Can You Return Items To Walmart Without The Box?

12 mins read

If you’re like me, you probably don’t hold onto boxes and packaging after you open the things you buy. While it’s probably a good idea to save boxes until you know for sure you want to keep something, things don’t always pan out that way.

So, if you’re finding yourself wanting to return something to Walmart that you don’t have the original packaging for anymore, keep reading as we did the research!

According to Walmart’s official return policy, original packaging and accessories are required for returns. However, the company tends to be less strict on this requirement than they are with their receipt policy, for example.

While some items are more likely to require original packaging to qualify for a full refund, many items can still be returned or exchanged at Walmart without a box.

The following items are specifically required to be returned with all original packaging and are less likely to be approved for a refund or exchange without a box:

  • Major appliances such as large refrigerators, ranges, and washing machines
  • Toilets, toilet bowls, and urinals
  • PC components such as motherboards, RAM, and graphics cards

Walmart Return Policy Without A Box

Walmart’s Return Policy Without A Box

To find out about Walmart’s return policy on items without a box, it’s best to take a general look at their standard return policy. Walmart’s standard return policy is pretty straightforward and, while it does technically specify that all returns should be accompanied by original packaging and accessories, most items can still be returned or exchanged without a box.

Here’s a quick overview of Walmart’s standard return policy:

  • Most items can be returned within 90 days unless otherwise noted
  • All returns must be accompanied by a receipt to qualify for a full refund
  • Returns made without a receipt are only eligible for store credit or exchange
  • Items like cell phones, computers, hardware, and prescription glasses have a shortened return window (for a full look at the policy’s exceptions, click here)

Walmart’s Return Policy After 90 Days

After 90 days, Walmart accepts returns on a case-by-case basis. Despite the 90-day limit, store managers have the ability to override this policy if it’s appropriate given the circumstances. So, while there’s no guarantee you’ll get a refund from Walmart after 90 days, it’s definitely worth a try.

There’s also a loophole to this aspect of the policy when it comes to shopping during the holidays.

Items purchased in November or December that have a return window of fewer than 90 days (including electronics, computers, drones, etc.) can be returned for their designated return window starting on December 26th rather than from the date they were purchased. Of course, these items could also be returned, unopened, prior to December 26th if purchased during these months.

Walmart’s Return Policy Without A Receipt

Generally speaking, Walmart’s return policy states that customers are required to provide proof of purchase for all returns. However, this part of the policy isn’t as strict as it might seem.

Under their standard return policy, receipts are requested but not required for returns and exchanges to be approved. As long as you can provide a valid, government-issued ID, then you will still be eligible for a refund even if you don’t have a receipt. However, the store manager or supervisor has full discretion when it comes to granting you your refund.

What Are The Exceptions To Walmart’s Return Policy?

The Walmart return policy is fairly flexible, but it does have quite a few exceptions as well.

The following items are specifically required to have original packaging in order to qualify for a return:

  • Major appliances such as large refrigerators, ranges, and washing machines
  • Toilets, toilet bowls, and urinals
  • PC components such as motherboards, RAM, and graphics cards

The following items are only eligible for return within 14 days:

  • Prepaid wireless cell phones
  • Contract cell phones (except Verizon cell phones)
  • If your phone is open or unlocked, it is only eligible for exchange

The following items are only eligible for return within 30 days:

  • Verizon contract cell phones
  • Electronics
  • PC components
  • New, unused drones

The following items are only eligible for return within 60 days:

  • Prescription eyewear (including contacts)
  • Hearing aids

The following items are ineligible for return or exchange at any time:

  • Firearms and ammunition
  • Pepper spray
  • Airsoft guns
  • Gas-powered vehicles
  • Prescription medications

For a full list of return policy exceptions, click here.

How To Return Opened Items To Walmart?

When returning anything to Walmart, you have a few different options for how to go about the return.

The first thing to be aware of is that returning items without original packaging is easier to do in person than through the mail. Walmart’s online returns process as stated on their website specifically instructs customers to include all original packaging and accessories when shipping their returns. So, a word of advice: if you’re trying to return something without the box, do it in person.

Remember that you can always return an item to any Walmart store location, whether you bought it in person or online.

To return an item in person at Walmart, follow these steps:

  1. Gather your item, your original form of payment, and your purchase receipt
  2. Visit your neighborhood Walmart location
  3. Find the customer service desk and let them know you’d like to return an item
  4. The employee will walk you through the rest of the returns process
  5. If necessary, the employee will seek assistance from a manager or supervisor to approve your return

If you’d like to attempt your return online anyway and you purchased your item through or the Walmart app, you can start your return online by following these steps provided by Walmart:

steps to return open box walmart

The return methods you’ll be offered include the following:

If you have any questions about the returns process, you can always contact Walmart customer service by calling 1-800-925-6278 (1-800-WALMART).

steps to return open box walmart

Can You Get A Refund Without The Original Packaging?

Even if you don’t have your original packaging, you may still be able to receive a refund for a return at Walmart.

To increase your likelihood of receiving a refund, be sure to:

  • Save your receipt
  • Return your item within 90 days (or within the designated return window if your item is listed as an exception in Walmart’s policy)
  • Return your item in like-new condition
  • Do not attempt to return things to Walmart too often, otherwise you will likely be barred from requesting future returns

Cash refunds are the fastest way to get your money back when making a return, so consider this when making your purchases. For items priced at $10 or more, cash refunds are only available for customers who paid in cash originally.

If you’re being refunded to a credit or debit card, be aware that bank processing times will affect how long it takes for you to receive your funds. Refunded transactions typically won’t post until the end of that business day, and then your bank may take 1-3 additional business days to process the transaction back into your account.

If you return your item by mail, you may have to wait up to several weeks to receive your refund, considering shipping and processing times. It’s also important to note that if you attempt your return by mail and it is rejected, you may be charged for shipping costs.


Can you return shoes to Walmart without the box?

The official answer is no, but in many cases, Walmart will accept returns on like-new shoes even if the original packaging cannot be provided.

What does Walmart do with opened items?

In most cases, Walmart sells their opened return items to a company called Direct Liquidations that re-markets these goods at a discounted price.

What are Walmart’s return hours?

Returns can be processed any time during Walmart’s operating hours. Most Walmart locations open at 7 am and close at either 10 pm or 11 pm. However, hours vary and some locations are open 24 hours.

Who pays for the return shipping charges?

Walmart covers return shipping charges when you return an item by mail. However, if your return is rejected, you may be charged for the return shipping costs.

Can you return a gift bought from Walmart?

Yes. As long as you have a gift receipt or you can provide a valid, government-issued ID within 90 days of when the item was purchased, you can return a gift to Walmart.


Returning items without their original packaging to Walmart is sometimes a gamble. However, it’s definitely possible and worth a try. As long as you meet all of the other expectations of Walmart’s standard return policy, then it’s at least somewhat likely that you will still be able to receive a refund or exchange for your opened item.

Note that some items, such as large appliances and PC hardware, are less likely to be accepted as returns without original packaging.

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