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7 Tips for Returns

7 On Your Side with Nina Pineda
Seven On Your Side
December 21, 2012 3:08:19 PM PST
It's inevitable, this holiday you'll get a gift that you'll need to return. But sometimes returning the item takes on a life of its own.

A fussy family is why Karen Levy gets ready for a season of returns.

"I give them something and they never wear it," Levy said.

If you don't want to spend a fortune sending gifts back, here are 7 tips for returns!

#1: Free return shipping sites

The first tip to happy returns is shopping on sites that offer free return shipping.

Tod Marks of Consumer Reports Magazine, says it is this season's trend in cyber-shopping. More online stores than ever are offering free shipping.

"It takes the muss and the fuss and the worry out returning and having that fee come out of your pocket," Marks said.

#2: Get a paper receipt and a digital receipt

Always get a paper receipt and get a digital receipt sent to your smart phone or email.

Only downside to a digital receipt is it may make you a target for marketers but it does gives you an added protection on returns.

#3: Don't open package or remove tags

If you're sure you don't like a gift, don't rip open that package or clip off the tags until your absolutely sure you're keeping it.

"You may be subject to a couple of things. They may not let you take the item back period or you may be subject to a restocking fee," Marks said.

#4: Know your return timeframe

Make sure you know your return time frame window because it may be a lot shorter than you think.

Certain products have a shorter shelf life than others. Some have as little as 7-14 days.

#5: Bring your ID

If you're rushing for returns, don't leave without your ID. 4 billion in return fraud means stores will be looking at you with a magnifying glass.

What most retailers do have is a separate area for returns.

#6: Know where to return

Before wasting time in the checkout line, ask exactly where in the store to take your specific item or better yet, start giving more gift card like Grandma Karen Levy.

# 7: Credit card protection

Check your credit card protection because some cards like American Express will refund your product if the store doesn't take it back.

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