From the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia:

Holiday returns aren’t easy! And we don’t mean the part where you explain to your mother why you returned the sweater she gave you.

Stores are not legally required to accept exchanges or give refunds, unless the merchandise was defective or misrepresented. While most retailers do offer refund and exchange programs, policies vary greatly from one store to another. Fortunately for shoppers, one positive outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic is that many retailers have become more lenient in their return policies. But be sure to double check policies this holiday season, even if you are familiar with the brand, as stores can change their policies whenever they want.

The following tips should help to make your holiday returns run more smoothly.

Get to know store policies. Before you make a purchase, find out if the store has a return policy and, if so, how it works. Understand that many retailers change their policies for the holiday season. If the store does allow returns or exchanges, find out if you will need to pay a restock fee. Ask the seller if they offer cash refunds, exchanges, or only store credit. Store policies are usually posted at the check-out counter or printed on the back of receipts.

Understand online store return policies. If you are shopping online, search for the seller’s return policy and read it through before clicking “buy.” Find out if they accept returns or exchanges, and who pays the…

Read more…