Apple Christmas Return Policy (All You Need to Know)

Apple Christmas Return Policy

Apple products aren’t exactly cheap, so when you are giving them out as gifts during the Christmas holiday, you want to ensure the person you are giving them to can return them if need be.

Apple offers customers an extended Christmas return policy. You can return any item purchased between November 1st- December 25th until Januray 8th. Gifts can be returned online or instore and those without a receipt will get the refund in the form of an Apple gift card.

Is it even possible that returning Apple products around the holidays is that easy? Well, let’s take a look.

What is a Christmas Return Policy?

A Christmas return policy is the same thing as a holiday return policy. This is an extension of a company’s regular return time frame, giving customers a longer window in which an item can be taken back to the store for a refund or exchange.

A Christmas return policy is put in place during the holiday season to ensure those who shop early for Christmas presents don’t run out of time to take something back if the gift didn’t work out.

Almost every retailer in-stores and online offer an extended holiday return policy, including Apple.

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What is Apple’s Christmas Return Policy?

Apple offers customers a fairly basic Christmas return policy, giving them the standard 14-days to return any item after December 25th.

However, you can buy an Apple product from an Apple store between November 1st- December 25th and still have until January 8th to take it back.

This is a good practice; it gives the gift giver peace of mind knowing that even though they shopped early, the return window is still available after the recipients get their presents.

How Do You Return an Apple Product With Their Christmas Return Policy?

How the return process works will greatly depend on whether you are the gift giver or the gift receiver. Or if you simply bought an item for yourself during this time period and want to take it back.

If you purchased the product on or after November 1st, you could return it online or in stores. The customer who originally bought the Apple product can go onto their account and start the return that way.

You can also contact customer service for assistance or take the product back to the nearest Apple store.

If you originally bought the item and have the receipt, you can get a full refund back the same way you purchased it. However, if you lost the receipt you will only be subject to a return in the form of a gift card.

If you are the recipient of an Apple gift and want to take it back, you can also do so online or in stores. However, you will only receive the refund in the form of a gift card.

Shipping on Apple Product Returns

Everyone worries about the cost of shipping when shopping online and when returning items they no longer want or need.

Luckily, Apple doesn’t make the customer pay for shipping on any returns. Whether you are the one who ordered the item or the recipient of the Christmas gift, you can send the product back to the store for free.

When you go through the return process online, you will receive a pre-paid package label and hazardous stickers (if applicable.)

All you have to do is slap these stickers onto the outside of your package before taking it to the post office or shipping center.

You can also request to have the package picked up from your home or office for free.

Can You Exchange an Apple Product You Got For Christmas?

It can be very hard gifting friends and family during the holiday season. You will try very hard to pick the perfect present but often times you can’t get every detail right.

Fortunately, Apple doesn’t mind allowing their customers to bring their gifts in to exchange them for another. You can choose 

Keep in mind, you can only exchange Apple products in-store. Not all stores will carry the same items or always have them in stock. It is important to call the location you are going to ahead of time to make sure the product you are looking for is available.

If not, customer service can more than likely help point you in the direction of a location that will have the item you need.

If you choose to exchange your Christmas gift, you can do so until January 8th. If you decide to exchange it for an item that is more than the original, you will be expected to pay the difference.

In contrast, if you exchange the gift for something that is less expensive, you will receive the remaining balance on an Apple gift card.

Can You Return an Apple Product to an Apple Store if You Bought it From a Different Retailer?

Apple products are sold worldwide and through various retailers online and in stores. These licensed retailers follow their own holiday return policies, which might not be the same as Apple.

Unfortunately, if you purchased your Apple product from anywhere other than an Apple retailer, you must go through them for your Christmas return.

If you are returning an Apple product to anyone other than the company itself, contact the retailer for details on their specific return policies.

What if I Already Opened the Package?

You would think a big, successive, and lucrative company would be a little posh about accepting returns on the open item, right? Well, luckily for their customers they aren’t.

In fact, Apple makes returning items that have been opened and even used pretty simple.

As long as the item is in “like-new” condition, you can still send it back within the return time frame to receive a full refund. 

However, Apple employees reserve the right to refuse any returns if the product comes back dirty, damaged, or altered in any way.

So, until you are positive you want to keep the item, you should take extreme caution while using it.

What is Apples Christmas Return Policy Rules?

The rules to follow when returning any Apple product during the Christmas holiday is very similar to the return policy rules practiced throughout the rest of the year.

  • All original items that came inside the package must be returned (paperwork, accessories, cords, etc.)
  • Any item that has been deemed damaged or defective due to customer negligence is not entitled to a refund.
  • Products must be returned in the same country they were initially bought in
  • You cannot return any product that has been modified or adjusted by any company other than Apple.

What Can’t be Returned to Apple

While Apple is well-known for accepting most of its items back, a handful of products are not eligible for a refund.

These include:

  • Software-Up-To-Date program
  • Apple Store Gift Cards,
  • Apple Developer Connection products.
  • Software that has a visible software license on the outside of the package can be seen before opening.

Other information is in the “fine print”.

  • Returns on 10 or more of the same item must be returned to the same physical location you purchased it from.
  • The return of any iPhone or iPad does not automatically cancel out any of your subscriptions (You are responsible for closing out a reoccurring subscription you signed up for when using these devices.)

What If Your Gift Was Defective or Damaged When You Received it?

Apple is really good at standing behind their products. If you received a defective or damaged item, you have the same period of time to return it as you would any other item.

Contact the Apple store online or take it to a physical location and let the company know the reason for the return and explain the problem with the product.

You will be offered the option to exchange it for a new one, or you will be provided a refund in the form of an Apple gift card.

Does Apple Offer a Good Christmas Return Policy to Its Customers?

The Christmas return policy offered through Apple isn’t anything special. It is similar to many companies in the same industry.

With that said, Apple does make it a lot easier to send products back considering most of them are electronics. 

If you ask current and previous customers (and we did) how they feel about the Christmas return policy, you will get answers across the board.

Some feel the return period is long enough, with many celebrating with family or friends after the 25th, while others think two weeks is plenty of time to decide if their recipient likes the product. 

Summing Things Up

Apple allows customers to return holiday gifts for up to two weeks after Christmas day.

This can be a relief for those who don’t do their Christmas shopping last minute. They also offer free shipping on all returns and provide gift recipients with a gift card to get a product they really want. 



Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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