What Is the DSW Return Policy? The Ultimate Guide for Hassle-Free Returns and Exchanges

dsw return policy

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Did you buy shoes from DSW recently and want to return them?

You’re likely thinking, “What is the DSW return policy?”

The policy for DSW returns provides 90 days from the date of purchase to return items bought from the that don’t meet your expectations.

However, there’s more information you must know before buying your next pair of shoes to avoid any hassle if you need to return the item.

I wrote this guide to discuss the DSW return policy for items you purchased online and in-store.

Let’s begin.

What Is the DSW Return Policy?

The DSW return and exchange policy allows you to return any merchandise for any reason within 90 days of your original purchase date. Besides Final Sale items, you can return any merchandise to a DSW physical store or the DSW website if the item doesn’t meet your expectations.

The merchandise has to be unworn, undamaged, or defective to be eligible for a full refund via your original form of payment.

Unworn means you only tried the shoes for size or comfort and didn’t wear them outside, with the sole having no scuff marks.

You must also include the original sales receipt and packaging when returning an item.

Here’s the general return policy that applies to most items for both online and in-store purchases

In-Store PurchasesOnline Purchases
Return TimeframeWithin 90 days of the purchase date, up to 365 days for DSW VIP Elite membersWithin 90 days of the purchase date, up to 365 days for DSW VIP Elite members
Proof of PurchaseOriginal sales receiptShipping invoice
Item ConditionUnworn, undamaged, or defectiveUnworn, undamaged, or defective
Original PackagingRequiredRequired
Return MethodBring the item to a DSW storeBring the item to a DSW store or send it by mail
Shipping FeesN/A$8.50 but free for DSW VIP Gold and Elite members
Refund MethodDSW credits the refund via the original form of payment.DSW credits the refund via the original form of payment.
Refund Processing TimeImmediate7-10 business days

You don’t have to justify a reason for returning merchandise as long as it meets the abovementioned conditions.

However, there are exceptions to this policy, which I’ll discuss below.

What Are Items You Can’t Return to DSW?

Some items purchased at the DSW store or DSW website are Final Sale products and don’t qualify for returns or exchanges once you open them from their original packaging.

Final Sale items include:

  • Fragrances

  • Dry shampoos

  • Nail polish

  • Facial & beauty care products

  • Products containing alcohol

  • Rechargeable batteries

  • USB rechargeable devices

For specialty products that are still sealed in the original packaging, DSW stores accept them for returns following the 90-day policy. Regardless if the item was an online purchase, the only way to return it is to go to the nearest DSW store.

DSW also doesn’t allow returns or refunds on gift cards.

What Is the DSW Return (Without Receipt) Policy?

Don’t worry if you lose the original receipt for the item you want to return to DSW. The company will still accept your return.

You must present a valid state-issued photo ID card when returning an item without the required proof of purchase.

However, you will get merchandise credit equal to the item’s current selling price instead of a refund.

If you want to return DSW online purchases without a shipping invoice, you will also get merchandise credit equal to the item’s current sale price.

However, if you made the online purchase through your DSW account, you’ll have the transaction record in your purchase history, so a shipping invoice is unnecessary.

DSW reserves the right to limit returns on purchased items without an original receipt or shipping invoice to prevent fraud.

What Is DSW’s Return Policy After 90 Days?

Returning purchased items with an original invoice beyond the returns window will only qualify for a DSW merchandise credit regardless of the original form of payment.

You can use this store credit for any future purchase at a DSW store since it doesn’t expire.

It’s non-negotiable for items to be unworn and in their original packaging when returned, even after 90 days.

Are There Exceptions for DSW VIP Gold and DSW VIP Elite Members?

A DSW VIP Gold or DSW VIP Elite membership has perks when returning or exchanging purchased items.

DSW VIP Gold and VIP Elite members enjoy free return shipping for items purchased online and don’t have to pay the $8.50 shipping fee.

As a DSW VIP Elite member, you get an extended return period of 365 days from the date of purchase instead of the standard 90 days.

Non-membersDSW VIP ClubDSW VIP GoldDSW VIP Elite
Online Returns$8.50 Shipping fee$8.50 Shipping feeFREEFREE
Return By Mail90 Days90 Days90 Days365 Days

Signing up for the DSW VIP Club is free. You can become a Gold member with an annual spend of $200 and an Elite member with an annual spend of $500.

Can You Exchange an Item at DSW?

You can exchange an original purchase for the same shoe item in a different size or color. If exchanging for a different item, follow the returns process and place a new purchase order for the preferred item.

The same conditions apply to exchanges.

Exchanged merchandise should be unworn and in original packaging with the original sales receipt or shipping invoice.

You can exchange an item at your local DSW store or the DSW website.

Exchange an Item In-Store

Take your store purchases to the DSW local store so you can choose another size or color for the same pair of shoes that you want to exchange them with.

Exchange an Item Online

FedEx shipping locations in the US

You must complete the exchange form and bring the package to a FedEx nearby when exchanging an item online.

You can use the prepaid shipping label, so there won’t be any shipping fee. However, if the item you sent for exchange doesn’t meet the required conditions, they will charge you for both the original purchase and the exchange.

Once Designer Shoe Warehouse receives confirmation that you have dropped off your item at FedEx, they will ship the exchanged merchandise to you. You will then receive confirmation and the tracking information for the new item.

Exchanges made within 60 days from the date of purchase will receive a refund for the price difference in your favor between the final purchase price and the current selling price. They will credit this to your original form of payment.

