Christmas is over and while you love some of the gifts you received, there are still a few that make you question the buyer’s sanity.  I mean, you don’t even like Pokémon and yet your sweet aunt bought you a themed cookie jar.

Maybe, just maybe, you have switched roles and you are now the purchaser that is taking a few guesses on what family members will want. Deep down inside, though, you’re hoping that your little sister really loves like the funnel cake maker.

We’ve all been in the sudden death matches at stores wondering what to do. Below are a few tips that might make the returning process easier for you and your gift recipients.

#1. Keep Receipts

Whatever you do, don’t throw away receipts. Whether you designate a specific envelope for all of the receipts or you put them all in your wallet, just don’t throw anything away. Without a receipt, the returner sometimes receives the sale price of the item even though you spent more on it then they got back. Also, some stores require that the receipt be present at time of return. Regardless, just keep your receipts.

#2. Know Your Cards

Most stores today must have the original credit card to fully refund the purchase. If they don’t have it, they most likely will give you store credit and sometimes that isn’t very appealing. Whether you bought the gift or you’re returning something from someone else, always make sure that you know the card that it was bought with. Even though it may be awkward at first, you might just have to bring the purchaser along so you can get the correct change back to buy something you actually will like.

#3. Calm Your Excitement

Before you start ripping off tags or damaging the package, make sure you actually want the gift. That may require you doing some research or trying on before you decide it’s a keeper. Take the extra few minutes so that you don’t make the returning process harder on yourself.

#4. Sale vs. No Sale

As a buyer, individuals can get extremely excited about the great deals that they are scoring – not realizing that the gift can’t be retuned. As much as that may stink, you unfortunately may just get stuck with something.  It happens to the best of us, so realize you aren’t the first person to keep something you don’t like.

#5. Be Proactive

Holiday shopping is equivalent to the Hunger Games. We’re not telling you to go exactly the day after Christmas to make sure you get what you want, but also don’t wait till March to expect what you want in the store. Make sure you do all of the returns in a timely manner so you don’t lose anything.

#6. Read Everything

Sometimes stores can be tricky and decide to slip in fine print on the bottom of receipts. Don’t be fooled this post-holiday season and make sure you read everything on the receipt so you know upfront what you may be going against. Some stores can be confusing, so it might also help to visit their online website to read more about returns.
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