Apple Holiday Return Policy (All You Need to Know)

apple Holiday Return Policy

Apple products are always a popular option for great gifts around the holiday season. Everyone is always after the latest and greatest tech items out there and Apple never seems to disappoint.

However, how do you know the person receiving the gift has the option to return it if it’s not something they really want?

So, what is Apple´s holiday return policy? Apple offers customers the option to return items purchased between November 1st through December 25th, until January 8th. This gives the recipient about two weeks from the date the item was received to return or exchange it. 

The holiday return policy offered by Apple is a lot like that offered by many other retailers in the same industry. So, let’s take a quick look at what you can expect this and coming holiday season. 

What is a Holiday Return Policy?

When you buy someone a gift around the holidays, you want to know that they have the option to return it. If they don’t like it, already have it, or it is not something they can use, they can just take it back and get a new one.

This is exactly what holiday return policies are for.

Most stores offer some return policies on their products, but they can vary depending on what you get and from where. 

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Apple Holiday Return Policy 

Apple does offer a holiday return policy for customers around Christmas time, but it isn’t anything impressive and is actually not as good as many other companies. 

Apple’s holiday return policy states that any products purchased between November 1st and December 25th are subject to returns up until January 8th.

Typically these products are purchased as presents and given to the recipient on December 25th or sometimes later. This is good for those who buy gifts early. Unfortunately, that isn’t really helpful for many people.

That gives the person receiving the present two weeks tops to return the item, or they are stuck with it forever. 

What About Exchanges?

The same rule applies for exchange products around the holidays. You have two weeks starting from the 25th to take back and swap out your item. Your exchange can be handled easily in stores or online. 

So, if you got a new laptop case for your computer but didn’t like the color or design, all you have to do is take it back and exchange it for the one you want. This is true for any product in the Apple store.

What Are the Rules and Regulations for Holiday Returns?

When you are returning an Apple product around the holidays, you are still required to follow the same rules and regulations put in place for any other type of return at any other time of the year.

These rules include

  • You can only return Apple products purchased from Apple directly to an Apple Store. Apple products purchased at other stores must be returned to the retailer they were initially bought. (Other retailers may not have the same return and exchange policies)
  • When returning the product, ensure you include everything from the original package, including cords, adapters, documentation, etc. 
  • Every item returned must still be in brand-new unused condition.
  • You can only return software if it was never installed on any device.

Products that are not eligible for returns include,

  • Software that has already been opened
  • Apple gift cards
  • Apple print products
  • Electronic software downloads
  • Software upgrades
  • Apple Developer products.

How Do You Return a Gift to Apple?

If you received an Apple product during the holidays and would like to return it, you can do so online. This is a pretty straightforward process.

When returning a product to Apple, you first need to log onto their website and head to the return lookup page. 

Once there, enter the Apple product serial number. Don’t know where that is?

  • Look at the surface of the product.
  • Choose About This mac from the apple menu (For mac products)
  • Check the original product receipt, invoice, or look right on the package.
  • If you are returning an iPhone, IPod touch, Apple Watch, or iPad, go to settings, click general, then about.

After you put this number into the search bar, click continue. There your product should pull up and you can choose to proceed with the return process.

You can also choose to locate the item by searching with the order number and the UPC.

From there, you will be prompted to enter your contact information and proceed with the return process.

You can also choose to return your product to any Apple store. They can issue you a refund in the form of a gift card which can be used at that time or anytime in the future.

Shipping Your Holiday Return Gift Back to Apple

Once you start the return process and the item is approved for return, you are then required to ship it back to the Apple store. 

Once you are approved for a refund, you will be provided with a prepaid return label along with any hazard stickers required for shipping. You will have to put all these on the package before sending it out. 

Then drop your package off at the closest shipping station or request a pick-up to have it taken care of. Once the item makes its way back, Apple will confirm with you they received it.

You will be issued a refund if everything is in brand new condition and all products have been returned.

How Do You Receive a Refund on Apple Gifts During the Holidays?

If you are returning a gift you received during the holiday season, the company obviously can’t issue a refund to the person that bought it.

In this case, you will be provided store credit in the form of an Apple gift card.

