Have you bought too much infant formula only to find out your baby dislikes the taste?
Perhaps you stocked up thinking your breastmilk wasn’t nutritious enough, and have since managed to fatten your breast milk?
Or maybe your partner or relatives have bought the wrong type or brand of breast milk?
Either way you’ll be wondering the same thing – can you return all that expensive formula to major retailers and supermarkets like Walmart, Target, Costco or Amazon?
The good news is that most retailers will allow you to return baby formula, provided you show a valid receipt, and the bottles are unopened and in good condition.
But what about if you don’t have the receipt?
What if the formula has gone bad?
And what does the law say?
Let’s find out.
Table of Contents
Can You Return Formula To Walmart?
Walmart is one of the largest and most popular retailers in the world, so let’s start here.
Walmart’s return policy is quite straightforward and customer-friendly, in so far as you can return most items within 90 days of purchase provided you have a valid receipt.
This policy applies to baby formula, so as long as you have the receipt, you can indeed return baby formula to Walmart.
There are a few other things you should consider, such as:
- The product must be unopened and in its original packaging.
- You can only return the formula if you purchased it from a Walmart store (rather than another retailer).
- As is the case when returning items to most large stores, you’ll probably be asked to present your government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s licence).
Can You Return Unopened Formula To Walmart?
Yes, as long as you have your receipt and the product is unopened and in its original packaging, you should be able to return the items without any issues.
If you can’t find your original receipt, you might still be able to return the formula.
The customer rep in Walmart should be able to verify your purchase if you have your original method of payment.
This won’t help if you paid by cash, but if you paid by debit or credit card, and don’t have the receipt, it’s well worth a try.
Can You Return Opened Formula To Walmart?
Unfortunately you cannot return formula that has been opened to Walmart, or in fact any other retailer.
This probably isn’t a surprise if you consider that formula is classified by the FDA as not only a food, but something that’s consumed by a “vulnerable” population.
However, there are some instances when you can return opened formula to Walmart.
If the product was sold when it was past its sell-by date, or is defective or has gone bad, then Walmart should allow you to return the product even if it’s opened.
Can You Return Formula To Target
If you are looking to return baby formula milk to Target, the good news is that the retailer is happy to accept returns within 90 days.
If you bought the product using a RedCard, then you will have an extra 30 days, which will give you a total of 120 days.
As with Walmart, Target’s return policy states that you should present your receipt as proof as purchase, and the product should be unopened and in good (sellable) condition.
Can You Return Formula To Costco
Costco will accept returns of baby formula within 90 days of purchase.
You don’t need to go to the exact same store at which you bought the product, because products purchased at a Costco location can be returned at the returns counter at any Costco warehouse.
If you ordered the baby product online, then it can be returned at any Costco warehouse, or through their website.
Once again, the product must be unopened but you do not need to have receipt.
This is because the customer service department will be able to look up and verify your purchase by using your membership card or number.
Can You Return Formula To Amazon?
Unfortunately Amazon do not accept returns on grocery items, which means you cannot normally return baby formula to Amazon.
The exception is if the product is damaged or defective, in which case you should be able to return the formula.
If you’ve bought the items from a third-party seller then the policy is likely to be the same, but it’s worth checking the seller’s policy just in case it differs.
Returning Baby Formula Laws
There are no specific laws in place about returning baby formula, so legally speaking it falls under the same laws as other perishable food items.
It’s always best to check the return policy of the store you bought the items from, but most big-box retailers will allow you to return baby formula, provided:
- You have a valid receipt.
- The product is unopened.
- You are within the store’s return policy (typically between 14-90 days).
- You present your photo ID.
Where Can I Return Baby Formula Without A Receipt?
Despite what we’ve said above, returning unopened formula without proof of purchase is not completely impossible.
The thing to remember is that in most cases this is technically against the returns policy of most stores, so it’s not something you can 100% rely on and it will depend on the discretion of the store’s staff.
Having said that, it’s certainly worth a try, especially if you are seeking an exchange (not a cash refund) and the store carries the exact type of formula you are looking to exchange.
A lot of times it can come down to the manager’s discretion, so with some persistence and a little bit of charm, you may be able successful in returning unopened formula.