KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The stockings have been unstuffed and the presents opened, marking the start of a new season: time for holiday gift returns.
This year, two of the largest retailers are making changes to returns in an effort to simplify the process for shoppers.
"We just want to make it as stress-free and convenient as possible," said Alyssa Bronikowski, an Amazon spokesperson.
Since many people started shopping early this year, Amazon extended its return window. Items purchased between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 can be returned through the end of January.
The company also expanded box and label-free returns at Whole Foods stores.
Once a customer starts the return process online or through the app, they can select the "package-free, label-free" option.
"All they need to do is bring the item back in its original manufacturing packaging and just drop the item off," Bronikowski said.
Amazon also has drop off locations at UPS and Kohl's stores, as well as at Amazon Hub Lockers. Customers can see all of the options once a return is initiated online.
Meanwhile, Walmart announced a new partnership with FedEx.
Shoppers who buy online from Walmart.com can schedule carrier pickups by FedEx, so returns can be made without leaving the house.
After selecting "Carrier Pickup" and choosing a pickup date, a customer simply needs to pack the return and attach label so it's ready to go.
For shoppers who don't have printers, there's another option. They can select "Drop off at FedEx" to obtain a return/QR code then take the package to a FedEx location.
For returns in general, the BBB offers these tips:
- Review return policies so you know how much time you have to make a decision about an item
- Keep track of gift receipts. Sara Skirboll of RetailMeNot suggests taking pictures in case paper versions are lost.
- Bring an ID if returning in store. Some retailers ask for identification to avoid return scams.