‘Tis the season for giving…and returning. According to a recent survey by digital offers destination RetailMeNot, 32% shoppers say they typically return at least some presents they receive from family and friends. While this is a decline from 2013 when close to half (45%) of shoppers admitted to making gift returns, there are still a few things all consumers should know when it comes to returning items.
Check out these helpful tips from Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor at RetailMeNot:
- Handle with care:The more pristine an item looks when you return it, the better your returning experience will be. Keep all tags on and save all boxes – essentially, the easier it will be for the store to put the item back on the shelf, the better
- Know the store policy: It’s safe to assume that if you’re returning in-store within 15 days (or 30 days in many cases) and you have a receipt, that you will receive the full purchase price back. But, if you are beyond 15 days and/or do not have a receipt, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the return policy of the store so you know what to expect when you get there.
- Note: In 2013, some stores, like Best Buy, Sears and Toys R Us changed their policies around the holidays – more restrictions, smaller window for returning, etc.
- Be prepared:
o Even if you have a gift receipt, many stores prefer to give a store credit/gift card rather than give you cash or apply a credit your charge card.
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o If you don't have a receipt, you will most likely be given a store credit/gift card, and depending on the store, you might only receive the current price of the item you are returning. Post-Christmas, that could be the clearance price.
o If you have a receipt but are beyond a store’s preferred window to return, you may only receive the current price.
- Returning online: Most sites have policies that offer a full refund within 30 days or so, but be mindful of the policies regarding return shipping. While some sites will send you a pre-printed return label, a return shipping fee will be automatically be deducted from your return. Other sites ask the consumer to pay and arrange for their own return shipping. A few of Trae’s favorite online retailers with great return policies can be found here.
- Last resort: If you can’t get a good deal on your return, consider re-gifting! Remember, one person's eyesore is another person's Picasso.
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