By Erin Smith
For many, with the joy of Christmas morning also comes the need for returning gifts. The National Retail Federation (NRF) says about 68 percent of holiday shoppers plan to continue to shop and browse during Christmas week.
Michael Leinwand, of Leinwand’s Department Store in Elizabethtown, said while they do not offer money back refunds, someone can receive an in-store credit, get a gift card or exchange items.
“Typically, we encourage people to bring back items as soon as possible so they can try to find what they need in our inventory,” said Leinwand.
Leinwand said if you live out-of-town and need to make an exchange or return, give the store a call at 910-862-3772 and they will hold an item for you.
He said the store has been busy during the holiday shopping season. “We were really busy on Christmas Eve,” said Leinwand.
Leinwand said a few customers had been in on Wednesday morning to exchange items.
The NRF says many customers who are planning to make returns are also planning to either exchange their gifts or to purchase another item to replace the unwanted gift. The NRF also says that shoppers are planning to make additional purchases while they are returning or exchanging items.
Consumer Reports offers some tips for those who need to return holiday gifts.
*If the item is packaged, don’t open the box. Some stores impose restocking fees, especially if the item’s original packaging has been opened.
*Keep gift receipts. Many retail merchants now offer gift receipts when an item is purchased. Some retailers will turn you away of you don’t have the original receipt or a gift receipt. If you don’t have the receipt, and don’t want to ask the gift-giver for the original receipt, some retailers will offer an in-store credit. You may want to check the store’s return policy online to determine what their rules are for merchandise returns.
*Be sure to check the store’s return policy and be aware of any restrictions or exclusions. Some retailers only allow items to be returned for a period of 90 days after the purchase. Other retailers may offer extended deadlines or special store hours for returns for a limited time period.
*Some retail stores such as Best Buy require you to present your identification when making a merchandise return. The purpose is to detect abuse or fraud. Check the store’s return policy online to determine if you will need your identification when making a return.
*Be prepared to stand in line if you are planning to make returns the first few days after Christmas.