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return policy

Get Your Holiday Shopping Return Policies HERE!

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Christmas Day has come and gone and now comes time for cashing in gift cards and returns!

Not all store return policies are the same so here is your guide for exchanging and returning at the most popular stores:

Christmas Day has come and gone and now comes time for cashing in gift cards and returns! According to Offer.com, clothing is the number one item shoppers will be returning to stores for different sizes, styles and only 10 percent of those surveyed said they will exchange tech gifts.

For this time of the year, even retailers without generous policies adjust them to make the return process smoother, faster and easier! The best way to make it go well is to NOT open the packaging for video games, software, movies or music be once opened, the best possible option is for an exchange.

Not all store return policies are the same so here is your guide from Patch.com for exchanging and returning at the most popular stores:

Amazon’s holiday policy gives you until Jan. 31 to return gifts that were purchased between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31. Among the stores known for the easiest return policies are Costco, Lands’ End, Ikea, L.L. Bean, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Zappos, the online shoe and clothing seller.

  • Amazon: Most new, unopened items sold and fulfilled by Amazon can be returned within 30 days of delivery for a full refund. Items shipped by Amazon between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned until Jan. 31 for a full refund.
  • Banana Republic: The standard return policy allows45 days after an item is purchased. Jan. 15 for orders placed Nov. 1-Dec. 24 or within 45 days of purchase, whichever is later.
  • Barnes & Noble: The book, music and toy seller has a 14 day window for returns.
  • Bass Pro Shops: The outdoor store has a 60 day window for returns.
  • Belk: The department store chain allows 180 days for returns.
  • Costco: The warehouse chain has a 90 day return deadline for some electronics and appliances; there is no deadline for most merchandise.
  • Eddie Bauer: The outdoor-themed clothing chain has no deadline for returns.
  • Target: Most unopened items can be exchanged or returned for a refund within 90 days of purchase. Electronics and entertainment items — including laptops, eReaders, tablets, cameras, camcorders, digital audio players, GPS systems, video game hardware and personal DVD players — must be returned within 30 days for a refund or exchange. If these items were purchased between Nov. 1 and Christmas Day, the 30-day refund period will start on Dec. 26. Open music, movies, video games and software cannot be returned but may be exchanged for the same title.
  • Apple: Items purchased at the Apple Online Store that are received between Nov. 14 and Dec. 25 may be returned through Jan. 8, 2019. All purchases made after Dec. 25 are subject to a 14-day return deadline. Items that may not be returned include: opened software, electronic software downloads, software upgrades and Apple Store gift cards.
  • Bed Bath and Beyond: Returns with an original receipt can be made at any stores nationwide for an exchange or merchandise refund for the amount paid for a year. If you don’t have a receipt, the store will exchange the gift for 20 percent less than the current selling price, give a merchandise credit for 20 percent less than the current selling price.
  • Kohl’s: There are no time restrictions on returns for most merchandise. Whether a gift was purchased in store or online, take the item and your gift receipt to the Customer Service Desk of any Kohl’s store near you. If you don’t have a receipt, you can return your item for a merchandise credit based on the lowest 13-week sale price toward anything in the store. The return deadline is Jan. 31 for premium electronics purchased from Nov. 1 to Dec. 25.
  • Walmart: For the holidays, Walmart has a limited return/exchange period for cameras, computers, DVD and music players. For electronics, the limited return period of 15 or 30 days will begin Dec. 26. For all others, returns are accepted within 90 days after purchase. CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs, audiotapes, videotapes and video games must be returned unopened.
  • Macy’s: Holiday returns must happen by Jan. 31 for orders placed Nov. 1 – Dec. 31, for items that have 60-day policy, or 60 days, whichever is later.
  • Victoria’s Secret: Within 90 days of purchase, customers receive credit back to the original payment method shown on a receipt. After 90 days, you will receive a merchandise credit.
  • Best Buy: Most items purchased between Oct. 28 and Dec. 28 can be returned through Jan. 12, although that doesn’t apply to cell phones and devices with a carrier contract. Opened computer software, movies, music or video games can only be exchanged for an identical item.
  • Nordstrom: There is no firm policy, the upscale department store says on its website, and no time frame for returns and exchanges. A receipt will help with returns, but the company says it can find the transaction without it most times.
  • Old Navy/ The Gap/ Banana Republic:You have up to 45 days to return items purchased at Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic. Items that are unwashed and unworn or defective are eligible for returns or exchanges. The stores will exchange gifts or return them for a gift card for the original price paid.
  • Zappos: You can return your item(s) for a full refund within 365 days of purchase. Returns must be unworn, in the state you received them, and in the original packaging. Some items ship with an attached security tag.
  • T.J. MAXX: Returns must be made by Jan. 23 for orders made between Oct. 14 and Dec. 24.

You can find the full list of 100+ Holiday Return Policies for 2018 on the Offers.com website.

The Better Business Bureau and Investopedia offer a few tips to help make the return process easier.

