(CBS) — Want to return that holiday gift that you really don’t want?
Remember, the clock starts ticking from when the item is bought—not when you unwrap it.
Steve Bernas of the Better Business Bureau says some stores have pretty strict policies about bringing unwanted gifts back. The best idea is this: When you’re buying a gift for someone ask ahead of time what the return policy is.
Bernas says stores are getting tougher because they’re being ripped off a lot at this time of the year.
Billions of dollars are lost from “return fraud.” Many stores take additional steps to track customer returns and catch fraudulent or excessive returns. That means you may be asked for a driver’s license or some other government-issued identification when returning an item.
Some stores mark down everything in the store the day after Christmas, so if you don’t have a receipt, they give you less than what you paid for it.
Remember that accepting returns is a courtesy from the store, and they get to make their own rules as long as those rules are posted for the public to see.