Guide to returning, exchanging holiday gifts from BBB

Stores not legally required to accept exchanges, give refunds, BBB says

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Guide to returning, exchanging holiday gifts from Better Business Bureau
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Avoid holiday gift return and exchange scams with these tips from the Better Business Bureau.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tis' the season for returns but before you make a trip to the store or mail an item back, you should know merchant policies.

According to the Better Business Bureau, stores are not legally required to accept exchanges or give refunds, unless the merchandise was defective or misrepresented. However, most retailers do offer refund and exchange programs.

Here's are some quick tips on making the holiday return or exchange process smooth.

  • Keep your receipt and packaging: Most stores will only accept returns and exchanges if you can present the item with its receipt and original packaging. hold on to any gift receipts you receive. You may still be able to make an exchange without a receipt.
  • Bring your ID: To avoid holiday return scams, many stores ask to see your ID when you return an item. Sometimes retailers require you to bring your ID and the original form of payment.
  • Get to know store policies: Before you make a trip, find out if the store has a return policy and, if so, how it works. Understand that many retailers change their policies for the holiday season. For online purchases, Find out who pays the shipping when an item is returned.
  • Get the details on warranties: Most electronics and home appliances come with warranties that are to be fulfilled by the manufacturer, not the retailer. Find out how returns and repairs are handled if an item stops working or needs replacement parts.