Tips for Returning Holiday Gifts – Couponista Queen ~ Saving, Eating, Crafting

Tips for Returning Holiday Gifts

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Tips for Returning Holiday Gifts

Christmas and the Holidays are a magical and fabulous time, but sometimes you get gifts that either don’t suit, don’t fit, are broken, or you just can’t use. When it comes to returning gifts, it is usually a dreaded experience right up there with a visit to the DMV. Here are some tips for returning gifts that may save you some hassle and stress!

Know where the Item Came From

Let’s face it; just because a family member said they got you that gift at Kohl’s, doesn’t mean that is where it really came from. We are human and forget exactly where each item came from.  We also fib! Do a quick search on Google for the brand name, check the tag, or look at the receipt to try make sure you are returning it to the right store.  You can also just ‘fess up and ask the giver.  Awkward maybe but you will know, especially in the event that the gift was broken or needs a size adjustment.

Ask for an Exchange

Instead of just asking for your money back, store clerks are more likely to give you less hassle when you ask for an exchange or in-store credit. If you know you will want something from that store later, ask for in-store credit right away.  If you are lacking a receipt, you will likely be given store credit at the current selling price.

Remember the Card You Purchased the Item With

If you bought the gift and need to return it, remember which card you used. Even if you have the receipt, most stores will not give you cash back but will put it back on the card you used. This is where asking for in-store credit, or an exchange makes it easier if you don’t have the card you used.

Beat the Crowds by Waiting

The absolute worst time to get in and out of a store quickly and efficiently is the week after Christmas. Of course, everyone wants to get their Christmas gifts returned and enjoy their new item, and lots of people are off work and school making the stores busy and the clerks harried. If you want to beat the crowds, wait until the holiday season calms down. Two weeks after the holiday is an ideal time to make your returns or exchanges.  Just be aware of store time limits on returns and exchanges.

Know the Return Policy

If you go to the store not knowing the return policy, many clerks are going to tell you their version of it. Know what the policy is before you step foot in the store. Print a copy if you can. This will make your return smooth and easy. If a clerk is giving you a hassle, ask for the manager immediately.  Try to stay calm and nice and you are much more likely to have a positive outcome.

Find the Receipt

Making returns is so much easier with a receipt. Many gifts don’t come with a gift receipt unless requested upon purchase, or you have bought so many gifts you have no clue where the receipt is. If you don’t have a receipt, it’s ok because you can still do in-store credit or an exchange. However, the receipt makes the transaction that much smoother.  Next year designate an envelope for all holiday receipts and you will be ahead of the game.  I like to just include the gift receipt with the gift so that the recipient has it.  Easy and done.

What tips do you have for returning Christmas gifts? Share your tips in the comments below!


This post may contain affiliate links, including Amazon.  Please visit our Privacy Policy and Disclosures.


  1. makes me think of the kohls cash video, so like um do I like lose alllll my kohls cash, or like just some of my kohls cash lol

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