Gifting big electronics? Don’t throw out that box

Young couple in consumer electronics store looking at latest laptop, television and photo camera to buy lcd flat tv(Getty Images/iStockphoto/.shock)
WASHINGTON — A lot of big screens, smartphones and laptops will end up under the tree this year, and if something goes wrong, the warranty should cover it.

Still, you might want to hold off on throwing out the big box it came in.

“As soon as you get home, you’ll be able to test it out, and if for some reason there is any flaw in that product, it will allow you to put the product back in the box and easily return the item,” Ana Smith, of the National Retail Federation in D.C., told WTOP.

“Most major retailers will not accept an item if it doesn’t come with all the pieces, and that includes that big box,” she said.

Don’t toss out the warranty card, either — fill it out and mail it in right away. As for the warranty documentation itself, stash it someplace safe.

Don’t automatically decline that extended warranty many major retailers offer, either. It is usually inexpensive.

“Especially given the fact that some of these pieces of technology tend to age pretty quickly, we highly recommend taking advantage if you have the possibility of paying the extra $30 or $40 for that extended warranty to do so,” Smith said.

One more thing about that big box: It’s not a bad idea to find someplace to store it long-term if you have the space. Should you move, it will be perfect for packing up that big screen.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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