Here Are the Gift Return Policies at Major Stores
A flexible return policy is the gift that keeps on giving.
Try as friends and family members might to buy the perfect presents, sometimes the best gift of all is a lenient return policy. No matter how much time you've spent finding the perfect gift, there's a not-unsubstantial chance its recipient will be taking it back to the store when the holidays are over—according to the National Retail Foundation, approximately 10 percent of gifts are returned each year, and that number continues to grow.
When it comes to gift return policies, Target has one of the more generous ones out there. According to their website, any and all gifts can be returned so long as they are accompanied by a gift receipt or a packing slip. If you don't have either of those on hand, you can still return your gift—but instead of receiving a Target GiftCard, you will get a merchandise return card that's only good for use in-store.
Also, don't worry about schlepping all the way to your local Target: If you have the gift receipt or packaging slip, you can call Target.com Guest Services and set up an easy mail return.
Did someone gift you something from Walmart that isn't quite your cup of tea? No problem. So long as you head to the store within 90 days, Walmart will allow you to either exchange it for something else or give you a full refund.
However, there are a few caveats: Some items from the store (like ATVs and certain gift cards) are final sale, and you can only return the item in store. Additionally, 3D printers and 3D printing supplies must be returned within 30 days, while computers, traditional printers, camcorders, tablets, drones, and other personal electronics must be returned in just 15 days.
Though Best Buy normally only allows 15 days for returns and exchanges to be made, the store's return policy is slightly more generous during the holiday season. Excluding items like cell phones that can be activated, any item you are gifted from Best Buy that was bought during the months of November and December can easily be returned any time through January 12th, 2019.
If you are returning something to Best Buy, though, you should definitely do your best to do so in store: Should you mail your item in, it will be the person who gave you your gift that gets the refund, not you.
If your Amazon gift was purchased as a gift order, then returning it will be easy. All you have to do is head to the Amazon online returns center and enter the 17-digit gift order number found on the packing slip, and you will be prompted from there to create a return label. Once your return is processed, a gift card that matches the value of the gift will be available for use in your Amazon account.
Was the item you received not designated as a gift order? Don't fret. You can still contact Amazon's customer service line and they will help you make your return from there.
Nordstrom's website doesn't say anything about making returns within a certain timeframe, so don't worry about rushing to the mall right after Christmas just to bring back those unwanted gifts. And not only that, but Nordstrom—perhaps more so than any other store—will do whatever they can to help you get a refund—so even if you don't have a gift receipt and the store associates can't locate the order number, you might still be able to return your gifted goodies.
"Items purchased at the Apple Online Store that are received between November 14, 2018, and December 25, 2018, may be returned through January 8, 2019," reads Apple's special return policy for the holiday season. However, if the gift you received is a gift card, an electronic software download, or anything else on the store's exclusion list, then unfortunately you can't return your item, regardless of when it was purchased.
For Apple returns, you don't need a gift receipt, but you will need to use either your product serial number or order number. And the tech giant makes it easy to return items via mail, so don't worry about planning a trip to a crowded Apple store.
All 365 days a year, Kohl's offers refunds on almost any item for up to 16 months after its purchase date. Normally, premium electronics only have a 30-day return window, but during the holiday season, any premium electronic purchased between November 1 and December 25 can be returned by January 31 as long as it's in its original packaging. Without a receipt, it is still possible to return items at Kohl's, but the store will only give you a Merchandise Credit "based on a discounted lowest 13-week sale price of the item(s)."
All of the brands under the umbrella of The Gap, Inc.—including The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Hill City—have the same lenient gift return policy. This year, gifted items bought from The Gap, Banana Republic, or Old Navy any time between November 1st and December 24th have either until January 15th or up to 45 days after purchase to be returned (either in-store or by mail, unless otherwise specified)—whichever allows the customer more time.
There's no timeframe on returns at either Athleta or Hill City, although the latter's items can only be returned by mail. Should you happen to lose your receipt, the store will still be able to give you a merchandise certificate, but they will have to use the item's current selling price to make the refund rather than the price at which the item was originally purchased.
Go ahead and wait until next December to return your unwanted Bloomingdale's gift if that's what you really want. Since the store gives its patrons 365 days—yes, literally a full year—to make returns, there's absolutely no rush when it comes to getting rid of that ugly purse from pops. Only a few items are exceptions to this rule, including area rugs, dresses with tags removed, furniture, gift cards, mattresses, and pre-owned watches.
Of course, you might lose your receipt if you wait a year to make a return, but that's not a problem. Per the department store's website: "Without proof of purchase, you will receive the lowest selling price in the last 180 days."
JCPenney's return policy states that, with a gift receipt, items can be either exchanged or refunded with no time constraints. However, returns made in Connecticut and Massachusetts must be made within 90 days if you want to also receive a refund on the sales tax, and some items—like fine jewelry and electronics—do need to be returned within a certain period of time. See here for JCPenney's full return policy.
Bed Bath & Beyond
One year. That's exactly how much time you have to return any gifts you receive from Bed Bath & Beyond, according to the store's website. And if you happen to be gifted something from a Bed Bath & Beyond exclusive brand like Ampersand or Anthology, then you have not one, but five years to bring it back.
If you misplace the receipt for the gift you're returning, then Bed Bath & Beyond can use things like order numbers and credit card numbers to look up any purchases made within the past year. And if you don't have any of that information on hand, then the store will "issue a Merchandise Credit for the item's current selling price less 20 percent to account for the possible use of a coupon."
Macy's has a generous 180-day return policy—but as is the case with most other stores, this policy has its fair share of exceptions. For instance, all Apple products save for phones purchased at the retail chain can only be returned within 30 days of purchase. And if you're looking to return something from a designer label like Burberry or Louis Vuitton, then that must be done within 14 days of purchase. As with any return, you'll get the most money back if you have your receipt, but Macy's will still give you "store credit for the item's lowest selling price within the last 180 days" if you don't have one. For a complete guide of Macy's exceptions list, check out the store's return policy here.
DICK'S Sporting Goods
Not satisfied with the gift someone picked out for you at DICK'S? No problem. So long as you bring the item and its gift receipt to the store within 60 days, you shouldn't have any problems receiving an exchange or a full refund in the form of a DICK'S gift card. Without a receipt, you can still use a valid ID to return your gifted items, but you will only receive store credit for the lowest selling price of said product.
Even during the gift-giving season, GameStop is relatively strict about their return policies. Items bought at the store can only be returned if there is no damage to either the packaging or the product itself, and after 30 days, returns are no longer valid—period. Also, be warned: At GameStop, receipts are necessary for all returns and exchanges.
If you are returning your Sephora gift via mail, then make sure that you first call the store at 1-877-SEPHORA and set up a gift return. This will ensure that the returned credit goes to your account rather than to the account of the person who originally purchased the item. And if you plan on returning your item in store, then you shouldn't have any problems whatsoever receiving a store credit at any point in time. (Just make sure that you show up with your gift receipt in hand!)
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