How to return and exchange gifts or purchases you don’t need

Everyone returns one Gifts or impulse purchases from time to time. Maybe not appropriate. It may not suit your taste. Maybe you ordered something on a whim (or you got a great deal), and now you have buyer’s regret. Or maybe you just read a book that celebrates the virtues of minimalism and want to change this lifestyle. Whether it’s a kind gift from a relative or your impulsive Amazon Prime order, the good news is that you can return it easily.

Regardless of your logic in returning the goods, you are not alone.This National Retail Federation estimates The value of goods returned in 2019 was approximately US$309 billion, accounting for approximately 8% of total sales. During the holiday season, it is estimated that two-thirds of gift givers will return items.

“Consumers are really used to being able to return goods,” said Larisa Summers, Optoro’s senior vice president of marketing and e-commerce, a platform that helps retailers such as Target and Staples recover the cost of returns. “I think many consumers don’t realize how complicated this is for retailers.”

You might think that returned goods will be restocked on the shelves they came from, but Summers says this happens only about half the time. Other times, returned goods will be sold to other retailers – or worse, thrown away. Optoro estimates that 5 billion pounds of returned items end up in landfills each year.

Therefore, if you are returning holiday gifts or purchased goods, do so in a wise and sustainable way. Treating rewards wisely produces the best gift: a less cluttered home and planet.

Update June 2021: Most of our suggestions on how to return are still valid; we have updated some retailers’ return deadlines and policies.

Basic knowledge

The first thing: You have more time than you think. Although “30 days after purchase” is the normal annual policy, most retailers will adjust the return date around the shopping holiday to accommodate returns. Due to Covid-19, we have also seen an extension of the regular return policy.

If possible, make sure to use all labels, accessories, and original packaging to pack your products. Unless you are replacing a defective product, please make sure that your product is in good condition. Summers said that items returned in their original packaging and in their original condition are easier to resell. If there is no original packaging, the possibility of items being thrown away is higher.

Bring your receipt, especially if it is a gift receipt. Generally speaking, having one makes you easier and more likely to earn cash or store points in exchange for your return. If you lose your receipt, some stores will work with you to collect order information. At other retailers, you will be out of luck. Some shops require you to show your ID card, so be sure to bring it.

Summers encourages you to share the reasons for returning products. Retailers will take this feedback seriously because it can help them reduce returns for the next year.

Finally, understand the policies of individual stores. Some stores will adjust their policies for opened or unopened products, while other stores will only accept returns and exchanges within the store. We have collected the policies of some of the most popular retailers, but it is best to have an in-depth understanding of the specific policies of the items you are trying to return before heading to the mall.

Amazon’s return policy

Amazon Returned and exchanged goods will be honored within 30 days after receipt of the goods.Pack your items and log in to your Amazon account to Start return. You need to enter the order ID from the packing list. Print and affix the provided return label to your package. After receiving your product, you will get a refund in the form of an Amazon gift card. (If you are the gift giver, you will get a refund.)

If you have Whole Foods (also owned by Amazon) near you, Easier. Just start the return in your Amazon account as usual, but choose your local Whole Foods as the drop-off point. Amazon will send you a QR code via email. Bring the product (no need to bring the original box or packaging) and QR code to Whole Foods and hand it to the customer service or pick-up/return kiosk. That’s it-they will take it, pack it, and send it back for you.

Technology retailers: Apple, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target

apple Only accept returns of items purchased in the Apple Store or Apple website. Please note that Apple’s return window is shorter than some other retailers-there are 14 calendar days from arrival to return. For gifts, refunds will be issued in the form of Apple gift cards. Exchange can only be done in the Apple Store.

Log in to your account, choose whether you want to return or return the product, then Follow the instructions on the page. If you want to return your iPhone or iPad, please contact your wireless carrier to ensure that the wireless service has been cancelled.


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