Posted: 9:45 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, 2012
Tips for stress-free returns after the holidays
1. Know the retailer’s return policy before you buy. Most retailers have return policies prominently displayed in the store and also outline their return policies on their website.
2. Save and file all receipts. Some retailers will allow consumers to exchange merchandise without a receipt, but oftentimes will only provide merchandise credit for the lowest markdown price at which the item was sold during the holiday season.
3. Provide all original packaging and all parts — including tags — when giving a gift. Some retailers won’t accept returns unless the item is in its original package.
4. Make online returns easy by finding out if you or the merchant must pay for return shipping. Also, determine where to make returns. Does the retailer have a physical store, and can returns or exchanges be made there? Be sure you have the correct address if you need to mail returns back to the company.
5. Be patient when returning merchandise. Remember, the week after Christmas is one of the busiest weeks of the year for retailers.
SOURCE: National Retail Federation
By the Numbers: Return Fraud
$8.9 billion: amount lost to return fraud in 2012
$2.9 billion: return fraud this holiday season.
4.6 %: amount of holiday returns that are fraudulent.
96.5 %: amount of retailers who have experienced the return of stolen merchandise in the last year
84.2 %: amount of retailers who experienced the return of merchandise purchased on fraudulent or stolen tender.
64.9 %: reported amount of returned used, non-defective merchandise like special occasion apparel and certain electronics
45.6 %: amount of retailers who reported use of counterfeit receipts to return merchandise.
Source: National Retail Federation’s Return Fraud Survey