Are you dreading the holiday season because you might have to return gifts? Me too.

Sometimes you have to take back and exchange or return those items you bought or received for Christmas. It’s inevitable.

But how to return holiday gifts without the headache? Now that’s the million-dollar question.

Gift returns seem to be the hardest part and the most frustrating part of the holiday season. Between waiting in long lines or frustrating return policies, it’s just not easy.

I know I’ve heard several people refer to rather having a root canal than returning gifts. I know it can get that bad.

Fortunately for you, I’ve come up with some tips that can save you aggravation or possibly score you MORE money!

Because if you’re prepared, you’ll know what you need to bring in order to get your return.

If you are informed, you’ll know the correct process so the store will accept your return.

And if you have the strategies to not only protect your intial investment, but also to keep the return value, you’ll get the maximum return value back. And who doesn’t love that?!

Of course, it always helps to be polite too!

Here are six key items you need to know before you head out to make those returns. Learn how to return gifts with these tips!

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Bring Identification

This is almost a No-Brainer and you probably will already have this with you when you drive to the store to return gifts. But have it out and ready to hand over will save you frustration with gift returns.

This year retailers are dealing with higher fraud ($3.6 BILLION in return fraud) so most are asking for identification when returning gifts.


Planning Is Key During The Holidays


Download these FREE Christmas Prep Cheat Sheets so you get ahead (of the spending) this year.

It’s also a good idea to bring the credit or debit card with you that you originally used in case they need it to get your full refund.

Make sure you know the return policy before you go to the store. It’s good to know how to return holiday gifts at the store before you go.

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Be Prompt

There are deadlines for making those returns and they might be shorter than you originally thought!

Returning items must be a priority or you could lose money! Most stores will only give you 30 days to return items for a full refund.

That means today you should put a calendar reminder on your phone and plan a shopping date for returning gifts or exchange anything. DO NOT OPEN those gifts if you are unsure you will keep it.

Open packages could cost you up to 50% in restocking fees. Read your receipt to check what you will encounter so that you are not surprised when you get to the store. It pays to know how to return gifts at the store you’re going to!

Best Buy has shortened their return window with a deadline of January 15th (with a few exclusions).

Amazon will charge you 20% if the item is past the Jan 31st Deadline (and it must still be in its original packaging).

How to return holiday gifts is no joke! This could be a missed opportunity to get your money back or at least the value of your gift!

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Do Not Cut The Plastic

If you are given Software, Movies, Music or Computer Games and there is a chance you might not want it, Do Not Open It!

If that plastic wrap is sliced open, you will most likely be charged a fee to return it, or the store might not take it back altogether and require you only exchange it for the same item (as if it was defective). These gift returns are no joke! Don’t chance it!

Don’t lose out just because you wanted to open that box and read the instruction booklet to make sure you don’t want it. Do your research online instead and withstand the intrigue to open it up!

These types of return gifts are often easily copied so that’s why they don’t want to accept them as gift returns.

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Have A Backup Copy

Receipts are absolutely necessary to making return gifts so you don’t lose money.

Without a receipt, they can give you store credit for the lowest price that item was ever sold for.

Some retailers will not even allow gift returns whatsoever without a receipt.

Use your SmartPhone to take a photo of your receipts as you are making purchases in case you should misplace them with the hustle and bustle of the holiday. That way you can print it or could show it on your phone to the cashier.

Most stores offer to email your receipt to you in addition to printing them. That’s excellent because then you have another extra copy on hand just in case you need to know how to return gifts.

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Return Strategy

If you find that an item you purchased after Christmas is now at an even lower price, call the store and ask if you can bring your receipt and receive the difference!

Some stores will need you to bring your item back, but some will just require the receipt and you can save a little more!

Most stores price match their own prices within a 14 day period so you can get a little extra something for yourself!


Planning Is Key During The Holidays


Download these FREE Christmas Prep Cheat Sheets so you get ahead (of the spending) this year.

Learn the return gifts policy for these stores before you buy:
return gifts

Know Where You Can Go

If you purchased an item online and the merchant has a brick-and-mortar counterpart, check their website to see if you can take the item back to the store to save repackaging & shipping fees!

This is a great way on how to return holiday gifts without spending extra money returning them.

Usually, you can, but in some instances, you will pay a restocking fee. So make sure you know before you go on your gift returns!

Finally, if you’re unable to return an item, you can always consider donating the return gifts to a local charity.

They are always glad to have something new.

As you can see, if you’re prepared it will be easier to make those gift returns.

When you are informed, you’ll know the correct process so the store will accept your return and you get your cash back!

And the strategies you put in place protect your intial investment, and help keep the return value, you’ll get the maximum return value back. I know that is the best thing about return gifts.

And since it always helps to be polite, the process can go a lot smoother too.

I hope you learned how to return holiday gifts with these easy tips!


Your Turn: Have you had trouble with return gifts? What strategies helped you? Comment below!

return gifts
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