Retailers fight holiday return fraud

Holiday return fraud: Christmas is over, the gifts have been exchanged and the presents opened, but the holiday shopping season is far from over.

It’s only December 26, and millions are already preparing to return unwanted gifts.  This year, many retailers are tightening up return policies to fight frivolous returns and flat out fraud.

Before you venture out to make your returns, check the website of the store you’re going to– and get familiar with their policy. Make sure you have a receipt, leave the tags on and make sure the item is in sell-able condition.  If you don’t have a receipt, don’t expect to get cash back.

If your gift was purchased online, many retailers will let you return it to the store. Don’t ship the item back without talking to the person who gave it to you. Unless you are making an even exchange, the refund will go back to the buyer, and you won’t see any of it.

Now is also a good time to shop, even if you don’t have a return. After Christmas sales are huge for retailers, with discounts at more than 50% to 69% over the next few weeks.