Return Policy Law

Occasionally, everyone needs to return something at some point for a refund, exchange or store credit. Merchants are required to accept returns in certain situations. Some states have laws governing the disclosure of refund and return policies. See below for summaries on each state’s laws regarding returning merchandise.

Federal Law

Most retailers allow returns if customers change their minds or receive unwanted gifts. While retailers put this as part of their business models because they see it is as a best business practice, they aren’t legally required to accept returns. However, retailers are required to accept returns of the sold good is defective or they otherwise break the sales contract.

In addition to being required to accept the return of defective items, federal law provides a “Cooling Off Rule” giving buyers 3 days to cancel purchases of $25 or more. Under this law, consumers have the right to cancel for a full refund extends until midnight of the third business day after the sale.

State Law

In addition to the above federal laws, many states have laws regarding refunds. Often, refund policies must be prominently displayed. Many states allow purchasers to rescind club memberships or other special sales contracts within a specific number of business days.

Other fees, such as restocking fees, must be made clear in the return policy. Regardless of whether the state requires the discloser of return policies, you should ask the retailer for their particular policy before making the purchase. Additionally, states may or may not apply their laws to online sales. Below are summaries of each state’s laws regarding returns.

Alabama

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Alaska

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Arizona

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Arkansas

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

California

Retailers must clearly display their return policy unless they offer a full cash refund, exchange, or store credit within 7 days of the purchase date. If a retailer does not clearly display its policy, it is required to accept full refunds within 30 days of purchase.

Colorado

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Connecticut

Each retailer can set its own return policy, which must be conspicuously disclosed at the time of the sale. If the policy isn’t properly disclosed, or if the retailer doesn’t have a refund policy, a buyer may return the goods for a refund.

Delaware

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Florida

Retailers that don’t offer refunds must clearly display this at the place of sale. If they do not meet this requirement, purchasers may return goods for a full refund within 20 days of the purchase date.

Georgia

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Hawaii

Retailers can set their own return policies, but they must be clearly disclosed at the time of purchase. If the policy isn’t properly disclosed, retailers must provide the refund.

Idaho

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Illinois

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Indiana

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Iowa

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Retailers must disclose if they don’t accept returns.

Kansas

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Kentucky

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Louisiana

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Maine

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Maryland

Retailers must post their return policy on the wall, on the receipt, or on the product. If the policy is not posted, the seller must accept returned items within a reasonable time.

Massachusetts

A retailer’s refund, return, or cancellation policy must be disclosed clearly and conspicuously to the purchaser before the transaction is completed. This can be done by means of a sign at the point of sale. Goods can be returned within a reasonable period of time if no return policy is disclosed.

Michigan

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Minnesota

A retailer must display written notice of its policy clearly and conspicuously in boldface type of a minimum size of 14 points. If the retailer fails this requirement, cash refunds are required of purchased acceptable for return.

Mississippi

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Missouri

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Montana

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Nebraska

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Nevada

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

New Hampshire

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

New Jersey

Retailers must post their refund policies conspicuously. Retailers without posted refund policies are liable to the purchaser, for up to 20 days from the purchase date, for a cash refund or credit.

New Mexico

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

New York

A store is required to post its refund policy. If it fails this requirement, the store must accept returns within 30 days of the purchase date.

North Carolina

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

North Dakota

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Ohio

A retailer is not required to have a refund policy. However, if it does have a policy, it must be clearly conspicuously posted. If a retailer does not have a refund policy posted, the purchaser is entitled to a refund.

Oklahoma

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Oregon

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Pennsylvania

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Rhode Island

Unless a customer has been clearly informed by a poster or other appropriate notice placed at the point of sale or at the store entrance that all sales are final and that goods are not returnable, a purchaser can return the item within 10 business days of the date of purchase.

South Carolina

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

South Dakota

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Tennessee

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Texas

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Utah

If the retailer has a non-refund, exchange, or credit policy, it must be clearly indicated by a sign posted at the point of display, point of sale, or the store entrance. If the seller fails in this requirement, the purchaser is entitled to a return.

Vermont

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Virginia

A seller must notify its customers of its return policy through a sign attached to the goods or placed in a conspicuous public area on the seller’s premises. A seller is exempt from this requirement if it provides a cash or credit refund within 20 days or more of purchase.

Washington

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

West Virginia

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Wisconsin

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Wyoming

There is no right to cancel contracts or purchase agreements. Refunds are dependent on the retailers return and refund policies.

Getting Legal Help

If you need help to understand your rights as a consumer, or legal assistance with a return or refund, contact a consumer protection attorney.

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