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There are always two parts to the holiday shopping season: the buying and gifting phase and the receiving and returning phase. If the abundance of Black Friday deals already available is any indication, we're currently in the midst of part one.
Truth be told, no matter how much you think you know that special someone, or yourself, not every holiday gift is a guaranteed smash hit. Perhaps you should've ordered that pair of fuzzy winter boots a size larger, or that "new" laptop can't seem to hold a charge; the odds are always stacked against you, and the ability to return a defective product is just as valuable as the discount it came with.
Below I've broken down the fine print of every major retailer and brand so you know exactly how long you have before the holiday shopping return window is closed, and which store offers the most security.
When shopping, you should pay close attention to whether you're choosing products that are sold and shipped directly from Amazon, which qualify for the retailer's extended return policy, and ones that are distributed by third-party sellers, which don't qualify.
When in doubt, look for the "Returnable until Jan 31, 2024" label under the buy button on listings for confirmation. Downloadable and consumable digital products such as gift cards are not eligible for returns, period.
What happens if my item arrives damaged?
In the case that an item arrives damaged, either due to shipping or manufacturer defect, reach out to the retailer or brand's customer service line immediately for further instruction. In most cases, the return or replacement process will be the same as usual.
However, there is a possibility that you may have to file an investigation claim with your local carrier if the damage is suspected to have occurred during shipping.
What if I don't have my receipt?
Most stores will require you to have either a physical or digital receipt should you want to return a product. If you ordered from an e-commerce platform like Amazon, Walmart, or Newegg, the receipt should be available to you on your Orders page.