NBC News) Soon the holiday shopping season will become the return season.
"Shoppers need to be prepared for a totally different return landscape," warns RetailMeNot's Sara Skirboll.
Americans are now doing more online shopping due to the pandemic, and that creates new challenges for returns.
Skirboll has some suggestions for when it's time to return or exchange all those perfect gifts that were less than perfect.
"Take a picture of your receipt. This way, you have a good record of it and there's no chance that you're going to lose it," she says. "Number two, shoppers need to be prepared for a lag and refunds, there's going to be an influx of online shopping this year, which means that there's going to be a lot of online returns."
Waiting until after January 1st can help with in person returns. Crowds will likely be smaller.
Finally, read the fine print, and be patient.
"You want to make sure you know what that return window is, you want to make sure you're prepared if you have to pay for shipping etc., etc.," Skirboll says.
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