10 Stores With Strict Return Policies

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DON'T GET STUCK HOLDING THE BAG

No one wants to get stuck with a present they don't truly want. And no one wants to give a gift that isn't wanted. While gift receipts can help alleviate some worries, not every retailer offers an accommodating return policy. Even when retailers extend the return period for purchases made during the holiday season, it's important to read the fine print. Between short return periods, long lists of exclusions, requiring a receipt, or allowing only exchanges or store credit, the following 10 stores have return policies that could be troublesome to gift recipients.

Related: 13 Stores With Amazing Return Policies
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BARNES & NOBLE

Barnes & Noble's standard return policy gives customers just 14 days to make a return. Shrink-wrapped items, such as games or DVDs, must be unopened. The return period is extended for the holidays to Jan. 31 for purchases made Nov. 11 through Dec. 31, and the unopened policy doesn't apply to Nook e-readers.
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KMART

The standard Kmart return policy provides a 30-day return window for most products. A holiday policy extends the return period to Jan. 31 for purchases made Nov. 1 to Dec. 24. However, it doesn't apply to Christmas season items, products sold by third-party sellers, vacuums, major appliances, floor-care equipment, and products with an regular return policy shorter than the standard 30 days.
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SEARS

Sears and Kmart share a parent company -- and similar return policies. Sears' standard return period is 30 days, and the holiday return policy gives customers until Jan 31 to return purchases made Nov. 1 to Dec. 24. However, the holiday policy doesn't apply to vacuums, major appliances, plumbing, heating equipment, mattresses, and a few other items. A receipt or gift receipt is required for all returns.
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ROSS

A receipt is required for most returns at Ross stores. The items can't be worn or used, and a refund is available only if the return is made within 30 days. After the 30-day mark, only an exchange or store credit is offered.
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LULULEMON

Lululemon customers generally get only 14 days to make a return, and items purchased Nov. 4 to Dec. 25 can be returned only through Jan. 8. Items must be unworn and unwashed, and a receipt is required.

Related: 12 Great Ways to Give the Gift of Fitness for $40 or Less
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GAMESTOP

GameStop requires a receipt for all returns and exchanges. A refund is offered for unopened or defective products that are returned within 30 days of purchase, or for used products that are returned within seven days. Opened items can be exchanged for an identical product within 30 days.
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BEST BUY

Best Buy's return policy is more generous for members of the My Best Buy Elite rewards program. Best Buy offers 15 days to return most products without a membership, 30 days with membership, and 45 days with Plus status. Mobile devices with a carrier contract have a 14-day return window in all instances. A holiday return policy extends the return period to Jan. 15 (Jan. 30 or Feb. 14 for Elite or Elite Plus members, respectively) for purchases made Oct. 30 to Dec. 31. Purchases that feature third-party contracts, however, aren't included.
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FOREVER 21

Forever 21's return policy allows returns within 30 days, or through Jan. 8 for purchases made after Nov. 13. Even with an original receipt, however, items purchased or returned to a bricks-and-mortar store are eligible only for exchange or store credit. Refunds are available for online purchases that are shipped back to the retailer.
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HHGREGG

Hhgregg's standard return policy gives consumers a 30-day return period if they have an original receipt or packing slip. But there are lots of exceptions. Computers, tablets, drones, and related electronics have a 15-day return period; furniture must be returned in three days; and some products and services aren't returnable.

Related: 25 Awesome Tech Gift Ideas Under $250
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APPLE STORE

Items purchased directly from an Apple Store can be returned for a refund within 14 days with a receipt, or for store credit with a gift receipt. Installed software, gift cards, developer products, and print products aren't eligible for returns.