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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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BBB Tip of the Week: Returning holiday gifts

By Tyler Russell Marketplace Manager

In 2017, 28 percent of us returned a holiday gift, with clothing topping the list. Many consumers are just trying to return items that are the wrong size. Many retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, have return policies in place to not only protect the consumer but their businesses as well.

BBB offers the following tips for returning holiday gifts:

Know and understand the seller’s return policy. Make sure you fully understand what is required for a return or exchange, and if you have questions, call the store directly to ask about your specific situation. Brick-and-mortar stores may have different return policies than online counterparts.

Keep the receipt. Include a gift receipt with all gifts so it is easier for the recipient to return or exchange the gift if it’s not the right fit.

Keep original packaging and ask about restocking fees. Some stores may require products be returned in original purchase condition, unused or unopened. In addition, some merchants charge a restocking or “open box” fee for returns of electronic products or large-ticket items. Make sure you read about these policies and ask questions through email or live chat to ensure you understand the policy.

Bring identification. Because of return fraud, some retailers will ask for identification when you are making a return. If you are returning or exchanging a gift you bought, make sure you bring the credit card used to make the purchase in case you don’t have the receipt.

Read product warranty first. In some cases, retail stores are not liable if the product is defective or damaged. They may require consumers to mail the product directly to the manufacturer to receive monetary refunds, credit or product replacement.

Don’t delay. In almost every case, stores require you to return within a specific time frame. If you wait too long, you may miss your chance.

Read the fine print before purchasing a rebate-eligible item. Make sure you understand how the rebate will be issued. Some rebates need to be redeemed immediately and expire after a certain period of time. Read the instructions carefully and check the return policy. You may experience difficulty returning an item if the rebate requires you to open or send in part of the packaging, such as the UPC or box top. Keep a copy of the submitted rebate material and note the date on which you sent it in. Mark your calendar for when you should receive the rebate.

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