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For Unhappy Gift Recipients, ‘Tis the Season For Returns

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Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) –     ‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the land, folks brought unwanted gifts back to the stores, receipts in hand.

The sweater was too large.  Or, there’s no way you’ll let your newborn wear that New York Giants onesie from your North Jersey relatives.

So, it’s time to return that merchandise.  You can smooth the process by knowing the store’s return policies and having a gift receipt, says Cherry Hill Mall senior marketing director Lisa Wolstromer.

“If you don’t have a receipt, some stores may not exchange an item or refund an item,” she warns.  “Or you may get only what the current (post-Christmas) price of the item is.  So, a gift receipt is really important to remember to give with the gift.”

And leave the tags and other packaging in place.

(Lisa Wolstromer, Cherry Hill Mall's senior marketing director.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Lisa Wolstromer, Cherry Hill Mall’s senior marketing director. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

“If you’re going to return something like clothing, leave the tags on so that they know that the item wasn’t worn,” Wolstromer (right) advises.  “Especially, too, if you’re returning electronic items, make sure that you keep it in the packaging.”

Otherwise, you may face a restocking or repackaging fee.

And don’t delay, she says.  Retailers may not accept returns after thirty, sixty, or ninety days.

Finally, if you can’t return an item, Wolstromer says, consider donating it to a charity — or, if all else fails, regifting it.

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