Sep 122012

I thought it might be a good idea to take a look at Target’s Return Policy and try and give you a few pointers on how you can try and make the process go smoother. Target says they want your return experience to be as hassle-free as possible, but, there are certain stipulations you need to follow, otherwise you may be out of luck. Most unopened items in new condition returned within 90 days will receive a full refund or exchange, especially when accompanied by a store receipt. However, some items have a modified return policy that gives you less time to return. Your best bet is to check your receipt for a “return by” date, listed under the item on your receipt or packing slip, and in the “item details, shipping” tab if purchased on Target.com.

Return Options
For in-store returns, there are 3 ways Target can attempt to process a return for you: 1) scan your receipt or packing slip, 2) do a receipt look-up if you have the credit card that was used to make the purchase, or 3) do a return or exchange with a valid form of identification if you don’t have the receipt with you. Option #3 in some cases, can be the most difficult to pursue, and on Target’s website, they recommend going online to process the return.

Target Packing Slip
Pictured at top right is an example of Target’s packing slip. There are 2 important numbers that help Target identify your purchase: #1 – the Order ID code found in the top right corner. This number is also included in the confirmation email you received when you placed your order. #2 – the Release ID number which is also in the top right corner. Your packing slip will also outline the available Return Method for your purchase.

Target’s Receipt Look-Up
In most cases, Target stores can verify purchases made in Stores and on Target.com within the last 90 days on a credit or debit card, check or GiftCard using their Refund Look-up System.

TIP: Whenever I make a purchase from Target that I think I may need to return, ie., an appliance that may not work, or a piece of furniture that may not fit my home decor, I write at the top of the receipt, “Keep” and file it away in an envelope in my purse or in a drawer in my desk. That way, I know where to find it when I need it. Now of course, I’m not always so organized. That’s when I rely on Target’s receipt look-up policy. I only use 2 debit cards so if the purchase is not on one, I know its on the other one. Do you have a clever way of keeping your receipts organized? If so, please share it with us in the comments below.

Online Returns
You can also choose to return your item online at Target.com, but, keep in mind that shipping and handling fees will be deducted from the value of your refund unless the return is a result of Target’s error. So you may want to look at the cost of postage before deciding to return online. If you do decide to mail in your return, you can go HERE and follow the instructions provided to process your return and print the prepaid Target.com return label.

Gift Registry Returns
Whenever you receive a gift, remember to keep your PACKING SLIP or GIFT RECEIPT. With it, you can return the item to your local Target store or ship it back to Target with relative ease. If you do not have the Gift Receipt but have a Gift Registry at Target, you can print out your “Gift Purchase Log” anytime from Target.com or at a store Kiosk and use it just like a receipt. You can read more about Target’s Gift Registry Return Policy HERE.

NOTE: Customers do not always let Target know when they are purchasing a gift registry item, in which case, there will not be a record of it on the Gift Purchase Log. You can print a gift receipt but you will need both the Order Number and Release ID to do so.

So a word to all Target gift givers… Please remember to include a gift receipt or packing slip whenever you purchase a gift. They do not display any price information and make returns much easier. You can obtain a gift receipt during checkout at any Target store. If you ever forget to ask for a Gift receipt, bring in your original receipt and Target Guest Services can print as many as you’d like. Or you can print online following the instructions HERE. Just scroll down to where it says, “printing a gift receipt”.

Return Exceptions
There are exceptions to the Target Return Policy in terms of what can be returned or not returned, or only exchanged. For example, did you know that all Halloween costumes and accessories must be returned by 10/31? Or that cameras must be returned within 30 days for a refund or exchange? You can go HERE and scroll down to where it says, “exceptions” to learn more.

Refund Payment
Target’s policy is to issue refunds in the same form as payment originally used for purchase but there are exceptions. You can go HERE and read under “refunds” for more details on how refunds are issued. Included in this list are check purchases, coupon purchases, discounts and promotions and more.

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22 Responses to “Target Refund/Exchange Policy Know-How”

  1. Jason says:

    I always tape my appliance/warranty receipts to the instructions that the item came with and file it away in my “Manual/Instructions” file folder. That way I have the manual + the warranty info in the manual + the original receipt together in one place. Every time I buy non-food items, I look for a warranty or try to find the same item by a different company that has a warranty. Then when I get home I file the receipt away.

