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Gift Returns: How to Handle Post-Holiday Crush

By Laura Strachan, Esq. | Last updated on

Following the holiday shopping rush is the less popular but always pervasive post-holiday gift return. People will be anxious to return their unwanted gifts starting this week. In much the same way that purchases are at their highest during the holiday season, so too are gift returns. So be prepared to toe the delicate line between enforcing gift return policies and not upsetting gift-return customers.

The best approach to gift returns during any season is to set out a policy that is visible to the customer when he or she is buying the present. Whether you require a receipt or the item not to be used or opened, prominently putting this policy at eye level will help to limit confusion and disputes.

Some special holiday issue might nevertheless arise, particularly if you typically impose a time limit for returns. The problem is simple: a shopper may buy a present early and not give it until months later. Having a holiday exception for a time window may help some customers. Gift givers like to know there will be a chance to return or exchange the item if it's not a perfect fit.

The Imperial Valley Press reports that 20% of Americans plan to return at least one holiday gift this year. With a figure like that, there is no excuse for not being prepared for the post-holiday crunch.

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