Whew! The Rush is Over. Now What Can I Return?

The afterglow of the holiday season with all of its festive trimmings is winding down like the unfurling of fancy ribbon. The parties. The food. The feigned “Oh, it’s just what I always wanted” as a glittery package of awfulness is opened in front of family and friends only to reveal a set of fuzzy pink bunny pajamas. (Ala Christmas Story movie)

Wow, we can all take a breath right? Um well, no. There’s this really ugly, tacky, ill fitting sweater you got from a relative who shall remain nameless and the not quite right gift from grab bag gift exchange (smelly perfume when they know you have major allergies – ewww) or the most hideous looking trinket that no one can figure out. So what happens on Dec. 26th? Happy RETURN day!!!  BBB® says before you grab the car keys and hit the malls (again) make sure you have gift receipt in hand if possible and follow these tips.

Keep in mind, a store is not obligated to accept items for refund, exchange, or credit. Some stores have no return or final sale policies and in some states, retailers are required by law to disclose clearly what their return policies are. Return privileges vary from one store to another and usually require that the goods be returned within a specified time period and in new condition – so don’t open the box! It is a good idea to keep the item in the original packaging it was in just in case it is required for return by the store to the manufacturer.

Before walking out the door, check the store’s return policy online regarding if they will refund your money or issue a store credit. Always save your receipts which will come in handy when the credit card statements come in the mail in January or if you are keeping track of your holiday spending online.

Finally, before the New Year final bell rings, the decorations are stowed away and the Thank You cards are signed, sealed and delivered, take a moment to reflect on the good stuff that happened during the holiday season. These memories are the true gifts you can’t return.

Think of BBB for all your business and consumer needs. Start with a source you can trust next year and always. Visit bbb.org

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About Sandra Guile

Promoting the BBB message of marketplace ethics through public speaking engagements, presentations, blogging, media relations, press releases, web content and other written materials. Connecting with consumers and business owners in a trustworthy environment and encouraging best practices.