FILE: Shoppers wait in the checkout line at the Wal-Mart store in Chicago, Illinois. Shoppers across the country will be lining up Wednesday to return gifts they recevied for Christmas. Most stores have a generous return policy, as long as you have a receipt. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images
Photo: Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Gift returns: What are the store policies for Amazon, Macy’s, Walmart, Target and others?

Maybe the sweater didn’t fit, or you already have the video game your Aunt Sarah got you.

If you are inclined to return a holiday gift, you are not alone. According to the National Retail Federation, 17 percent of consumers who answered its survey plan to return or exchange unwanted gifts.

Fifty percent say they will be shopping the after-Christmas deals in-store this year. Forty-five percent will do it online.

Below are the return policies for various retailers as they are stated on each company’s website. Click on the retailer’s name to get full details about the policy.

  • Amazon: “Items shipped by Amazon.com between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 of this year, may be returned until Jan. 31 of the following year for a full refund, subject to our other return guidelines.”
  • Apple: “Items purchased at the Apple Online Store that are received between Nov. 14, 2018, and Dec. 25, 2018, may be returned through Jan. 8, 2019. Please note that all other terms and conditions provided in the Apple Online Store Sales and Refunds Policy are still applicable with respect to such items purchased. All purchases made after Dec. 25, 2018, are subject to the Standard Return Policy. Standard Return Policy: You have 14 calendar days to return an item from the date you received it.”
  • Banana Republic: “Items are in their original condition: unwashed and unworn. Items not in this condition will not be accepted. Items purchased online or in stores between Nov. 1, 2018 and Dec. 24, 2018, may be returned by Jan. 15, 2019, or 45 days after purchase, whichever is later. For those online items returned by mail, these must be received at our facility by Jan. 15, 2019, or 45 days after purchase, whichever is later.”
  • Barnes & Noble: “If you're not satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a refund. We will issue a refund to your original form of payment for items returned within 14 days. All returned items must be in their original condition; shrink-wrapped products must be unopened.”
  • Bass Pro Shops: “Bass Pro Shops offers a "no hassle" return policy. If the item was purchased through the catalog or online, you may return it to us at the catalog center or the store within 60 days of purchase. After 60 days from the purchase date, all returns will be accepted on an inspection basis only.”
  • Bed Bath and Beyond: “Returns with a receipt: For up to one year after purchase just provide your receipt and for most products, we will refund the purchase price to the original form of payment or issue a Merchandise Credit. Returns without a receipt: Our goal is always to be fair and reasonable, so we'll do all we can to find a record of your purchase. If we can't find it, we'll issue a Merchandise Credit for the item's current selling price less 20 percent to account for the possible use of a coupon.”
  • Belk: “Please bring in the item(s), along with your merchandise receipt (within 180 days of purchase) and the original Order Summary to any customer service area in a land-based store near you. If you have a merchandise receipt and are within 180 days of purchase, we will refund the full purchases price to your original form of payment. For returns without a merchandise receipt or after 180 days from purchase, we will refund the lowest sale price offered in the last 30 days, credited to your Belk Charge or a Belk Gift Card.”
  • Best Buy: “If you are not fully satisfied with your purchase, let us help you with a replacement, return or repair. … Almost every purchase made throughout November and December can be returned through Jan. 12, 2019. Purchases made between Oct. 28, 2018, and Dec. 28, 2018, have an extended return period through Jan. 12, 2019, excluding cell phones, devices that can be activated and AppleCare monthly plans. All other terms and conditions of our Return & Exchange Promise apply.” 
  • Costco: “We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell and will refund your purchase price, with the following exceptions:
    Electronics: Costco will accept returns within 90 days (from the date the member received the merchandise) for televisions, tuner-free displays, projectors, major appliances (refrigerators above 10 cubic. feet, freezers, ranges, cooktops, over-the-range microwaves, dishwashers, washers and dryers), computers, touchscreen tablets, smartwatches, cameras, aerial cameras (drones), camcorders, MP3 players and cellular phones (return details will vary by carrier service contract).”
  • Eddie Bauer: “Every product we sell is designed to be the best and built to last. If anything you buy falls short of those standards, you're invited to return it at any time.”
