Store Return Policies Look Out For Shoppers And Stores

After the holiday rush at stores, you might run into a different type of rush, bringing gifts back.  Starting on Black Friday, many items were flying off of store shelves.

"Electronics, anything electronic. Electronic game systems, televisions," were the items a Target representative said.

Lots of people took advantage of slashed prices.

"The items I bought, I probably saved 30% of what I would have spent than on a normal day," said Black Friday shopper Jimmy Bendel.

But, after the holidays, the returns pick up at many stores in Texoma.

"We had a lot of people who like to come in to exchange their presents.  Immediately right after the holidays, you're probably talkin' about an 80% increase as far as returns," said Academy Store Director Brent Norman.

At Academy, they set up employees at the door right after Christmas, and have six to eight registers open for returns, as opposed to the normal one or two.

"They give a voucher out that's designated for Academy only, and then they can take it to any of our registers that are open," Norman said.

Over at Best Buy, Store Manager David Bradford says most items have a 30 day return policy, But after Christmas, they let people make returns all the way until the last day of January.   They also use a system that can pull up credit card transactions country wide.  That way, no matter where you bought the gift, you can have money returned to your card, even if you don't have a receipt. Some people may try to take advantage of the system.

While the methods may differ, the stores we talked to say they do have systems in place to track repeat offenders.  For example, if you don't have a receipt at Target, they'll ask for your driver's license.  Still, store managers say returns actually tend to go quite smoothly after the holidays.

"Anything that's a reasonable request we have the power to override most of our policies in order to take care of a customer," Norman said.

On the national scale, the Trade Association says $3 billion will be lost due to item returns.  It also says 14% of returns without receipts are fraudulent.  That's why many stores try to keep track of repeat returners through their drivers licenses.

Spencer Blake, Newschannel 6