Moments after opening unwanted Christmas presents, thoughts that crop up might look like this:
Damn, no gift receipt.
How can I get rid of it?
What time do the stores open on Sunday?
Is there someone I can re-gift?
Sometimes a gift is not suitable for more than one reason. However, instead of settling for a duplicate gift or the ugly sweater you’ll never wear, you can return, exchange, or sell your unwanted holiday gifts.
The annual comeback-a-thon kicks off Sunday as retailers begin sales after Christmas, with the goal of offloading more merchandise. But due to the pandemic and supply chain challenges, there are fewer holiday items to discount.
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According to its 18th Annual Return Policy Survey, ConsumerWorld.org said major retailers continue to offer expanded return windows to give shoppers more time to return unwanted purchases.
Reverse logistics company Optoro predicts that $ 120 billion in merchandise will be returned this holiday season, with a large percentage of those returns ending up in landfills.
Amazon’s vacation return deadline is January 31
Amazon says all return-eligible items weighing less than 50 pounds have at least one free return option, but some exclusions apply. Returns generally must be made 30 days after purchase, but for the holiday season, most Amazon purchases between October 1 and December 31 can be returned until January 31, 2022.
Start the Amazon returns process in your account or at Amazon.com/returns to select the purchase that should be returned. On the site, you can also enter the order number for a gift if you have it.
The Amazon returns process is different for gifts. Learn more about how to return gifts here.
Kohl’s accepts returns from Amazon and that may mean free Kohl’s money
Kohl’s accepts Amazon returns and there is no need to package the return or print a return label. As an added bonus, consumers who bring these returns often get a coupon such as $ 5 Kohl’s Cash or other discount to use at the department store chain. (Kohl’s Cash is a coupon currency that can only be used at Kohl’s. Amazon return offers are listed in store only.)
If you have a return or a dozen, you will usually only get one Kohl’s coupon. Some stores accept Amazon customer service returns, and others have separate designated areas for returns.
Amazon Pro Return Tip: Be ready and signed in to your Amazon account. Taking screenshots of Amazon’s QR codes can make the process easier. You can also flag emails with return codes.
Unboxed returns are also accepted at UPS Store, Amazon Books, 4 Star Amazon, Fresh Grocery, and Whole Foods Market.
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Tips for easier Christmas returns
Follow these tips and avoid the post-vacation headache:
Know the policies, deadlines: Read policies on store websites, on store signs or on the back of receipts.
Avoid the crowds: Early morning and late evening can be less chaotic times to make a comeback, but immediately after Christmas you should expect long lines. It might be better to wait a few days.
Received: Having an original or gift receipt usually eases the return process and improves your chances of getting a full refund. At Target, a gift receipt will give you a merchandise return card that, unlike a regular gift card, can only be used in-store.
No invoice: Returns without a receipt generally result in merchandise credit for the lowest recent selling price or possibly no refund or exchange at all, depending on store policy.
Redeem it: Love the gift but want it in another color or size? Find the item or ask for help, and if it’s not in stock, ask a store associate if it’s available online or at another store.
Mystery gift: Don’t know where a gift comes from? If it has a barcode, try scanning it with store apps like Amazon, Walmart, Target, and other retailers. Also try entering barcode numbers on Google.
Bring your ID: Even if you have a receipt, some stores require government-issued ID.
Additional costs: If you are returning electronics or an item that has been opened, be prepared to pay a restocking fee of up to 15%.
Talk to a manager: If you have problems returning a gift, contact the store manager or retailer customer service.
Be nice: Some feedback is given on a case-by-case basis, so patience and kindness can go a long way.
Sell it or give it away: If you can’t return or exchange gifts, consider selling them on eBay or similar apps and websites. Or donate it.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko. For shopping news, tips and deals, join us on our Shopping Ninjas Facebook group.