As the holiday season approaches, everyone is double-checking their lists and trying to find the best places to fulfill those orders. Fortunately, there are usually several options when it comes to retailers that have what you want. That’s why online retailers not only lower prices to compete with each other, but also offer more generous shipping and returns policies for their products.
Most people will still be doing most of their shopping online this year, which means most retailers will offer free shipping to anyone who spends a certain dollar. However, this spike in online shopping raises the possibility of delays as online retailers are flooded with orders and struggling to keep up with logistics struggles. While this is generally not the case, we recommend getting your orders as early as possible.
Below we’ve gathered the current shipping and return policies for a number of major online retailers. Few have policies specifically regarding holiday shipments, but we will follow them and update our alphabetical list accordingly.
Hopefully, knowing more about how much to spend and how much room you have to return will help reduce your holiday anxiety a bit.
Note: As last year, the vast majority of online retailers are offering contactless delivery for their products due to the ongoing pandemic. Therefore, if your package is not listed as “signature required”, we recommend keeping a close eye on your packages to make sure you know exactly when they will arrive.
Transport: Prime members get free same-day delivery on eligible orders over $35 suitable postal codes. If you are not in one of these postal codes, normal next-day or two-day deliveries apply, depending on the product. Non-Prime buyers will find shipping options on each specific item’s order page.
Returns: During the holidays, items shipped by Amazon between October 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021 can be returned until January 31, 2022. (This applies to both Prime and non-Prime buyers.)
Transport: Shipping is free on all orders if you buy directly from Apple; however, how quickly you receive your item may vary. Two-day shipping is free on most items, and any in-stock Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, or Apple TVs usually get free next-day shipping. This policy may vary depending on the product you purchased.
Returns: Apple’s holiday return policy allows products purchased between November 1 and December 25 to be returned by January 8th. Any purchase made after December 25 is subject to the standard return policy and all usual terms and conditions apply. Please note that this only applies to products purchased directly from Apple or an Apple retail store. Otherwise, you must comply with the specific retailer’s policy.
Transport: B&H offers free standard shipping (one to seven business days) for most items and free expedited shipping (one to three business days) for items over $49.
Returns: B&H allows the return or exchange of purchases purchased after October 18, 2021 and before January 2, 2022, until February 1, 2022 (with the usual exceptions of non-returnable products such as unpacked computers or TVs).
Transport: Best Buy offers free next-day shipping on orders $35 or more (with some exceptions). However, this delivery policy is subject to product availability, what you buy and when. Best Buy clearly states that there are limitations on next-day deliveries during the Thanksgiving week, for example, and that larger devices such as TVs require a scheduled delivery. different terms.
Returns: Purchases made from October 18, 2021 to January 2, 2022 are refundable until January 16, 2022. This includes phones, cell phone tablets and wearables (14-day return period) or holiday products such as tree decorations and large household appliances with a 15-day return window. For My Best Buy Elite members, within January 16 or 30 days, whichever is longer; Elite Plus members have until January 16 or 45 days later, whichever is longer. Finally, Best Buy Totaltech members have up to January 16 or 60 days from the date of purchase, whichever is longer.
Transport: Costco does not offer free shipping and provides shipping charges at checkout; fees depend on the product and shipping method. However, the wholesale retailer offers a variety of delivery options, including a “white glove” service for larger appliances.
Returns: Costco has a clear return policy, except for electronics such as TVs and computers, which usually have a 90-day return window. There are other exceptions listed on the returns page.
Transport: Most Dell products come with free standard shipping (no minimum purchase required). The delivery window may vary based on your order, but Dell offers an estimated delivery date based on your ZIP code at checkout, as well as expedited shipping options.
Returns: Dell offers a 30-day return policy with some exceptions; A restocking fee of up to 15 percent may apply.
Transport: DJI offers free shipping on purchases of $149 or more. Otherwise, the shipping fee is specified in the order form. Shipping times may vary for each product, depending on the stock status.
Returns: DJI offers returns within 14 days of receipt of purchase, provided the item remains like new or has some form of manufacturing defect.
Transport: GameStop offers free shipping on orders over $35. It also offers same day delivery At certain locations if you order from your local store at least three hours before closing.
Returns: GameStop has yet to list its holiday return policy, but games and other electronics can be returned within 30 days provided the packages are unopened and you have the receipt.
Transport: All orders made between October 19, 2021 and January 31, 2022 are eligible for minimum free shipping. Note that this is the lowest cost shipping available, which may not be the fastest.
Returns: All purchases made through the Google Store between November 26, 2021 and December 10, 2021 are refundable until January 10, 2022. All purchases made between December 11 and January 31, 2022 can be returned within 30 days of receipt. Google also waived the restocking fee for items returned between October 19, 2021 and January 31, 2022. (The standard return policy allows you to return the item within 15 days of receipt, except for Nest thermostats that have 30 days.)
Transport: Standard (three to six days) shipping is free for most items; Priority and next day shipping are usually available for an additional fee.
Returns: HP currently maintains a standard return policy that allows most products to be returned up to 30 days from delivery. There are exceptions and some products may be subject to a restocking fee of up to 15 percent.
Transport: Most items sold through the online Microsoft Store include free two to three-day shipping with express shipping available for an additional fee.
Returns: Eligible products are currently subject to the standard terms of sale listed on the Microsoft website. This provides a 30-day return window from the date of purchase of the product.
Transport: Many of Newegg’s products come with free shipping and are processed from warehouse within two business days; Check the separate product page for details.
Returns: Newegg’s standard returns policy allows a return or replacement request 30 days after the invoice date. You should check the “Warranty & Returns” tab on the product page to see if it’s covered.
Transport: According to the Sam’s Club FAQ, shipping costs for most items vary based on item size, weight, shipping method, and shipping address. Plus Members get free shipping on most online products.
Returns: Sam’s Club has no set return period; Certain return periods may be specified for certain products.
Transport: Sonos offers free shipping on all of its products. Items in stock are usually shipped the same day.
Returns: Sonos gives you 45 days to return a purchase and even offers free return shipping.
Transport: Target offers two-day shipping if you spend $35 or more or use your RedCard.
Returns: Target gives you 90 days to return most unopened items, 120 days if you used your RedCard, or a full year if it’s a Target brand. (Exceptions will be noted on receipt.) Seller also offers free return shipping for all returns made by post.
Transport: For eligible orders of $35 or more, Walmart provides free next-day delivery, free two-day delivery, or free standard shipping to eligible zip codes.
Returns: Many products purchased between November 1, 2021 and December 25, 2021 have had their return dates extended. Any product with a return period of less than 90 days within this period will begin the return period on December 26, 2021. This means that for a product with a 14-day return policy, the discount is January 9, 2022. (No returns will be made. Change for items with a 90-day return period.) Please note that the return policy does not apply to Walmart Marketplace (ie third-party) sellers.