Thought counted, but the gift, well . . .

December 25, 1993|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,Staff Writer

It really is the thought that counts.

That said, there's bound to be a few presents that aren't exactly you.

So what are your chances of returning or exchanging it for something else? The following is just a sample of the return-exchange policies for some area stores. If in doubt over whether your gift can be returned, call ahead.

Department stores

* Hecht's: Merchandise with a receipt can be returned or exchanged at the purchased price. A check refund will be mailed for purchases made by check. A certificate for merchandise only will be issued for purchases made by gift certificate.

If there's no receipt, you will be issued a certificate for merchandise only, or as a credit to your Hecht's account at whatever the lowest price was on the item in the past 30 days.

* Macy's: Regardless of purchase date, customers may return merchandise for exchange, credit or merchandise certificate.

Merchandise with a receipt can be exchanged for a credit, refund or charged to an account. Without a receipt, the lowest selling price in the last 30 days will determine the amount of the refund or credit.

Straight cash-return transactions for $50 or less without a sales receipt will be processed as cash refund. Straight cash-return transactions over $50 without a sales receipt will be processed as merchandise certificate or credit to your Macy's account.

Refunds for merchandise returned without a sales receipt and without a price ticket will be made at the lowest selling price in the last 30 days.

* Montgomery Ward & Co.: Merchandise can be returned for cash or exchanged if there is a receipt or a gift tag. If there is no receipt, merchandise can be returned for a store credit.

* Neiman Marcus: With a receipt, merchandise can be returned for cash or credit. If there is no receipt but the tags are on it, the store will refund the money by mail. If neither receipt nor tags, try speaking to a store manager.

* Nordstrom: Merchandise can be returned for cash refund or exchange. Without a receipt, salespeople will check to see if it is their merchandise before giving a refund or exchange.

* JC Penney: Gifts may be returned either for a refund or an exchange. No receipts are required for returning gifts but sales personnel will check to see if it is their merchandise.

* Saks Fifth Avenue: With a receipt, the store will refund or exchange. If you have an account, the amount can be deducted, you can get merchandise credit or a refund. The store is flexible this time of year if there is no sales receipt.

* Sears Roebuck and Co: With a receipt, the customer can get a refund or exchange. If there is no receipt, it's possible the original sales order can be found at the store. If the original written sales order can not be found at the store, the most recent sale price is refunded.

* Woodward & Lothrop: Refunds and exchanges can be made with receipts. Without a receipt, the store will credit your Woodies Charge Account or mail a refund check.

Discount stores

* Caldor: With a receipt, refunds or exchanges will be made. Without a receipt, refunds will be given at the last sale price.

* Kmart: Refunds with a receipt 30 days from date or purchase. If no receipt, the store will give an even exchange.

* WalMart: Will accept its merchandise for refunds or exchanges with or without receipts.

Toy/kid clothes stores

* Gap for Kids: Refunds and exchanges for merchandise with receipts. If no receipt, a refund price will be given for whatever the price is the day the merchandise is taken in.

* K & K: Refund or exchange for merchandise with receipts. If no receipt, a store credit will be issued.

* Kids 'R' Us: Refund or exchange for merchandise if there is a receipt. If no receipt, refunds will be given for whatever the current marked-down price is.

* Toys 'R' Us: Refund or exchange for merchandise returned with a receipt. If no receipt and the merchandise is in the original carton, store credit will be given. If the gift is a video or computer software, the merchandise must still be in the sealed, unopen carton.

Electronics . . . appliances

* Circuit City: The store has a 30-day return policy from date of purchase during the holiday and all year long. It will gladly exchange or return for any reason.

* CompUSA: For software: If already opened, it can only be exchanged for the same item. Unopened software can be exchanged for anything as long as there's a receipt and the packaging is intact. Hardware: Can be exchanged within 30 days as long as there is a receipt and packaging.

If the gift is a laser printer with toner already added, it can only be exchanged if the customer pays a re-stocking fee for the toner.

* Radio Shack: Normally the return policy time limit is 30 days after purchase. But for Christmas gifts time limits will be extended. Radio Shack sells all its own merchandise, so as long as its name is on it, refunds or exchanges can be made.

* Luskin's: Merchandise must be taken back within seven days for a refund; 30 days after Christmas for an exchange.

Specialty stores

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