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What is Best Buy's return policy? Everything you need to know

Any worthwhile store offers a decent returns policy as a safety net.

Published onApril 24, 2024

Best Buy stock photo
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Best Buy is one of the biggest electronics retailers in the world, with a sizable footprint both online and in terms of brick-and-mortar locations. Whether you’re shopping for a new phone or a Nintendo Switch, Best Buy likely stocks what you’re looking for. But before you whip out your wallet, it’s important to understand the Best Buy returns policy before doing business with the company.

Remember that consumer protection laws are mostly decided at the state level and supersede any company’s policy. (For instance, Best Buy’s policy lists eight states where you can return without a restocking fee because the laws in those states do not allow them.) Check your rights as a consumer in your state before attempting a return at Best Buy or any other retailer.

As you may have gathered, we’re focusing on the US here. At least some of these policies should apply to Canada, but of course, prices will inevitably be different.


To return an item to Best Buy, log in to your online account and print out a pre-paid shipping label. Box your return and drop it off at the nearest UPS location within 15 days of receiving the product.


What is Best Buy’s return policy?

A few factors should be considered when reviewing Best Buy’s return policy, including return periods, restocking fees, and whether your purchased item can be returned. Thankfully, most electronic items, including smartphones, are likely returnable.

Return periods

For everything except cell phones and other items that need activation, the return period is 15 days. (By comparison, Amazon’s return period is 30 days.) Those items requiring activation (phones, tablets, hotspots) must be returned within 14 days of receiving the unit. The big exception to this 14-day return period is for items from Verizon, which carry their 30-day return period.

Restocking fees

Cell phones (except prepaid ones) carry a $45 restocking fee. A list of product categories incurs a 15% restocking fee. These include:

  • Drones
  • DSLR cameras and lenses
  • Mirrorless cameras and lenses
  • Electric bicycles
  • Electric mopeds
  • Leg and body recovery systems
  • Premium camcorders and action cameras
  • Projectors
  • Projector screens
  • Any special-order items

Unopened items do not carry a restocking fee. In addition, there are eight states where consumer protection laws do not allow Best Buy to charge a restocking fee. These include:

  • Alabama
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina

Municipalities can also ban restocking fees, so check city/county laws.

Nonreturnable items

There is another long list of item categories that cannot be returned at all. Most of them are consumable items or not returnable items for hygiene reasons. They include:

  • Custom or personalized orders
  • Digital content (with an exception for Microsoft Office)
  • Prepaid gift or phone cards
  • Vehicle replacement key fobs
  • Memberships
  • Completed services
  • Plumbing items (including bidets)
  • Sexual wellness products
  • Trading cards
  • Home standby generators
  • Opened packages of products that interact with bodily fluids
  • Opened SIM kits
  • Opened consumable items (batteries, cleaning agents, oils, fuel, filters, cleaners, health supplements, health test kits, ink, and 3D printer filament)
  • All items marked Final Sale

Major appliances

Major appliances are eligible for return within the standard 15 days, but since pickup might be necessary, there is a special procedure for returning them. If you discover something wrong with your appliance within 15 days of purchase, call 1-888-BEST BUY (1-888-237-8289) with your order number, and you’ll receive instructions for your return.

Like-new condition

All returns to Best Buy have to be in like-new condition. The company reserves the right to deny your return if anything is wrong with it (cracked, dirty, defaced). Clothing cannot have been worn or laundered and must still have its tags attached. In other words, don’t be quick to rip the tags off new shirts or hats.

Best Buy Totaltech

Best Buy has a subscription-based service you can join called Totaltech. It costs $199.99 a year and provides extensive benefits. That includes free or discounted Geek Squad support, free shipping, extended warranties, discounted repairs, and a dedicated phone line, among other things. And if you need to return to Best Buy, membership in Totaltech extends your return period from 15 to 60 days.

It might seem like an expensive proposition, but it might be a real bargain if you plan on having a tech-intensive year (say, if you’ll be moving into a new home or setting up a home office). Just be sure to cancel when you no longer need the benefits.

How to return an item at Best Buy

Best Buy gift card on smartphone
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

If you’ve decided that an item you purchased at Best Buy should be returned, you have two options:


Items purchased online at can be returned at any Best Buy location. Bring your receipt/packing slip, the card used to make the purchase, and your photo ID. You can use the Best Buy store locator.

By post

Items bought at a brick-and-mortar Best Buy store can only be returned to that store. Items shipped to you through can be shipped back using a pre-paid shipping label that you can print from your account. Best Buy uses UPS, so you must drop it off at a UPS location unless you want to pay for a pickup. There are some items you can’t ship back, such as:

  • Large-screen TVs (over 50 inches)
  • Kegerators
  • Soda stream makers
  • Some items that contain lithium and other batteries

Returning a major appliance

Even if you brought your appliance home yourself, you can call 1-888-BEST BUY (1-888-237-8289) to schedule a pickup. This may be possible if you prefer to bring it back yourself, but you might have to go to a specific location rather than the one closest to you. So you should consider a pickup.

Best Buy return policy FAQs

Richard Michael Schulze started the company in the 1960s. Corie Barry is the current CEO, and Patrick Doyle is the chairman.

Best Buy operated in China until 2011 and in Europe until 2012. It currently operates in the US and Canada.

No, their electronics recycling costs $29.99 per item.

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