Tips on how to return unwanted holiday gifts

Experts recommend to not wait too long to return your items

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – Americans spend hundreds of billions of dollars on holiday gifts each year, but more than 11% of those presents will go back!

And get this, eight out of 10 consumers say they lie and pretend they like a gift even when they hate it.

But you don’t have to be stuck with the ugly sweater from grandma. Here’s some advice on how to get the most out of your holiday returns.

Ever got a gift you wished you wouldn’t have?

We asked retail insiders the top tips to help get the most of your holiday returns.

“We do have gift receipts. I recommend it,” said Alan Chambers, director of operations at John Craig.

Don’t wait too long. Most stores have a 30 to 60 day return policy and keep the tags on if you can.

“With the online store, your tags have to be on the items,” Chambers added.

Some companies also charge a restocking fee for items that are already opened, special ordered, or customized.

A typical restocking fee for electronics is around 15% of the purchased price.

Google the retailer’s return policy before contacting the store.

If your item was purchased online, see if you can return it in store to avoid costly packing fees.

Find out who pays for shipping, always ask if returns are free, and read the retailers reviews.

Many people will comment—good and bad—on their return experience.

If all else fails, many credit cards offer return protection—essentially reimbursing you if you need to return something and the store won’t take it back.

And before you send anything back, always take a quick photo of it for your records.

If you fail to get a refund or exchange for your gift, consider reselling it online.

Sites like Amazon Marketplace, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and Poshmark are good sources.

Contributor(s) to this news report include: Julie Marks, Producer; Bob Walko, Videographer and Editor. To receive a free weekly email on Smart Living from Ivanhoe, sign up at:

About the Author:

Gretchen Nowroozi was born and raised in Houston. She started working at KSAT as an intern in 2019 after graduating from Michigan State University. She is a producer for Good Morning San Antonio.