Holiday gift returns: What you need to know

Now that Christmas has come and gone, the real headache of returning unwanted gifts can begin.

The Wall Street Journal reports that retailers like Amazon, Macy's and more have added fees or shortened the window for returning online purchases this holiday season.

Many retailers have changed their policies to reduce expenses and reduce return volume.

Here's a look at a selection of return policies for several retailers:


  • Amazon's holiday return window has been cut, and now only receives returns on purchases made on or after November 1.

Best Buy

  • Best Buy is only accepting returns until January 13 or purchases made between October 27 and December 30. Online returns are free, although you may have to pay a restocking fee if the item has already been opened.


  • Costco has a 90-day return window for electronics and major appliances. Online returns are free.


  • Most items can be returned within 180 days of purchase. Shoppers must pay to ship their online purchases back.


  • Returns for online orders cost $9.99 for shoppers who aren't part of its Star Rewards program. Stores accept free returns of online purchases.

Marshalls and T.J. Maxx

  • Both stores have increased their fees for returns by mail to $11.99. Items can be returned for free at stores.


  • Shoppers have until January 14 to return items purchased on November 13 or later.


  • Target's online returns are free. Most items have a 90-day return policy. Electronics bought between October 1 and December 24 can be returned before January 24.


  • Walmart's online returns are also free but with a January 31 deadline for items bought in October through December 31.