How to Return Unwanted Gifts to Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and More

One of the best things about Christmas time, apart from the food, of course, is the giving and receiving of gifts. As the below chart from Statista shows, gift giving is an essential holiday tradition. But what happens when you receive a present that isn't to your taste?

Statistics America Christmas Essentials
Gift giving is an important tradition for 54 percent of Americans Statista.com

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 18 percent of after-Christmas shoppers are planning to return or exchange gifts this holiday season. So for those who might be left with an unwanted gift, Newsweek has rounded up the return policies for the major U.S. retailers.

Bestbuy Holiday Return Policy

According to its website, purchases made between November 1 and December 31, 2019, have an extended return period through January 14, 2020. This excludes cell phones, cellular tablets, cellular wearables, AppleCare monthly plans, and major appliances.

If shoppers have Best Buy Elite and Elite Plus members they can have extended holiday return exchange windows. According to the website, My Best Buy Elite members have the greater of January 14, 2020, or 30 days from the date the purchaser received the product, to return or exchange the product. My Best Buy Elite Plus members have the greater of January 14, 2020, or 45 days from the date the purchaser received the product, to return or exchange the product.

Amazon Holiday Return Policy

Online shopping has certainly become popular for holiday shoppers, especially with last-mile delivery options such as click and collect and same day delivery. Amazon, who announced that it had a record breaking success last holiday season, allows items to be returned 30 days of receipt of delivery using the Online Returns Center. According to its website, it can take up to 25 days for an item to reach the company once returned.

Once the item is received at Amazon's fulfilment center, it takes two business days for the refund to be processed and three to five business days for the refund amount to show up in a customer's account. Items have to be returned at the customer's expense, but the company does refund up to $20 for return postage costs on receipt of the item.

If a customer returns a defective, damaged or incorrect item, they'll be refunded the full postage cost, as well as any Import Fees Deposit, once the return is processed.

Holiday Policy 2019
Stock image: Some retailers are extending their return periods iStock

Target Holiday Return Policy

The retailer has a 90 days return policy, with a full refund, for unopened items; RedCard holders get an extra 30 days. For Target orned brands of items purchased from a registry, customers get a year to bring them back, according to its website.

Electronic items purchased between November 1 and December 25, 2019, will have 30 days to be returned. The refund period will start on December 26, 2019.

According to the company, all Apple products, excluding cell phones, must be returned within 15 days. For these items purchased between November 1 and December 25, 2019, the 15 day refund period will start on December 26, 2019.

Walmart Holiday Return Policy

This retailer has a longer period for gifts bought for Christmas. According to its website, gifts bought between October 24 and December 25, 2019, will have an extended return timeframe allowing more time to return unwanted items.

If an item has a 14 or 30 day return window, we have extended the return window to start on December 26, 2019. Items under the 90-day return window will have no change.

Walmart advises that items must be returned in the original manufacturer's packaging, so customers should keep packaging for at least the first 90 days after purchase. Items purchased from dealers or resellers and not Walmart.com directly are not eligible for a return, refund or exchange.

Macy's Holiday Return Policy

The department store accepts most returns by mail and in stores within 90 days of purchase for free, according to its website. Returned items must be in original, saleable condition with original tags and any shipping and delivery fees are not refundable. The website also says that "any new or gently used cosmetic of fragrance product purchased at Macy's" that do not meet the needs of the customer will be accepted for return.

Some items have a temporary holiday return timeframe. Jewelry, watches, small electrics, social dresses, and Backstage merchandise purchased between November 1 and December 31, 2019, can be returned until January 31, 2020, according to the website. Tech accessories and Apple products purchased between December 1 and December 31, 2019, can be returned until January 8, 2020. The return policy for Last Act merchandise will not be extended, it says on the company's website.

Old Navy Holiday Return Policy

According to its website, items purchased online or in stores between November 1 and December 24, 2019, can be returned by January 15, 2020, or 45 days after purchase, whichever is later. For those online items returned by mail, these must be received at the facility by January 15, 2020, or 45 days after purchase, whichever is later. Please allow five to seven days for return mail. Proof of purchase will be required.

Home Depot Holiday Return Policy

The home improvement store accepts unopened merchandise can be returned within 90 days of purchase unless noted in the company's "Return Policy Exceptions." If a purchase was made with The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, The Home Depot Commercial Revolving Charge, or The Home Depot Commercial Account, customers have 365 days from the date of purchase to receive a full refund, according to the website.

If you lose your receipt, Home Depot may be able to locate it in the system, with purchases made receipts for purchases made with a credit or debit card or by check may be located in our system within 90 days of purchase. Receipts for purchases made with The Home Depot Consumer Credit Card, The Home Depot Commercial Revolving Charge, or The Home Depot Commercial Account may be located in the system within 365 days of purchase.

According to the website, original shipping charges will be fully refunded in the event that the return is the result of an error by The Home Depot. Exceptions may apply (including Express Delivery and Major Appliance). Items must be returned with all components for a full refund.

How to Return Unwanted Gifts to Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target and More | U.S.