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Ever wonder if you could return or exchange food at Walmart?
Let’s take a look at Walmart’s return policy for perishable, non perishable, opened, and unopened food items.
Can you return food to Walmart?
Yes, you can return food to Walmart. They will accept returns of non-perishable food items (like canned goods and beef jerky) within 90 days of the purchase date. Walmart also has a Fresh Guarantee Policy, which makes it easy for customers to return perishable foods (for any reason) within 90 days after purchase. The policy offers 100% money-back guarantee on all perishable items purchased at a Walmart store.
The store’s Fresh Guarantee policy covers the following:
- Fresh flowers
- Meat & seafood
- Deli items
- Dairy products
- Frozen foods
What if your items are past the 90-day return date? In that case, the store manager or supervisor determines whether they will give you a refund or not. However, most stores will not offer a full refund for food over three months after purchase.
Other foods sold at Walmart fall under their general refund, which allows you to return products within 90 days after your purchase.
Returns of perishable food items (like meats and produce) are a little bit more difficult. Walmart will usually accept the return if it’s within the best before date but it usually requires talking with the manager.
In some cases, perishable food items will not be accepted for a full refund, but you might be able to get an exchange or store credit.
What is the Return Policy for Non-Perishable Food?
Non-perishable food bought at Walmart also falls under the store’s 90-day return policy. Non-perishable foods include the following (this is not an exhaustive list):
- Canned soup
- Canned fruits & vegetables
- Canned meat & fish
- Canned beans
- Dry goods (such as pasta, beans, oats, and more)
- Nut butters
- Dried fruits
What happens to returned food items at Walmart?
For health and safety reasons, all returned food has to be thrown away, even if it looks perfectly fine. Even if it is still packaged and tightly sealed, it must be thrown away and cannot even be donated.
Therefore, it is considered extremely wasteful to return food to Walmart if there is nothing wrong with it.
How do you return food to Walmart?
Is returning food the same process as returning other items to Walmart?
For unopened non perishable food items, yes the return process is similar to returning anything else at Walmart. You can take it back to your local store or use their free mail return service.
For opened food items and for perishable food items, the process is not so straightforward. In most cases, you will not be able to receive a full refund. Instead, if it’s accepted, you’ll be given an exchange or store credit.
What if you don’t have the original receipt?
If you don’t have the original receipt to refund your food items, it really depends on the store and the person you speak to.
Walmart will accept the return of ONLY unopened, unused non-perishable food items. The expiry date on the food item must not have been passed.
You will need to speak with a manager to explain why you want to return it and provide proof that it was purchased from Walmart. Anything like the original packaging or price tag will do.
It’s up to the person you speak to to decide whether it’s accepted, and whether you’ll get a refund or just an exchange or store credit.
Can you return food items to a different Walmart than the one you bought it from?
Yes, you can return your food items to any Walmart location.
If you don’t have a receipt, or you’re in a situation where you’ll have to speak to a manager, then it’s recommended to go back to the same Walmart you purchased from.
Different locations have different items and supply in stock. It’s usually easier to go back to the same location for returns without a receipt.
Can you return frozen foods to Walmart?
Yes, you can return frozen foods to Walmart as long as the location has a frozen foods section.
Can you return meat to Walmart?
Yes, you can return meat to Walmart as long as it’s within the best before date and it’s for a legitimate reason (ie. the meat is not fresh).
Can you return fruits and veggies to Walmart?
Yes, you can return fruits and vegetables to Walmart but because it’s a non-perishable item, they’ll likely give you an exchange or store credit.
Can you return alcohol to Walmart?
Yes, you can return alcohol to Walmart. However, for alcohol returns you must make the return at the same store you purchased from. You must also have the original receipt, no exceptions.
How to return food purchased online
Perishable food bought online can be returned; however, you’ll need to get your refund in person at the store. You’ll need your proof of purchase and ask the associate for a refund.
Proof of purchase for online orders can be a packing slip or the itemized record on your Walmart account through the app or Walmart.com.
If you need to return non-perishable food ordered online, follow these steps:
Ensure the food is non-perishable.
Initiate a return by logging into your Walmart.com account.
Go to your account page and click on “Orders.”
Find the order that has the item you want to return.
Click “Return” and follow the instructions on the screen to start the return process.
Walmart will issue you a shipping label that you can use to package and ship the non-perishable food.
Your refund will be processed as soon as Walmart receives your item; this process can take a few days to weeks.
Conclusion: Does Walmart accept returns on food items?
Yes, Walmart will accept returns on food items. Unopened, non-perishable food items have a 90 day return policy.
Returns for opened and perishable food items will still be accepted, but you’re likely to only be eligible for an exchange on that item (or store credit).
Keep in mind that Walmart won’t fight you on a reasonable return. Keeping their customers happy is more important than fighting them over a few dollars worth of food items. If you lose your receipt, Walmart will still accept returns in most cases.
Returning food because it wasn’t fresh or it was unedible for legitimate reasons is completely fine. Just remember that all returned food, whether it’s been opened or not, goes into the trash due to health and safety reasons.
If you’re unsure about any returns, you can call Walmart customer care at (800) 925-6278.