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Returning a holiday gift?  Check out store policies, gather receipts, don’t delay.  Learn more –

If you got a gift this holiday season that wasn't quite right, you may be looking to return it. Here’s some advice to help make the process go more smoothly.

Check out store policies. Return and exchange policies vary by store, and many stores won’t take returns or exchanges after a certain time — like 30 or 90 days. Policies and deadlines are often printed on the back of receipts. Don’t delay in returning your undamaged item to have the best chance for a refund, exchange, or store credit. You might have to contact the manufacturer to return a defective or damaged product after the seller’s return deadline.

Understand return shipping costs. If someone bought your gift online, search for the seller’s return policy. Pay attention to who pays for shipping. If you have to pay, you might be able to save on fees by returning the item to a local store. 

Use gift card exchange websites with caution. These sites let you sell or swap cards, as well as shop for discounted cards. But always read about an exchange website before selling or buying a gift card. See what others have to say — and make sure the exchange has a post-purchase guarantee that ensures cards are legitimate.

Gather receipts. Returning or exchanging an item in-store often requires documentation, and maybe an ID. Take the item, receipt, and original packaging to the store. No receipt? Expect a store credit, often for the lowest sales price.

Ask to speak with a manager. If you have a problem, a supervisor or customer service representative will likely have more flexibility and authority to resolve the issue.

For more information about getting your money back, read Solving Problems With a Business: Returns, Refunds, and Other Resolutions. While you’re at it, sign up for the consumer alerts at It’s the best way to keep up with the latest from the FTC.

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The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

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Shaharul Ali
January 02, 2024

please give me return

January 02, 2024

People don’t give gifts with a receipt

January 02, 2024


January 02, 2024

Good information! Thank you!

January 02, 2024

Thank you for your zearods attempt in keeping the public informed, not only that but ,give
us tips on how to stay ahead of the game.

Jane C Crosby
January 02, 2024

Thank you for the info on all the different scams going on out there. I will donate with ease and make sure to read all the paperwork and even between the lines. Literally!