Four Post-Holiday Shopping and Returns Tips

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The holiday frenzy has passed…..or has it?  Just when you think that the madness has died down, it is now time for post-holiday deals and returns to begin!  There are a few things you might want to keep in mind before you head out to exchange that sweater or try to grab a deal!  Here are my five top money saving tips:

1.  The Deals Are A Plenty.

This holiday season, shopping was down from projected estimates.  This means that retailers need to sell even more to meet those sales goals. This is how you can benefit!  As usualy, you will find very good discounts on clothing and holiday items.  However, this year, you might even find more electronics on sale.  So take some time to look around your favorite store as you might be surprised by the deal you find.

2.  Know The Discount Levels.

Starting today, holiday items are 50% off nearly everywhere.  If you wait another 3 – 5 days, they will drop to 75% off and within a week will be as much as 90% off.  While waiting might save you more money, it may also mean you miss out.  So, if there is something you really want to grab for next year (like wrapping paper, ribbon and bows), go ahead and do so at 50% off as these items will be out of stock by the time the store reaches it’s 90% sales discount.

3.  Know Your Store’s Return Policy.

Let’s face it, today is the day everyone runs out to return items.  This can mean a lot of very long lines and frustration for shoppers (and even cashiers).  If you can, wait a few more days before you go to the store to return the item you need.

That will also allow you time to research the store’s return policy.  Some stores have limits as to when items have to be returned.  For example, Walmart limits returns to 90 days whereas Kohl’s has no restrictions.  If you plan on simply exchanging for a different size or color, your return might be simpler.  If you are just returning something and do not have a gift receipt, be prepared to receive a store gift card in lieu of cash.  If there is not a receipt, the store may also want to only offer you the lowest price within the past 30 days – no matter what your giver may have paid for the item.  If you feel you are being taken advantage of, simply (and very politely) ask for the store manager.

4.  Be Nice.

It should go without saying, but be polite.  These cashier’s and managers are working like crazy to help everyone they can and they don’t need someone yelling at them.  The cashier does not set the policy for the store – they simply enforce it.  If you find you are getting irritated, try to take a deep breath, calm down and ask to speak to a manager.  Manger’s have more flexibility in bending policies (but that doesn’t mean that they need to).