Beware of Store Return Policies This Christmas

by Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

"I usually think that what I got is what I want, so I don't think about returns that much," Shopper Carol Johnston, says.

You might want to think again. No one wants their gift returned, but you do want the recipient of your gift to be happy. Experts say when you shop, always ask about the return policy.

"They need to have the return policy clearly posted so you can visibly see it next to the cashier or it's very common right now they're putting them on the back of receipts," Angie Barnett with the Better Business Bureau, said.

How the store gives you your refund is their choice.  Angie Barnett, CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland says if a store employee tells you verbally you have additional time to return an item after the holidays, get them to put it in writing on the receipt.

Always ask the store for a gift receipt and if they don't give them, hold onto your receipt in case the merchandise goes on sale, so the amount spent on the gift is returned.

"We want to give you back what the person gave you for your gifts so look through the packaging and if there's a gift slip do bring it in with you or have the receipt. It makes the whole exchange easier," Store Manager Jain Trader, said.

Some of you love to rip into a gift, but you might want to be careful. Barnett says you should keep all tags in tact and preserve as much of the original packaging as possible.

"It could contain bar codes. It could have store codes on it. It's important for that return; it might show you bought it at a specific store if it's an item that can be sold in multiple stores," Barnett said.

Whenever you buy something on sale experts say, ask is there a different return policy. And if you buy from a store going our of business read the fine print because there will be no refunds, all sales are final.