Stores with the best and worst return policies

Holiday shoppers line up to get gifts (WTNH)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)– We all want to give the perfect gift, but the reality is, a lot of holiday gifts will be returned. That’s why it’s so important to know a store’s return policy before you buy.

The thing about return policies is that Connecticut doesn’t have a law about return policies, so Howard Schwartz of the Better Business Bureau says it is up to the retailer to do what is right, or at least what they think is right. Some do much better at that than others.

“In some cases, you may only have two weeks to do the return,” explained Schwartz. “Others will give you several months. In fact, I’ve heard of one or two stores that will allow you an entire year.”

If you’re shopping online, is famous for its return policy. You can return unworn shoes up to a year after purchase, and they give you free return shipping labels, so it costs you nothing.

If you’re heading to a department store, Nordstrom’s tops most lists for return policy, because it doesn’t really have a policy, except to do whatever it can to satisfy the customer.. Each return is on a case-by-case basis.

L.L. Bean is famous for allowing you to return things even after you’ve used them.

Kohl’s has no time limit on returns, and they can look up purchases in the last 12 months, so you don’t even need a receipt.

Macy’s also has no time limit on returns. If you have a receipt, you get a gift card for the full price. Without a receipt you’ll get a card for the lowest price in the past 180 days.

But the Better Business Bureau warns if you have opened something and try to return it, you might not get all your money back because of the re-stocking fee.

“Restocking fee is something you can be charged, anywhere between 15-25%, typically, because, if you’ve opened an item, or if you’ve opened it, they can no longer re-sell it as new,” said Howard Schwartz, Better Business Bureau.

Kmart won’t accept returns of any movies, video games or CDs if they’ve been opened. For everything else, you’ve only got 4 weeks from purchase to return them. It has one of the toughest return policies.

Along with Barnes and Noble. You only have two weeks to return things there, and you better have a receipt, and you won’t get your money back if you’ve removed the shrink wrap.

The Better Business Bureau says, no matter where you shop, getting a gift receipt makes it much easier for someone to return something, just in case you did not pick out the perfect gift.

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