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What is Best Buy's return policy? Everything you need to know
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. With that kind of sales volume, having a solid returns channel with well-defined and easily understood policies and procedures is critical. And if that policy includes varying tiers of service, hefty restocking fees, and a long list of nonreturnable items, it’s equally critical for you to understand that policy before doing business the company.
Keep in mind that consumer protection laws are mostly decided at the state level, and that they 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.) Make sure you check what rights you have 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 up your return and drop it off at the nearest UPS location within 15 days of receiving the product.
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What is Best Buy’s return policy?
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.
Cell phones (except prepaid ones) carry a $45 restocking fee. There is a list of product categories that incur a 15% restocking fee. These include:
- DSLR cameras and lenses
- Mirrorless cameras and lenses
- Electric bicycles
- Electric mopeds
- Leg and body recovery systems
- Premium camcorders
- 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:
- South Carolina
Municipalities can also ban restocking fees, so make sure you check your city/county laws as well.
There is another long list of item categories that cannot be returned at all. Most of them are consumable items, or items that are not returnable 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
- 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 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.
All returns to Best Buy have to be in like-new condition. If anything is wrong with it (cracked, dirty, defaced), the company reserves the right to deny your return. Clothing cannot have been worn or laundered, and must still have its tags attached. Don’t be quick to rip the tags off new shirts or hats, in other words.
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 make a return to Best Buy, membership in Totaltech extends your return period from 15 to 60 days.
It might seem like an expensive proposition, but if you’re planning on having a tech-intensive year (say, if you’ll be moving into a new home, or setting up a home office), it might be a real bargain. Just be sure to cancel the moment you can’t see using benefits any longer.
How to return an item at Best Buy
Items purchased online at bestbuy.com can be returned at any Best Buy location. Bring your receipt/packing slip, the card used to make the purchase, and photo ID. You can use the store locator at bestbuy.com.
Items bought at a brick-and-mortar Best Buy store can only be returned to that store. Items shipped to you through bestbuy.com can be shipped back using a pre-paid shipping label that you can print out from your bestbuy.com account. Best Buy uses UPS, so you’ll have to drop it off at a UPS location unless you want to pay for a pickup. There are some items you can’tship back, such as:
- Large-screen TVs (over 50 inches)
- 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. If you prefer to bring it back yourself, this may be possible, but you might have to go to a specific location rather than the one closest to you. So you should consider a pickup.
Richard Michael Schulze started the company in the 1960s. Corie Barry is the current CEO, and Patrick Doyle is the chariman.
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.