Bed, Bath & Beyond
This popular home retailer consistently makes the grade for best return policies. You have a year to return any purchase for a full refund; gift registry items can be exchanged, or you can receive merchandise credit for the full price of the items. Not only that, but if any Bed, Bath & Beyond exclusive brand merchandise is deemed defective, you have five years to return it.
Don’t love it? Return it anytime. Costco wants its customers to be happy and will accept returns without a receipt. All you need is your membership number; the store can then look up the purchase and refund the cost. There are a few exceptions for electronics and specialty goods, so before you buy a pricey item, ask about the return policy.
Not all stores can boast the free, speedy delivery that Zappos customers have grown to love. The company goes above and beyond, offering free two-day shipping and free returns on all orders. The shoe megastore also gives customers a full 365 days to return any unsatisfactory unworn items.
Amazon recently tweaked its policies to target fraudulent returns, not ordinary customers. You can still enjoy a 30-day return window, with an extended holiday grace period. Goods purchased between November 1 and December 31 are refundable until January 31.
The Home Depot
If you lost your receipt, you can still return an unused item to The Home Depot within 90 days if you used a debit or credit card. Not only that, the home improvement giant offers 365-day returns on purchases made with a store credit card.
The chain with the bright red-and-white logo prides itself on helpful customer service and 90-day returns for most items, with the notable exception of electronics. Target does, however, offer extended holiday returns on electronics: You have 30 days to return electronics purchased between November 1 and December 25, and the 30-day clock doesn't start until December 26. For Apple products, though, you'll have only 15 days from December 26.
Related: 10 Best Ways to Spend $10 at Target
At Kohl's, the key phrase is “hassle free.” Holiday electronics in original packaging can be returned until January 31. For all other items bought with a credit or debit card, even without a receipt, the store can look up the items and refund them up to 16 months after the date of purchase, giving you plenty of time to make up your mind.
Returns are pretty simple for most items purchased at Macy's. You typically have 180 days to return a purchase. There are exceptions, like electronics and certain designer brands, so be sure to double-check with a store rep. If you're returning an item with a gift receipt or from a wedding registry, be aware that the return will come in the form of a store credit.
To help build lasting relationships with its customers, Bloomingdale's maintains a generous return policy. You have up to 365 days to return most purchases, although there are exceptions. For registry items, a consultant will walk you through any questions about returns and exchanges, and you'll receive merchandise credit for any returned gifts.
Customer alert: This famous outdoor store recently reduced its lifetime return policy to one year—which is still nothing to sneeze at. That said, L.L. Bean continues to offer top-quality products with a special 10 percent discount for military service members, veterans, students, and teachers.
flickr.com via MIKI Yoshihito
Outdoor outfitter REI not only provides a 365-day return policy for most merchandise, it offers free promotional events, classes, and expert advice. This year, give the gift of an experience: Clear trails, restore native habitats, or go on a snowshoeing adventure. Find out more at REI Events.
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