So you’ve been shopping ‘till you drop to get the best deals yesterday and today. And many are heading out this weekend to do more. But 10% of those gifts will be returned according to the National Retail Federation.
I'm embarrassed to say this, but Christmas in my house has sometimes been a nightmare. No one has a filter, and people have no problem opening their gift and saying ‘what were you thinking?!’ Obviously that means a lot of returns. But depending on where they were bought, and when they're returned, they may be yours to keep.
"I don't want it!" screamed one little girl when she opened her Christmas gift.
And you've likely been here before. Fortunately, if you bought that toy at Toys "R" Us you're in luck.
Toys “R” Us
They have a 90 day return policy. Electronics...30 days. But everything needs to be unused and in its original packaging with all of the accessories. You need a receipt if you want your money back. With a gift receipt you can get a store credit.
Nordstrom doesn't really have a return policy. Returns are on a "case-by-case basis" but they're known for pretty much taking everything back. The only caveat, Special-Occasion dresses if they're tagged as no return.
Bed Bath & Beyond
Finally, Bed Bath & Beyond also has a great return policy with no time limit on returns, if you have a receipt or packing slip. Without a receipt, you have one year for a store credit, less twenty percent off the item’s cost.
Now, the toughest return policies, are usually found with electronics stores and electronics purchases starting with Apple.
You have 14 days to return an item, but they are extending their window to January 8th for the holidays. And you had to have bought the product from an Apple store or Apple.com, other your bound by the return policy from the store where it was bought.
Best Buy typically gives you 15 days for returns. But they've also extended their window for returns until January 15th. If you have a Best Buy credit card and are Elite or Elite Plus status, you have 30-45 days. But if you bought something online, you have to pay return shipping fees.
Lastly, fashion retailer Forever 21 is notorious for its strict return policy. Customers have 30 days to return items bought in-store, but it’s only good for a store credit. You can get a full refund for online purchases, but they have to be returned by mail within 30 days from the ship date.
No matter where you shop, check their return policy ahead of time, so you don’t end up with a child who cringes as he says "Is that really our present?"
Ohio law allows retailers to set any refund policy they like, including not accepting returns, as long as they clearly disclose that policy to consumers up front. If a seller doesn't post its refund policy, a consumer is entitled to a refund for returned merchandise.
Stores with the best and worst return policies:
Plus from NBC's Today Show: The Do's and Don'ts of Gift Returns