Tips On Returning Christmas Gifts

Friday, December 26th 2014, 8:46 am
By: News 9

If Santa got it wrong this year, there are a number of things you should know before heading to the mall to return gifts.

Some stores are open as early as 6 a.m. to accommodate people redeeming gift cards, raiding the clearance racks, and exchanging or returning what Santa gave them.

Most stores have their own return policy so check a store's website or the back of a receipt.

Keep in mind, most returns for clearance or seasonal items might be different than something sold at full price. So if you don't have your receipt and you return an item, you will likely get the store credit at its current price, not what someone paid for your gift.

First, keep the receipts. Without the original receipt or a gift receipt, you will not be able to get cash but you be able to get store credit.

Be aware of restocking fees. This usually applies to electronics. Some stores say keep the original packaging unopened to avoid paying this fee which can be as high as 15 percent.

If your gift was purchased online, you may have to pay a return shipping fee. But many stores allow your returns at a brick and mortar store instead.

If you can't return it, you can give it to someone else, sell it online or donate it.

All these rules for consumers are really to protect businesses. The National Retail Federation reported people who commit what's known as "return fraud" this holiday season will cost the retail industry $3.8 billion, up from last year's $3.4 billion.

Usually whenever there is a large cost to companies, it often gets passed on to consumers.