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Time and money saving tips when you return gifts this holiday season

Posted at 8:27 AM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-26 10:27:38-05

Right after the holidays, $90 million worth of gifts will be returned. Nearly two thirds of shoppers will return at least one gift this year, and the two days after Christmas are the busiest time for returns.

Having a gift receipt is the best way to make sure you'll get the correct value back for your gift. Returns without a receipt usually result in a store credit for the lowest recent sale price or possibly no refund or exchange at all, depending on the store's policy.

If you're not going to get the value from the store, maybe try selling it on eBay or online for a better price.

Another way you could lose some money making returns: if you are returning electronics or something that has been opened, you may have to pay a restocking fee--sometimes up to 15 percent. Avoid this by leaving boxes sealed until you're sure you want to keep the item.

If you like the gift but  want it in another color or size, ask the store to exchange it. Sometimes stores will accommodate this option if you don’t have a receipt. 

Many stores like Best Buy, Target, Walmart and other large retailers have extended their typical return window by a few weeks to help with the holiday rush, but this is not true of all retailers, so make sure to check as soon as you know you want to return the gift.

If you're not sure where a gift came from, there are apps to help! If the gift has a barcode, try scanning it with an app like Shopsavvy. It can usually tell you where something was purchased.