Did you get the $770 Mauviel copper fondue pot with stand from Williams-Sonoma as your gift in a holiday exchange and know you’ll never use it? Or maybe you want to return some random scarf for a comfy sweater, cute booties or a bag? Many retailers have lenient holiday return policies, so presents can easily be exchanged for a gift more to your taste, even if you don’t have a receipt.
Clothing is the gift most often returned, says Offers.com, with 46 percent of shoppers surveyed saying they will head back to stores to get a different size or style. On the flip side, only 10 percent of gift recipients say they exchange tech gifts.
Most retailers will exchange gifts, although a receipt makes the return process speedier and simpler. There’s one area where that isn’t true: Do not open the packaging for music, movies, video games or computer software if there’s a chance you will return it. Once those items have been taken out of the package, the best you can hope for is an exchange for a similar item in the store.
Return policies vary widely among national retailers, from practically no limits at Nordstrom and Kohl’s, to stringent rules that allow only unopened DVDs and computer software to be returned at Best Buy and other retailers.
Many businesses extend their normal deadline for returns for the holiday season, including Amazon’s holiday policy, which gives you until Jan. 31 to return gifts that were purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. Among the stores known for the easiest return policies are Costco, Lands’ End, Ikea, L.L. Bean, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Zappos, the online shoe and clothing seller.
What is the worst Christmas present you ever received? Share your ideas in comments below.
Patch has checked the return policies of some of the country’s biggest retailers in case you find a present from Santa you’d rather swap out. Here’s hoping you can avoid the long lines at customer service starting on Wednesday, Dec. 26.
You can find the full list of 100+ Holiday Return Policies for 2018 on the Offers.com website.
The Better Business Bureau and Investopedia offer a few tips to help make the return process easier.
Photo by Renee Schiavone/Patch