Your guide to returning unwanted Christmas gifts made easy

Posted at 6:53 AM, Dec 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-26 06:53:54-05

Nearly a quarter of annual returns to retailers happen during the Holiday season — according to Oporto, a tech firm that helps retailers track inventory, that’s roughly $90 billion worth of gifts.

While some still debate whether returning gifts is allowed, millions continue to do it. That’s why on 7 Action News we took a closer look at return policies to get a handle on what you need to know.


Before you attempt to return something in-store you should make sure you haven’t missed the timeframe that the item fits into.

Walmart has a 90 day return policy, while Macy’s will allow you to return an item up to 180 days after purchase regardless if you have a receipt (they’ll offer you the lowest value the item has sold for over that period of time, and you’ll receive store credit).

The bottom line: not all return policies are created equal — before you wait in a long line to return a gift, make sure you stop by the store’s website and you double-check whether you’re eligible to return an item.

You can learn more details about major retailers by visiting this website: "Holiday Shopping Return Guide."


It doesn’t necessarily matter that you didn’t purchase a gift online — some retailers allow for free shipping on returns. According to the National Retail Federation, more than 1/3 of retailers offer free shipping on returns, so make sure you double-check the rules.

It’s worth checking into, because close to 40-percent of shoppers return items on December 26th or 27th.

Experts suggest waiting until late December or early January to return items to avoid bigger lines.


This will open a whole different type of debate, but if you’re willing to re-gift an item that can’t be returned it may be worth your time.

A second option is to sell an item online.

Amazon offers the option to sell unwanted, un-returnable gifts, when you visit their return page.

If you’ve received a gift card that you don’t think you’ll be able to use consider using a service that allow you to sell the card for cash.

Gift Card Granny is one popular app/website that allows you to quickly, and easily, sell a gift card for a good chunk of cash back. Other apps that offer a similar service include Carpool and Raise.