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Things You Should Know Before Returning Gifts

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Despite good intentions, the season of giving is sometimes followed by the rush to return. If you're looking to return gifts that missed the mark, there are a few things you should know.

Many large chains like Macy's, Home Depot, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, JCPenney, Lowe's and Walmart have a 90-day return policy for most items.

Consumer Reports Money and Tech Reporter Octavio Blanco says this year retailers took into account widespread shipping delays. "Most stores are gonna offer more generous return guidelines for holiday purchases because of the challenges that the consumer has had in terms of getting their purchases delivered on time," Blanco says.

E-commerce giant Amazon provides labels for mail-in returns or accepts items at 18,000 drop-off locations.

Many shoppers heeded the warning to get those holiday gifts early this year, but that could be a problem for some returns. "If you did your shopping early, good for you, but make sure that you understand that you may not qualify for the extended shopping returns," Blanco says.

To make returns as smooth as possible:

  • Keep the original packaging intact, especially for electronics
  • Hold on to gift receipts or you may be stuck with the lowest sale price for the item
  • Check return policies and time limits
  • Bing ID because some chains check for return policy abuse

If you shopped at a mom-and-pop store, experts say just give them a call to find out about their return policy and see if there's wiggle room.

Another option for unloading unwanted presents is regifting. "I had a gift regifted to me from my sister that my mom had given her," Jennifer Shankland from Dallas, TX said. "Gotta be careful when you regift!"

Experts say it's also a good time to practice gratitude, no matter what was in the box.

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