8 tips to make it easier to return Christmas presents that aren't quite right

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      The Better Business Bureau Mainland B.C. recognizes that sometimes, holiday gifts can miss the mark.

      A sweater might be the wrong size.

      The colour might not be what the recipient really likes. 

      Or perhaps the person already has what you've bought them for Christmas.

      Today, the Better Business offered eight tips to help you avoid hassles if you have to return these items to the store.

      1. Read the retailer's return policy before you purchase products. Make sure you understand whether you, or the recipient of your gift, can get a refund, exchange or store credit for unwanted merchandise.

      2. Monitor the "return clock". Many retailers may only allow returns within a certain time.

      3. Save time and frustration. Consider arriving at the store when they open to avoid long return lines and bypass the stores' major crowds on big shopping days like the day after Christmas.

      4. Understand return policies for sale merchandise. Return policies for sale or clearance merchandise may be different than merchandise sold at full price.

      5. Don't remove items from their boxes. Some stores will not accept returns unless the merchandise is in its original packaging.

      6. Ask about restocking fees. Some merchants charge a restocking fee for returns of electronics products or large-ticket items.

      7. Have a grasp on store credit restrictions. Refunds issued in the form of merchandise credit may be subject to expiration dates and/or other restrictions may apply like "not redeemable online".

      8. Ask about return shipping fees. Be sure to read return policies when buying online or from catalogues to find out if you have to pay a return shipping fee. Sometimes merchandise can be returned to a store instead of to the online merchant.