Gift Return Gotchas

By Karin Caifa (CNN)-It's the thought that counts, but sometimes that thought misses the
mark. If you're hitting the mall or trekking to the post office to
return a holiday gift this week,  listen to this first.

Returning a gift
seems like it should be a simple task, but with some items, there can
be some strings attached, especially among some of the most popular
gifts of the season.

Electronics are really tricky because there
are restocking fees associated with electronics. They're popular gifts
this time of year. Many retailers will charge you a little portion of
the purchase prices, 15 percent, 20 percent, whether you've opened it or
not.  

Consumer reports recommends reviewing a retailers' return
policy before heading to the mall, and keeping the following in mind: 

 Gift receipts will make your transaction much easier, and some stores won't accept returns   without one.
 Not all purchases made online can be returned at a brick-and-mortar store.
 Some gift cards can't be returned, or won't amount to a cash refund.
 If items were purchased at a store's outlet, they may not be returnable.  
 If an item comes with a free or bonus gift, that usually has to be returned too.

You
might not be able to return the something you paid for, without the
freebie you didn't pay for.

So if you got a package deal, bring
everything back to the store, just to be safe