Navigating Returns and Exchanges at Hobby Lobby

My Tips and Experiences with the Craft Store’s Policies

As an avid crafter and frequenter of Hobby Lobby for all my project needs, I’ve become very familiar with the ins and outs of their return and exchange policies. Whether you’re a first-time Hobby Lobby shopper or a seasoned pro, it never hurts to understand the store’s rules on getting a refund or swap for an item. From time limits to receipt requirements, I’ll share everything I’ve learned from my own experiences returning and exchanging products at Hobby Lobby. Read on for help understanding the retailers policies and making the process smooth!

The General Return Policy

Hobby Lobby accepts returns and exchanges on most regular priced merchandise within 90 days of purchase as long as you have your original receipt. This means you’ll need to make note of that receipt date and make sure you start the return process within three months. Without a receipt, returns are only accepted within 30 days of purchase.

Hobby Lobby does not accept returns or exchanges on holiday merchandise, special order custom items, gift cards, magazines or books. Clearance items must be returned within 14 days of purchase. Defective merchandise can be returned at any time, but may need to be exchanged for the same item if it’s no longer carried in stores.

Returning In-Store Purchases

If you made your purchase at a Hobby Lobby store, returns and exchanges can be completed at any location nationwide. I like this flexibility – no need to go back to the original store you bought it from.

Just bring the item(s), original receipt, and payment method used (if you’ll be exchanging rather than just returning) to the customer service desk. An associate will check that your return meets the 90 day policy for receipted returns or 30 days for no receipt.

As long as everything checks out, they will process the refund or exchange. Just be aware that without a receipt, returns are only issued in the form of a store merchandise credit rather than back to your original payment method.

Online Order Return Options

For online purchases, you can return items by mail or at your local Hobby Lobby store. To return by mail, you’ll need to contact Hobby Lobby’s customer service team for a return authorization number and instructions. Make sure you have your order invoice handy when you call.

If you opt to return an online order to a store, just bring the original receipt or packing slip along with the merchandise to the customer service desk within 90 days. Defective online purchases can always be returned this way too, even outside the typical return window.

An important note – any shipping charges on online orders are refunded when you return by mail, but not when returning in stores.

The Dreaded No Receipt Return

We’ve all been there – you discover an item you want to return but can’t seem to track down the receipt. As long as it’s within 30 days of purchase, Hobby Lobby will still take back your return and provide store credit without a receipt. Just be aware, you’ll need to show your photo ID for verification.

Returns older than 30 days absolutely must have the original receipt for both a refund and exchange. If you’ve passed that window, your only option is to exchange the item for one of equal value if you lost your receipt. No discounts or price adjustments are made when exchanging without a receipt.

Returning Defective or Damaged Goods

Occasionally, a defective or damaged item slips through quality control. If you discover an issue with a product you purchased at Hobby Lobby, let an associate know right away. Defective merchandise can be returned at any time, but damaged goods follow the standard return policy time limits.

Depending on whether the item is still available in store, Hobby Lobby will offer an even exchange or refund. For defective online purchases, you’ll need to contact customer service to make arrangements for replacement items to be shipped or refunds processed.

Always good to inspect merchandise before purchasing to catch any defects early!

Exchanging Instead of Returning

If you decide you’d rather swap your Hobby Lobby purchase for something else instead of returning, no problem! Exchanges follow the same policies and time limits as returns.

Within 90 days with a receipt, 30 days without, you can exchange for something of equal or greater value. Exchanges beyond 90 days can only be done with the original receipt. Gift returns work the same way – just make sure you have the gift receipt or original receipt for easiest exchanges.

One tip: exchanges for online purchases can only be done by returning the original items then placing a new order. Hobby Lobby won’t directly swap an online item for something else in stores.

Restocking Fees

Luckily, Hobby Lobby does not charge any restocking fees on returns or exchanges. As long as you’re within the specified time frame, you can get a full refund or exchange without paying any additional costs. This is a nice perk compared to some other retailers that may deduct fees from your refund amount.

Returning Clearance Items

Clearance shoppers, pay close attention! Hobby Lobby allows returns and exchanges on clearance merchandise, but only within 14 days of original purchase. And you must have the original receipt in order to get credit on a clearance return.

Keep those timelines in mind if buying an item that’s been marked down. Always good to double check the return policy for clearance before purchasing.

Refund Methods

When you return an item to Hobby Lobby with the receipt, your refund will be issued to the original form of payment – whether that’s cash, credit card, or gift card. No receipt returns will always be refunded to a store merchandise credit.

For defective merchandise refunds, you’ll typically receive the same form of original payment. But if that method is unavailable for whatever reason, store credit will be issued instead.

Refunds are not provided on gift cards or magazine subscriptions under any circumstances. Store credit is the only option there.

Returning Post-Holiday Items

Holiday and seasonal merchandise is final sale at Hobby Lobby. That means no returns or exchanges are allowed on Christmas, Easter, Halloween or any holiday-related purchases.

I learned this lesson the hard way after trying to return some unused ornaments and Halloween crafts well after the season ended. Even with a receipt, these kinds of holiday supplies cannot be returned – so choose carefully when holiday shopping!

The fabric and Crafting Material Return Policy

With so many crafty materials to choose from, Hobby Lobby’s rules on returning cut fabrics and other custom-cut products are important to note. Uncut fabrics and materials can be returned with the original receipt within 90 days of purchase.

However, any custom cut fabric or materials cannot be returned, except for defects. Once that bolt of fabric has been cut to your requested length, that’s a final sale. Same goes for wood, glass, leather, or other custom-crafted materials.

This policy is designed to maintain quality standards on materials that have been altered from their original state. So make sure your measurements are precisely what you need before purchasing custom-cut goods at Hobby Lobby.

Gift Card and Gift Return Nuances

If you need to return an item purchased with a Hobby Lobby gift card, you’ll receive a refund back to a new store gift card, not the original card. Something to note if you need to swap out a gift.

For gifts, having that gift receipt makes returns and exchanges much simpler. But even without one, any Hobby Lobby store associate can look up the purchase with the purchaser’s information to process a refund or swap for something else.

Shipping Costs on Online Returns

Here’s a big one to remember – shipping fees incurred on an online Hobby Lobby order are refunded when you return items directly by mail, but not when returning those online purchases to a physical store location.

I found this out after returning part of an online order to my local store and realizing the $8 shipping wasn’t included in my refund. Definitely opt to return online orders directly by mail if you want those fees credited back.

Processing Times for Refunds

In my experience, refunds via store credit are processed right away at the time of return. But for other forms of payment, it typically takes 1-2 billing cycles for the funds to show up in your account again.

Hobby Lobby notes it may take up to two weeks to process returns and issue refunds. Just don’t expect that credit card refund to happen instantly – give it a few weeks.

Who to Contact with Questions

If you ever have any other questions about Hobby Lobby’s return and exchange policies, you can call their customer service line at (800) 888-0321 or reach out on their website’s Contact Us form. The retail stores can also help answer any policy questions.

I always recommend jotting down the customer service number and saving your receipts just in case you need to call about a return concern later.

The Takeaway

While it may seem daunting at first, Hobby Lobby’s return and exchange policies follow similar time limits and guidelines as many other retailers. Focus on sticking within the 90 day window for receipted returns, 30 days without a receipt, and 14 days for clearance.

And don’t try returning holiday supplies months later – Hobby Lobby won’t allow it! With your receipt on hand and some knowledge of the policies, you can easily navigate returns and exchanges at America’s favorite arts and crafts store.

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