Holiday Shopping Returns

It’s the most wonderful time of the year already. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

To give consumers more time to save for the holiday season (or, if one were more cynical, to encourage them to spend for it), Costco and Home Depot have already begun displaying Christmas trees, and Walmart just released its annual top toy list. Experts predict the period between Thanksgiving and CyberMonday will, for the first time, not be a critical measure of holiday sales, because spending will be spread out starting now. 

But you know what won’t necessarily be spread out? The time you have to return purchases. There is no federal law that requires stores to take back items even with a receipt, except stores that have created return policies must abide by them. So before you plunk down your money on a holiday gift, ask how long you have to return it, to ensure that period doesn’t expire before your Halloween candy gets eaten.

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