Here are the shipping and return policies for all the big-name retailers

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Here are the shipping and return policies for all the big-name retailers


With the holidays now just around the corner, everyone is double-checking their lists and figuring out the fastest way to get those gifts in time. Thankfully, many retailers are offering generous shipping policies for their products, with some offering free two-day shipping or even same-day delivery if you pay extra. And just in case the gift you choose isn’t quite right, many retailers are also offering extended return policies so your giftee can get something more to their liking.

For your convenience, we’ve collected the current return policies for several major retailers below, highlighting which will give you a little more time to place that order or start a return. Hopefully, knowing more about how much leeway you have will help lessen that inevitable holiday angst (fingers crossed).

Amazon

Shipping: Same-day delivery is not available on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. However, Prime members can get free same-day delivery on select products in qualifying ZIP codes through December 24th, provided they meet the “minimum threshold” (which varies by location) of eligible items in their cart. One-Day Delivery with no minimum purchase amount required is also available to Prime members for qualifying products through December 23rd, while Two-Day Delivery is available through December 22nd. Non-Prime buyers will find shipping options on the order page of each specific product.

Returns: During the holidays, most items purchased between November 1st and December 31st can be returned until January 31st, 2024. Apple products, however, must be returned by January 15th, 2024. Note that this policy applies to both Prime and non-Prime buyers.

Apple

Shipping: Apple has a guide outlining specific cut-off dates for most items, which you can find here. Generally speaking, however, Apple recommends that you order products by 12PM on December 21st if you want to receive them by Christmas Eve, though engraved items won’t ship in time by Christmas. If you buy directly from Apple, standard shipping is free on all orders. Apple also offers two-hour delivery from local stores if you pay $9 extra.

Returns: Except for T-Mobile-financed iPhones, all products purchased online between November 3rd and December 25th can be returned through January 8th, 2024. Purchases made after December 25th are subject to the usual terms and conditions, and must be returned within 14 calendar days of your initial purchase date.

Target

Shipping: Target offers free two-day shipping on many orders if you spend $35 or more or use your Target RedCard. If you place an order by 6PM local time on December 24th, you can take advantage of same-day delivery. If you pay extra for Shipt, you can also get gifts within an hour on Christmas Eve provided you place orders before 4PM local time.

Returns: Target allows electronics and entertainment items (excluding Apple products) purchased between October 1st through December 24th to be returned as late as January 24th, 2024, for a full refund. Apple products (excluding phones) purchased during the same window must be returned by January 9th, 2024. Any phone purchases made must be returned by January 8th, 2024.

Walmart

Shipping: For eligible orders of $35 or more, Walmart provides free next-day delivery in eligible ZIP codes, free two-day delivery, or free standard shipping. However, be aware you must order your gifts by 2PM local time on December 21st to get them in time for Christmas. Walmart Plus subscribers also get free next-day and two-day shipping with no order minimum.

Same-day delivery is available on December 24th for orders made by 12PM local time. If you’re willing to pay a $10 Express Delivery fee, Walmart will also deliver your packages in less than two hours on Christmas Eve if you order by 12PM local time. Plus subscribers may be exempt from paying this fee, however, as members get one Express Delivery for free during the month of December.

Returns: Most items purchased between October 1st and December 31st may be returned until January 31st, 2024. Some exceptions, like phones, may apply.

B&H

Shipping: During the holidays, B&H offers free two-day and next-day shipping on select items, including discounted products. Most other products are eligible for free standard shipping (that’s one to seven business days), and free expedited shipping (one to three business days) is generally available for items over $49.

Returns: B&H allows purchases bought between October 29th and January 1st, 2024, to be returned or exchanged through January 31st, 2024 (with the usual exceptions of non-returnable items such as computers or TVs whose packaging has been opened).

Best Buy

Shipping: Best Buy is offering free next-day and two-day shipping on qualifying orders for My Best Buy Plus and My Best Buy Total members. Non-members, meanwhile, can get free next-day shipping on qualifying orders totaling $35 or more.

If you’re ordering a gift for Christmas, you have until 11:30AM ET on December 21st if you want your gift to ship for free and arrive by December 23rd. Some items also qualify for free next-day delivery through December 23rd. If you place an order by 12PM local time, you can also take advantage of free same-day delivery on December 23rd or 24th.

Returns: Purchases made between October 27th and December 30th can be returned through January 13th, 2024. This doesn’t include items that come with a third-party contract, such as phones, cellular tablets, and wearables (which have a 14-day return period), or holiday products, such as tree decorations and major appliances, which have a 15-day return window. My Best Buy Plus and Total members also have until January 13th for any purchases made between October 24th and November 16th, or 60 days from receipt, whichever is longer.

