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Mid-Michigan stores packed with shoppers returning gifts

Holiday returns expected to surpass $100 billion nationally
Mid-Michigan stores packed with shoppers returning gifts
Published: Dec. 27, 2021 at 6:11 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The gift-giving season is pretty much over, but that doesn’t mean the stores are seeing less foot traffic.

Shops across Mid-Michigan were filled with customers returning gifts. However, the gift-returning process -- both online and in-person -- can be confusing.

“Instead of returning it and getting my money back, I just keep it because I’m either just too overwhelmed with the process or just don’t feel like dealing with it,” said Sasha Johnson.

Like millions of Americans this week, Sofie and Sasha Johnson are returning gifts after a busy holiday weekend. They said receiving gifts is the fun part, but returning them? Not so much.

“It’s confusing just because it’s like you’re already doing a ton of returns around Christmas and you have so many receipts and stuff,” said Sasha Johnson. “And you want to make sure the money is going back to the right person and the right card.”

They aren’t alone. The National Retail Federation said that nearly 70% of shoppers prefer making their returns in the store.

“That’s why we like to come into the store because it’s easier to talk in-person with someone instead of having to deal with online stuff,” Sasha Johnson said.

But online purchases are getting more popular. The NRF said that online returns more than doubled in 2020 and are now a major driver in the overall growth of returns -- and they only expect the COVID pandemic to push that number higher.

Whether returning gifts online or in-person, the NRF said that returns don’t have to be difficult.

Always read the product warranty policy. You may be require to mail the product back to the manufacturer to receive full refunds.

Always monitor the time frame for returns to be made. Each store is different, so checking as soon as you want to return the gift is important.

Above all -- always have your receipts and boxes ready. Some stores won’t accept the gift if it doesn’t have the receipt or original packaging.

If you’re worried about offending the person who gave you the gift, exchange the gift for something you’re more likely to use.

“We though that we wanted to return something and get something that the person would use,” Sofie Johnson said. “I think gift givers like to know that their gift is being used.”

The National Retail Federation also said it’s important to pay attention to the return time, considering many gifts were bought weeks in advance.

Copyright 2021 WILX. All rights reserved.

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