2012 Holiday Return Policies

With the holiday season coming to a close, consumers have started to deal with their holiday loot.

Holiday gift exchange and return policies haven’t changed too much from last year, but some stores have tightened return periods on certain classes of items to prevent policy abuse.

Here are return policy links and key terms for prominent local and online tech retailers, as well restocking fees or unusual return quirks to look for:

Amazon.com (http://amzn.to/11ZHb0L) – Most items sold after Nov. 1 can be returned by Jan. 31 for a full refund.  Software, DVDs/movies and books may have a 50% restocking fee if opened.  See Amazon’s return policy page for product-specific return information.

Apple Store (http://bit.ly/9ITJXt) – Online purchases made from Oct. 27 to Dec. 25 can be returned until Jan. 7.  Apple does not have restocking fees.

Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/espAXl) – Most purchases made between Nov. 14 and Dec. 31 are returnable by Jan. 31.  Some digital purchases, e-books and magazines, are nonrefundable.

Best Buy (http://bit.ly/sHLS6K) – Purchases after Nov. 4 can be returned until Jan. 24.  Carrier service contracts and subscriptions may not be covered.  Certain Reward Zone loyalty members may receive a 60 day return period on all items.

Kmart (http://kmrt.us/v42r5v) – Most items returnable within 90 days.  Opened movies, video games and computer software, among other items, may not be returned.

Office Depot (http://bit.ly/PPeLq) – Tech items only returnable after 14 days; may be subject to a 15% restocking fee if accessories or items are missing.  Other items returnable within 30 days of purchase.

Office Max (http://bit.ly/i4cKV8) – Most non-tech items returnable within 30 days, while tech items can only be returned within 14 days.  Opened tech items are subject to a 15% restocking fee.

Sears (http://bit.ly/UbrQnU) – Sears has three tiers of return periods, with products being eligible for returns up to 30, 60 or 90 days from purchase.  Most tech items seem to fall under the 30 day window.  Opened products may be subject to  a 15% restocking fee.

Shopko (http://bit.ly/eJ0zPC) –Most electronics can be returned within 30 days, while normal items can be returned within 90 days.  Phones are non-refundable if opened.

Target (http://bit.ly/tMwBNl) – Most purchases can be returned within 90 days of the purchase date, with receipt.  Some electronics, like computers, tablets and game systems purchased after Nov. 1 can be returned within 30 days, but the 30 days starts December 26.

Toys “R” Us (http://bit.ly/7qpzJ0) – Most items returnable within 90 days.  Most electronics can be returned within 45 days.  Opened electronics were previously unreturnable at TRU, but are now covered under the electronics return policy.

Walmart (http://walmart.com/returns) – Most items can be returned within 90 days, with receipt. Electronics purchases made from Nov. 1 on can be returned within 15 days, with the first date that “counts” being December 26.

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