Not Quite What You Asked Santa For? How and When to Return Christmas Gifts

Avoid The Lines By Being Choosy About When You Make a Return

While it is the season of giving, sometimes the gift given isn’t quite right.

Whether it doesn’t quite fit, wasn’t the right brand, or was broken right out of the box, there are plenty of reasons for folks to head back to the store to make a return.

What should just be a quick jaunt to the store could end up being a real headache, with many others hoping to make the same quick jaunt. The stress may be lessened by being choosy about when you make that return.

Malls and shopping centres are expected to remain busy through the new year

The National Retail Foundation (NRF) claims that about two-thirds of North American shoppers will make at least one return following the holidays, and suggests the best chance you have of beating the crowd is by arriving right when the store opens, usually around 10 am. Sunday mornings are generally the most preferred day to hit up the returns desk, while the NRF suggests going to the mall on New Year’s Day. Many were up late the night before and likely not feeling up to a trip to the mall, making it one of the most ideal times to make a return. So long as they’re open.

Related: What’s Open and What’s Closed New Year’s Day

Don’t count on always being able to make a return, however. Whether from the store or via the internet, there is no law in Canada that says all sellers must take back an item, according to the Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA). Every seller has a different return policy, which is often stated on the back of the receipt or posted near the cash register.

Vaughan Mills is Among the Major Shopping Centres in The Region Expected to Be Open New Year’s Day

The OCA says some stores will allow you to bring goods back but will set conditions. Examples are:

  • No returns or exchanges allowed on personal goods such as pierced earrings or swimsuits
  • Products may be exchanged but not returned for cashback
  • Goods must be returned within a set number of days
  • A credit note will be given instead of money returned
  • Goods must be unused and still have all tags, packaging, etc
  • You must have your sales receipt (although this is almost always required, some stores will refund or exchange without a receipt)
  • A restocking fee may be charged