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Returning Gifts? Here Are Some Things To Keep In Mind

FILE (Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Santa may or may not have given you what you wanted for Christmas, and chances are there is a gift or two you might want to return.

If you’re planning on taking something back, it’s a good idea to remember that the fine print can be an issue.

“Sometimes during the holidays there’s actually not the same return policy year round,” the Better Business Bureau’s Kelsey Coleman told CNN. “Is there a restocking fee? Do they accept a refund?”

According to BBB, stores are not legally required to accept exchanges or give refunds unless the merchandise was defective or misrepresented.

“While most retailers do offer refund and exchange programs as a courtesy to their customers, policies vary greatly from one store to another,” according to the BBB.

There are some steps gift recipients can take to make the return process a little easier.

CNN’s Consumer Watch recommends keeping the original packaging in tact. Otherwise, retailers might charge a restocking fee.

It’s also important to keep receipts. Without one, the best you can hope for is usually store credit.

Finally, always bring your identification. Some stores’ systems may not accept returns without one.

The Better Business Bureau also suggests making returns in a timely fashion.

“Almost all return policies are valid during a specific time period,” the BBB states. “Some stores modify their return period during the holidays, so don’t risk missing your chance to make your return. Take the item back to the store without delay.”

If the purchase was made online, you should search for the seller’s return policy. Sometimes, online retailers require the consumer to pay for shipping fees.

For more information, visit the BBB’s Holiday Returns and Exchanges page. 

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