  • Kohl's: “With an original receipt, you'll get a refund or even exchange. If you paid with a check, you may get a merchandise credit, cash or a corporate refund. With a gift receipt, you'll get an even exchange of a merchandise credit. Without a receipt, our stores offer great prior purchase look-up options. If we cannot locate your original purchase and/or for non-receipted returns, information from your valid ID will be stored to monitor your return activity. You will receive a Kohl's merchandise credit based on a discounted lowest 13-week sale price of the item(s). Additional processing may be required. The return deadline for premium electronics purchased from Nov. 1, 2018 to Dec. 25, 2018, is Jan. 31, 2019.”
  • Macy's: “We want you to love your purchase, but if you are not completely satisfied, we will gladly accept many merchandise returns within 180 days of purchase. There are exceptions to our 180-day return policy. For example, Last Act items must be returned within 30 days of purchase. Free returns in-store or by mail. Contiguous U.S. only. Exclusions apply. Please note: Items being returned must be in their original condition. Shipping fees are non-refundable.”
  • Nordstrom: “We handle returns on a case-by-case basis with the ultimate objective of making our customers happy. … We do apply returns to the tender it was purchased with. If we choose to provide a refund and no record of sale is available, we will ask for personal identification and a return will be provided at current price on a Nordstrom gift card.”
  • Old NavyThe GapBanana Republic: “… Returns and exchanges are free when you use our prepaid return shipping label or when you return in store. You have up to 45 days to return items purchased at Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic. Items purchased from Athleta and Hill City may be returned at any time. Full details of all our return policies can be found on our ‘Return Policies’ page.”
  • Target: “Most unopened items sold by Target in new condition and returned within 90 days will receive a refund or exchange. Some items sold by Target have a modified return policy noted on the receipt, packing slip, Target policy board (refund exceptions), Target.com or in the item department. Items that are opened or damaged or do not have a receipt may be denied a refund or exchange. All electronics and entertainment items must be returned within 30 days for a refund or exchange. For these items purchased between 11/1 - 12/25, the 30-day refund period will start on 12/26. All Apple products, excluding mobile phones, must be returned within 15 days. For these items purchased between 11/1 - 12/25, the 15-day refund period will start on 12/26.”
  • T.J. MAXX: “If you're not satisfied with your purchase, return the merchandise accompanied by a register receipt within 30 days of purchase for an exchange or refund in the original form of tender. A 10-day period is required for a cash refund on check purchases. Returns with a receipt over 30 days, with a gift receipt or without a receipt will receive merchandise credit only. … Purchases made between Oct. 14 – Dec. 24 may be returned in store or by mail through Jan. 23, 2019.
    “Our standard return policy will apply to all purchases made beginning Dec. 26, 2018. With a receipt/packing slip or shipping confirmation email will receive a cash refund or charge credit. With a gift receipt will receive a merchandise credit. Without a receipt/packing slip or shipping confirmation email will receive a merchandise credit.
    “Fine Jewelry returns must be accompanied by register receipt and returned to a Marshalls/T.J. Maxx store that has a Fine Jewelry Department.”
  • Walmart: “Some orders placed between Oct. 28, 2018, and Dec. 25, 2018, will have an extended return time frame allowing them to be returnable later.
    “Many items purchased between Oct. 28 and Dec. 25 are gifts, this extended return time frame allows time to return unwanted gifts:
    “If an item has a 15- or 30-day return window, we extended the return time so that it does not start until Dec. 26.
    “As the 90-day return window already covers the holidays, there is no change to it and the 90 days starts the day the item is delivered.
    “Most items purchased at Walmart.com may be returned either to a store or by mail unless stated otherwise in the list of exceptions below by department. Items must be returned in the original manufacturer's packaging. We strongly recommend you keep your packaging for at least the first 90 days after purchase. Items purchased from dealers or resellers and not Walmart.com directly are not eligible for return, refund or exchange.”
  • Zappos: “If you are not 100 percent satisfied with your purchase from Zappos you can return your item(s) for a full refund within 365 days of purchase. (Returns must be unworn, in the state you received them, and in the original packaging.) Some items ship with an attached security tag. Merchandise returned without the original security tag attached or a damaged tag may not qualify for a refund.”
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