U.S. retailers expect to handle about $72 billion worth of holiday returns this year, according to estimates from the National Retail Federation. That’s 10 percent of their total holiday sales.
An analysis of current holiday return policies by ConsumerWorld.org, a consumer education website, finds that most major retailers are nice, and a few are even innovative.
“My number one tip is to take back your return items in pristine condition with all the packaging and tags, and with a receipt or gift receipt,” Edgar Dworsky, founder and editor of Consumer World, told NBC News BETTER. “Without proof of purchase, you may only get the lowest price the item has sold for in the past 90 days, or you might be offered nothing at all. Remember, there is no automatic right to return something, unless it’s defective.”
Consumer World’s 15th annual Holiday Return Policy Survey highlights some unusual and noteworthy policies. Among them: Amazon will pay the return shipping on items purchased using Alexa; Target REDcard holders get 30 extra return days; Many retailers have shortened the holiday return window for Apple products to 15 days starting on Dec. 26. This matches Apple’s standard corporate return policy.