You can use an Apple gift card to buy pretty much anything Apple sells, giving you the opportunity to get yourself a gift you will actually use.

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Can You Return an Apple Gift Card During the Holidays?

Most stores will not allow you to return or exchange a gift card, and for good reason, and Apple is no different. Apple will not accept returns on any gift cards for any reason. 

What Can You Do With An Apple Gift Card You Don’t Want?

If you don’t want the Apple gift card you got for Christmas this year, you can’t take it back to the store. However, there are other options.

  • You can sell it on a gift card resale site. (These sites allow people to sell giftcards typically for less than what it is worth)
  • You can sell them on Ebay or other 3rd party sites (Again, you probably won’t get all your money back.)
  • You can exchange them on a gift card exchange website (this is where you give someone a gift card in exchange for one they have from a different retailer.)
  • You can re-gift it. (Save yourself some money on another family or friend’s birthday present and regift your Apple gift card)

You can also use the Apple gift card to buy something from the company to gift to another person. This is another great way to save money while using the card you didn’t want in the first place.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Refund When Returning a Product to Apple During the Holidays?

If you purchased the item during the holiday season, you can send it back for a full refund, for free, and the payment will be returned to you the same way you paid for the initial purchase.

If you paid by credit card, the money will be put back on the same card you used.

This process is done immediately and the only wait time you have to deal with is on the banks end, which is typically no more than five business days.

If you are returning a gift you got you will receive a refund in the form of an e-gift card by email as soon as the package is revived by the company. 

All returns of $750 will be refunded in the form of a check through the mail. 

Is Apples Holiday Return Policy a Good One?

The return policy offered through Apple is nothing special. While it does give people the peace of mind that a product bought well before the holidays can still be returned if needed, the timeframe after the holidays you have to send it in is pretty limited.

The good part about the return process is that it can all be done right online. This makes it much easier for many people since they don’t have to go directly to an Apple store. 

Often, customers miss the return window simply because they couldn’t find the time to get to the retailer.

Having the opportunity to get through the return process, print the shipping label, and even request for the package to be picked up, makes sending Apple products back much easier than in other places.

What if the Gift I Received Was Broken?

Apple is known to be very fair when it comes to damaged items.

If you received a gift or purchased a gift for someone else that ended up being defective or damaged in any way, you shouldn’t have any issues whatsoever returning or exchanging it with this company.

You can ship it back to the company for free or take it back to any Apple location nearest you to get a gift card for your return or exchange the item for a new, working one.

If you are more interested in an exchange, it is best to contact the store you plan on going to ahead of time to ensure they have the item in stock.

If not, they might be able to provide you with the address of another location that does. This will save you a lot of time and hassle.

What if I Already Opened the Gift?

If you got a present over the holiday season that was an Apple product, and tried it but decided you don’t like it, you can still send it back. 

Apple doesn’t mind accepting returns that have already been opened as long as the return is within the proper time frame, and it is still in brand new condition and working order.

We suggest being extremely gentle when trying out new Apple products until you are absolutely positive you want to keep them.

While Apple might be known for being very lenient about taking back unwanted items, they do have the right to refuse any product if it has been damaged, altered, or dirty in any way.

What Apple Products Should You Buy During the Holidays?

 Apple is always coming out with the latest and greatest tech and gadgets, releasing many of them right before the holiday season.

These electronics are often some of the most popular products to gift to family and friends of any age.

The best part about picking Apple items as presents is that they oftentimes will go on sale around this time. That means you can check off a lot of presents while saving a ton of money.

If you aren’t familiar with Apple products or have no clue what to gift this upcoming season, here are some of the top asked-for items.

  • Macbook Air
  • Air Pods Pro
  • iPhone Pro
  • Apple Watch Series 6
  • Apple LightningCharging Cable
  • iPad Air 2020
  • Apple TV 4K

Another popular present you can give someone during the holidays is an Apple gift card. This is a great way to make sure the person your gifting gets the products they really want. 

Summing Things Up

Apple offers a decent holiday return policy, but it really isn’t anything different than most other retailers out there.

The rules and regulations during this time are similar to those in place throughout the rest of the year.

However, Apple does make returns and exchanges a little easier than we expected, so we have to give credit where credit is due.



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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