Walmart hasn’t always had the best reputation of supplying reliable, fresh food. As a result, Walmart implemented their Fresh Guarantee Policy which allows customers to return perishable foods for any reason within 90 days of purchase. Keep reading to find out all the ins and outs of returning food to Walmart.
What Is Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee Policy?
Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee policy is a 100% money-back guarantee on all perishable items purchased at Walmart.
This policy guarantees that if your perishable Walmart groceries don’t live up to your freshness expectations, you can request a refund for these items (with your receipt) within 90 days of purchase.
Technically speaking, food that spoils after its sell-by date does not qualify for Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee policy. However, since Walmart requests that customers do not bring their unwanted perishables back to the store (since they’ll be thrown away anyway), there’s a lot of wiggle room when it comes to requesting a refund.
Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee policy covers the following:
- Fresh flowers
- Meat and seafood
- Deli items
- Dairy items
- Frozen foods
All other food items sold at Walmart are eligible for refund within 90 days under their standard return policy. However, these items must be physically returned to a Walmart store or through the returns feature on Walmart.com.
How Long Do You Have To Return Food?
In accordance with their standard return policy, refunds requested through Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee Promise must be initiated within 90 days of purchase. All non-perishable food returns must also be requested within 90 days.
After 90 days, returns and refunds are up to the discretion of the store manager or supervisor. However, attempting to seek a refund for perishable food more than three months after purchase is unlikely to yield a full refund.
In regards to returning produce and other perishable foods specifically, Walmart’s website states the following:
“If customers are not completely satisfied with Walmart’s produce, they can bring back their receipt for a full refund. No questions asked and no need to bring back the produce.”
All non-perishable foods purchased at Walmart are eligible for return through Walmart’s standard 90-day return policy.
Non-perishable foods include but are not limited to:
- Canned soup
- Canned vegetables or fruits
- Canned fish or meat
- Canned beans
- Dry goods (pasta, beans, oats, etc.)
- Nut butters
- Dried fruits
How To Return Food To Walmart?
Returning food to Walmart is as simple as returning any other item. And, in the case of foods that qualify for Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee, the returns process is even easier (since you don’t have to bring the food item back to the store).
Here are the basics of returning food to Walmart in person:
- If your food item is perishable, simply bring your proof of purchase to any Walmart location within 90 days of purchase to request a refund (you do not need to return the item itself)
- When you explain the situation to a Walmart employee, you will be issued a full refund, no questions asked
- If your item is non-perishable, bring your item along with your purchase receipt to any Walmart location within 90 days of purchase to request a refund
When returning food to Walmart online:
- First, make sure that your food is non-perishable (perishable food should never be returned through the mail)
- Initiate a return by logging into your Walmart.com account
- Go to your account page and click on “Orders”
- Find the order that contains the item you would like to return
- Click “Return” and follow the prompts to initiate the returns process
- You will be issued a shipping label that you can use to package and ship your unwanted item
- Your refund will be processed once Walmart receives your shipped item (this can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks)
Returning Food Without A Receipt
Returning food to Walmart without a receipt is a little complicated.
First off, Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee can only be used by customers who save their purchase receipts.
If you are returning non-perishable foods, you can attempt to request a refund by bringing your unwanted food item back to Walmart and visiting the returns counter. If your return is granted, you might be offered a refund in the form of store credit or exchange.
Returning Food Ordered Online
If you ordered your perishable food online and are dissatisfied with it, you will need to request your refund in person at a Walmart location.
Simply arrive at any Walmart location with your proof of purchase and let an employee know you would like a refund. For online orders, proof of purchase can either be a packing slip or the itemized purchase record on your Walmart account through the app or Walmart.com.
If you need to return non-perishable food ordered online, simply follow the instructions listed above for requesting and shipping an online return.
Returning Opened Food
Opened food cannot be returned to Walmart.
However, if you purchased a perishable item that you were not satisfied with, you can use your purchase receipt or other proof of purchase to request a refund without returning the opened item to the store.
Perishable items or opened items should never be returned to Walmart, even if you are seeking a refund.
Returning Meat, Fish, and Produce
Returning perishable items like meat, fish, and produce falls under the Walmart Fresh Guarantee policy.
This means that you will need to request your refund in person using your purchase receipt or other proof of purchase. But be sure to leave your unwanted perishable item at home (you can dispose of it safely there if you do not want it).
Is There A Limit Of Returning Food To Walmart?
There is no official limit to the number of food returns a customer can request at Walmart.
However, Walmart store managers and supervisors reserve the right to deny a refund at any time and for any reason. If a specific customer appears to be abusing Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee or general return policy, it’s likely that management will prohibit or limit that customer from requesting future returns.
Walmart does not track customer returns, except in the case of returns without receipts. These returns must be accompanied by a government-issued photo ID which is how Walmart tracks their customers.
Is their Food Return Policy Strict?
Because Walmart’s food return policy is fairly flexible and generous, they do remain fairly strict to its parameters.
- Food refunds requested after 90 days are unlikely to be approved
- Excessive food refunds requested through the Fresh Guarantee Policy are likely to be flagged
- Customers who abuse Walmart’s food return policy are likely to be prohibited from requesting future returns.
And remember that these policies do not apply to food that has passed its “sell-by” date. If your food goes bad because you let it sit around for several weeks, then it technically isn’t eligible for a refund.
While it might seem like Walmart has an exceptional food return policy compared to other stores, it’s actually pretty standard for grocery stores to allow returns on perishable and non-perishable foods. As long as you save your receipts, you’ll almost always be able to return spoiled or unwanted food to the grocery store (before it’s expiration date), regardless of where you shop.
What happens to the food returned to Walmart?
According to multiple sources online, all food products returned to Walmart are destroyed and disposed of due to health and safety risks.
Can you return baby food to Walmart?
Yes. All food items are eligible for return at Walmart. Baby food is covered under Walmart’s standard 90-day return policy.
Can you return dairy products to Walmart?
Yes. Dairy items are covered under Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee. With a receipt, you can request a refund for dairy products you aren’t happy with at Walmart within 90 days of purchase without needing to return the product itself.
Can you return food to a different Walmart location?
Yes. Returns can be processed at any Walmart location regardless of where you made your purchase.
Returning food to Walmart is a flexible and easy process. The most important thing to remember is that you should always save your receipts for all food items purchased at Walmart (or any other grocery store for that matter). With your receipt in hand, you will have up to 90 days to request a refund on any food item, including perishable foods.
However, perishable foods should not be physically returned to the store. All you need to do is arrive with your purchase receipt in order to request a refund. If your foods have passed their expiration date at the time of return, you will not qualify for a refund. Issuing refunds for unwanted or spoiled foods is standard for most grocery stores.