Walmart gets a bad rap. I mean it deserves some of the bad press. The company pretty much made the idea of retail small business go away. Over the last few decades, Walmart has invaded every corner of America serving as a one stop, low cost shopping destination. Mostly this was due to Walmart’s innovative approach to supply chain management and the ability to truly leverage economies of scale. Due to the negative impacts, folks tend to overlook the positive. Walmart sells pretty much everything you can imagine at the lowest possible price. To top this off, the Walmart return policy is amazing.
Walmart Return Policy
Warranties and return policies are a really important part of frugal shopping. It is not just about the immediate cost, but the long term value of the purchase. Some people assume that buying the most expensive, name brand products guarantees a longer product lifespan. But in many cases this is not true. The link between spending more and getting a better product is not always there. We can blame marketing for a lot of this.
As time goes on, return policies are getting worse and worse. REI got rid of their lifetime warranty. Most companies that use to offer true lifetime warranties, have moved to limited lifetime warranties. This is sort of deceptive. As limited lifetime warranties are based on how the manufacturer views the lifespan of the product. For example, Columbia Sportswear takes this approach. If Columbia views shoes to last a year, then a lifetime warranty covers a year of use. Warranties give consumers a sense of confidence in their buying decision at the time of purchase. But for it to be financially beneficial, one needs to dig into the details!
Walmart Return Policy Without Receipt
In the world of frugal shopping, the Walmart return policy is significantly underrated. To be frank, Walmart is unreasonably flexible with returns. Items can be returned with or without a receipt within 90 days of purchase. I mean what other store doesn’t even require a receipt? But wait, it gets better.
Walmart Refund Policy
If an item is clearly defective or shows wear and tear beyond the 90 days, I have had many personal experiences in which I have been able to successfully return the item hassle free. I am an organized shopper and make sure to always save my receipt. It does make things easier in these types of situations. With Amazon, I get annoyed having to check if the item is “Amazon fulfilled”. As the return process on Amazon can be painful if it is from a seller in which the order is not fulfilled by Amazon. But with Walmart in store purchases, none of this matters.
Related: Check out our article on Walmart e Receipts. Storing receipts is an easy way to save money.
Walmart Online Shopping
Walmart has made a big push into ecommerce in the last decade. At first, this did not go so well. But things have improved for Walmart. The order minimum for free shipping is only $35 and the price of many low-cost everyday items is substantially less than Amazon. While Amazon gets all the hype around online shipping, Walmart is nothing to snooze on.
Walmart Online Return Policy
Just like the in-store purchases, the 90 day warranty applies to Walmart online purchases. So if something does not work out, you have the ability to run into your local store for support. Or you can send it back via FedEx at no cost. I like having both options available.
Walmart Price Check
Walmart is doing some cool things these days. One thing I love doing is using their smart phone app to double check the price of products while I am in the store. To be fair, the only reason I have to do this is because things are always messy and not in the right spot. Regardless, it is a nice feature to be able to check the price without hunting down an associate for help.
Walmart Curbside Pickup
As with most people, Walmart curbside pickup is new to me. I started taking advantage of this in 2020 during the start of the pandemic. For the most part, it works really well. In my case, there are two local Walmarts. The store that fulfills most of the online curbside pickup orders is the farther one. So sometimes this is a bummer. But for a bigger shopping pickup, I don’t mind it.
Walmart Grocery Pickup
After getting familiar with Walmart grocery pickup, my trips inside the story for groceries are a lot less frequent. I love how their website interface suggests my most commonly ordered items. It makes it easy to restock on the basics without even thinking about. While they may not have a robust review system like Amazon, the ability to filter items is smoother and more transparent.
Walmart Online Order
At this point in time, I have only two complaints about Walmart online orders:
- It is hard to figure out if some items are available for delivery vs. pickup. This is similar to how some items on Amazon can only be ordered via Amazon Fresh. The worst part is that it is not made clear until you are trying to check out. No one wants to find out right before checkout that they will have to make a trip to the store for one single item that for whatever reason was not available for delivery. Walmart labels one store front “Pickup & delivery” and another “Walmart.com”. This may make sense internally to Walmart, but it is confusing from a consumer perspective. It seems like an elaborate way of indicating that some products are not available for online ordering. It does make sense that as a brick and mortar entity, there will be some products that just don’t make logistical sense to sell online. But there has to be a more clear way of displaying this.
- The second thing that drives me crazy is that for smaller inexpensive items the Walmart system makes you order a quantity of two. Some recent examples include a $1 can opener, a container to store eggs while camping, and cheap salt and pepper set. The upside is the pricing for these types of items is usually better than Amazon and other ecommerce sites.