Target Books Return Policy Explained: Full Guide


As one of the biggest retailers in the US, Target is a great place to shop, including for the latest books.

They stock a wide variety of books for all ages with over 200 titles on sale at the time of writing this.

If you’ve purchased a new book from Target but are thinking of returning it, you’ll probably want to know what their returns policy is.

This is a good question because surely people could just buy a book, read it and return it within the returns window. Does Target prevent this?

To bring you up to speed we’ve covered Target’s book return policy in detail including whether you can return a book, what their returns window is, what their no receipt policy is, how to make a return, and much more.

Keep reading to find out…

What is Target’s Book Returns Policy? The Short Answer

Under Target’s policy you can return a book within 90 days after you’ve been invoiced for it for a full refund or exchange. The book should be in “like new” condition and not damaged.

We’ll cover this in more detail below…

But I’ve Already Read the Book, Can I Still Return It?

On the strict wording of Target’s policy, there is nothing stopping you from reading a book within the 90-day window and returning it for a full refund.

However, we’d advise against doing this numerous times as you’re likely to get flagged and refused sale or even reported to the authorities eventually.

If you’re a Target Red Card member, this could also be stopped.

In summary, we wouldn’t advise doing this. Not only is it morally wrong but it could also land you in hot water.

We’d suggest only returning a book if:

  • It’s an unwanted gift
  • It was purchased by mistake
  • It’s not what you expected
  • It’s defective (missing pages or torn etc…)

How to Return a Book to Target?

The simplest way is to simply take the book back to Target with your receipt and make sure it has its dust cover (if it came with one) and anything else it came with.

Simply present your book to the front desk and ask for a refund or exchange and your return should be dealt with.

You can also return your book by using the online process:

  1. Log in to your Target account
  2. Find your purchase history
  3. Locate your iPad order
  4. Choose from either the fix an issue or return option
  5. Print the UPS label off and drop it off at a UPS drop-off point

Target provides free returns so you shouldn’t have to pay.

I Don’t Have a Receipt, Can I Still Return a Book to Target?

You should return your book with a receipt, invoice (if ordered online) or barcode which you can print from your online account or within the app.

Failing that, take along your credit card or debit card statement and Target can identify your order that way.

Target states they can look up orders made with the following cards:

  • Target RedCard
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover

If Target is unable to locate your order then you will be offered a refund via a gift card to spend in-store.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Refund for my Book?


The length of time will depend on whether you used the online returns process where you drop it off with UPS or if you return your item online.

Using the UPS service, expect a refund within 7 to 10 business days as Target will need time to receive your return, process it, and make the refund to your account.

For in-store returns, the return will be processed there and then but allow up to 5 working days for the money to show in your account depending on your credit/debit card provider.

Related Reading:
Target Vacuum Return Policy
Target iPad Return Policy
Target Toy Return Policy

My Book is Damaged, Can I Still Return It?

On the strict wording of Target’s policy, you will need to return your book “in new condition”. However, if it’s clearly come with a defect such as a ripped or missing page then you should make the staff at Target aware of this.

The express wording of their policy states that items that are opened or damaged may be denied a refund or exchange.

We’d suggest contacting Target using their online help center if you have any queries.

How Does Target’s Book Returns Policy Compare to Competitors?

We’ve done a side-by-side analysis to see how Target’s policy holds up against some of its main competitors.

Let’s take a look:

CompetitorReturns Policy
Amazon30 days
CostcoReturn any time
Walmart90 days
Barnes & Noble30 days

It’s plain to see that Target’s returns window is fairly generous and is only matched by Walmart among the competitors we looked at.

We’ll leave it to you as to whether this is a dealmaker when it comes to buying from Target.

I am Outside Target’s 90-Day Returns Window. What to Do?

If you’re only just outside the 90-day returns window, then we’d suggest speaking to a manager using the online help center.

Sometimes there will be a discretion to extend the window, especially if it’s only just elapsed.

The other option is to sell your book:

  • eBay
  • Amazon
  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craig’s List
  • Ziffit
  • Book deal

These are all great places to sell your used books.

Final Thoughts

Target offers a generous 90-day returns policy to return a book purchased from them and they even provide free returns delivery.

We’ve found nothing to suggest that the book needs to remain unread but we’d advise against making numerous, repeated returns and treating Target like a town library.

If you’re already outside the window then you can still make a fairly good return on used books at the places we’ve mentioned above.

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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