Taking the Hassle Out of Holiday Returns


'Tis the season, for holiday returns!

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Christmas & Hanukkah are over which means it’s time to start heading back the stores again, but this time for holiday returns! If you’d like to return that hideous sweater, or double of a movie you already have, then you need to figure out the specific return policy for the retailer the gift was originally purchased. You’ll need to find out if you need a receipt, how long you have to return it and try and get there on a day when it won’t be too hectic.

When it comes to holiday returns though, your two best bets will always be to hold on to all of your receipts (which often list the store’s return policy right on the bottom or backside) and keep all tags attached. Many retailers are cracking down and instilling stricter return policies because of holiday season return fraud. Please note that if you’ve received any movies, video games, music or computer software that you’d like to return the packaging must still be intact. Once the item is out of the packaging the store may not accept the item back, or you may only be able to exchange it for a similar item of similar price in the store. Click here to see a list of the return policy’s of some major retailers.

Save Your Receipts! Whether you keep all of them tossed in a shoebox at home or neatly, organized in a folder, the important thing is that you keep your receipts. Having your receipts will ensure that you get the most back possible when you go do return your item.

Leave Tags On! If there’s even the smallest chance that you may want to return an item, just leave the tag and wrappings on the gift. Without the tag the retailer may not accept the item for return. Some stores also charge a restocking fee if the tag is missing.

Go Early or Late! For the shorter lines, and a less stressful experience, try to go to the stores right after they open or later in the evening. Going anytime right after Christmas though, know now, it’s going to be a zoo no matter what time you go.

Bring Photo ID! Some stores do like to keep track of who is returning what to prevent holiday season return fraud. It’s never a bad idea to have it on you just in case.

Be Nice! Yes, returning gifts after Christmas can be a big pain, yes the lines are long and yes, there are a million other things you’d rather be doing, but be nice! Exercise some patience and realize that the retail worker behind the counter is not your enemy; they are there to help and get you in and out as quickly as possible.

Have some holiday return tips? Let us know in the comments below!