Know the holiday shipping and return policies for Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others

With the holiday season right around the corner, everyone is double-checking their lists and figuring out the best places to fulfill those orders. Thankfully, there are often a number of options when it comes to retailers that have what you want. Because of this, online retailers aren’t just dropping prices to compete with each other, but offering more generous shipping and return policies for their products.

Most people will still be doing the majority of their shopping online this year, which means that most retailers will be offering free shipping for anyone who spends a set dollar amount. However, this sudden surge in online shopping does increase the possibility for delays as online retailers become flooded with orders and their logistics struggle to keep pace. While this may not be the case across the board, we’d recommend getting your orders in early wherever possible.

Below, we’ve collected the current shipping and return policies for a number of major online retailers. Very few of them have policies that pertain specifically to holiday shipping, but we’ll be keeping tabs on them and updating our alphabetical list accordingly.

Hopefully, knowing more about how much you’ll spend and how much leeway you have to make a return will help lessen your holiday angst somewhat.

Note: like last year, the vast majority of online retailers quote no-contact delivery for their products due to the ongoing pandemic. So, unless your package is listed as “signature required,” we recommend that you track your packages closely to make sure you know precisely when they’re due to arrive.


Shipping: Prime members get free same-day delivery on qualifying orders over $35 in qualifying ZIP codes. If you aren’t in one of those ZIP codes, the usual next-day or two-day deliveries apply, depending on the product. Non-Prime buyers will find shipping options on the order page of each specific product.

Returns: During the holidays, items shipped by Amazon between October 1st, 2021 and December 31st, 2021 can be returned until January 31st, 2022. (This applies to both Prime and non-Prime buyers.)

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Know the holiday shipping and return policies for Apple, Google, Microsoft, and others