    For instance, I just bought a baster from Target by Chefmate (Target brand) that had no warranty. Then when I was at Meijer I noticed they had a baster by Farberware with a lifetime warranty for nearly the same price. I bought the Farberware and returned the Chefmate one. Even if I don’t ever use the warranty, it’s nice to know it’s there and that Farberware stands behind their product. I filed the Meijer receipt away along with the packaging that mentions the lifetime warranty.

  2. Brianna says:

    I work at Target guest service and I just wanted to add a few things:
    If you do get a gift that is not on your registry we can still return it with your gift purchase log as Target is able to keep track of it that way instead of using your state ID. If you do decide to return items without a receipt you are limited to $70. We are allowed the option at that point of an exchange or of swiping your most used card.
    Oh also in addition if you ran your card as a credit or used a credit card you will not have to swipe your card. If you ran your card as a debit than you are required to swipe your card and enter your pin. With a credit card return the only other option is to get a gift card but with a debit you can get cash, those are the only differences.

  3. dama says:

    Brianna, What is the policy for returning a coupon item? I recently bought the glade and my target wont take it back its on my credit card and throw out the receipt

  4. Kt says:

    I just keep an Tupperware box full of receipts and it helps as I had a shirt and it ripped the first time I wore it 6 months later.. I was pregnant and loved the shirt.. Went to the store and they gave me store credit and was able to track down a new one for me all because I had my receipt..

    I buy on target.com a LOT and return a lot.. I just always use the red card to return,no problems! Even if two items one from online and in store. Only had one problem but foUnd my receipts and they fixed it no questions.

  5. Niko O. says:

    @Dama:
    There’s no difference, for the most part. If a target coupon attaches to an item (and didn’t have to be overridden at the register), it will reduce the return value, but the item is still returnable. Manufacturer coupons do not reduce the refund value, though there is potential that the manufacturer coupon value may be put onto a gift card rather than be returned as the original payment (though I have yet to see this come up).

    For example – a $2.99 glade item with $1 TQ & $1 MQ, you would pay $0.99
    $2.99-$1 (TQ) = $1.99 would be the refund value, with that other $1 potentially being put onto a GC (though again, I have yet to see this come up; it likely is for only large MQ amounts >$5, as <$5 cannot be put on a GC)

  6. Carrie says:

    I currently work at the service desk at Target…to add to the return policy if you’re registered for club wedd or target baby, you can use your gift purchase log for $300 in additional merchandise that was NOT on your registry. This is very helpful for those who don’t get gift receipts, because you can only return up to $70 a year with your license. Also, once you hit your $70 limit, the registers will allow us to exchange the item for something in the exact same department of equal or more value. (Doesn’t allow for exchanges on everything, specifically electronics merchandise that has a serial number)

  7. JoAnn says:

    Carrie said: “Also, once you hit your $70 limit, the registers will allow us to exchange the item for something in the exact same department of equal or more value.”
    HA! I tried to make a return after Christmas, and I was told that I had reached my limit and there was nothing they could do. Told me to wait until January or use somebody else’s license. I was like, I’m here with my kids and they obviously don’t drive, what do you want me to do? Ended up having to take it back home with me!

  8. Seth says:

    One thing I do when I purchase a high ticket item(s) is to copy all the information including the original receipt that belongs with the item(s). I then put everything with that item in a zip lock bag, seal it and then tape it to the back of the appliance, for example, the heating element failed on my stove which needed to replaced because it was defective. Well instead of hunting all over my house, I went to my stove, pulled it out from the wall and there it was. I did use to store all that information in a box, in the closet but after several moves, it seems like items keep mission or I forget to place the items in the box. Another example would be the washer and dryer, they are in a room of their own that has cabinets, so the one closest to the washer keeps that information. I think once you have a system that works for you as long as you keep to it, there isn’t that much hassle when items breakdown and you have your warranty information in one location.

  9. Carrie says:

    @joann…it is a rather new update, so it’s possible that it hadn’t started yet…and not every item is eligible for the exchange option, so that could be it as well…picky computers. Best thing to do is pay with a credit/debit card so it can be looked up if you lose your receipt :) .

  10. Lauren says:

    I keep all of my receipts in a small expanding check file folder. It has dividers for each month. When I get home from the store I put my receipts behind the appropriate month tab and file it away neatly in my desk drawer. I typically know approximately which month I purchased a product, so finding the receipt is quick & easy.

  11. Ashley says:

    Whenever I need to keep a receipt for taxes or possibility of return, I slip it into the cash area of my wallet (which rarely holds more than a couple bucks). Then whenever I clean out my purse, I also check the receipts in my wallet.