Exchanges made after 60 days will receive merchandise credit for the price difference owed.

You can exchange items purchased using DSW Rewards and have the rewards points credited back if exchanged on the same day of purchase.

Does DSW Accept Returns or Exchanges for Gifts?

Does DSW Accept Returns or Exchanges for Gifts?

For a pair of shoes received as a gift, you can return or exchange them at a DSW store or online following the same conditions, along with a gift receipt.

Any funds from the return or exchange appear as a credit to the original form of payment if done online. If in-store, funds will be in the form of merchandise credit.

You can return final sales items, such as specialty products, received as gifts only if the original seal isn’t opened.

How Does DSW Refund Your Purchase?

Processing of refunds based on DSW return policy takes 7-10 business days from the date that Designer Shoe Warehouse received the item.

If eligible for a full refund, this will appear as a credit to the original form of payment – debit or credit card, Afterpay, or PayPal account.

How Does DSW Refund Your Purchase?

For items paid with a combination of PayPal and a gift card, you will receive a gift card with the full refund amount.

Items purchased through the DSW Rewards certificate or any offer will only be refunded for the final purchase price. DSW Rewards points aren’t credited back for returned items.

Refund Method
With ReceiptFull refund to the original form of payment
(Debit/credit card, Afterpay, Paypal)
Without ReceiptMerchandise credit equal to the current selling
Gift ReceiptMerchandise credit or exchange
Gift Receipt at DSW.comCredit to the original form of payment
(Debit/credit card, Afterpay, Paypal)
DSW Rewards or OffersRefund of the final purchase price only
(No return of used rewards points)
PayPal + Gift CardFull refund to a gift card

How To Return and Exchange Items to DSW: 4 Ways

DSW In-Store Return Policy: Returning Items In-Store

You can bring items eligible for return or exchange to the DSW store regardless of whether these were in-store or online purchases.

DSW Online Return Policy: Returning Items by Mail

Returning items by mail is only allowed for online purchases from dsw.com. You can’t return items by mail if purchased in-store.

To return an online purchase, go to the DSW Return and Exchange page and enter your order number and email. You can find your order number in your order confirmation email and shipping invoice if you don’t know it.

DSW Online Return Policy: Returning Items by Mail

Once inside the portal, choose the item you want to return or exchange and why.

Make sure the item is in its original packaging. Print the prepaid return shipping label and drop it off at any FedEx location.

DSW VIP Gold and Elite members don’t have to pay a return fee. Online shopping purchases paid through DSW Rewards Visa credit card also have no return shipping fee.

Otherwise, you must pay a return shipping fee of $8.50, deducted from the refund.

Returning Online Items via Paperless Mail

DSW has a paperless return process if you don’t have a printer to print the return shipping label.

Follow the same steps as returning items by mail and then bring the package to the nearest FedEx location for assistance with printing the FedEx return label.

Exchanging Items by Mail

The same process for returns by mail applies to exchanges but without the shipping fee.

Once you have dropped off your exchanged merchandise addressed to DSW, FedEx will confirm receipt of the item, and they will send you the new item.

Returning or Exchanging Gifts

You can return or exchange gifts at a DSW store or on their website.

The gift return or exchange process is the same but includes the gift receipt instead of the original receipt or shipping invoice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long Is the DSW Return Policy?

DSW’s return policy allows 90 days for easy returns at a DSW store or website. DSW VIP Elite members have up to 365 days to return an item.

Can You Return Worn Shoes to DSW?

No. You can’t return used or worn shoes to DSW. A pair of shoes has to be unworn and undamaged to qualify for a refund.

Although not covered by the DSW return policy, worn shoes can give you reward points when you donate them to a local DSW store.

How Strict Is Designer Shoe Warehouse Return Policy?

Designer Shoe Warehouse’s return policy is not strict. They allow returns beyond the 90-day window and issue store credit regardless of the original payment method.

Is DSW Return Policy Without Box Possible?

The DSW return policy requires the items to be in their original packaging when returned.

What Is the DSW Return Policy With Receipt?

Always present the original sales receipt when returning or exchanging an item in-store.

Can I Return Shoes to a Store if I Bought Online?

Yes, you can return online orders to a local DSW store. But for items purchased at a store, you can’t return them through DSW online.

What Is the DSW Clearance Return Policy?

You can return or exchange items purchased on clearance or promotion. The refund or exchange amount will be pro-rated based on the discount at the time of the original purchase.

Does the DSW Exchange Policy Allow Worn Shoes?

For the DSW exchange policy, worn shoes are not allowed. The item has to be unworn and undamaged to qualify for an exchange.

DSW Cancel Order: Who To Contact?

You can contact customer service through phone, email, and live chat to cancel an order.

DSW Cancel Order: Who To Contact?

What Does DSW Warranty Cover?

There is a warranty for defective or damaged items purchased at DSW; you can have them returned or exchanged.

The Bottom Line 

Returns and exchanges for DSW merchandise are easy and hassle-free if you know the do’s and don’ts.

Keep your original sales receipt and packaging until you are satisfied with your purchase.

DSW’s return and refund policies may change without prior notice, so contact DSW’s customer service or check the DSW website to ensure you have the latest information before returning any item.

Consider DSW competitors like Macy’s when buying shoes and other items. However, I recommend learning Macy’s return policy before buying anything to ensure you don’t waste time and money.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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