While you may receive plenty of Christmas gifts that you like, fit right and work well, chances are, you'll have a gift that will need to be returned for whatever reason.
Investopedia highlights a few tips for a hassle-free return:
- Avoid Opening Packages or Removing Tags: Opening packages or removing tags from items can make it more difficult to return items, and some stores may charge a restocking fee or not accept them at all. This is especially true with gifts like CDs or DVDs, or any item with damaged packaging where the item cannot be resold. Bottom line: Don't open packaging or take off tags until you're sure you want to keep the gift.
- Get the Receipt: Returning an item is usually easier when you have the receipt. Whether it's the original store receipt or a gift receipt, the process will almost always go a lot more smoothly. Some stores may offer store credit on items returned without a receipt, but it just depends on the store.
- Review the Exchange Policy: Every retailer's return policy is different. Once you've decided that you'll be returning a gift, take a look at the store's return policy. This can be found on the merchant's website or on the back of the receipt. Some stores place limits on when gifts can be returned, or may charge restocking fees. Smaller retailers typically have much stricter return policies and almost always require a receipt for returns.
- Beware of Deadlines: Many retailers often impose deadlines on returns. These deadlines tend to vary depending upon the type of item. If you have any question at all as to whether or not you'd like to keep the gift in question, find out first how long you have to make your decision. Timelines for returns may also be shorter for online retailers.
- Defective Items: Items that have been opened but are being exchanged because they are defective, are generally returnable. So if that new DVD player doesn't actually work, you should still be able to exchange it even if you've taken it out of the box. Be sure to try gift items to make sure they're not defective as soon as possible. You don't want to wait too long to return defective items.