Refund and exchange

In Canada, businesses are not obligated to accept returned items unless they are defective. However, they usually offer refunds or exchanges to help foster good customer relations.

On this page

Refund or exchange policy

Before you buy an item or a service, learn about the seller's refund or exchange policy. These policies are often posted near the cash register. If the return or exchange policy is not available, you can ask the seller and request it in writing (it is often printed on the back of the sales receipt).

Though some stores will allow you to bring certain goods back, refund or exchange conditions may exclude:

  • personal goods such as earrings or swimsuits
  • cash refunds (i.e., exchange or store credit only)
  • promotions and sale items goods not returned within a set number of days

Be sure to know about any such exclusions before making a purchase.

Sales receipt for refunds and exchanges

When you buy an item or a service, make sure you get a receipt. Having one will help make future refunds or exchanges easier. Stores almost always need a sales receipt before accepting any refunds or exchanges.

Refund or exchange complaint

Contact the seller's customer service or manager for help resolving any issues with a refund or exchange. For tips on resolving your complaint, check out The Complaint Roadmap.

If your problem with an exchange or refund persists, or if you feel the seller is not upholding their policy, contact your provincial or territorial consumer affairs office for advice.
A collection of federal, provincial and territorial flags that symbolically represent a collaboration between governments on consumer issues.

Trusted consumer information

Published by the Consumer Measures Committee, a working group of federal, provincial and territorial governments, that helps educate and inform Canadian consumers.