Tips for returning those unwanted holiday gifts

Returning gifts may be harder than just keeping them

Some stores will only give you store credit if you have no receipt. Never fear, as we've done the research on four retail giants and their gift return policies, so you can trade in those not-so-cute socks for the Beats headphones you've been dreaming of.

According to the National Retail Federation, almost 2/3 of holiday shoppers returned at least one item last Christmas. "In fact many major stores will only allow you 90 days to return an item but some as little 30 days or even 15 days".

Explain the product didn't live up to the quality you expected, Ms Spencer tells, and this should be all you need to say. For holiday purchases, gift items purchased online after November 13 are valid for return through January 7, or within 30 days from the shipping date - whichever comes later.

Christmas is over and all the presents have been handed out, but maybe there's a gift or two that missed the mark.

"The easiest way for us obviously is if you have the original receipt or if you have a gift receipt, just makes it easier for you to be able to get in, get out", Target Executive Team Leader for Guest Experience Ryan Stanski said.

So before you head out, you should know that most stores policies vary. But fear not: The deadlines for these items are extended for holiday shoppers. You must have a receipt to do an exchange or return.

They add that you may have a tougher time at electronics stores like Best Buy and Apple. The item just needs to be in its "original" condition, and you'll need proof of purchase, which can be a receipt or the credit card with which the item was purchased. No refunds. Many items, including music, movies, software and video games, are not eligible for return if their packages are opened. The company is a bit more charitable during the holiday season. Some items incur a restocking fee-for cell phones, it'll cost you $35. This will give you an idea of how strict they are with the policy. If you don't shop at the store for which you received the card, you can trade the cards for one you'll actually use.

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