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What you need to know about holiday gift returns at major retailers

Close up on Gift Receipt
Ceneri/iStock

By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — Now that the presents have all been unwrapped, it’s time to think about how to safely and efficiently make any necessary returns.

In 2019 it was estimated that $309 billion worth of merchandise, 8% of total sales, were returned, according to the National Retail Federation.

This year, to make the process more convenient, retailers like Walmart and Target allow shoppers to drop off unwanted items at a FedEx or UPS drop-off site. Walmart accepts free returns on online orders through Carrier Pickup by FedEx.

Other companies, including Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nordstrom, offer curbside returns for the first time. Best Buy also offers curbside services at specific locations, based on local regulations.

Returns are set to swell this year with an influx of online orders — that have historically higher return rates — from shoppers who shifted away from in-store purchases.

Amazon has extended its return window for items shipped between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31. The products can be returned through Jan. 31.

At Apple, customers have through Jan. 8 to return anything purchased from Nov. 10 to Dec. 25.

Bed Bath & Beyond has extended its 180-day return window to 240 days.

Target’s 30-day window has also been extended, up to 90 days, starting Dec. 26.

Other helpful tips to stay on top of returns:

  •     Read the fine print on your receipt.
  •     Take photos of original or gift receipts.
  •     Keep receipts along with tags and original packaging.
  •     Return after Jan. 1 to avoid the crowds the week after Christmas.

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