Hate Your Gift? Don’t Worry, You’ll Probably Get a Receipt

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NEW YORK (Mainstreet) — There’s one thing that’s more popular than ever this holiday shopping season, and it’s not gift cards. It’s gift receipts.

According to the National Retail Federation, 61.9% of holiday shoppers say they provide a gift receipt most or some of the time, the highest proportion in the annual survey’s history.

Responses show that the receipts are included less as a way to assuage gift-giving doubts and more as a way to let friends and family members off the hook if they decide the gift isn’t a great fit for them.

“Gift givers would rather their loved ones enjoy and make the most out of their gift than feel guilty for returning it,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a press release.

But the added wrapping paper may not be necessary. The NRF also found that a majority of holiday shoppers (64.5%) didn’t return a single gift last holiday season.

Regardless of how confident you are in your gift choices, the NRF recommends including a receipt with the gift, along with the original packaging and all parts (including tags).

Consumers should also check the store’s return policies before purchasing an item – especially when doing so online, since they will need to know where the package can be returned – and also to exhibit some patience when returning items, since the week after Christmas is a busy one for stores.

Results are based on a poll of 8,502 consumers nationwide conducted for NRF by BIGresearch from Nov. 1-8, 2011.

For more tips on what to look out for in the fine print of retailers’ return policies, check out MainStreet’s look at “Shopper Outrage: Refund Loophole.”

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