Shopping tips: What to know before making gift returns

holiday shopping last minute

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Now that the shopping is over, the season of gift returns is upon us. Before you go to the store, there are some things you need to know.

While the mall was empty Friday, come Saturday, it’ll look a lot different. It won’t be just filled with people looking to shop, but also with people returning unwanted gifts as well.

“You have to think about that, especially in this economy you have to think about that,” shopper Patty Moore said. “But more so, just for the fun it. Is it something they may not really want until they want to get something back until they need.”

“Save the receipts,” shopper Barbara Davis said. “I have an envelope that I put all my receipts in. I get gift receipts, and I always hang onto them, and I let everyone know that I have the receipt.”

Saving receipts isn’t the only thing you need to know. The Better Business Bureau says there are things you can do to avoid a headache.

If you don’t have a receipt, check the store’s website. Most of the time, you can find the return policy there.

Also, don’t assume you can return items. If it was bought on clearance, officials say you may not be able to return it.

And don’t feel bad. Nearly ten percent of all gifts are returned.

Unfortunately, National Retail Federation (NRF) officials said returns can be an issue for stores. The group says some people will return stolen goods, which adds up to more than $9 billion in lost revenue.

In all, the NRF estimates $260 billion in presents will be returned. If you’re a part of the group, you might want to wait. While the stores are empty Christmas, come Saturday, it’ll be much different.

“We’ll take all the kids out on the 26th, and we’ll have just as much fun as we’re having today,” Moore said. “I avoid it,” Davis said. “I usually wait a couple weeks actually. Because I know how long I have for my returns.”

What happens if you get a gift card? The good news is, more sites offer buyback programs, where you can get cash or exchange for another store.

And if you shopped online, make sure you check the website, because you might get stuck with shipping costs.

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