Trader Joe’s Return Policy Explained

Trader Joe’s Store

Trader Joe’s Return Policy Explained

Trader Joe’s has one of the most generous return policies in almost any retail store, it’s even better than Costco’s no questions asked policy but since Trader Joe’s doesn’t sell electronics and mostly food, it’s better than Costco’s. 

Trader Joe’s has a generous return policy — you can bring almost any item back to the store for a full refund, with or without a receipt. This includes food items you’ve opened and even eaten as well as non-edible products that didn’t meet your expectations.

How do you return items to Trader Joe’s?

Probably the easiest way to do this is to bring the item back to the store with the receipt and go to the manager’s desk and ask for a return. But this is where the return policy is the best, you don’t even need the product or the receipt, many people claim that if you just mention that you didn’t like something the manager will either give you a refund or give you a new item.

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What if I ate half the item, will they accept the return?

Trader Joe’s wants you to buy stuff and try it completely risk-free. Half-eaten box of chips or a frozen entree, it doesn’t matter, they’ll take it all back. They want your feedback so if you didn’t like it they want to know. The manager will probably ask why you didn’t like it if it wasn’t rotten or something, but you are under no obligation to answer them. 

Will Trader Joe’s accept partially consumed alcohol, like beer or wine?

Yes! They will accept beer, wine, and if they sell it in your state, booze. Partially or completely consumed. Unlike food, alcohol is regulated at a state level and you might be able to get a cash refund and might have to get a like exchange. Check your state laws or I am sure the manager at Trader Joe’s will be able to let you know.

Can I return something I bought at a different Trader Joe’s to a different one?

No problem (except for liquor from another state). If you buy something from any Trader Joe’s you can return it to a different store. 

Do I need a receipt to return something?

No, but there are differences between having a receipt and not having one. If you have it, you can get a cash refund (or money back on your card) but if you don’t have a receipt, they will either give you a new one or issue you a store gift card with the value of the item. 

What about returning items during Covid?

Trader Joe’s, and many other grocery stores, limited the number of returns you could do if you “overbought” items. Say you went into Trader Joe’s and bought 20 rolls of toilet paper because you were hoarding it just like everyone else, then the pandemic passed and you want to return 15 rolls of it, Trader Joe’s will not honor that. That is the only exception to their liberal return policy that I have heard.

Why does Trader Joe’s have such a flexible return policy?

Just like Costco, Trader Joe’s likes to build brand loyalty and they figure that return customers value the liberal return policy and keep them coming back.