Will Nordstrom Really Take ANYTHING Back? I've Got Answers! UPDATED with Nordstrom's Official Response!

NordstromIn just a few months, Nashville will FINALLY be getting a Nordstrom and, as you can imagine, I'm beside myself with excitement.

Since the new Nordstrom (currently under construction) is a big topic of conversation among my mom friends, I've begun hearing more and more about Nordstrom's exceptional return policy.

"Nordstrom takes back anything!" one of my friends told me recently. "I had a pair of shoes from Nordstrom that were four years old and they took them back!"

"Nordstrom even took back a set of snow tires!" another friend claimed. "Or was it a chainsaw? Anyway, a man brought it in and even though Nordstrom didn't sell it to him, they gave him a refund!"

I found the snow tire story hard to believe. However, I've heard it several times since my friend recounted it to me.

Is it true? And what is Nordstrom's actual return policy, anyway? Read on to find out!


Lucky for us, Snopes has investigated the widely circulated snow tire story and found that it's ...

Maybe true. And maybe not.

John Nordstrom (of the Nordstrom Nordstroms) claims the story is true and has been quoted as saying he was there when it happened. Making the story more plausible, he says the Nordstrom in question had once been a tire store and the customer may have been confused. With that in mind, the tires were accepted by the employee.

However, in the 1980s the company itself said the story was not true, but that it was often repeated simply because the department store chain's liberal return policy is truly legendary.

Whether the story is true or not, the fact is that, unlike at most other stores, Nordstrom will generally take your purchase back without a receipt if it carries the item in question. Items that clearly couldn't have been sold at Nordstrom however (like snow tires and chainsaws) aren't eligible for return.

Hey. That's good enough for me.

Nordstrom also is smart enough not to put the specifics of its return policy in writing. From the Nordstrom website:

How do I make a return at Nordstrom?

For an in-store return, contact or stop by the Nordstrom store nearest you, and we will make every effort to see that your needs are met.

Why not be more specific? Because apparently Nordstrom has problems from time to time with customers returning obviously well-worn merchandise. Specifically LINGERIE. In one hilarious fashion forum discussion on the subject, a user had this to say:

My sister works for the lingerie department at Nordstroms. Just imagine the crap, the seriously naaasty crap that people come to return.


So tell me, readers. Have you had any experience with Nordstrom's return policy? And are there other stores you can think of that make returns easy peasy? I'd love to know about them!

UPDATE: Here's an official answer to this post from Nordstrom PR rep John Bailey:

"We are  really  excited to open our doors in Nashville next September (9/16) and start serving customers.

You mentioned in your blog about how we handle returns We have no formal policy regarding the return of merchandise at Nordstrom.  We handle all returns on case by case basis, with the ultimate objective of taking care of the customer.  We want our customers to know that if theyve purchased something from Nordstrom that isnt right, well work hard to find a solution.  A valid government issued photo ID is required for all cash refunds.

Also, the tire story is true and it is true that John Nordstrom was there.   When we opened our store in Alaska, we purchased a business where tires and other goods were sold. When the customer came into our store to return the tires, he claimed he’d purchased in that location, we figured that was true and honored his claim."


Thanks for the official lowdown, John!

Image via Hans van de Bruggen/Flickr

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