Post-Christmas shoppers head back to stores for returns, deals

Now that the Christmas holiday is over, the rush of “returns season” begins. Major retailers are offering some deep discounts on popular items post-Christmas.

In order to off-set that anticipated loss with all the returns they’re likely going to get, retailers will offer sales to spur shoppers -- and to get rid of old stock.

Stores often offer sales on clothing, exercise equipment, electronics, video games, cars and anything holiday-related.

Some retailers have already announced big post-Christmas sales, including Amazon, Walmart, Old Navy, William-Sonoma, Nordstrom and UGG, among others.

Some stores opened as early as 6 a.m. on Tuesday – including Walmart. Other major retailers like Kohl’s, Target, JCPenney and Macy’s will opened at 7 a.m.

But make sure you “know before you go”: be fully aware of the store’s return policy. Know which stores will accept your return even if you don’t have a receipt. Most require at least a gift receipt. 

Also, shoppers are advised to beware of any restocking fees. This usually only applies to big-ticket items like electronics or appliances – and only if they’ve been opened. Places like Best Buy and Sears have restocking fees.

For gift cards, you’ll need the receipt. But services like CardPool and Raise allow you to exchange that unwanted card for cash. Keep in mind there will be an exchange fee, so you won’t get the full value of the card.

Finally, if you have a gift that you just don’t know where it’s from, you might be in luck if it has a barcode. Apps like ShopSavvy can scan barcodes and tell you the different stores that sell the item.