ANCHORAGE - The day after Christmas is one of the five biggest shopping days of the year, according to retail experts. Not all people were out spending money; many were there to exchange or return a present that wasn’t quite right.
“I'm just returning night lights and little things like that. I overbought,” said Marci Stelzer from Kodiak, who admitted she “went a little crazy shopping in the big city.”
Fred Meyer has its return policy right at the front of the line to there’s no confusion for customers. Sometimes, though, you have to read the fine print.
Kohl’s has a hassle-free return policy and will accept items with or without the receipt. Most Best Buy purchases must be exchanged or returned by January 24. Target customers have 90 days but must have the receipt. Walmart will return items under $25 for cash; anything over $25 goes on a gift card.
Customers said one of the best stores for returning or exchanging items is REI, which will take returns any time for any reason.
“It's the easiest in the world,” said Michael Miller, who was returning a sweater that was too big. “If you're a member they have everything documented. If you got something as a gift and have a gift receipt, or even if you don't, most of the time they'll take it back anyway and give you store credit.”
REI staff members said Wednesday wasn’t as busy as they thought it would be. They said that’s likely because more people are getting gift cards.
“Instead of people opening up their present for a mediocre one they don't like, they can have a gift card and buy what they definitely want,” said sales associate Nick Caudel.
If customers didn’t like their presents the first time around, most stores make it easy for them to leave with everything they wanted the second time.
The National Retail Federation estimates about 40 percent of people will return at least one item this holiday season.