An In-depth Guide to Target's Return Policy

If you’re considering returning an item you recently bought at Target, it’s important that you first understand Target’s return policy. That way, you’ll be able to secure a full refund or exchange one item for another.

There are several factors you have to consider when returning something. Is the item opened? Is it already damaged? Did you have the item for more than 90 days? What is the return policy for your particular item? Does payment method matter?

This article will give you the answers to all of the above questions and tips to help you handle returns like a smart shopper.

What’s Target’s return policy?

Target’s regular return policy allows you to take back unopened items for a full refund or exchange. Target can deny a refund or exchange for opened goods and damaged items. Also, some items may have a modified return policy.

Let’s break down Target’s return policy in some specific situations.

Target return policy with a receipt

Target accepts returns for new and unopened items within 90 days of purchase when you have a receipt. You can get a full refund or a merchandise exchange. Target RedCard users enjoy an additional 30 days to return items, so they get 120 days. A valid receipt also lets you qualify for any discounts and promotions if you’re exchanging an item.

Target offers a return period of up to one year for Target brands. To qualify for a refund or exchange, you must show proof of purchase using a receipt, packing slip, or digital barcode.

Target-owned brands

Target return policy without a receipt

If you lose your receipt, you’ll still be able to return items to Target and receive a Target Merchandise Return Card. You can only use this card in-store to reduce fraud from online purchases.

You'll receive a different Merchandise Return Card for each new return you make. You must have a valid ID in order to receive Target’s Merchandise Return Card.

It’s also worth noting that even without a receipt, Target can still facilitate your return process if you didn’t use cash for your purchase but paid using:

  • Target RedCard
  • Target Gift card
  • A blank check from the same checking account
  • Visa, American Express, Mastercard, or Discovery credit card

If everything checks out and your item is eligible for a refund, it’s applied automatically.

Target online return policy

If you bought an item on, you have the option of returning it to any Target store. They'll need to look at your return barcode on your receipt, packing slip, or your order details page.

Similarly, you can return items by mail, as Target offers free shipping on every return. They'll email you back once they get your return and tell you when to expect a refund.

However, Target stores don’t accept international returns or exchanges for any online purchases.

Target holiday return policy

Target’s holiday return policy has the same conditions as its standard return policy. The only difference is that holiday returns have an extended time frame compared to the regular return policy.

The return time frame for purchases made between October 1 and December 26 begins after December 26. By this time, most gift recipients will have already opened their gifts. You can also take advantage of this holiday return policy for your own purchases if you want to try out a new item before deciding if it'll be a good fit for you.

Target open box return policy

You can return opened items to Target as long as it’s within 90 days, 120 days, or one year (depending on the item), and it’s eligible under Target’s return policy. It’s also important to remember that Target has a right to refuse to exchange or return any opened items.

Target COVID-19 return policy

Target adheres to the same online and in-store return policy guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic. State-ordered return restrictions, as well as specific in-store protocols, apply.

Can you return clearance items at Target?

Yes, you can return clearance items to Target, except when there's a price drop on the clearance items. Having a markdown schedule comes in handy when you want to know which department has clearance sales within the week. However, markdown schedules vary across different Target stores.

Target’s clearance schedule

Target’s return policy on specific items

Below are some of the return policies for Target’s merchandise categories.

Beauty, makeup, and clothing

For every beauty product purchased either online or in-store, Target allows you to return them even if they’re opened. The standard Target return policy period applies to beauty products and clothes.

Electronics (TV, laptops, computers)

Most of Target’s electronics and entertainment items can be returned within 30 days for an exchange or full refund. However, Apple products (except mobile phones) are eligible for returns within 15 days of purchase.

The only exception to this period is when you’ve purchased these items between October 1 and December 25 because the 15 and 30-day period doesn’t start until December 26.

Mobile phones

Target’s return policy on mobile phones includes a 14-day return period. Depending on where you live, you may be charged a restocking fee of up to $35 if the product is opened.

Books, movies, video games, music, and software

Unopened books, music, video games, and software can be returned for a full refund or exchange. Open video games cannot be returned, but they can be exchanged for the same title on any gaming platform. Digital music downloads cannot be returned.

Items purchased with coupons

Target accepts returns for items purchased using coupons, but the amount gets refunded on a Target gift card. The purchase price is what gets refunded, not the coupon.

Gift cards

If you have the receipt for an unused Target gift card purchased before October 1, 2020, you can return it to Target. Target gift cards purchased on or after this date cannot be returned. The same rule applies to Target e-gift cards and mobile gift cards.

As for items purchased with a gift card, when you return them, the original value of your merchandise gets credited back to the gift card.


Target doesn’t accept opened or damaged collectibles such as special edition barbie dolls, sports cards, porcelain dolls, die-cast cars, and action figures.

Food and alcohol

You can return unopened food to a Target store with a receipt. Target doesn’t have a policy about returning alcohol products. The policy gets determined by state law, so it'll vary for different Target stores.

What can’t you return to Target?