  12. Stacy says:

    I had a baby shower recently and did a diaper raffle, so everyone who brought diapers could have a chance to win a gift card. I had a registry with target, however people bought whatever brand of diapers they pleased. With that said I went to target printed out my gift registry bar code and tried to exchange the diapers for diapers. Some outfits for bigger sizes, etc. They did take the diapers back, but they did not give me full price for them. I only got store credit and only wanted a different brand of diapers. Instead of 10$ for a pack they gave me $8 even for every pack, different brands. I was buying the diapers so I saw the original pricing and they do not have any diapers for $8 even. For example Huggies Snugglers. $9.49 a pack. They gave me $8. What is the point of registering if you can not even refund the full amount. I would think I am bringing in business by registering here, then when I want to exchange something I can’t even have the full amount, you rip me a dollar fifty off so I end up paying for something someone already paid for. Plus it was store credit, it wasn’t like I was getting any money out of it. I also had two of the same outfits so I wanted to exchange one for a bigger size, they gave me $5.99 for a 3 pack of Carters onsies, that cost in the store $8.99 . The same store I just returned them to. I love Target but it really is disappointing they have to rip people off and scam you when you are bringing them customers and buying stuff from their store.

  13. Becky March says:

    I have a gift receipt from my baby shower but it doesn’t list the items associated with it and I can’t remember which item it belonged to. Is there a way to look up the items on the gift receipt?

  14. Jen says:

    How does the $70 a year limit work? Is it a calendar we or do the returns start falling off from the time of the first return?

  15. Matt A says:

    “How does the $70 a year limit work? Is it a calendar we or do the returns start falling off from the time of the first return”

    I have been wondering the same thing. I run errands for my grandmother pretty often and she rarely remembers to give me or even keep the receipt, and I’m left unable to return stuff of my own should I ever forget my receipt.

  16. Maori says:

    ^ I was told it was calendar year. I had returned something in nov 2013 then tried again last week and they said I went over my $70 limit :/

  17. Stacey says:

    It’s one year from your first return with no receipt. Not calendar year. I returned last week and they said one full year from then my 70 buck limit will reset. Does anyone know is it per household or just attached to you through the drivers license? Example – my husband returns- does he get 70 bucks too? Grandparents love to buy their grandchildren lots of duplicates!!

  18. Jennifer says:

    I’d like to add that at Target.com… you CAN’T exchange! You can only return. So, with the items I just bought for my kids that were all too big and I just need smaller sizes – swimsuits and shoes – I have to return them all and re-purchase. Well, they were on sale last week and they aren’t this week. I waited on hold for quite a while on the ‘guest services’ line and after being escalated to a manager… learned that yes, it’s absolutely true that Target.com DOES NOT DO EXCHANGES. So, I can return the items and get my ‘sale price’ refunded… and then re-purchase them for full price. This is ridiculous. Obviously if you buy something at the store one week and exchange it the next week when it’s no longer on sale, it’s an even exchange. If the items were available in-store, apparently they might be able to do an ‘even exchange’ for me. But they’re NOT available in stores so I’m just out of luck. This should be stated clearly all over the website – TARGET.COM DOES NOT DO EXCHANGES.

  19. Diesel says:

    I am buying shoes for my son with semi-wide feet. If I order from target.com and the shoes don’t fit can I return them to a Target store location- even if it is only available online? Also, since the shoes put my purchase over the $50 range into the free shipping category- if I do return the shoes to a Target store will they in turn charge me the shipping and handling-deduct it from my refund?

  20. Christine says:

    F.Y.I. Target shoppers. If you do not have a receipt ( for any reason ) Target has a $70 ” no receipt limit”. You can not even get store credit. Even if you just returned ONE item. It’s by dollar amount. That’s just wrong. I could understand more if it was by amount of items.

  21. Erin says:

    I worked for target for ten years MANY of them at the service desk and the front end being a cashier. A lot of people don’t like this but actually other stores besides target do this(home depot I know for a fact does as does staples as I have returned there before)…but if you return something with no receipt and you paid cash, you are going to get the lowest selling price. Stacy..I am assuming that is what happened with you. The brand of diapers you were returning were at one time or another on sale for 8.00…and without a receipt that’s the amount you will be getting for a refund..same thing with the onesies. Like I said target isn’t the only store that does this. I bet most if not all stores that have a return policy do this.

  22. Erin says:

    I also forgot to add..when I was working at the service desk returns without a receipt that was paid cash..if the refund was under 10 dollars most of the time the guest got cash back. I haven’t worked for target for a few years now so that policy could have changed for all I know.

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