with email or phone number, but L.L. Bean goes out of its way to make it easy. 

7. Walmart

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While Walmart’s return policy isn’t long, it’s easy to return items.

While Walmart’s policy isn’t as lengthy as that of other retailers, it’s often named in the same conversation as others on this list. With a 90-day return policy, you don’t need a receipt if you return to the store. However, you’re likely looking at a Walmart gift card without a receipt. Some restrictions apply to electronics, groceries, or large appliances as with other retailers. 

8. Ikea

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Ikea has a one-year return policy for any unopened items.

One of the most unique retailers in the world, Ikea’s return policy is incredibly flexible. Ikea has the honor of being one of the only retailers that offers a 365-day time frame for unopened products with proof of purchase for a full refund. If you have opened products, the return policy drops to 180 days which is still insanely generous as far as overall timing. The lone exception is mattresses, which are limited to 90 days for returns. 

9. American Eagle

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American Eagle has no set time limit on its return policy as long as tags are still attached.

It’s a surprising addition to this list, but American Eagle is well known for its lenient return policy. If you have proof of purchase, American Eagle or AE will refund to your original payment method. What really makes American Eagle stand out is that they don’t have a specific time limit for returns or exchanges. As long as the item has a tag attached, you can return it, while items with tags removed, like swimwear or underwear, can be a little more challenging. 

10. BJ’s Wholesale Club

BJ's Wholesale Club
Source: Mike Mozart / Wikimedia Commons
BJ’s offers a one-year return policy on most items.

A competitor to Costco, BJ’s Wholesale Club beats its competitor in one big way. With a 365-day return policy on most items, you can turn to any store if you are unsatisfied with your purchase. As is the case with more retailers, some restrictions, like electronics, televisions, computers, laptops, etc., are limited to between 14 and 90 days. All other items live within one year, which meets the criteria of being an insanely generous return policy. 

11. REI

Source: Missvain / Wikimedia Commons
As long as you are an REI Co-op member, you have a one-year return policy.

REI is an outdoor giant that customers swear by for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is its insanely generous return policy, which offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee with every sale. If, for some reason, you need to make a return, you have up to one year from the date of purchase. The caveat is that you need to be an REI Co-op Member, which requires a $30 one-time fee. If you are not a Co-op member, the return policy on all items purchased from REI drops to 90 days. 

12. The Container Store

The Container Store
Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons
The Container Store offers a 120-day return policy.

One of the most unique stores in the retail field, The Container Store has long prided itself on outstanding customer service. At the top of its return policy, most items can be returned for up to 120 days from the date of purchase. With a receipt, you receive the original form of payment, and without a receipt, most customers will receive a merchandise credit. The store also emphasizes that there are no restocking fees. 

13. Patagonia

Source: Dave Dugdale / Flickr
Patagonia’s insanely generous return policy has no set time limit.

Yet another outdoor retailer with a generous return policy, Patagonia is a big name in the space. Interestingly enough, Patagonia says it doesn’t offer a time limit but asks customers to make returns “in a timely manner.” Patagonia also asks that returns be made with all tags attached. Interestingly enough, Patagonia even allows for returns after one year for a merchandise credit. 

14. Orvis

Source: Mike Mozart / Wikimedia Commons
Orvis is strongly committed to customer service with its return policy.

A premier outdoor retailer, Orvis is another brand that emphasizes customer service. It commits to its 100% customer satisfaction guarantee, which it has had since its founding in 1856. The return policy has no time limit, and Orvis indicates it looks to make it right every time. 

15. Athleta

Source: Mike Mozart / Wikimedia Commons
Athleta’s “Give-It-A-Workout” return policy is one of the most generous.

While Athleta, the workout clothing retailer part of the GAP brand, doesn’t offer the longest return window, it’s still a very generous policy. With only 30 days to make a return, it’s the shortest window on this list. However, Athleta stands out because it encourages you to take advantage of its “Give-It-A-Workout” guarantee. Athleta wants you to use its clothing, and if you don’t like how it performs for you, return it, contrary to many policies on this list that require unworn or unused items.


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