What Does Walmart Do With Returns? (Not What You Think…)

As customers, we need to go through a particular process when filing a return at Walmart. But have you ever stopped and asked yourself what happened to your item once returned to Walmart?

Fortunately, we’ve found the inside scoop on what Walmart does with its returns. Here is what I discovered!

What Does Walmart Do With Returns?

For used returned items with minimal wear, Walmart will sell these products to liquidation companies that resell them at significantly lower prices. Additionally, returns that are new and still in the box are resold at Walmart at a discounted price, while groceries, food, and defective items are destroyed.

For more information on what Walmart does with open returns and what you can get for returning an item to Walmart, read on!

Here Is What Happens To Returned Products At Walmart

Typically, Walmart requires customers to return goods with all original packaging and accessories as it is likely that the returned product will be offered for resale.

Statistically, at least 30% of merchandise ordered from Walmart .com will be returned while only one in five products is defective.

While products in new condition are sold as new, visibly pre-owned goods are sold at a slightly lower cost than the original asking price with a discount sticker or in a clearance sale.

Alternatively, liquidation companies such as Direct Liquidation, B-Stock, and Web Retailer purchase returned items from Walmart’s warehouses.

As you can imagine, Walmart dedicates masses of space to returned goods. Therefore liquidation companies purchase products in bulk and resell them at significantly discounted prices.

Does Walmart Throw Away Returned Items?

Yes, Walmart throws away returned items that cannot be resold or donated. All returned groceries are destroyed in case they are contaminated or expired.

Similarly, undergarments (briefs, boxer shorts, shapers, etc.) cannot be resold due to hygiene concerns and are therefore cut and thrown away.

Equally, products that are not in a purchasable condition will be thrown away. This includes:

  • Damaged
  • Defective
  • Returned due to a recall
  • Products returned in an unsellable condition

Will Walmart Sell Opened Box Returns?

Will Walmart Sell Opened Box Returns?

Yes, Walmart will sell items returned with an open box provided the actual product is intact with all original accessories.

Customers may receive or request a percentage discount if the packaging has slight damage. Additionally, Walmart associates may also attempt to reseal or patch up any opened boxes.

How Does Walmart Dispose Of Returns?

To improve waste levels, Walmart aims to recycle returned goods that are made with plastic, wood, cardboard, or other recyclable material.

Moreover, Walmart donates unwanted food that is still safe to consume to charitable shelters.

According to a report by Walmart, 80% of unsold products, including returned goods, and packaging from other materials, avoided landfill and incineration around the world.

Do Returns Cost Walmart A Lot Of Money?

Walmart can typically claim the cost of returns by reselling products that are in decent condition at a slightly discounted price.

Walmart spends around $107 billion on operating, selling, general, and administrative expenses.

Does Walmart Offer Trade Deals For Returns?

Yes, Walmart encourages customers to return Apple iPhones, tablets, MP3 Players, video games, and CDs in exchange for store credit. The items are relisted under a ‘pre-owned’ badge at a much lower price to attract customers seeking discounts.

Does Walmart Check Returned Electronics?

Yes, Walmart checks returned electronics. Serial numbers are scanned first to ensure you have returned an eligible item.

Electronics such as tablets, mobile phones, GPS units, consoles, and e-Readers are sold with various features. Associates need to make sure all necessary elements are returned before issuing a full refund.

If you are looking to learn more about shopping at Walmart, you can see our related posts on Walmart return policy without box or opened boxWalmart marketplace return policy and the Walmart return warning.


Walmart resells products that are returned in their original packaging with accessories to store shelves or online. Opened or used products will be resealed and resold at a discount price or put into a clearance sale.

Returned groceries, and defective, damaged, or recalled products will be disposed of. Much of Walmart’s returned goods are now recycled. Alternatively, liquidation companies purchase returned goods in bulk for cheaper resale.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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