Keeping Holiday Returns Painless

December 31, 2012
SACRAMENTO, Ca.,— Dec. 26, 2012 – Holiday gifts, no matter how well-intentioned, sometimes must be returned. When exchanging for a bigger size or returning for cash, Better Business Bureau advises to follow a few simple steps to make the post-holiday shopping easier on the wallet - and the mind.

Retailers in California are not required to accept returns or exchanges, but most do accept some items back. However, sellers may have restrictions on what can be returned or how items must be returned. 

“With online shopping increasing in popularity, consumers need to take extra precautions when returning items through mail,” said Gary Almond, president of BBB serving northeast California. “Take the time to find out where and how to return the merchandise. It could save you big bucks.”

To ensure the easiest holiday return experience, BBB offers these tips:

Play by the policy. Read the return policy and instructions before returning the item. Return policies should be displayed in the store or on the website. 

Remember restocking fees. Some online retailers may only refund a percentage of what was paid for the purchased item. Check to see if there are restocking fees before returning and understand what you will be obligated to pay. 

Keep proof of purchase. Many retailers require a receipt, electronic or paper. Original packaging may also be necessary to return the item.

Don’t delay. Most retailers place a time limit on returns. Return items immediately to avoid missing deadlines. 

Be aware of the warranty. If a product breaks, the manufacturer may be responsible for replacing or taking back the item. 

For more tips you can trust, visit or call 916-443-6843. 


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