Last month I got an early start on my Christmas shopping when I spotted some items in an ad that I thought would be perfect for the annual secret Santa gift exchange. The store, Five Below, has items priced from $1 to $5 and I was happy to snag the two items I wanted. Since it was early November and I wasn’t completely sure I was going to stick with these items, I thought it best to check on the store return policy. I asked the cashier and was surprised to hear the store doesn’t accept returns. If there is a problem or imperfection in an item, they’ll replace it, if you return the item within 14 days with a receipt.
Stores are getting more open about advertising their return policies. It’s to everyone’s advantage for stores to do this as it prevents misunderstandings between the store and customers. Many stores print their return policy on the receipt.
During the holidays, stores usually get more generous, extending the time frame for customers to return items. Best Buy is giving you until January 24, 2013 to return holiday purchases. Many stores, like Target, already have 60 or 90 days return policies. But you can’t assume that all stores are so liberal.
In some cases there are exceptions to the standard return time frame, especially for items like electronics and cellphones. Some businesses charge a restocking fee for opened packages. It’s always a good idea to confirm your understanding of how long you have to make a final decision and whether or not you can open the package and still get all your money back.
If you think there’s a chance you’re going to have to return an item then make sure you know the policy, or you’ll have no one to blame but yourself if you can’t get all your money back. And don’t forget to hang on to those receipts.