5 retailers with stiff return policies

Wikimedia Commons/user Trogain file photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you received a Christmas gift that isn’t your size, isn’t your style, or you don’t need, now is the time to return or exchange it. The window for returns is already closing, especially at top popular retailers.

Kiplinger consulted several shopping experts, who agreed on the major stores that tend to be the least generous with their return policies.

Apple has one of the stingiest return policies at just 14 days from the date you receive your purchase. Only items purchased directly from Apple.com or at an Apple retail store can be returned to Apple. Apple products purchased from other retailers are subject to those retailers’ return policies.

Best Buy allows its customers just 15 days from date of purchase to return most merchandise in-store or online, and 14 days for cellphones and devices with a carrier contract. Like many retailers, Best Buy does have an extended holiday return window. Original receipts or packing slips are required for refunds. Best Buy also makes it online customers pay return shipping fees for unwanted items returned by mail. The retailer provides a prepaid return shipping label with each package, but shipping fees are later deducted from the refund amount.

Barnes & Noble offers its customers a short return window at only 14 days for in-store and online purchases. Customers must have the original receipt or packing slip and all items must be in original condition and unopened if shrink-wrapped. Also, for online returns by mail, customers will have to pay for the return shipping fee. Barnes & Noble offers a pre-printed return label, but not prepaid return shipping. Note that gift cards and most downloaded purchases can’t be returned.

Lululemon customers who want to make a return must do it within 14 days of receiving their online order or making an in-store purchase. Items must be unwashed, unworn, still have the tags attached and customers must provide a proof of purchase in order to receive a refund.

In-store purchases and returns from Victoria’s Secret are fairly easy, with a 90-day return window with original receipts. However, for items returned in the mail, you’ll be dinged $5.99 from your refund amount.

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