Want a gift receipt for that?

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By Sarah Meedel

The presents have been unwrapped and the holiday decorations are starting to come down. So why is it that everyone is still heading back to the stores en masse? Oh yes, that is right; to return the unwanted gifts. It seems like everyone gets at least one present they really did not desire.

Among the heavily rejected items are clothes. Maybe it is not the right size and the person just needs to exchange the article of clothing. Julia of Big K-Mart explains most people are better off shopping for clothes for themselves, in order to ensure they are satisfied with the fit and style. She goes on to say “the most common reason for returns on clothes this season is that the item is not the person’s style.” One solution if a person asks for clothing is to purchase a gift card for them at a store they shop at. That way they are less likely to go through the hassle of returning or exchanging the gift.

An expensive gift returned frequently after the holidays is the DVD player. Apparently the increase in consumer demand has caused some of the companies who build the products to substitute quantity for quality. Erin from Super Target says “many people brought back their DVD players due to malfunctions.” Typically, they just exchange it for the same item in the hopes they will get a properly-working device.

Other presents that hit the customer service counter are the newly-released game consoles X-Box and GameCube. Valerie at Super Wal-Mart says that “with both systems being released near the holiday season caused much confusion among buyers. Many people came into the store simply knowing they needed the new game system, but they did not realize they had two to choose from and would guess which one to purchase.” This has lead to many exchanges of both game consoles and video games purchased to go along with them.

Toys R’ Us is also suffering from a high number of game system returns. Their other hot seller was anything Harry Potter. Many children are picky and come back to the store to choose the exact item they originally wanted their parents to purchase for them.

A final gift that got multiple returns was LeapFrog. LeapFrog is an interactive computer learning system for children. Kids can plug into the Internet for new games and stories. Oddly, there are not many exchanges for another type of LeapFrog, just returns. This can make one wonder: where is America going? The DVD players and game consoles people exchange and then keep, but not the learning toys.

Whether one is exchanging or returning an item, try to follow some basic etiquette. If you have a receipt (original or gift) have it handy; it will make things go faster. If possible, try not open the package before taking back. If it has already been opened, make sure you have all the original packaging and pieces. Try and take the item back within the allotted time frame or you may not be allowed to return it. Enjoy your gifts and many happy returns to you.

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