Stretch Your Dollar: What you need to know if you are returning gifts after the holidays

Stretch Your Dollar

(WTNH) – Holiday sales increased this year compared to last year, and when there are more gifts, there are more returns. We are stretching your dollar with what you should know about returning gifts this year.

If you didn’t get what you were wishing for this holiday season and you want to return some of your presents, the good news is that this year, retailers are being more generous with their return windows.

“This year and last year, due to the pandemic and the increased need for flexibility, we saw those holiday return windows starting even earlier and getting more generous, encompassing gifts that were purchased as early as October,” said Kristin McGrath, Editor of

About 30 percent of presents purchased online are returned each year, and retailers are making it easier to return those gifts too.

“A lot of cases you can return gifts that were purchased online, in-store to a retailer’s in-store location if you’re more comfortable with that. So, there’s so that. That can be a lot easier for people rather than having to figure out how to ship gifts back,” McGrath said.

When you’re ready to return, here are some tips from consumer reports:

  • If you unwrap a gift and know you want to return it, don’t open the box.
  • If the original packaging isn’t intact, stores may refuse the return or charge a restocking fee of 15 percent or more.
  • Keep your gift receipt if you get one.
  • If you don’t have a gift receipt or the original receipt, stores may not let you return the item or you may get store credit instead of cash back.
  • Check the return policy of the store carefully.

Retails have different return windows, and some specific items may have shorter windows. Experts say the week between Christmas and New Years is a great time to return gifts and maybe find a good deal on something else.

“There’s some really great sales going on right after Christmas. Retailers know people are going to be in stores returning things, so they try to make it worth their while,” McGrath said.

Remember to use those gift cards you received as quickly as possible. Those are a target for scammers looking to make a quick buck.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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