'Refunds and exchanges are a privilege and not a right': What you need to know about handling unwanted items

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The post-Christmas shopping rush is on.

With prices slashed even further, residents are redeeming gift cards or returning unwanted items.

"My pajama selection wasn't perfect, so I found the perfect pair and I'm going to replace these with those," said Josh Baumgartener.

Americans are expected to return nearly $95 billion worth of gifts over the holidays. If returns are in your future, you might want to keep the following in mind.

"Refunds and exchanges are a privilege and not a right. So as a consumer, you have to make sure you know the policy of the store you bought it from and whoever bought you the present," said Steve Bernas of the Better Business Bureau.

Make sure you know the store's return policy, including how much time you have to make the return. If making an online return, find out whether you will have to pay shipping or restocking fees. Keep the original packaging, and most importantly, save your receipts.

"If that product was on sale between now and Christmas, you're going to get the lowest price if you don't have the receipt. Consumers lose a lot of money that way," Bernas said.
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