Dell Laptop Returns Policy: Ultimate Guide


Dell is one of the most popular PC manufacturers in the world turning over close to $100 billion last year alone.

If you’ve purchased a Dell laptop or are thinking of doing so but have a penchant for returning things, you might wonder what Dell’s laptop return policy is.

To assist you there, we have studied Dell’s returns policy in detail and will bring you up to speed with the returns window, whether you need a receipt, whether you need the box and accessories, how to make a return, and much more.

We’ve even made a competitor comparison to see how Dell’s policy holds up across the market.

Keep reading to find out what we discovered…

Dell’s Laptop Return Policy in Short

In short, you can return a laptop to Dell for a full refund or exchange within 30 days from the date of the packing slip or invoice. We’ve covered below how to make a return.

You can return your Dell laptop for pretty much any reason including:

  • If it’s defective
  • If it’s not what you expected
  • If you’ve ordered in error
  • If it was an unwanted gift

However, Dell’s policy is to charge a restocking fee of 15% of the purchase price less shipping, handling, and tax unless the reason for your return is because the product is defective, is returned due to an error by them, or was purchased for personal use (we’ve covered more about this below).

See our article on Dell’s laptop dead pixel policy if your laptop has dead pixels.

How to Make a Laptop Return to Dell

It’s important that you follow the returns process to a tee otherwise, Dell will likely refuse your return and you may then be out of time.

Follow these steps:

  1. Head over to the order page
  2. Input your order number (see the invoice that will have been emailed to you)
  3. Find your laptop from your orders
  4. Choose return from the menu on the right-hand side
  5. Choose a reason for the return
  6. Choose to either drop off your laptop or have it picked up by Dell
  7. Submit your return and you will receive an email confirming this with your CRA number
  8. Pack your laptop with all its accessories, cables, and manuals into its original box
  9. Ship it to the address you’re given/await pickup but make sure you do this immediately as all returns must be received within 30 days of when they approve your return

It’s vital that you provide your CRA number when making the return, otherwise, Dell will reject the return.

Do I Need a Receipt to Return a Laptop to Dell?

If you’ve ordered your laptop from Dell’s website, then you will have been emailed an invoice upon purchase so Dell will be able to track your order that way.

If you’ve purchased a Dell laptop online from a third-party retailer then you will have also likely received an invoice to your email from that company that you can use to track your order. Failing that, each store will have its own unique returns policy.

If you purchased a Dell laptop in-store then you will normally need a receipt unless the store has a membership system like Costco for example.

Do I Need the Accessories, Box, and Manuals to Return a Laptop to Dell?

Dell’s official policy is that you should return your laptop with its original packaging, boxes, manuals, and accessories in a “like new” condition.

This doesn’t mean you can’t open the laptop to try it first before returning it, but you’re likely to be charged a fee or only receive a partial refund if important items such as chargers or plugs are missing when you make your return.

If you’ve lost some of the packaging or accessories we’d suggest notifying Dell customer service when you request your CRA number.

Is there a Charge for Returning a Laptop to Dell?

dell laptop

If you return a laptop to Dell using the online returns CRA procedure then Dell will provide free return shipping and there will also be no restocking fee provided the laptop is being returned because:

  • It’s defective and/or;
  • It was sent to you due to a mistake by Dell and/or;
  • You are a consumer and purchased the laptop for personal use.

In other situations, there will be a re-stocking fee of 15% of the total cost of the laptop less shipping, handling and tax.

You should further note that if you return your laptop without a CRA number this will be classed as an unauthorized return and you will not be refunded and nor will Dell return the laptop to you!

Can I Return a Laptop to Dell Beyond 30 Days?

Under the strict wording of Dell’s policy, they do say that if the laptop is not received by them within 30 days then the refund or credit can be reduced or eliminated entirely.

If you are just over the 30-day window we’d suggest speaking to Dell over at Dell customer service and explaining the situation – they may be willing to bend the rules slightly, especially if the 30-day window has only just lapsed.


If you’re outside that window by some margin and your laptop has developed a fault then remember that Dell products come with a warranty of between 90 days to 5 years depending on the model which you can use to secure a refund or repair.

Here’s a look at how warranties compare across a broad range of different laptop manufacturers:

laptop warranty by manufacturer


The other option is to look at your insurance coverage. Many policies come with accidental damage, fault protection, and even refund protection which you can claim against, albeit you will likely be charged a deductible and your premiums may increase the next time you renew your policy.

Related Article:
Dell Monitor Returns Policy

How Does Dell’s Returns Window Hold Up Against Competitors?

If you’re still undecided on whether to purchase a Dell laptop from, it’s certainly worth looking at the returns window of other competitors, especially if you tend to return items often.

Dell laptops are sold at various stores across the US, some of which offer more generous returns policies than

To help you there, we’ve done a competitor analysis, and here’s what we found:

Competitor Returns Window Length
Best Buy15 days from receipt of the product
Walmart15 days from purchase
Costco 90 days from the date you receive the product
Target30 days from purchase or 60 days with Target red card
Lenovo.com30 days from the invoice
Kroger30 days from purchase
Lowes30 days from purchase

It’s clear from that comparison that Costco is the best place to buy a Dell laptop as their returns window length is tripled to 90 days compared to the one provided by

Otherwise,’s returns window is fairly typical across the rest of the competition.

In Closing

Dell’s 30-day returns policy is fairly standard across the industry.

If 30 days seems too short then we’d suggest heading to which offers a modest selection of Dell laptops but with Costco’s generous 90-day returns window.

If you’ve already purchased a laptop from but want to make a return then be careful to remember to obtain a CRA number before you initiate the return!

About the author

Oliver graduated from law school in 2008 and has practiced exclusively in the field of civil litigation for the last 10 years. He has a wealth of experience and expertise in litigation involving large financial losses and a special interest in consumer law. He has achieved numerous 7 figure settlements and has been involved in multi-billion dollar class-action consumer lawsuits against companies such as the Volkswagen Group. Away from the law, he is a consumer information and personal finance writer, having been featured in key publications such as Yahoo Finance, GO Banking Rates, NewsBreak, MEL Magazine, and many more.

-Chief Editor and Founder

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