Things are changing for those who want to return holiday gifts this season, according to a report by consumer resource guide website Consumer World. The report highlights major and minor changes in return policies for major retailers, such as Amazon.com and Toys "R" Us. The changes in standard return policies only add to the frustration many consumers feel about returning gifts during the holiday season, particularly since more and more shoppers switched to the Internet for the bulk of their holiday shopping. To help make the annual post-Christmas gift-return rituals a little easier, the Deseret News has compiled the current return policies of 10 of the country's largest retailers.
According to Macy's official website, all that is needed is the item and some form of proof of purchase. Their policy states that there is no time limit on when returns are accepted.
Their policy also states that if proof of purchase is not available — such as a valid receipt or a purchase record in the store's database — the item can still be returned, but only for store credit for the item’s lowest selling price within the last 180 days.
Target promises to assist returns on "most unopened items in new condition" that have been purchased within the past 90 days, according to the company's website.
Items returned that are damaged or missing a receipt will be refused for a refund or exchange.
Also, all refunds will be processed in the same form as the original payment. The only exceptions are purchases made with checks, coupons, gift receipts, PayPal, or third-party gift card purchases.
There is also a short list of items that must be returned within 30 days of purchase, which includes laptops, tablets, cameras and no-contract cell phones.
Wal-Mart's corporate return policy states that generally, anything bought within 90 days of the purchase can be returned.
However, electronic devices such as laptops and digital cameras must be returned within 15 days. Home accessories such as lawn mowers and weed eaters must be returned within 30 days.
The corporate return policy specifies that receipts are not necessary for returns. However, the policy also states that if a customer returns more than three items without receipts within a 45-day period, the return must be approved by a customer service manager or member of management.
For in-store returns, items must be returned within 90 days of the purchase date with an accompanying receipt. The store's policy also states that the item (or items) must be "in new, or like-new condition."
Returns made using a gift receipt or Web-purchase packing slip will receive "merchandise credit" for the refund.
To return a gift on Amazon.com, you must have the 17-digit order number found on the packing slip, also known as the "Order ID." If the packing slip is lost, you must contact an Amazon representative.
Once the order number is available, simply go to the Online Returns Center and follow the instructions outlined.
Amazon allows for returns by shipment, or by using Amazon Locker.
J.C. Penney co.'s website stresses that the most efficient way to return an item is to do so in-store.
Returns can be made without a receipt, but a valid photo ID is then required. The refund will then be processed as the item’s lowest selling price within the last 45 days and will be issued as a gift card.
Some items, such as furniture and fine jewelry, must be returned within 60 days of the purchase or delivery date. Returning furniture will also cause the customer to be charged a $49 restocking fee.
Best Buy's return policy, as stated on the company's website, requires that the original receipt of the product be present at the exchange. A valid ID is also required.
Most products must be returned within 15 days of purchase for a refund or exchange, but items purchased as gifts between Nov.3 and Dec. 31, 2013, may be returned through Jan. 15, 2014.
Items bought at Barnes & Noble must be returned within 14 days of purchase and must be in new or like-new condition. The company's website specifies that "shrink-wrapped products must be unopened."
Costco's return policy states that televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, touch screen tablets, MP3 players and cellular phones must be returned within 90 days of purchase.
The company's website does not specify whether or not returns made in store require a receipt.
Kohl's return policy state that as long as the purchased item has a receipt "you can return any item for a full refund or even exchange." Customers without a receipt cannot receive a full refund, but the item can be exchanged for a product of equal value. Merchandise credit or a corporate refund is also available for items without a receipt.