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Many retailers change return policies for the holidays

Do your favorite stores change their return policies for the holiday season? Some do, so you may want to check before you buy.

By MSN Money Partner Dec 20, 2013 1:53PM

This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyAfter spending hours searching for each of the holiday gifts for those on your list, you'd expect them to be the perfect fit -- size or otherwise. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.


Customer and sales assistant haggling © Image Source, Getty ImagesIn fact, a recent survey by RetailMeNot indicates that 42 percent of consumers return some of the gifts they receive for the holidays.


This statistic warrants an understanding of the return policies of popular retailers -- made complicated by the fact that many popular stores change their policies for the holiday season, some for better and some for worse.


"According to the National Retail Federation, 28 percent of stores surveyed change their return policies for the holidays, while 72% keep them the same," says Consumer World.


Consumer World highlighted some of the most generous holiday return policies. 


Among them:

  • Best Buy has a holiday return deadline of Jan. 15 for items purchased after Nov. 2.
  • Toys R Us customers have until Jan. 25 to return most items purchased during the holiday season with the exception of electronics, which must be returned by Jan. 9.
  • Amazon has a deadline of Jan. 31 for most items shipped Nov. 1 through Dec. 31.
  • The 30-day return period for electronics at Target begins Dec. 26 for purchases made since Nov. 1.
  • Some stores, like Kohl's, have no deadline.

It's always better to be safe than sorry, so be sure to check your retailer's website to learn about any changes it may have implemented for the holiday season. Don't let your recipient be stuck with an unwanted gift.


What do you think about the return policy changes retailers make for the holidays?


More on Money Talks News:

36Comments
Dec 20, 2013 5:54PM
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I never return gifts, it usually isn't worth my time and hassle to drive, get in line go through the reasons and so forth so if I get them and don't like them they go to charity for someone else.
Dec 20, 2013 9:39PM
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Some people are nasty when returning their stuffs. Especially, at department stores, people return clothes without receipts and label on the clothes. But mostly they can always return the used clothes for being rude to the customer service and they have to let them return their stuffs. Customer service, although doesn't know what price it is, has to find a similar item and refund the money that way. I am not a cashier, but I happen to be inline behind one of the rude customers.
Dec 23, 2013 12:13PM
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I'm a return clerk and if you could see the abuse of returns that happens you would change your tunes. 
Dec 23, 2013 9:49AM
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.....interesting - the store with the best profits and business models are liberal on their returns.....

 

Kohl's leads the pack with no return restrictions. This way, when you shop there - you know you have zero hassels if you need to return.

 

Likewise - Best Buy is very restrictive on returns. One of the reasons, I never shop there.

 

If you have a receipt and the merchandise is in perfect condtion....the store should always return it.

Dec 20, 2013 5:52PM
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ONE THING TO SAY CASH IS KING NOT CC'S AND ALL THE PERSONAL INFORMATION  GIVEN.  THAT COMES WITH USING A CREDIT CARD.  CREDIT= DEBT. SO IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY IT AND PAY FOR IT YOU SHOULD JUST LEAVE IT AT THE STORE!!!!!!!!
Dec 23, 2013 2:05AM
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I purchased a CD from a local department store many years ago.  When I got home to play the darn thing it had a skip in it.  I took it back and they didn't have the same CD in stock for an exchange.  I told them I wanted a refund then.  They said no, and I replied to a manager that I spend 2 to 3 grand per year at their store, and if you want to keep my business, you better give me a refund.

I got the refund! 

Dec 23, 2013 12:03PM
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For me the whole issue of returns revolves around the theory of moral hazard. Would you be a more discerning, more informed, more discriminating shopper if there was no going back on a purchase? Would stores be more selective in the goods they offer if they knew that poor quality and poor service really meant less business? Would prices come down a bit if stores no longer had the burden of financing a department that only lost money? Would you buy less of the stuff you wanted and more of the stuff you really needed?
Dec 20, 2013 8:23PM
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     I CANT GO ALONG WITH 42% OF THE PEOPLE RETURNING GIFTS.
Dec 23, 2013 1:05PM
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Thank the Al Sharpton crowd for the impossible to open packages designed to keep them from being pilfered and the return policies trying to prevent the same bunch from returning empty boxes or sacks of sand disguised as I-Pads.
Dec 23, 2013 11:41AM
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42% seems awful high. I have returned gifts once in a while. It's always been a hassle. 
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I don't often shop at  Walmart, but when I do, I always return it.   Stay thirsty my friends
Dec 20, 2013 7:58PM
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Kind of how the Obama administration continually change the ACA rules.
Dec 20, 2013 11:19PM
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Retailers would be much wiser to change their return policies to be more customer friendly.  The good will generated by simple return policies would prove to be profitable, I believe.  Good service and return policies have always been things customers appreciate and the retailers are rewarded by happy customers with loyalty even when prices are somewhat higher than elsewhere.  I frequent Nordstrom because of their service.  The cost of Nordstrom's merchandise may be more than Macy's but the difference in quality of service makes a huge difference to me.  I gave up shopping at Macy's many years ago because of their return policies and general service, such as supplying boxes for gifts and help finding specific merchandise when I shop.  Haven't been in a Macy's store in years. 
Dec 20, 2013 9:36PM
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Be sure to buy gifts with a visa in case a store won't give a refund.   A person can then dispute the charge.  If gifts are paid for by cash, you're screwed. 
Dec 20, 2013 9:02PM
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I start hinting at what I want on my FB page. That way, I don't have to embarrass people by telling them that I've thrown their gifts in the trash.  And just remember...no one likes homemade gifts.
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