Be mindful of return policies after the holidays, experts say

NOW: Be mindful of return policies after the holidays, experts say


WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- The National Retail Federation says you might want to move fast if you have something you need to return or exchange over the holidays, as longer pandemic-era return policies have ended at many stores.

Parking lots are busy at shopping destinations all over the place as people visit businesses both big and small.

Retailers say the first people through the door Monday morning were often trying to exchange something.

"In that case, we did have the other size available and were able to do the exchange for them and if not, we assist them in finding something new, and if not, we do the gift card option," said owner of Mainstream Boutique Milwaukee in the Third Ward, Jeanette Dvorak.

She says at her store, if she doesn't have something people can exchange, she'll issue a gift card, something Dvorak says shoppers should take advantage of if it's offered elsewhere.

National Retail Federation experts say this year, returning in person can help avoid online restocking fees, something many retailers are charging consumers now, more than ever, as retailers lose $700 billion a year on returns.

Pandemic-era multiple month-long return periods are also being phased out at many retailers, so experts say to read return policies closely.

Most of all, people like Dvorak want to thank people for being patient while they handle returns.

"Especially in these times, there's work shortages everywhere and so if we do get busy and we have people shopping and exchanging, just kind of have the patience so we can assist you," said Dvorak.

Dvorak says she expects things to get busier in the coming days as people recover from the weekend holiday.

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