Even though Target’s return policy is generous on most purchases, here are some exceptions on select items you should know about:

  • Open air beds aren’t eligible for a return but can be exchanged for a similar item.
  • Lawnmowers and gasoline-powered lawn mowers can be returned to a Target store, but they must be empty and contain no hazardous substances like oil or gasoline at the time of your return.
  • Digital downloads and personalized merchandise cannot be returned or exchanged.
  • Opened or damaged collectibles.
  • Items bought from Target’s Starbucks, Optical, Pharmacy, and Target’s tech departments can only be returned to these specific store areas.

How do you return an item to Target?

So, how exactly do you begin the return process to Target in-store or online?

In-store returns

If you prefer to make the return in-person, take the item and its receipt, order details, or packing slip to the Guest Services counter at any Target store.

In-store returns purchased with Target Red cards are refunded within one or two days. Returns take one to three days for items purchased with third-party credit cards. Refunds credited to Mastercard, Visa, or American Express gift cards are returned within seven to 10 days.

Online returns processed in-store

If you made the purchase online, you have a few options for returning items. You can return online orders at a Target store or by mail.

How to return items purchased online to Target

To return an online purchase to a Target store, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to your Target account
  2. Select “Orders” in your online account or “Purchases” in the Target app
  3. Select your order
  4. Click on “Return an item”
  5. Take the barcode provided to the Guest Services counter, and they'll process your return.

Online returns through mail

If you opt to return your online purchase through mail, you can follow these steps:

  1. Once you’ve selected the item you want to return, use the drop-down menu to provide a reason for the return and select “Continue.”
  2. Select if you want a replacement or a refund, and click ”Continue.”
  3. Choose the shipping address, and click “Submit.”
  4. Select “Print mailing label” and follow the instructions. If you’re returning many items, you may need to print several return labels.
  5. Package items in their original packaging and attach return labels outside the package.
  6. Drop off your package at an authorized UPS location.
  7. Target’s online return center will send you a confirmation email to notify you that they've received your package and when you can expect a refund.

Refunds for mail returns usually take five days to process.

How do you return gifts in your registry?

Did you receive gifts from a Target registry that you’d like to return? To do so, generate a return barcode on

First, log into your Target account and visit the Registry page. Click on “Start a return” on the left-hand side of the registry homepage. Choose the Target store nearest to you, and you’ll receive a barcode. It’s important to note that the barcode will only be valid at the store of your choosing and on the date generated.

How Target’s return policy compares to other top retailers

If you’re wondering how Target’s return policy measures up to other major retailers, here’s an overview of the return policies from other key retailers:


Amazon’s standard return window for most of its merchandise is 30 days. You can return any items bought between November 1 and December 31 by January 31 to Amazon.

The exceptions to this 30-day return period include books from the Kindle store that should be returned within seven days. Also, customized products sold by third-party sellers should be returned within 14 days.


The return period for most items at Walmart is within 90 days of purchase. For items bought between October 24 and December 25, items are eligible for an extended return.

Wireless phones should be returned within 14 days, while electronics should be returned within 30 days. Prescription glasses and contact lenses should be returned within 60 days.

The Home Depot

The standard return period for most merchandise at The Home Depot is within 90 days of purchase. If you have The Home Depot Commercial Account, The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, or The Home Depot Commercial Revolving Charge, you get up to one year to return your item.

You can return defective appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines within 48 hours. Items with a return period of 30 days include damaged items in need of replacement parts, furniture, gas-powered equipment, TVs, and computers.


Kohl’s standard return policy for most merchandise is within 180 days of purchase. Premium electronics have a return window of up to 30 days.

Items purchased between November 1 and December 25 can be returned up to January 31 as long as they’re in their original packaging and you have a valid receipt or a verified customer account.

Best Buy

Most items can be returned within 15 days under Best Buy’s regular policy. The return period at Best Buy extends to 45 days for Elite Plus members and 30 days for Elite members. Merchandise purchased between October 18 and January 2 can be returned until January 16.


Regular returns for items at Macy’s are within 90 days, while Last Act merchandise should be returned within 30 days. Apple products have a return window of 14 days, while watches, jewelry, backstage items, and social dresses bought from October 5 to January 1 can be returned until January 31.


Costco's standard return policy for most items, including electronics, is within 90 days, even during the holiday season.

Return policy comparison of top retailers

How to make Target’s return policy work for you

As long as you follow Target’s timeframes for the specific item you want to take back, getting a refund or exchange is simple.

And, if your looking for gifts for the holiday season, consider buying them between October 1 to December 25. This way, you can enjoy an extended return period.

For Target coupons and promo codes, you can visit CouponFollow.

about the author

Tiara Rea-Palmer
Director of Partnerships
As an expert in online savings and an avid deal enthusiast, Tiara heads up retail relations at CouponFollow, where she stays up-to-date on all the best deals, discounts, and freebies, as well as negotiates exclusive coupons and offers for CouponFollow users. In her free time, you can find Tiara writing, DIY crafting on a budget, and traveling with free rewards card miles.