YOUR MONEY: Holiday returns

The United States Postal Service is expecting more than 15-billion pieces of mail to be...
The United States Postal Service is expecting more than 15-billion pieces of mail to be delivered this holiday season.(SOURCE: WALB)
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 5:48 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The holiday shopping season is over which means retail return season is about to pick up.

During the pandemic many retailers adapted their business model to accommodate customers who still wanted to shop without physically going inside the store.

Now, some stores are doing the same thing with returns.

“COVID-19 has affected the holiday shopping season in so many different ways,” said Retail Me Not’s Shopping Expert Sara Skirboll. “I think that’s pretty obvious, but what shoppers need to be prepared for is that the returns process is going to look completely different as well. While we might be used to getting refunds in three, four, five days that’s going to change especially if you’re sending things back via any of the big carriers. But the good news is a lot of retailers, similar to what they were doing pre-December 25th, is buy online and pick up curbside. Dick’s Sporting Goods is really leading the charge with this service and I think that a lot of other retailers are going to follow suit which is great news because it’s completely safe, totally contactless.”

Before you head to the store call to make sure that retailer is offering curbside service for returns.

If you opt to mail a package back to a retailer here’s another reminder. It’s always possible your package can get lost. Now that more people are shopping online it’s overwhelming the number of packages being processed by all the major carriers.

“If you’re sending things back via the mail, USPS, FedEx, UPS take a picture of that return label,” she said. “In case anything gets lost you have all your tracking information on hand in your smartphone, your smartphone device that you’re able to track and call any of those shipping carriers and say I have all the information I need. Here it is. When can I expect my refund?”

Skirboll recommends consumers manage their own expectations. Be prepared that things are going to take a little bit longer than expected. That could also include the time it takes to get your money back if you used your card to make the purchase.

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