Costco

Shipping: At Costco, shipping fees depend on the product and the shipping method, though in many cases shipping is free. The wholesale retailer also offers a variety of delivery options, including “white glove” service for larger appliances. You can get your gift in time for Christmas without paying for shipping when you place a qualifying order by 2:59PM ET on December 20th. Same-day delivery is also available on some items via Costco’s partnership with Instacart.

Returns: Costco generally has an open return policy, except for electronics such as TVs and computers, which have a 90-day return window. There are other exceptions, though, which are listed on its return page.

Photo by Sean Hollister / The Verge

GameStop

Shipping: GameStop currently offers free shipping on orders over $35. It also offers same-day delivery in certain locations if you order from your local store at least three hours before closing.

Returns: Products purchased between November 19th and December 24th can be returned by January 13th, 2024. The package must be unopened, however, and certain items like trading cards, clearance items, and seasonal products can’t be returned.

Dell

Shipping: Most of Dell’s products come with free standard shipping (no minimum purchase necessary), and some gifts may ship for free in time for Christmas if you place your order by December 21st. The delivery window can vary based on your order, but Dell does offer expedited shipping options as well as a delivery date estimate based on the zip code you provide at checkout.

Returns: Dell offers a 30-day return policy with some exceptions; a restocking fee of up to 15 percent may be charged.

DJI

Shipping: DJI offers free shipping on purchases of $149 or more. Otherwise, shipping fees are specified on the order form. Shipment times can vary for each product depending on availability.

Returns: DJI offers returns within 14 days of receiving the purchase, provided it remains in like-new condition or suffers from some type of manufacturing defect.

Google

Shipping: All standard orders qualify for free shipping with no minimum. Just note that this applies to the lowest-cost shipping available, which may not be the fastest.

Returns: Google hasn’t outlined any special holiday return policies. Currently, all purchases are still subject to the standard terms and conditions, which allow you to return most items up to 15 days after receipt. However, Nest Thermostats and Verizon contract phones have an extended, 30-day return window.

HP

Shipping: For many items, standard (three- to six-day) shipping is free. You can get your gifts in time for Christmas if you place an order by December 20th, though you’ll have to pay extra for priority shipping. HP will not ship or deliver items on Christmas, Thanksgiving, or New Year’s Day.

Returns: Items purchased between November 1st and December 1st can be returned until January 15th, 2024. There are exceptions, however, and select items may be subject to a restocking fee of up to 15 percent. Returns totaling more than $250 may also require additional review before your return request is approved.

Microsoft

Shipping: Most products sold through the online Microsoft Store include free two- to three-day shipping with express shipping available for an additional fee. To receive your gifts by Christmas Eve, however, you’ll have to place your order by 2PM ET on December 22nd.

Returns: You can return most physical products purchased online from the Microsoft Store within 60 days of receiving the product, provided they’re in like-new condition. The item must also be in its original packaging with all parts, manuals, and anything else that was originally sent with the product included. Items exempt from this policy include digital gift cards and gift cards for services and subscriptions, as well as select hardware (including the HoloLens 2).

Newegg

Shipping: Many of Newegg’s items come with free shipping and are delivered within one to five business days; for details, check the individual product page. If you want your gifts to arrive in time for Christmas, you’ll have to place your order by December 21st.

Returns: Qualifying items purchased between October 9th and December 31st can be returned or replaced until January 31st, 2024.

Sam’s Club

Shipping: According to the Sam’s Club FAQ, the shipping cost for most items varies based on the item’s size, weight, shipping method, and delivery address. Plus Members get free shipping on many online items, and same-day delivery is available for free if you’re a Club or Plus member and place your order by 1PM local time (or by 12PM local time on Christmas Eve).

Returns: Sam’s Club has no specified return period; some return periods may be stated for specific products. For example, electronics and major appliances have a 90-day return window, while phones are subject to a 14-day return policy.

Sonos

Shipping: Sonos offers free shipping on all of its products, with in-stock items typically shipping the same day they’re purchased. If you want to receive your items by Christmas, though, you’ll likely have to pay extra for two-day or express shipping.

Returns: Sonos gives you 45 days to return a purchase and even offers free return shipping. However, you must have bought the product directly from Sonos and the return must be initiated within 45 days of your purchase. The product must also include the original packaging and be in new or as-new condition to be eligible.

Update 6:20PM ET, December 20th: Updated the shipping deadlines and return policies as they pertain to the 2023 holiday season.



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