Returning unwanted gifts? Time is of the essence

WASHINGTON – The after-Christmas rush to return unwanted gifts is upon us. In fact, the National Retail Federation says 17 percent of consumers will return or exchange an unwanted gift this year.

“Make sure you have that gift receipt, make sure you leave the tags on and don’t assume you have time,” said The Deal Guy Matt Granite.

Granite said those looking to return gifts need to first determine how much time they have left, before the store closes the return or exchange window.

For gifts purchased at Nordstrom, they have one of the best return policies according to Granite because there is no time limit to return products purchased.

Macy’s also ranks high because it gives shoppers 180 days to make returns. Also, receiving good marks for its return policy according is the shoe website Zappos, which has a year-long policy that allows for returns.

Among the worst return policies according to Granite is a website which many tout for great customer service: Amazon. The retail giant only gives you 30 days to send something back.

“Just because a store has amazing customer service does not mean they have a good return policy,” Granite said.

Also, ranking among the worst for return policies according to Granite are Walmart and Best Buy, which require reading a lot of fine print to figure out how long a person has to return the gift they were given.

“It’s almost like you need a Ph.D in returns to figure out what goes where,” Granite said.

For people who find themselves with gifts they don’t want and can’t return, Granite said there are options for turning it into some cash.

For people looking to sell a gift or two, Granite said eBay remains a popular destination.

“Rather than companies and conglomerates trying to sell used items on eBay or get cash back for them, eBay has a decent program for the everyday consumer,” Granite said.

Now for people with smartphones and tablets, there are websites which will give quick offers for those devices.

For Apple products Granite recommends, which he says has shown among the highest payouts for devices.

Mike Murillo

Mike Murillo is a reporter and anchor at WTOP. Before joining WTOP in 2013, he worked in radio in Orlando, New York City and Philadelphia.

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