A look at 3 return policies, and their fine print

AP News
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Posted: Nov 25, 2009 10:35 AM

Heading into the holiday season, you'll want to examine a store's return policy before buying any gifts. Policies can be crammed with exceptions, especially for stores that sell a mix of merchandise.

Here's a look at three retailers' return policies.

BEST BUY

Most items can be returned for up to 30 days. A receipt is preferred, but the store can also look up purchases in its system with the credit or debit card used to make the purchase.

SOME EXCEPTIONS

_Certain items need to be returned within 14 days, including camcorders, computers, digital cameras.

_Members of the store's reward program have 45 days to return all products.

_There's a 15 percent restocking fee for some opened items including camcorders, digital cameras, notebook computers. The fee is 10 percent for iPhones, and 25 percent for special order products.

_If you return an item you purchased in cash for $250 or more, the refund will be in the form of a check mailed to you within 10 business days.

_Some items, such as music downloads, personalized items and installation services, can't be refunded.

_Purchases made between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 qualify for the store's holiday return policy, which extends the return period to Jan. 31. Desktop, notebook and netbook computers don't qualify.

MACY'S

Most items can be returned for up to 180 days. In case you lose your receipt, the store puts return label stickers on price tags. The store can also look up purchases in its system with the credit or debit card used to make the purchase.

SOME EXCEPTIONS:

_If you don't have a receipt or the price tag with the return label, you get store credit for the lowest price the item was sold for in that season.

_Jewelry has to be returned within 30 days. Jewelry purchased during the holiday season can be returned through Jan. 25. Customized rings _ those that aren't size 7 for women and 10.5 for men _ cannot be returned.

_If you received a bonus gift with a purchase, you need to include it with your return. Otherwise, you're charged for its value.

_Furniture can be returned for a restocking fee of 10 percent, and delivery fees aren't refundable. Requests must be made within three days.

SEARS

Returns on most items must be made within 90 days with receipt.

SOME EXCEPTIONS

_Without a receipt, the manager has the discretion to grant you a refund in the form of a gift card at the current sale price of the item.

_Some items, such as home electronics and customized jewelry, must be returned within 30 days.

_Video games, CDs and DVDs must be unopened for a refund or and exchange.

_A 15 percent restocking fee is charged on home electronics without the original box or without all the original packaging. The fee may or may not be applied if the packaging is in tact, but opened. The fee is also applied to mattresses, home appliances, sporting goods, and automotive merchandise.

_There is a 15 percent fee for special orders canceled after 24 hours.