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Know The Rules: Holiday Return Policies

Know The Rules: Holiday Return Policies
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The Rules of the Game

Occasionally, there’s a silver lining in the black cloud of a poor economy and one of those silver linings is holiday return policies, which can give you additional time to return less-than-perfect holiday gifts. With any return policy, tech gear often faces stricter rules than other products do, so be aware—many technology items can only be returned before a certain number of days (such as 15 days), instead of within the store’s regular return period (such as 30 to 90 days). Items such as digital cameras and laptops, which can be "wardrobed" (used for a special occasion and then returned), usually have a restocking fee, which is sometimes as high as 25%. To avoid piracy, some opened items (such as software, DVDs, CDs, and video games) can only be returned if defective, and even then, only for a replacement copy.  

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 16, 2008 1:00 AM
    Circuit City allows there 14 day items to be returned until January 17 - however there is a 15% restocking fee if the products are open
  • -1 Hide
    wonderingwhatis , December 16, 2008 5:45 AM
    Quote:
    Even with customer-friendly return policies, there are still a few important factors to keep in mind: A refund is practically impossible without a receipt. Even if you manage to get a store credit, you’ll get one for the lowest price at which your item has been sold. For example, if your $800 HDTV sold for $500 on Black Friday, the best you could hope for is a $500 store credit (regardless of what you paid when you bought the item).


    This is not true. If you are returning an item at Best Buy, with a receipt you will get the full price you paid plus tax no matter what the lowest selling cost is (assuming no restocking fee). Even if you don't have a receipt most best buy stores will at least look it up with just the purchasers telephone number and give you store credit in full of what was paid.
  • 0 Hide
    TCeleste , December 16, 2008 8:02 AM
    Are you certain that's correct? I had written to them in mid November (unrelated to this article) asking about the holiday return policy, and their reply included: "Because technology changes so quickly, the return period for digital cameras, camcorders ... is 14 days." I called Circuit City while preparing the article, and was told the same thing. The return policy posted on their Website is also very specific, and never mentions January 17th:

    "We're sure they'll love their gifts—but just in case, we've extended our return policy during the holiday shopping season.*"

    And now the asterisk:

    "*Other normal return guidelines apply, see below for details"

    Among the return guidelines:

    "Digital cameras, camcorders... must be returned within 14 days of the sale date...."

    If January 17th is accurate, thank you for the correction. Did they give you any documentation, for example, a URL?
  • 0 Hide
    abaugh , December 16, 2008 1:45 PM
    Quote:
    This is not true. If you are returning an item at Best Buy, with a receipt you will get the full price you paid plus tax no matter what the lowest selling cost is (assuming no restocking fee). Even if you don't have a receipt most best buy stores will at least look it up with just the purchasers telephone number and give you store credit in full of what was paid.


    Your argument about having a receipt is off-basis here because the article is talking specifically about not having a receipt. Secondly, while many stores can look things up by your phone number or credit card(more often than phone number), that doesn't necessarily mean that you'll have the credit card number of the person who bought you the gift.
  • 0 Hide
    Denisimo , December 17, 2008 8:20 PM
    After New Years, Best Buy gives their shoppers about a week to return any product with out a receipt. Even if you bought it 6 months ago. You only have about a week, a day after new years. If i recall correctly, it can be new or used/open product. Store Return Policy still applies for restocking fees.

    But you dont need a receipt. As many gifts come with out a original receipt.

    2 years ago i returned a Video Game that i didnt want, it was still new, sealed box, but i bought it 4 moths before x-mas. And a pack of 100 CD-R's. I got full refund on both products, Cash.
  • 0 Hide
    TCeleste , December 17, 2008 9:52 PM
    So they just let everybody in with no proof of where they purchased the items, used items are not a problem, and they give you back cash. You wouldn't happen to have some support for this (like a URL to the policy, or a press report, or ... anything)?
  • 0 Hide
    Tomsguiderachel , December 19, 2008 4:33 PM
    TCelesteSo they just let everybody in with no proof of where they purchased the items, used items are not a problem, and they give you back cash. You wouldn't happen to have some support for this (like a URL to the policy, or a press report, or ... anything)?

    Well, I suppose without documentation, all we can do is try it, and offer up the old adage for deal hunters: Your Mileage May Vary.
  • 0 Hide
    rrrobert , January 10, 2009 4:05 AM
    Regarding Newegg's return policies: I just recently found out about them the hard way. I bought a DVDR just days ago. Got a very good price for it. When I connected it to my television I quickly found there was a fatal compatability problem among other problems with the DVDR so I went about getting my RMA for the device. To my horror
    I found out that the product I bought was non-refundable. I went back to the product page and put another of the same DVDR in my shopping cart. Sure enough just below the product number in the cart was the following statement: "Return Policy: Limited Non-Refundable
    30-Day Return Policy". The problem is when I originally ordered the DVDR I just never saw the statement.....it just did not register.
    Maybe I just saw the "30-Day Return Policy" and not the "Non-Refundable", who knows. But I can't argue that Newegg did not cover themselves: it's there in black and white. In my own defense I will say this: I have bought plenty of electronic products over the years esp. digital camera equipment from many sources (Best Buy, Amazon, B&H, etc.) and I had never before delt with this customer unfriendly a policy. It is an atypical return policy and it just took me by surprize. Buyer beware of Newegg!
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