Making gift returns smoother

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SALT LAKE CITY — Christmas is over and gift recipients are sorting through which gifts work and which gifts will be returned, but you may want to think twice about returning some unwanted presents.

Consumer Reports warns of online returns, returning gift cards and restocking fees, in addition to the problem of no receipt.

They say gift receipts are key, as some stores won't even do a return without it. Some stores will accept returns without a receipt, but you may be stuck with store credit for the lowest selling price from the past three months.

Restocking fees can also bite into your return amounts. According to Consumer Reports, Amazon takes 20 percent for items returned 30 or more days after delivery. Other stores also charge a restocking fee if items are unpackaged.

That rule is especially strict with electronics.

"Many retailers will charge you a little portion of the purchase prices, 15 percent, 20 percent, whether you've opened it or not," said Jody Rohlena, Smart Shop Magazine Editor.

Make sure everything has its tags and in its proper packaging if you want the return process to go smoothly.

If a gift is purchased online, you have to return it online, as some brick and mortar stores won't take the present back.


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