AUBURN, Alabama—Returning a Christmas gift can cause great concern for many people. However, there is no need to worry. Most retailers accept returns as a matter of normal business.
“Take a gift back as quickly as possible, even though many stores don’t have a time limit,” said Sharlean Briggs, a regional Alabama Extension agent in Family Resource Management & Workforce Development. “If possible, return the item with the tags, box, bag or wrapping paper. This will help in identifying the merchandise.”
Some stores have a 30-day limit. Others will give credit for the sale price only, and others will allow only an exchange.
To save time, it is easy to call and ask the store’s policy. It could save a trip.
“Regardless of the store policy, you have the responsibility of returning gifts in good condition,” Briggs said.
Guide for returning gifts
As a general guide, the following information can help you.
- Most of the large catalog chains accept returned merchandise without question and without receipt.
- Department stores usually take returns, but without a receipt, items on sale are refunded at the sale price. If you have a problem, talk to a department manager or the store manager.
- National chains graciously accept returns, regardless of the store at which the item was purchased. Many do not require a receipt.
- Discount of off-price stores usually require a receipt for refunds. They are more likely to have a time limit, usually 30 days. On the other hand, outlet stores do not usually take returns.
- Small boutiques and individual stores have the most stringent policies. Some do not accept returns; others have a seven-day limit. You can expect many to only give store credit or allow an exchange.