AutoZone is one of the largest car part retailers in the United States with more than 6,000 stores across the country.
You probably have an AutoZone near you, and it may even be your store of choice when you need a new car battery or new brake pads.
What happens when you buy the wrong item?
Many cars require specialized parts based on the make, model, and year of the car that you can’t interchange with similar parts for a different car.
It can be easy to find out too late or have someone provide you with the wrong information.
When you buy the wrong item from AutoZone, can you return it?
What if you don’t have a receipt?
We will cover the AutoZone return policy in detail, including when you don’t have a receipt.
AutoZone Return Policy Without A Receipt
Yes, AutoZone will allow you to return items without a receipt, but you have to follow their directions.
They ask that you contact Autozone Customer support at 800-288-6966 to get the transaction information for your order.
When you are speaking to a representative, they will give the instructions and procedure for returning your items to your nearest AutoZone location.
In most cases, items can be returned to AutoZone within 90 days.
They ask that you provide the original packaging, receipt, and a government-issued ID.
You can return items in-store or by mailing the item to the fulfillment center (if you bought it online).
Government-issued IDs accepted at AutoZone include:
- US/Canadian driver’s license
- US state ID/Canadian providence ID
- US military ID
- Mexican voter registration card
You cannot make a return without an ID.
AutoZone uses the ID to track returns and identify any red flags, such as excessive returns in a short period of time.
AutoZone reserves the right to refuse any return of a used item, especially if the customer broke it.
AutoZone also reserves the right to refuse a return if you do not have the original packaging.
You cannot return a product if you are missing an accessory.
If AutoZone does accept the return, they will keep the product in an assumed transfer of property.
You do not get to keep the product.
1. Core Products
Products that don’t have a receipt or proof of purchase are referred to as “core” items.
You may still be able to return core items as long as they pass an inspection.
The inspection ensures that the product can be resold.
Customers are responsible for all core products sent to the fulfillment center.
2. Returning Batteries
Batteries contain battery fluid.
Some stores won’t take back batteries, especially if they are out of the packaging, but AutoZone will accept battery returns.
Ideally, you can return the battery unopened in its original packaging.
However, AutoZone will take back a faulty car battery within the warranty period, even if you already installed it in your vehicle.
3. Without A Receipt
If you don’t have the receipt, you may run into some complications.
However, you can still make a return if you have a warranty on the product, or if an associate can locate the receipt for you.
For help locating a receipt, call AutoZone customer service at 800-288-6966.
A customer service representative can help you locate your receipt in their extensive system not available to the in-store associates.
They may be able to find the product using your credit card information if you paid with a card.
If you paid with cash, you may be out of luck unless your product is under warranty.
Customer service associates and in-store associates can look up products based on your phone number or the SKU number if it has a warranty on it.
If you can’t locate your receipt using your credit card or the product warranty, you may still be able to return the product for in-store credit.
As long as you still have the product in its original packaging and it’s a recent item, you shouldn’t run into a problem if you want to use the refund toward other items at the store.
4. AutoZone Rewards
One final way employees may be able to locate your receipt is if you purchased it using your AutoZone Rewards account.
To purchase something under your AutoZone Rewards account, you start by signing up.
You can sign up online or in-store.
When you make a purchase, you simply enter the phone number associated with your rewards account when you buy your products.
You will be able to look up all purchases quickly and easily through an app on your phone or the website.
Other benefits you receive with the AutoZone Rewards program include:
- Receive a $20 reward after every five credits
- Mange vehicles
- Access free repair guides
- Get exclusive discounts
If you aren’t already part of the rewards program, you should sign up today to receive all the benefits and never worry about losing your receipt again.
Before Returning A Product to AutoZone
Before you return a product to AutoZone, they expect you to take certain precautions and courtesies.
1. Empty All Fluids
Certain items you buy from AutoZone, especially power tools, grills, and engines, may run off of gas or incorporate some other sort of liquid.
If you need to return the item, you need to empty all liquids from it in advance.
AutoZone asks customers to do this to ensure safety and eliminate the possibility of an unwanted mess.
2. Clean Oil And Grease
If you try a car part that doesn’t work, it may get dirty in the process.
As a courtesy, it’s your responsibility to clean the component before you return it.
Since grease and oil are notoriously difficult to clean, you need the right products.
Mild situations may only require soap and water.
However, a degreaser will keep the car parts from feeling sticky.
Many people find success using Pine-Sol or oven cleaner.
AutoZone Items You Can’t Return
There are a couple of items that AutoZone will not accept as a return under any circumstances for a variety of reasons, whether you have the receipt or not.
However, you may have alternative ways to resell the items yourself.
1. Gift Cards
Most retailers do not accept gift card returns under any circumstances, and that also applies to AutoZone.
Most retailers do this to eliminate the chance of fraud.
AutoZone sells gift cards in denominations between $20 and $200.
You can buy them in-store, or you can buy them online and send the gift card to the recipient’s email address.
If you buy a gift card from AutoZone and decide against the purchase, you still have options, even if you can’t return the gift card to the store.
Some things to do with your unwanted gift card include:
- Sell it to someone you know for cash
- Gift it to a friend or family member
- Donate the gift card to charity (Kars-4-Kids)
- Exchange or sell the gift card online
You may not be about to recoup the entire amount of the gift card when you sell it as many people look for deals when buying resold gift cards.
2. “Final Sale” Items
When you walk through the aisles of AutoZone, you may notice products for sale with a “Final Sale” sticker on it.
As the signage indicates, this is your last chance to buy the product.
However, these products are usually sold under the “Final Sale” policy for a reason, such as the product has been discontinued or deemed obsolete.
3. Customized Products
AutoZone sells personalized products, such as floor mats with your name on them.
