Not a fan of that Christmas sweater from grandma? Tips for a smooth return

Posted at 9:30 AM, Dec 25, 2018

As you open your holiday gifts, you might have to make some decisions about what to do with those that don’t fit, you don’t want, or just don’t like.

This year’s survey of holiday shoppers by the National Retail Federation asked a lot of questions about retailers’ return policies.

“And one-third of shoppers said it was really important for the store they choose to shop at to have an easy return policy,” said Donna Rosato of Consumer Reports.

With that in mind, Rosato and staff at Consumer Reports rated the best and worst return policies at retailers nationwide and found many willing to make returning as painless as purchasing.

“A lot of companies now do want to make it easier,” Rosato said. “They’ll give you a free shipping label to send it back if you need to make the return.”

That’s the case with online as well as in-store purchases but, she says, consumers also have to be a help to make it easier for the store to honor a return.

“What you’re gonna want to do (is) check the return policy. The most generous stores give you almost unlimited time but that’s unusual,” Rosato said.

Usually, you’ll have at least up to 30 days to make a return, which is also easier with a receipt and with gently opened packaging.

“Some retailers will not want you to return the gift unless it has the original tags and sometimes, the original packaging,” Rosato added.

So rip open only the gift wrapping, not the gift, until you’re sure it’s the gift you really want.

Related links:
Consumer Reports: Guide to Returning Gifts: Retailers With the Best and Worst Policies