Happy returns

After the holidays, the long lines move from the check out counters to the return counters. In fact, 46 percent of consumers surveyed by Discover Card stated that they return gifts “every once in a while.” And three percent of surveyed consumers admitted they return “most” gifts.

Because approximately 9 percent of returns in the US are fraudulent, costing retailers an estimated $16 billion a year, some retailers have recently adopted more stringent return policies. On the off chance your gift is unwanted gift, consider taking the following advice to make the receiver’s return process as painless as possible.

Include the receipt. Most stores can provide you with a gift receipt that you can discreetly tuck into the package.

Watch the condition. Don’t take apart the packaging. Typically, a store will not accept returns of items that have been opened.

Consider alternatives. If you aren’t sure what to buy someone, cash is one-size-fits-all.

Get creative. Instead of giving store-bought gifts, make homemade jam, knit a scarf, or assemble a photo album. Give vouchers good for car washes or baby-sitting.

Finally, don’t be offended or surprised if your gift becomes a regift. Nearly seven out of ten (68%) women regift or are thinking about it (compared with only 47% of men).

Kim McGrigg is the former Manager of Community and Media Relations for MMI.

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.8/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Consumer Federation of America Consumer Federation of America
    MMI is a member of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), an association of nonprofit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization's Board of Directors.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.