We all know holiday shopping gets stressful fast. Aside from budgeting and family members who are difficult to shop for, timing your purchases is tricky. If you shop too late, there might not be anything left to put under the tree (or you risk paying a premium price). But if you start too early, you may miss the return window. That’s why picking stores with extended return policies — and using those policies to your advance to continue hunting for a better deal in the meantime — is the best gift-buying strategy this year.
Amazon, for example, is offering an extended return window for most products you purchase between now and Christmas. Under the extended return window, you will be allowed to return these products until Jan. 31, 2023. Best Buy has a similar return policy for products purchased between now and Dec. 31, 2022; you can return those purchases until Jan. 14, 2023. (Check this page for more details.)
The extended return window is certainly nice in case something needs to go back after the holidays, but a big advantage of these policies is that you can continue to hunt for better deals on the same product from other retailers as we get closer to Christmas. (Just be aware that you may be charged a restocking fee depending on the product and where you live, so check on that before placing new orders.)
Of course, these policies will only apply to items that can be returned, so check all return policies before making the buy. Remember, too, that some retailers offer guaranteed price-matching. You should check if a store offers this policy, and use a price comparison tool to try to score the best deal. If one store that price matches has the best return policy, while another has the better price, you can snag the best possible deal with the first store.
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