Odds are you will receive (or give) a Christmas gift that is the wrong size, color or that’s simply not wanted. Making store returns and exchanges is an undesirable task at the end of the gift-giving season, but these tips will help make the swap of unwanted Christmas gifts a little easier.
Keep receipts for every Christmas gift purchased, just in case the recipient needs to return or exchange it. Without a receipt, many store will not give a cash refund for the item and some stores will not even allow the gift to be exchanged for other store merchandise.
Note Deadlines for Store Returns
Buying Christmas gifts months in advance is a great way to save money and time, but only if the items are perfect for the recipient and will not be returned to the store. Before making pre-season purchase, note the store’s time frame for returns and exchanges. Some stores allow 90 days, others only allow 30 days after purchase.
Restocking Fees May Apply
Many major retailers charge a restocking fee for returned items, especially electronics, that have been opened. Ask about restocking fees before purchasing a Christmas gift because they can run up to 25% of item’s retail price.
Cancel Service Plans
Some electronics and household appliances come with a service plan that can be expensive to cancel after the initial trial period (typically 30 days). Cell phones, video games, refrigerators or the like are given or received as a Christmas gift, then returned or exchanged, don’t forget to cancel the service plan.
Exchange Gift Cards
Did you receive a gift card to a store or restaurant that you never visit? Most retailers will not give cash back for an unwanted gift card, but those cards can be exchanged at one of several online gift card exchange websites. Many people find themselves with unwanted gift cards and are happy to exchange or sell them online for a small fee.
Why Drivers License is Required
When returning or exchanging that unwanted Christmas gift the retailer will probably ask for your drivers license number so they can track how often you bring merchandise back to their store. Most retailers have limits for how many times per year a customer is allowed to make a return or exchange, especially without a receipt. This helps the retailers prevent merchandise return fraud, but could hinder a gift recipient from making an exchange if the limit has already been exceeded by that particular customer earlier in the year.