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Does Goodwill Take Returns – Updated Guide

Almost everyone has bought something and realized at the last minute that it is not as good as they hoped. Sometimes it’s just not what you expected or it doesn’t fit. You might be able to return it at the store where you bought it, but that may not always be possible or convenient.

So, does Goodwill take returns? Goodwill has thrift stores that sell all types of merchandise, including clothing, furniture, small appliances, and electronics. If an item is not what you want for any reason, you might want to bring it back. That said, it may be prudent to know whether Goodwill will take returns before you make the trip to one of their stores.

Does Goodwill take returns?

The truth is most stores or businesses have policies about how they handle returns, and those policies determine whether or not you can return an item to them. Goodwill is no exception. Goodwill does take returns but they have some rules. Depending on the location, not everything can be returned.

Customers are allowed to bring back their items within 14 days or 30 days of purchase. The exact number of days depends on the location. The customer must have a receipt and the item must be unused. The item can’t be damaged.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that the tags should still be attached to the product. Once you’ve checked all the requirements and confirmed the item is eligible for a return, you can bring it back to the Goodwill store.

Most stores won’t offer cash refunds, vouchers or store credit. Instead, upon returning an item properly, you are allowed to exchange it for another of the same value. Other stores will offer store credit, but this is uncommon.

The entire policy of Goodwill and how they handle returns may vary. If in doubt, you should ask an employee before attempting to bring back an item. The organization has a strict return policy because they want their customers to be satisfied with their purchase so they will come back again and again.

Are all Goodwill items returnable?

Goodwill has very clear policies regarding returns, but they do have some flexibility. If you have been shopping at Goodwill and are unsure whether or not you can return an item, ask a staff member before taking it to the register.

If the price tag or sticker on the item has been removed, that also places your return in question, as does having any type of damage to the product.

The items that are easily returnable with an original receipt include running shoes, clothes and electronics. These items can be returned within 30 days of purchase. Goodwill cannot accept returns on all items. Items that have been worn, damaged, modified or altered are not eligible for return or exchange.

Keep in mind, some products cannot be returned no matter what, so it’s best to ask before you make the purchase. Things that are not returnable at Goodwill include toys, books, housewares, furniture, DVDs and CDs.

What is Goodwill’s refund policy?

Goodwill’s refund policy is pretty simple. If you purchase with a receipt, it is eligible for return within 14 or 30 days. If that time has not elapsed, you can exchange the item at a Goodwill store near you. While the refund policy is pretty clear and simple, returns are based on the policies of each Goodwill store.

It’s best to confirm with your local Goodwill before you make a purchase. If the item is damaged, you have not kept your receipt or altered or removed price tags, there are no guarantees that you will be able to exchange or receive store credit from the Goodwill store. Refunds are not offered. However, you might get store credit.

Final Thoughts

Goodwill does take returns, but not all of its products are eligible for returns. Be prepared for the possibility that you may not be able to return an item if it has been damaged. In addition, some Goodwill stores have additional policies and conditions that have to be met before you can return an item.

Of course, this information is provided by Goodwill and every store may operate differently.


How long does a Goodwill refund take?

After returning a product, your exchange or store credit is typically given within 7 days. This timeframe varies by location.

Can I return an item on the Goodwill website?

You cannot mail or return online purchases to Goodwill. You have to return items to a store in person.

Can Goodwill give cash refunds?

Goodwill does not give cash refunds under any circumstances. All returns are given as an exchange or store credit, which you can use at any Goodwill store. This varies with location and different stores may have their return policies.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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