Policies to return gifts vary locally

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 26, 2002

Maybe that sweater was too big.

Or you couldn't possibly wear that color.

Perhaps you decided you didn't really need three George Forman grills.

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Whatever the reason, many residents will make their way to stores today to return unwanted or ill-fitting Christmas gifts, as well as take advantage of post-holiday sales in local stores.

"We always staff (customer service) for a heavy influx of returns after the first five days after the holidays," said Steve Bluske, store team leader at Shopko.

To make returns easier, Bluske encourages customers to keep their receipts.

At Kmart, customers have up to 90 days to return or exchange gifts and must have a receipt, said Dan Hewitt, store manager. If the customer does not have a receipt, they can make an exchange.

Hewitt said today and the weekend will probably be the busiest time for returns and exchanges.

Kelly Grenz, assistant manager of guest services at Target, said there have been more returns before Christmas in the last couple of years. This may be because families celebrate Christmas on the weekends before the actual day, she said.

"Last year the day after wasn't busy for returns," Grenz said.

Customers at Target also have 90 days to return gifts. Customers need a receipt unless the item was under $10. If the item cost more than $10 and the customer does not have a receipt, they can exchange it for the same item or an item in that department, she said. CDs and DVDs cannot be returned unless they are defective, she added.

People usually return items because they got more than one of it or because it did not fit, she said.

"It's nothing too big," Grenz said.

Bonnie Mogen, owner of Bonnie's Hallmark, said people can exchange any kind of Hallmark item at her store. She usually asks the customer if they would like to exchange the item when they come in for a return.

"We always ask people if they would like to pick out something else," Mogen said.

Mogen is expecting the store to be busy because of its after-Christmas sales.

"It's a very good day for us," she said.

Cari Quam can be reached at 434-2235 or by e-mail at mailto:cari.quam@austindailyherald.com