Which Retailers Have Changed Their Return Policies This Holiday Season?

While it’s always important to keep a store’s return policy in mind when you shop, during the holiday season, return policies are extra important. That’s what happens when we give gifts that other people may not want. Every year, ConsumerWorld’s Edwin Dworsky compiles a list of major retailers’ return policies, comparing them to each other and to previous years’ policies. What do stores have planned for remorseful buyers and giftees in 2015 and early 2016?

There’s mostly good news in the field of returned stuff. Sears made a change that tightens their policy but also simplifies it: instead of a plan where different categories of items had to be returned in 30, 60, or 90 days, now it’s much simpler. There’s a 30-day limit, with some understandable exceptions, like furniture, Christmas merchandise, and mobile phones.

Costco has changed what used to be a famously loose policy: now members have 90 days to return many electronics items, but can return anything else pretty much whenever.

Also, a growing trend is retailers paying return shipping on items purchased online, including retailers in the Gap family, Macy’s, and Saks. Check policies before buying: there may be limits, and some companies are offering return shipping only during the holiday season. Notably, PayPal is doing so as a promotion this year.

Remember that these policies may vary by state if your state’s laws differ. Provide a gift receipt when possible, look for holiday exceptions to normal policies, and don’t fight the crowds on December 26 if a policy states that you have until well into January to bring items in.

2015 Retailers’ Return Policies Compared [Consumer World]

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