Whenever you go grocery shopping, the expectation is that the food will meet your expecations. Whether you bought the wrong item or changed your mind, returning food products can be a grey area for many shoppers, especially at a place like Walmart which sells pretty much everything.
You can indeed return food to Walmart. Their reutrn policy allows for the return of non-perishable and frozen food items within the standard 90-day period. Eligible items must be unopened, unused, and untampered with; as for perishable items; they cannot be returned due to health and safety concerns.
In most cases, a receipt is not required, but it helps to have it so you can easily prove where you purchased the item, the amount owed and much more. Lets talk a bit about which items are eligible, which ones are not, timetables for food returns, and more.
Returning Food to Walmart
Returning food items to Walmart can be confusing if you are unfamiliar with their policies. Can you return things that are already consumed? What about perishables, and seasonal items? Here’s what I’ve found:
Perishable Food Returns
Regarding perishable food items like meat, vegetables, and fruits, returning them to Walmart can be tricky due to health and safety concerns. If you need help with the quality or freshness, head to the customer service desk at your nearest Walmart store with the product and your receipt. Depending on the situation, Walmart may provide a money-back guarantee, replacement, or store credit.
Non-perishable Food Returns
Non-perishable food items such as canned goods, dry-boxed goods, and nut butter are eligible for returns within the standard 90-day period. If the items are unopened, unused, and untampered with, you can return them with your receipt to get a refund, credit, or exchange.
Returning Opened Food
If you have opened a non-perishable food item and found a problem with its quality, hygiene, or expiration date, Walmart may allow you to return this too.
The store might offer a refund, exchange, or store credit case-by-case basis. Having the receipt helps too.
However, be sensible with how you go about this. Eating an entire pack of cookies and then trying to return an empty box is not going to bode well for you.
Returning Food Without a Receipt
While a receipt is not always required to return food to Walmart, having one can make the process smoother. Without a receipt, the store may offer a refund, exchange, or store credit for eligible items based on the item’s current price.
However, some items might only be returnable with proof of purchase.
Fresh Guarantee Policy
Walmart’s Fresh Guarantee Policy ensures fresh, high-quality produce, meat, and bakery goods. If you are not satisfied with the freshness of these items, you can return them for a refund or replacement. This policy applies to all fresh foods, including fruits and vegetables, meat, and pet food.
In my experience, I’ve been able to take back meat thats expired, or was not properly labeled. Not just the cheap stuff, but expensive things such as their premium label steaks.
They simply let you swap it out for another item of the same regardless the price.
Returning Specific Food Items
While most food items at Walmart fall under their blanket return policies, other types have specific guidelines.
Baby Food and Formula
Baby formula is subject to the 90 day return window. This includes baby food and formula, which must be unopened, unused, and untampered with to be eligible for returns.
Alcohol and Tobacco
For alcohol and tobacco products, the return policy differs significantly. Due to various regulations and restrictions, these items are generally not eligible for returns.
Dairy, Deli, and Seafood Items
Walmart takes health and safety concerns seriously, so perishable items such as dairy, deli, and seafood are generally not returnable.
Frozen food items follow Walmart’s standard return policy of 90 days, provided they are unopened and unused. Be sure to keep the frozen foods in their original packaging and store them in proper conditions while waiting to return them.
Returning Online Food Orders To Walmart
Mobile orders of grocery items and food is pretty popular with Walmart. This includes pickup and delivery, but you can return those food items too.
You can start a return for an online order through your purchase history and receive a return label by email.
This doesn’t apply to perishables though. Rather htan return, you can just ask for a refund or exchange.
Are There Limits To How Much Food You Can Return
Although there isn’t a specific limit on the amount of food you can return. If its an entire grocery order thats filled with expired items, then thats more a refelction of poor restockign practices.
If you’re returning items at a high frequency, such as multiple times per month or per year, Walmart is pretty good at identiying that kind of abuse of the system. This means if customers that are repeat offenders and return at a much higher rate than normal may have their requests denied.
You see a lot of retail stores do this, and there’s even organizaitons around that protect against this kind of behavior.
Hi there, I’m JJ, and welcome To EverydayQuery! Founded in 2022, we created this project to be the most complete resource on the web for your everyday questions regarding retail, shopping experiences, and overall consumer questions. We’re a team of passionate consumers whose mission is to provide the best answers to your everyday questions.