Don't Try to Return These 6 Items to Sam's Club

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KEY POINTS

  • Sam's Club provides a short list of items that are non-refundable; however, there are also products that "may" be refundable.
  • Of the thousands of different items sold daily, very few cannot be returned for a refund.
  • Rules may vary by Sam's Club location.

You know that old adage about the customer always being right? It occurs to us that sometimes a customer is more "gutsy" than "right." Among the more ridiculous items Sam's Club members have been known to return for a refund are a fishing pole (because they didn't catch any fish), an empty jar of oysters (because they made them sick), and grapes purchased the month before.

You gotta love Sam's Club, though. Unless employees spot a pattern of abuse, the retailer attempts to make customers happy.

These items can't be returned

Despite Sam's Club's sweet return policy, there are some things even it won't take back.

1. Personalized items

This includes items like the pillow you had personalized for Aunt Louise and the birthday cake for your dog.

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2. Contact lenses

You can't return an open box of contact lenses because, yuck.

3. Eyeglasses

If you've had the new glasses for over 14 days, unless your prescription has changed, they're yours to keep.

4. Gift cards

You'll have to hold onto that Hooters gift certificate you bought for your brother's birthday because, frankly, Sam's doesn't want it back.

5. Tickets

If you purchased tickets to the Renaissance Festival before remembering how much you dislike scurvy-riddled peasants, buxom barmaids, or jousting in general, you're stuck with those tickets. The moment a Sam's Club customer service rep sees you holding tickets, they're likely to wish you a quick "fare thee well."

6. Bulk purchases

Remember that pallet of toilet paper you brought home because you heard there was a shortage and people would pay "anything" for a roll of TP? Unless it was damaged when you bought it, Sam's will not refund it now that we've all learned that toilet paper is not, in fact, worth its weight in gold.

Where things get hazy

These items might have more flexibility depending on where you live and the fine print.

Alcohol

Regretting the money you pulled from your savings account to throw a party? Before attempting to return a half-full bottle of wine, give your local store a call. Alcohol returns depend upon the laws of your state.

Prescriptions

This is an iffy one. Some exceptions exist, so ask your pharmacist if the medication is refundable when you get your free consultation at pickup. Considering the high cost of prescription drugs, it's a good thing exceptions exist.

Cigarettes and tobacco products

The policy on tobacco product returns can vary by store. You may want to call ahead to find out if you'll have any trouble making that return.

Hearing aids

We understand why someone would want to return hearing aids that aren't doing the trick, but Sam's Club will not accept the return after 90 days unless there's a warranty issue.

Subscription/protection plans

Whether or not that protection plan is refundable depends on the fine print that came with the purchase.

Return at will

Out of the thousands of items you might pull your debit or credit card out to pay for on any given day, there's not much the warehouse giant won't accept for a refund. That includes:

Within 90 days

  • Electronics
  • Major appliances

Within 30 days

  • Commercial heavy equipment
  • Motorsports items

Within 14 days

  • Cellphones (prepaid, postpaid, and no contract)

The embarrassment of being banned

No one wants to be that person banned from shopping at Sam's Club, but that's precisely what can happen if you regularly return items for a refund. For example, no one will be thrilled if you walk up to the customer service counter carrying a Magic 8 ball and want a refund because "it lied to you."

Whether you adore a trip to Sam's Club on a busy Saturday morning or truly dread the experience, it's nice to know that the company stands behind nearly everything it sells.

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