Not a winner: What to expect when returning unwanted gifts

Business News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Did Santa get you what you wanted for Christmas this year?

While it’s the thought that counts, chances are there are some gifts you received that you want to return or exchange.

But before heading to the store, Kelsey Coleman of the Better Business Bureau said it’s important to check the fine print.

“Sometimes during the holidays, there’s actually not the same return policy year-round,” Coleman said. “Is there a restocking fee — do they accept a refund?”

Coleman also said there are three important tips to remember when planning to return an unwanted gift:

  • Don’t open the box. Otherwise, the retailer may charge you a restocking fee. This is especially important for electronics.
  • Keep your receipts. Coleman said having the receipt will ensure you get a full refund — otherwise, you might receive a store credit.
  • Bring your ID. Some stores use computerized return systems that detect abuse, meaning you may be required to show your identification.

Online retail platform Oracle reports that 77% of consumers plan to return a portion of their gifts — and nearly 20% expect to return more than half of their gifts. Most of those gifts will be returned in-store and not online.

The National Retail Federation reports that 68% of consumers will also check out post-holiday sales while returning their gifts.

Most retailers also extend their return windows, or tweak their return policies, during the holidays to accommodate the expected rush. Before bringing unwanted gifts back, the National Retail Federation suggests double-checking return policies for individual stores.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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