I get it. You received a Christmas gift that you know you will never use. It happens.
But, how do you handle the return? You don’t want to hurt feelings, but you want to exchange the gift pronto.
How To Handle Holiday Returns
First of all, don’t sit on the gift. If you know you are going to return it, do it immediately. There is a point when it will be too late to take the unwanted gift back.
If you have an Apple product, their cutoff for returns is January 8th. January 16th is the cutoff for returns through Best Buy. Amazon and Macy’s will take returns through the end of January. Target and Walmart usually have a 90 return window.
If possible, go IN PERSON to the store to return the gift — try to avoid returns done by mail.
Sometimes shipping the item back cannot be avoided. If that is the case, print out the label at home, and keep a RECEIPT of sending that gift back through the mail. Get tracking if at all possible.
If that gift gets lost in the mail, and you have proof that you sent it, you are more likely to get a refund issued.
Also, keep it new. Don’t take that gift out of the package, keep tags on it, and don’t wear it. Things are a WHOLE lot easier to return in like new conditions.
Especially if the gift is an electronic item or a game, DVD, or CD, many places won’t take the item back if it has already been opened.
If at all possible, take a receipt. If a gift receipt was included with the present, take that. A lot of places will require some sort of receipt to return an item.
Have your ID ready to hand over to the clerk. Many stores require a driver’s license or ID to return an item.
You also may not know (I sure didn’t!) that Visa, Mastercard, and AMEX have return protection policies. Depending on the card and the item, you can get up to $1000 protection if the store won’t return your item.
They will require proof of purchase, and proof that the store will not return your item, but it is possible that you can at least get some money back through the card the gift was purchased on.
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, the best thing to do is to keep the gift, donate the gift, or regift the item. A lot of times, when products are returned to stores, they can’t be resold — they will end up in a landfill.
Listen — this is important — DON’T regift the item to the person who gave it to you!!! Awkward!!