Tips for Gift Returns


‘Tis the season to return holiday gifts. 

Here are some tips to make sure the process is stress-free. 

If you are planning to return gifts you received this year, retail experts say the key is understanding the company’s return policy. 

Return policies can really differ. Some stores make it really easy and some make it kind of hard. 

Donna Rosato, Senior Editor at Consumer Reports, says many stores have extended their return period to give you more time to bring back your holiday gifts. 

Stores with the most lenient policies include Nordstrom, L.L. Bean, Zappos and Kohls. 

“Nordstrom has a very generous policy. In fact, they don’t have a policy. They say they take it on a case-by-case basis which means anytime you buy it, it can be turned and they don’t require a receipt,” said Rosato. 

But many retailers will only let you return a gift until the first or second week of January. Other companies won’t take back an item if it was on sale. 

“The stores with the toughest return policies make it really hard to return in a timely way,” said Rosato. 

When it comes to online retailers, items shipped by Amazon between November 1st and December 31st can be returned until January 31st. 

If you are returning to a brick and mortar store, Rosato says make sure you bring the gift receipt if you were given one. If not, expect a store credit or a refund for the lowest sale price. 

Make sure to keep the item in its original packaging and if it is clothing, keep the tags on. 

If you are returning the item from an online retailer like Amazon, some items may be eligible for free return shipping. It’s best to check with the company. 

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