Tips to make sure your holiday gift return process goes smoothly

In the best of times, no one likes standing in line in order to return an item at a store like Target or Walmart. But in a pandemic, most people are looking to limit their time spent around other people.

That being said, if you happened to get a holiday gift recently that you don’t love, it would be smart to have all your receipts and return policies in mind before venturing out. Due to the pandemic, many retailers are being more accepting with their return policies. For example, since many fitting rooms are closed, stores will often allow you to return an item even after you’ve worn it a couple times.

One D.C.-area Better Business Bureau reminded consumers that unless items are defective or misrepresented, stores are not required to accept returns at all, but most do it anyway.

The organization offered the following tips:

  • As a shopper or gift-receiver, it’s a good idea to make sure you know a store’s return policy and have a gift receipt in hand. Also, in your rush to clean up the post-Christmas living room, be sure to hold on to an item’s original packaging in case you may be planning to return that toy or gizmo.
  • Sometimes you’ll be asked to pay return shipping or a restocking fee. It can make sense to return an item to a local store if possible.
  • If you’ve started using an item and it breaks, be sure you’re aware of a product’s warranty. Will the store handle a warranty return for you, or will you need to deal with the company that manufactured the item?
  • Be sure you have your photo ID if you’re making a return in person.
  • Some stores will allow more returns during the holidays, but don’t wait too long. As the year moves along, the return window may tighten.

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