How To Return Those Unwanted Gifts

How To Return Those Unwanted Gifts

Christmas may be over, but the holiday ceremonies are not yet complete: the day after you open all your gifts is the first day you have to send the bad ones back. Let the annual returning of the gifts begin!


Most of us probably got gifts via Amazon, despite them being a demonstrably evil company. However, they are thoughtful in regards to customer satisfaction — they have an actual “return your gift” page, whether you paid for it or not.

According to Fast Company, you do need the 17-digit order number, and if you don’t have it, you’ll have to contact Amazon for more info.

If you do, select the item you’re sending back. Then you can choose a shipping method or find an Amazon locker to drop the item off with. The return will be authorised, and the authorization will have to be printed and sent with the item. You’ll receive the cost of the item as an Amazon gift card, or it will be returned to your card if you’re the person who bought it.

If available, you may send the merchandise to the manufacturer for repair

The merchandise may be exchanged for another item

The merchandise may be returned and a cash refund provided if the refund value of the returned item is less than $US25 ($35)

The merchandise will be returned and a shopping/gift card provided to the customer if the refund value of the returned merchandise is equal to or greater than $US25 [$35] in value

If you do have the receipt or packing slip you can get a store credit in the form of a gift card or receive cash back.


Target has a general 90-day return policy on most items, but electronics are 30 days, Apple products are specifically 15 days. Like Walmart, they extend these return policies around the holidays beginning on December 26. If you have a Target account, you should be able to access and print any lost receipts from your order history. Customer service can also look these receipts up if you bring in the item and the method of payment used—but if none of that is accessible, you can get a refund in the “form of a merchandise return card.”

If you do have a gift receipt or packing slip, you should be able to return something in exchange for a Target gift card. The main difference between those and merchandise return cards is that MRCs can only be used in store, not online. You also can’t add to the balance of an MRC.

Best Buy

Best Buy has memberships that extend the return policy window, but standard is 15 days on most products. But that’s waved for the holidays, basically:

Almost every purchase made throughout November and December can be returned through January 12, 2019. Purchases made between October 28 and December 28, 2018, have an extended return period through January 12, 2019, excluding cell phones, devices that can be activated and AppleCare monthly plans. All other terms and conditions of our Return & Exchange Promise apply.

For gifts, you can return the item in store and receive store credit. If you choose to mail back the item, the money will be returned to the purchaser, and they’ll be notified via email. Best Buy is a narc!

This is probably based on the presumption that the item is in good condition/unused. It is possible to return an item via the mail, but that seems contingent on having an account with your order history. If the item was a gift and you have no receipt, in-store returns seem like the better option unless you want to hop on the phone with customer service and work it our with a representative.


Apple will send you a gift card in return for an item, but only once they’ve received it. To do it online, you must login to your account and provide the serial number of your device on their “Return a Gift” page. They allow you to print out a pre-paid shipping label, which is convenient. Then they’ll notify you when the product arrives, and send back the electronic gift card.

In general, your best bet for a return is a receipt, all the original packaging, and going to the store in person if you can. If you don’t qualify for a return, just keep whatever you got and regift next year. But keep track of who gave it to you so you don’t accidentally regift it to them.

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