  • Know the Return Deadlines: The time period allowed for returns varies by store, and even by item, with typically only a couple of weeks allowed for electronics. Some shops offer store credit, while others do exchanges or refunds. The window for a return ranges from practically forever for Lands’ End to 15 days for electronics at Walmart.
  • Get the Receipt: As a gift-giver, you should ask for a gift receipt and enclose it with the gift. There are ways to ask for a receipt – either the original or a gift receipt. Perhaps the size is off, or you already have the movie or book. Some stores may offer store credit on items brought back without a receipt, and the value given is usually the store’s most recent price.
  • Don’t Remove Tags: Opening packages or removing tags makes it more difficult, and with some sellers impossible, to return gifts, and you can be charged a restocking fee. Don’t take off tags until you’re sure you want to keep the gift.
  • Keep Electronics/DVDs in Packaging: Don’t remove electronics or similar products from their boxes before wrapping. The original packaging may be required for a return. DVDs or music CDs must remain in their sealed package.
  • Beware Sale or Clearance Items: Some stores consider the sale of these items to be final, so ask before buying. If you are the gift recipient, do not assume you have the right to return or exchange an unwanted gift.
  • Bring A Photo ID: Many stores will scan your driver’s license or other government ID to ensure that shoppers aren’t taking advantage of the system if they want to make a return without a receipt.
  • Timing is Key: Expect long return lines the day after Christmas, so head to the store when it is less likely to be crowded. Keep in mind that the customer service clerks probably have holiday fatigue, so be polite when talking to them. If you are a regular customer or have a store credit account, mention that as you discuss return options. Merchants are usually willing to accommodate loyal customers.

Good luck!

Good Luck Returning Stuff at These 5 Stores with Worst Policies

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For the next few days, people will be heading to the malls and department stores returning gifts that they don’t like, don’t fit or just want to return for any number of reasons. It’s not going to be an easy task if the item you have to return will be going back to one of these 5 stores that GOBankingRates determined last year has the worst return policies.

Here is what they have in common: They have short time limits on returns, often don’t accept returns without a receipt and have other terms that make returns trickier. The worst store, in fact, doesn’t offer refunds at all — returns are only eligible for exchange or store credit.

1. Forever 21 Return Policy

Forever 21’s return policy is the worst of the retailers surveyed, and makes it harder for customers to get back their money once it’s spent. Forever 21 only allows 21 days for returns, and purchases can only be exchanged for other items or refunded in store credit, not in the original form of payment. Items must also be unworn, unwashed and unused with tags still attached. Forever 21 will be extending its return window for the holidays this year, so ask the cashier about this at checkout.

For online returns by mail, Forever 21’s policy is slightly better. It extends the return window to 30 days, and will refund the purchase to the credit card used to pay. The Forever 21 return policy also noted that final sale items, cosmetics and gift cards cannot be returned for a refund or exchange, except to correct a defect or error.

2. Kmart Return Policy

Kmart (SHLD) allows just 30 days for customers to return items, and does not accept returns made without a receipt. Customers making a return with a gift receipt can receive an exchange for store credit only.

Many items will not be eligible for return if their packages are opened — including music, movies, video games and software. Kmart has no plans to offer an extended holiday return window this year, the retailer confirmed via Twitter.

3. Barnes & Noble Return Policy

The window for returns allowed by Barnes & Noble (BKS) is the shortest on our survey, at just two weeks (14 days). Items must be unopened and returned in their original condition, per the Barnes & Noble return policy, though refunds will be issued in the original form of payment.

The bookseller will not issue returns without a receipt or other proof of payment, and returns made with a gift receipt will receive refunds via store credit. Barnes & Noble did extend its return window last holiday season, CNBC reported.

4. GameStop Return Policy

GameStop (GME) allows just 30 days for returns, and will make no returns without a receipt. Items returned with a gift receipt qualify only for exchanges or refunds in store credit.

Pre-owned items can be returned for a refund within seven days, or for an identical exchange within 30 days. GameStop’s return policy requires that all items be returned with original packaging and in “sellable condition,” and reserves the right to refuse returns of opened items.

5. Sears Return Policy

Sears (SHLD) has a worst return policy that does not allow returns without a receipt. The department store will only make returns for which the customer can provide a receipt or other proof of purchase within 30 days. Sears’ return policy on gift receipts is to provide only exchanges or refunds via gift cards.

However, Sears will extend its return on windows for the holidays, allowing items purchased by Dec. 24 to be returned through January 24, 2016. The original packaging is required for the return to be accepted, and some items will carry a 15 percent restocking fee which will be deducted from the refund. Sears will not accept any returns of Christmas season items after December 25.

Methodology: GOBankingRates surveyed the return policies of 31 major retailers popular during the holiday shopping season to determine the best and worst. GOBankingRates ranked each policy on (1) the return window provided, (2) whether the retailer accepted returns without a receipt, (3) the condition required for returns, and (4) whether the store typically offered extended holiday returns. Other return policy terms unique to retailers were considered in the rankings, as they benefited the customer.

This article originally appeared on GoBankingRates.