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Experts say get your holiday shopping done early; what you need to know about return policies

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Posted at 10:11 AM, Oct 17, 2021

DENVER — Yvonne Cirger decided to get a jump on her Christmas shopping in mid-October. Consumer advocate Laura Daily says Cirger isn't alone. Experts are predicting shortages of many products in the coming weeks leading up to the holiday shopping season.

Daily is already seeing the impact.

"People who are looking at the supply chain are thinking, 'maybe I should get it now,' because electronics, iPads, computers, whatever, even though they may be advertised, the stores don’t have them," said Daily,

Worried she's not going to get the perfect gift if she waits, Cirger started Christmas shopping on Friday.

"The purchase that I bought for yesterday was an $80 nightgown at Dillards," said Cirger.

After checking her receipt, Cirger noticed a big problem.

"My return or exchange with the receipt would only be good for 30 days," explained Cirger.

Meaning, the person receiving the gift wouldn't be able to return their gift by Thanksgiving, let alone Christmas.

"I decided to return it today. It was a gift for someone in Wyoming for Christmas, and I just know there’s no way they’ll be able to return it," she said.

Denver7 looked at policies over some of the major chains.

Target and Walmart have a 90-day return policy. Amazon and Macy's each have changed their return policy for this holiday season, allowing purchases from October and beyond to be returned in January.

Dillards, Best Buy, Game Stop, and Sears have a return policy of 45 days or less. Denver7 reached out to those companies with the shorter policies to see if they would be adjusting them for the holiday season. We haven't heard back.

"I think the smart retailers will adjust their policies accordingly," said Daily.

Daily recommends asking a manager if the policy can be changed for gifts and to check the policies online before shopping, something Cirger is already practicing.

"This morning, I went shopping at a very well-known sporting good store. Before I even filled up my basket I asked what the return policy was," said Cirger.