I probably should have written this post two weeks ago but posts get written when inspiration hits us, right? Every year people go out and buy all sorts of things as Christmas gifts and then something happens, almost anything, and things don’t quite turn out as the buyer had hoped. There are whole processes that some people know about and some don’t, or that some have forgotten about. These are 5 reminders to help you in your holiday purchases.

Wee Westie Christmas 2007
Creative Commons License Randy Robertson via Compfight

1. Gift receipt policy. You should always know what the gift receipt policy is for every store you purchased something from. Some allow 2 weeks, some a week, some not at all if an item has been opened, such as software and computer games.

2. Re-stocking fees. Isn’t this one the biggest load of garbage you’ve ever heard of? Unfortunately many stores have it, and some stores will charge you as much as 50% to take back an item; the nerve! Definitely remember to ask about this.

3. Don’t destroy the boxes items are purchased in. On Christmas day, there’s a lot of pulverizing of boxes that had gifts in them, and then that gift goes bad in some way a couple of days later and some stores will only take back a purchase if it’s in the same container. My rule of thumb is to always keep a box at least 2 weeks with all the packing and instructions, since they want those back as well, to protect yourself.

4. Clothing is always problematic as a gift. If anyone thinks about returning it, the item has to pretty much still look new, which means no stains and definitely don’t wash it. I know some people get the item, wear it for a full day, and then decide to take it back; bad idea. Some stores won’t go for it, while some others won’t like it but will take it back (do you hear that re-stocking comment?).

5. Can you return items to any of the stores in a chain. Every once in awhile you’re told that the item has to go back to the same store it was purchased from. That won’t work if you shipped the item to someone as a gift purchase so verify that one before you decide to send someone a product.

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