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The Better Business Bureau's Tips For Returns And Exchanges

CHICAGO (CBS) – You may have written your wish list, and checked it twice, but as you open presents this holiday, you might find a couple of items you do not want to keep.

CBS 2's Ed Curran sat down with Steve Bernas, with the Better Business Bureau about what you need to know before you return an unwanted holiday gift.

The Better Business Bureau recommends people to have as much information as possible, such as store policies and receipts, before trying to return or exchange.

"If you find yourself with an unwanted gift, many stores will allow refunds or exchanges for the sake of good customer relations," explains Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. "However, customers need to remember these actions are privileges stores may or may not allow. They are not consumer rights."

The BBB offered some tips before hitting the stores for exchanges.

Receipts are usually needed for returns, so be sure you save them and have an ID card with you when you go to return. Merchant's usually have a return policy. Be mindful that returns are a courtesy and as a shopper, you must follow store policy.

"There are some retailers who have very liberal return and exchange polices, including no questions asked, but that is not true for all", noted Bernas. "Some allow up to 45 days but others have as few as nine."

Policies often vary from store to store and from item to item, the BBB said.

Also keep in mind, online return policies may differ from in-store policies. Other tips include keeping the original packaging and be timely with returns to avoid hassles.

And of course, there is always the final option instead of returning – keep the unwanted gift, and re-gift it next year.

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