COVID-Related Shopping Changes Continue As People Return Holiday Gifts

Monday, December 28th 2020, 12:20 pm
By: CBS News

The COVID-related changes we saw during the shopping season continue as people start returning holiday gifts. Many stores are enforcing limits on the number of shoppers and some retailers are offering curbside returns.

Plenty of retailers are giving consumers more time to bring back items because of the pandemic.

“They're extending their return windows, so pay attention to Amazon, Apple, Bed Bath and Beyond, Best Buy, all of the big stores have extended their return window,” said Sara Skirboll, a shopping and trends expert at RetailMeNot.

Skirboll said to keep receipts and understand the store’s policy.

“What condition does that item have to be in, does the tag have to be on? Does it have to be in its original packaging, etc.,” she said.

If you’re sending back a gift bought online, check the box for return information. Make sure to read the fine print and see if the retailer offers a free return label.

It’s important to remember that items shipped now may face some of the pandemic-related delays we saw during the holidays, and it may take some time to receive a credit or reimbursement.

People looking to exchange a gift can find some low prices right now.

“Items are gonna be significantly discounted. So, not only do stores have excess inventory from the holidays, they even had excess inventory from the fall. So, you're gonna find deals anywhere between 25% and up to 75% off on apparel and shoes, for example,” said Skirboll.

That can give shoppers a chance to treat themselves to a post-holiday gift.