August 22, 2019

Gone are the glory days when you could return items hassle-free to your favourite stores. In our modern era peppered with con-people, theft and dishonesty, it’s not a surprise that shops are becoming stricter with their returns policy. Big W has now joined in this trend with recent changes, making their refund policy more stringent.

From mid-August 2019, Big W has announced that it won’t be accepting any returns, refunds or exchanges without a receipt.

Even though I was never really aware of official policy, I always assumed that I would only get a direct refund if I produced a receipt. However, I have, in the past, taken back unwanted gifts to larger stores like Kmart and Big W, without a receipt, and received a store credit or gift voucher of the same value.

However, it looks like most stores have cracked down on any kind of returns or exchanges without proof of purchase.

No Receipt! No Return!

Big W has said in a statement:

“BIG W will happily give customers a refund or exchange within 90 days of purchase, provided they have a proof of purchase and the product is still in its original and saleable condition (and packaging with all accessories included has not been worn or used) and if a perishable product, is not expired.

There are no returns on a personalised item, digital download, pre-paid card, voucher or clearance items.”

However, all is not lost for those keen to return unwanted gifts and a Big W spokesperson have assured customers saying:

“In the case of returning a gift, we are working on a gift receipt solution for customers that will be introduced in the near future.”

Kmart’s official policy, also insists that an original receipt is presented for an exchange or return and only allows a 28-day return policy, while Big W’s policy is very generous, offering 90 days to change your mind.

Thumb’s Up

Most customers are supportive of this new policy, posting in a Big W facebook group saying:

“The policy before was any Big W brand item ie clothing could be returned and exchanged without a receipt. Instead of refunds, gift cards were issued for the value of the items. The reason this is being changed now is because of the amount of people who are grabbing clothes from the racks and claiming they don’t fit but don’t have a receipt so therefore they got a gift card for the value so then went and bought other stuff with that card, which is a loss to Big W. As someone who works in returns at Big W, I saw this happen literally multiple times a day.”

“Good about time !!” and “lol yep that will teach the lazy and dodgy buggers”

“I’m surprised they haven’t done this sooner. It ruins it for people who actually do the right thing though.”

“What’s the big deal? The ones making a fuss are probably the same ones that never keep a receipt and complain when they don’t get their own way”

Thumb’s Down

Other shoppers were a bit perturbed about this new rule:
“What if it is a gift and you need to swap it for a bigger size? That kind of sucks.”

Don’t Blame The Staff

Staff are sure to cop some flack about this so one concerned poster has reminded everyone:

“Just remember it’s not the staff’s fault, they do not make the rules just paid to do as they are told by their manager so when you are told that they can’t refund or exchange your unreceipted item/s there’s no use in throwing a temper tantrum at them!”

Are you supportive of this new policy? Tell us in the comments below.

More On Mouths of Mums


  • I always assumed this was the case anyway?


  • I think this is pretty fair


  • It’ll be hard for gifts, but I guess if that’s what they have to do


  • I always assumed you needed a receipt to return an item anyway … I don’t see that this is a problem (unless of course it is a gift that needs to be exchanged for, say, a different size or colour … does that now mean that isn’t possible?)


  • I didn’t even know that before you could return an item without having a receipt!


  • I don’t mind this policy, the only thing is if its a double up on a gift or clothing gift that needs exchanging, then it could be tricky


  • thanks for the update! i do like the 90 days policy! and it’s pretty much everywhere now – no receipt no return.


  • I always thought that you had to have a receipt already anyway?


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?

No picture uploaded yet
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.

Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just submit?

Write A Rating Just Submit