Walmart Just Made A Big Change To Its Return Policy For The Holidays

Despite what some may think about Christmas talk just as we're getting started in October, the truth is that it's never too early to consider Christmas shopping for family and friends. Costco was rolling out Christmas decorations in July, after all. And isn't it better to get your presents wrapped up before Halloween than have to fight your way to them on Black Friday? 

There appears to be a trend of shoppers buying their holiday gifts earlier in the year. In 2021, 43% of consumers in the United States had begun to purchase their Christmas presents before October had even ended (via Statista).

Perhaps one of the reasons for early holiday shopping is because of return policies. According to Red Stag Fulfillment, 33% of shoppers were expected to return gifts before the end of 2021, and it would seem that number is expected to climb even higher. The reasons for returns include buying the wrong gift, the person already has it, the product is damaged or faulty, and so on. Buying a gift early in October allows you to return the gift for whatever reason and still have time and money to purchase another more suitable gift.

Walmart seems to have taken note of this trend of returning gifts and has made a few changes to its holiday return policy to help ease the process for consumers. The policy combines an increased return policy window and a renewed focus on providing convenience through normally problematic online returns.  

You can return any gift from October to January

On September 22, Walmart made an announcement regarding recent changes to its policy for the holiday season. Many of these changes regarded introducing more "Rollback" pricing to certain items like toys and electronics or an increased selection of items. What is most notable, however, are the three major changes the company made to its return policy.

For starters, purchases made on or after the date of October 1 are eligible for return up until January 31. This means that, should you have purchased a gift in early November and need to return it, you have a wide window of time to return the gift with much less of a chance of being held up by others trying to get into that same window of time. You can also return items curbside.

Should you have purchased your gifts online and happen to be a Walmart Plus member, you can actually have a Walmart delivery driver pick up the gift and return it to the store for you. All you need to do is complete the return process through the app, should your gift be eligible, and leave the gift outside on your doorstep for the driver to pick up.

Walmart's return policy for the holiday season was previously focused on returning items purchased between November 1 and December 25 (via Newsweek) — a much smaller window in comparison to the larger timeframe offered now.