Christmas gift return guide

About 9 percent of merchandise will be returned to stores

By Eryka Washington - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - While holiday shoppers buy, buy, buy, stores know some merchandise will be returned.  In fact, almost 9 percent of what consumers purchase is returned.

The store to which you're making a return can make all the difference because each outlet has its own rules. 

For some, no receipt means no problem.  Stores are increasingly making it a non-issue.

Target can now verify purchases made in the last 90 days, as long as you made it with a check or a debit, credit or gift card (that's still in your possession).

Macy's will look up the electronic version of your receipt up to two years later.

And Lowe's customer service can find most in-store receipts.

To avoid a hassle, many merchants are turning to digital receipts -- paperless transactions that cut clutter and let you save receipts in one easy place.

Apple uses them for in-store purchases. And companies like Hertz, Oakley, Tumi, and Whole Foods offer paperless receipts as an option.

You do want to make sure you keep your receipt because not having one could mean the store won't allow a return.

Williams-Sonoma won't take a gift back without a receipt unless the item is defective.

Bloomingdale's only gives store credit for the lowest-selling price in the past three months for receipt-less gift returns.

And don't forget about restocking fees.

Sears charges a 15 percent restocking fee for electronics without their packaging or accessories.

Finally, stores often require some form of ID when making a return.  Companies say it's all in the name of security and fighting fraud.

Hopefully your Santa will get it right and you won't need to make any returns this holiday season!

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