Did Santa miss the mark? Retail experts share gift return do’s and don’ts

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- The gift-giving time of the holidays has ended, but what if Santa didn’t quite hit the mark this year?

Ozarks First Reporter Nyzah McDonald spoke with two retail experts on how gift returning is different this year.

Experts say nearly $115 billion worth of goods will be returned this holiday season, with online purchases three times more likely to be returned than gifts bought in-person.

“Returning items might be a little different than going to a brick-and-mortar store,” says Sara Rathner, Personal Finance Expert for NerdWallet.

This difference is due to 67% of people shopped online for gifts. Rathner says if you plan to return in-person, keep receipts and understand the store’s return policy.

“It’s so much easier to put items back into their original packaging, and some stores require items to be returned in their original packaging,” says Rathner.

Rathner also says to keep a record of every return you make because items can get lost or delayed in shipping, and if they do, you’re not getting your money back.

“You want that recourse so you can prove to them you did indeed make the return,” says Rathner.

Shopping expert Sara Skirboll says several chain retailers are giving customers more time to return items because of the pandemic.

“Which is really great news because there is going to be some shipping issues when it comes to returns…but places like Apple and Amazon and even Target have all extended their return windows…a lot of them through the end of January,” says Skirboll.

Skirboll also says to try to wait until January 1 to return because the holiday crowds will have died down.

Both experts say to be prepared for a potential refund lag when mailing items back to retailers.

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