Not Exactly What You Wanted...Return It! Your Guide to Returning Unwanted Holiday Gifts 2013

Written by Sharon Lindell  |  26. December 2013

The holiday season is full of giving and receiving gifts, but you may not have gotten what you really wanted this holiday season. Many stores have great return policies, so you can get what you really want in the end!

Before returning the item, consider regifting; give what you do not need to those who may really want it. Another alternative is donating unwanted clothes or toys to a charity. There are many people who would appreciate your unwanted gifts.

Some things to remember when deciding to return:

  • Homemade gifts cannot be returned. You may consider selling these items at a garage sale or online.
  • Wrong size? This can be an simple exchange at the store if you like the item.
  • You are not going to get cash back. Most (if not all) retail stores will not issue a cash return unless you have a receipt that shows the item was purchased with cash. Generally, this would be the original receipt and most gift givers will not put this in with the gift. You will receive store credit.
  • No gift receipt? Some stores will take back the item and issue a store credit on the item. Be prepared to receive the merchandise credit at the lowest ticketed price instead of full retail.
  • Items must be unused and unopened.
  • Bring ID with you. This is general information they will need to allow a return.
  • Be sure to read return policies carefully. Some stores will not take returns or issue merchandise credits at all. See below about some major stores.

When returning your items, be sure to keep in mind return policies. The return policies are in place to protect stores from fraud, which happens a lot in retail. So check out some of these return policies before venturing to the store!

  • Macy's/Bloomingdale's: These stores have made the returning process very easy because they issue a Customer Return Label on every items they sell. This is an additional barcode that links the purchase price to the item. They will issue a merchandise credit on a card or onto your store credit card.
  • Best Buy: For the holiday season, Best Buy offers extended returns through January 15th on gifts purchased between November 3rd and December 31st.  
  • Bed, Bath, & Beyond: With a gift receipt, you will receive a merchandise credit for future purchases.
  • Target: Target is willing to take back any item purchased from their stores. If you do not have a receipt, there are some restrictions on what they can take back.
  • Walmart: Walmart will take back any returns and actually offers cash back on returns less than $25.
  • Toys R Us/Babies R Us: Returns with gift receipt within 90-days of purchase will be issued a merchandise credit. 
  • Amazon.com: You can return gifts from Amazon.com as long as you have a packing slip. You will need to log into your Amazon account and follow prompts which will lead you to printing return labels. After Amazon receives the return, you will be emailed an Amazon gift card.

There is a lot to consider when returning a gift, but, if you are aware, the process can go smoothly and you can get what you really.

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