The day after Christmas marks a day of shopping decisions: Do you hold on to that slightly snug sweater in hopes of dropping some pounds or return it for something more your style?
Many stores prepare months ahead with extended return periods, receipt tracking processes and streamlined exchange programs to make sure gift recipients get what they want without having to send the gift-giver back to the store to try again.
Heres a quick list to help you make sure youre prepared for the trip back to local stores.
Some larger stores, such as Best Buy, extend returns around the holidays to give gift recipients a little more time to make the return.
According to the companys website, Best Buy gift purchases made between Nov. 3 and Dec. 31 qualify for a special holiday policy that allows items to be returned through Jan. 15, instead of the companys typical 15-day policy.
Bring the original receipt, gift receipt or packing slip and a valid photo ID for returns at 1770 Apple Glen Blvd. or in the Northcrest shopping center near the intersection of North Clinton Street and Coliseum Boulevard East.
Not sure whether the sewing machine your husband bought will be eligible for a return? Check online to see what products might not make the list.
Sears stores – such as the one at 4201 Coldwater Road in Glenbrook Square – offer returns through Jan. 24 for purchases from Nov. 17 to Dec. 24 that were made on a 30-day return period, according to www.sears.com.
Items purchased within that same time period on a 60-day return period can be returned up to 60 days from the date of purchase, or by Jan. 24 – whichever is longer.
However, floor care equipment, major home appliances, sewing machines, water treatment, plumbing, heating equipment and items that usually have a 90-day return period are not covered by the extended holiday return policy – so check your receipt.
Other stores, like Target, offer customers extra flexibility.
Items bought in Target stores – Fort Wayne locations include 3801 Coldwater Road, 6119 Stellhorn Road or 1102 S. Thomas Road – can be returned by scanning a receipt or packing slip, through the companys receipt look-up system or as a non-receipt return or exchange with a valid form of identification, according to www.target.com.
Most unopened items in new condition returned within 90 days will receive a refund or exchange, the website says. Some electronic items including netbooks, laptops, eReaders, audio players, GPS systems, video game hardware, cameras, camcorders and no-contract cell phones must be returned within 30 days.
For items bought between Nov. 1 and Dec. 25, the 30-day refund period begins today.
Keep your returnables in good condition or risk paying restocking fees at certain businesses.
The Rustic Hutch, 10202 Coldwater Road and 4110 W. Jefferson Blvd., offers 30-day return guarantees on any products in new, original condition with the original packaging, or else a restocking fee may be assessed, according to www.rustichutch.com.
All products from this company are covered for at least one year from defects in workmanship, but items returned with physical or cosmetic damage will not be accepted, per the companys policy.
Fleet Feet Sports
And some businesses encourage customers to find the right fit.
For example, if youre not 100 percent satisfied with your new running sneakers, Fleet Feet Sports, 5661 Coventry Lane, promises easy returns or exchanges at any time – with or without a receipt, according to www.fleetfeetfortwayne.com.