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Tips to make returning gifts easier

Rebecca Gramuglia

Special to the Village News

As the holiday season comes to a close and the new year begins, Americans are asking themselves, “To keep or not to keep?” And according to the National Retail Federation and Appriss Retail, 2022 purchases will bring in more than $800 billion in returns.

So whether you are returning gifts in-store or shipping them back, here are three tips to help make the returns process easier on you and your wallet.

· Know the return policies and deadlines. To keep post-holiday gift returns simple, research the return policies and deadlines ahead of time. Make sure you have all of the required items and information when heading to the store, or when packing up your return (if you’re returning via mail). And if you’re sending items back via parcel services like UPS or FedEx, write down the tracking number to ensure your return gets delivered and that you’ll get your refund.

o Pro-tip: If you plan to return a gift, don’t be afraid to ask for the receipt. Having this information will ensure you receive a full refund in case the item has dropped in price since the initial purchase.

· Avoid peak return times. Instead of waiting in long lines for in-store returns or at the post office, steer clear of returning unwanted holiday items immediately after Christmas or on weekends. The best times for in-person returns are early mornings or weeknight evenings (after 7 p.m.). And when returning an online purchase, be sure to examine all of the return options available from the retailer. For example, you can bring Amazon returns to Kohl’s locations. Some retailers may also be partnered with companies, like Happy Returns, where you can locally drop off your return at specified locations for free.

· Stay organized. Too many holiday returns to keep track of? If that’s the case, take a few minutes to compile a list of what you need to return and where. There are also apps, like ReturnQueen, that help manage the return process for you. These apps connect to your email and can remind you when you need to return a purchase in order to receive your full refund. If you’d prefer not to sign up for anything new, look to see what your mobile device natively offers to help set reminders for yourself.

Rebecca Gramuglia is a consumer expert at


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