Once they make the customized item, you cannot return it.
There’s very little chance that another person with your exact name will want to buy it.
Before you purchase customized floor mats, always double-check the spelling and make sure that every letter is easy to read.
If you plan to make the purchase as a gift for someone else, it’s best to talk to them about it first in case they get stuck with a second personalized floor mat that they can’t replace.
Returning Online Purchases
Many people prefer buying items online these days, and AutoZone accommodates these customers by allowing people to buy items on their website for delivery or in-store pickup.
One benefit of making purchases online is that you can always find records of your purchases online so that you always have a receipt available.
When you buy something and have it delivered to your home, you may receive it only to find out that you misunderstood the description, or the product got damaged in transit.
When this happens, you can return the product in-store.
However, you probably purchased online to avoid having to go into the store.
You can return online purchases to the nearest Fulfillment Center via mail.
Keep in mind that AutoZone only pays for the return shipping in the case that they made an error.
You will be responsible for covering the shipping cost otherwise.
If you live outside of the United States, you will need to cover the delivery costs for the return upfront.
If they find that you deserve reimbursement for the delivery costs, they will refund you for the expense in the form of a check.
How To Return Items To Fulfillment Center
If you don’t mind waiting a couple of days for your refund and don’t want to replace your product with another item right away, returning your item via mail may be the most convenient solution for you.
Here are the simple steps you need to take to mail a return to AutoZone’s fulfillment center:
Step One: Fill Out Return Form
AutoZone asks that all customers fill out a return form when returning an online purchase to provide people at the warehouse with the information they need to process the return quickly.
The return form asks for basic information about the purchase and your contact information.
You can find the return form on part B of your shipping invoice.
Step Two: Package Product
Put the product you want to return back into its original packaging.
Then, you will put the package into a larger box appropriate for delivery.
Don’t forget to include a copy of your receipt.
If returning something fragile, you should include additional packaging to keep your item safe in transit, such as bubble wrap.
Step Three: Stick Shipping Label On Package
If you qualify for a free shipping label, you can get one by calling AutoZone customer support.
They will send the shipping label to you, which may take a couple of days.
Once you get the shipping label, you will put the label onto your package.
Step Four: Take To Local Post Office Or Delivery Company
You will need to take the package to a local delivery service to send it out.
Some of the most popular delivery services include:
- United States Postal Service (USPS)
While USPS tends to have the lowest rates, they also tend to have the slowest delivery times.
If shipping from outside of the United States, don’t forget to include the receipt for the delivery services so that they know how much to reimburse you.
Step Five: Wait For Return
Once the fulfillment center receives your package, they must process the return, including an inspection of the product.
Assuming that the product passes the inspection, you can expect to see the return applied to the cc you used to purchase it within five to seven days.
Once you get your money back, you can make your next purchase.
If your product doesn’t pass the inspection, you will get a notice clarifying their findings and why they made their decision.
AutoZone Return Policy Vs. Advance Auto Parts Return Policy
One of AutoZone’s greatest competitors is Advance Auto Parts.
They both have a very large presence in the United States and Canada.
Advance Auto Parts has 5,261 stores in the United States and Canada, while AutoZone has 4,982 stores in the United States and Canada.
However, AutoZone has 5,384 stores when you include the stores in Mexico.
Advance Auto Parts does not have a presence in Mexico yet at this point.
How do the car part retailers compare when it comes to their return policy?
AutoZone has the more accommodating return policy by far.
AutoZone allows you to return items after 90 days, while Advance Auto Parts only give you 45 days.
Furthermore, Advance Auto Parts has a much larger number of items they consider “final sale” items.
- 4WD Switches
- ABS Speed Sensors
- Heater Switches
- Air Injection Valves
- Temperature Sensors
- Blower Motor Resistors
- Blower Switches
- Camshaft Position Sensors
- Crankshaft Sensors
- Combination Switch Connectors
- Engine Computers
- Coolant Temperature Sensors
- Cruise Control Relay
- Dimmer Switches
- Distributor Cap and Rotor Kits
- Distributor Parts
- Door Jamb Switches
- Door Lock Actuators
- Door Lock Switches
- EGR Pressure Feedback Sensors
- EGR Valve Position Sensors
- EGR Valve Temperature Sensors
- EGR Valves
- Fuel Injection Kits
- Fuel Pressure Regulators
- Fuel Pump Components
- Fuel Pumps
- Engine Gaskets
- Gasket Kits
- Headlight Switches
- Idle Air Controls
- Ignition Coils
- Ignition Modules
- Ignition Pickups
- Ignition Switches
- Impact Sensors
- Knock Sensors
- Lighting Connectors
- Door Lock Cylinders
- Mass Airflow Sensors
- MAP Sensors
- Mirror Switches
- Neutral Safety Switches
- Oil Pressure Switches
- Oxygen Sensors
- Pedal Sensors
- Points and Condensers
- Power Window Switches
- Purge Valves
- Smog Pump Kits
- Smog Pumps
- Speed Sensors
- Steering Angle Sensor
- Stoplight Switches
- Switch Connectors
- Temperature Switches
- Throttle Bodies
- Throttle Position Sensors
- TPMS Sensors
- Turbo Chargers
- Turbo Charger Parts
- Turbo Charger Sensors
- Turbo Charger Solenoids
- Turn Signal Switches
- Vacuum Pumps
- Variable Valve Timing Actuators
- VVT Solenoids
- Voltage Regulators
- Wiper Switches
AutoZone is a great place to buy car parts.
Always be careful about purchases before you make them.
However, if you get a damaged part or bought the wrong item, you can return most items within 90 days as long as you have a receipt.
While AutoZone doesn’t take returns without a receipt, they have ways to help you locate the receipt and process the return.