Has­sle-free hol­i­day re­turns

Two-thirds of us will take back at least one gift this year, Of­fers.com says. Here, how to make it easy

First For Women - - Contents -

To re­turn an on­line buy: Look for lock­ers

On­line re­tail­ers are mak­ing it eas­ier than ever to re­turn gifts by al­low­ing you to take items back to brick-and-mor­tar lo­ca­tions. And Ama­zon has in­tro­duced more than 2,800 lock­ers in gro­cery and con­ve­nience stores across the coun­try, where you can re­turn pur­chases from the site! Just visit Ama­zon.com/re­turns and make a re­turn re­quest.

You’ll get an email with in­struc­tions on drop­ping it off. Have to ship an item back your­self? “Com­pare rates from car­ri­ers like UPS and FedEx at ZipShipIt. com and choose the option that best fits your bud­get,” ad­vises Court­ney Jes­persen, a sav­ings ex­pert at NerdWal­let.com.

To un­load a gift card: Sell it here

Gift cards have been the most pop­u­lar Christ­mas present for 12 years run­ning. But if you re­ceive one for a store you don’t shop at, you can re­sell it to recoup the cash. “Visit sites like GiftCardGranny.com and Card­pool.com to sell cards you don’t want,” sug­gests Sarah Hol­len­beck, shop­ping and sav­ings ex­pert at Of­fers.com. “Just en­ter the card in­for­ma­tion to get an in­stant of­fer. Card­pool even has kiosks and cashier-as­sisted lo­ca­tions in many su­per­mar­kets and Tar­get stores, where you can trade un­wanted gift cards for cash or ex­change them for cards you’ll ac­tu­ally use.”

Another option: Sell your card on your own. Sim­ply sign in to Face­book and click on the Mar­ket­place, then post your gift card and your ask­ing price. In­ter­ested buyers will re­spond and you can ar­range de­liv­ery.

To re­turn with­out a re­ceipt: Act fast

Even if you’re un­sure where the gift you wish to re­turn was bought, you’re not stuck with it! Sim­ply down­load the ShopSavvy app (free for iOS and An­droid) and scan the bar­code to see what store near you sells the item. “Just be sure to re­turn it as quickly as pos­si­ble—at the very least, within 30 days,” ad­vises Trae Bodge, a money-sav­ing ex­pert at TrueTrae.com. Dur­ing the hol­i­days, many stores re­lax their poli­cies, al­low­ing re­turns with­out a re­ceipt (you’ll likely get a store credit for the price of the item). “But if you wait, the item may go on clear­ance,” warns Bodge.

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