After-Christmas deals entice, retailers tighten return policies - FOX 35 News Orlando

After-Christmas deals entice, retailers tighten return policies

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Retailers are offering one last day of deals to get your business on the day after Christmas.

Thursday's sales are expected to be big, and there will be crowds to match them at Chicago area malls and stores. Doors opened early, in the hope that shoppers wanted to get a head start on their competition and get exactly what they really wanted, at a deeply discounted price.

They also hope those gift cards are put to good use, stretching their dollar with sales reaching 75% off, buy one get one free deals, cheap appliances and Christmas clearance offers.

Don't hang on to that ugly Christmas sweater for too long. Retailers bogged down by costly return fraud are tightening store policies, and limiting the amount of time consumers have to return items.

Return fraud costs businesses billions of dollars every year, prompting some retailers to track customer returns with a computer database to catch fraudsters, according to the Better Business Bureau.

Stores are also changing their policies to limit the number of days allowed for returns, especially for electronics and appliances, the organization said in a release.

"Where consumers have been used to having as many as 45 days to return their unwanted gifts in some cases that has been reduced to 30 days but can be as few as nine days," Bernas said.

To make the return process easier, the bureau recommends shoppers know the store's return policy, and whether it applies to sales or clearance items.

Consumers should also save their gift receipts and keep gifts they don't want in the original packaging, the release said.

Remember that returns are a courtesy -- stores legally don't have to exchange items unless they are defective, the organization said.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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