Tips for Returning Unwanted Gifts After the Holidays


It’s the day after Christmas which means lines at customer service counters are probably long.

“I’m spent,” Shopper Andrew Gaskievicz said. “No more shopping.”

The day after Christmas can mean one of two things: you’re absolutely content with your gifts… or not so much.

If you plan on returning something, some experts suggest to not head to the store the day after Christmas – hold off a day or two. This is because you’ll not only be in a more relaxed shopping environment, but the cashier will be as well.

Employees are dealing with chaotic times and rude customers right now, so if you’re nice, there’s a better chance they’ll want to help you out.

Also, many retailers have extended return policies.

Best Buy, for example, offers a holiday return and exchange promise, so if you bought anything between October 30th and December 31st, you have until January 15th of next year to return that item.

This one’s obvious, but save the receipt! Keep it somewhere safe if you hope to get cash back depending on the store’s policy. Otherwise, you’ll get store credit.

Keep the product in its original packaging. You might have gotten a little too excited ripping that gift out of its wrapping paper, but many establishments charge restocking fees.

It’s also a good time to take advantage of deals between Christmas and the new year as stores are trying to deplete inventory, and that’s what consumers in the area did Monday.

“I’m hoping to buy a phone case and hoping to get a good deal on it,” Devon Hack said.

“I got a gift card because I got an Xbox for Christmas, and I was going to buy something to put it in,” Kirk Scouten said. “Deals are always a good thing because I’m a penny pincher, so if it’s more than the $30 dollar gift card I got, I ain’t getting it.”

“I bought FIFA, a video game for the PlayStation,” Andy Magee said. “When I got through I only paid $14 dollars for it.”

“I’m here with my son, so he can check out his stuff,” Michael Hack said. “Hopefully I’ll buy something too.”

Lastly, be sure to have proof of identification handy as companies are working to keep track of customers’ spending and returning habits in the effort to prevent retail fraud. 

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