Survey finds big retail stores modified return policies

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - If you're planning to return a gift that didn't work out, you may want to do it sooner rather than later.

New results from a consumer survey show that some big retailers have made their return policies more lenient, while others have tightened them up.

According to, a number of big retailers, which have stores in Alaska, made significant changes including: Kohl's, Costco, Sears and Toys "R" Us.

Kohl's added a deadline of Jan. 31 to return premium electronics, instead of having an open-ended policy.

Costco reduced its return period for major appliances from being open ended.

Sears gives holiday returns a deadline of Jan. 30.

And Toys "R" Us doubled its return period for computer hardware electronics, from 15 to 30 days.

Anchorage shoppers had varying opinions about how long for returns is fair.

Vicki McCloskey said she agrees with 30 day policies.

"I don't think it should be something that they have forever to do. Yeah, most people already know what they want," McCloskey said.

Shoppers Andrea and Dana McMillian said at least two weeks would be fair.

"At least about 15 days, yeah 'cause some people get the gifts as Christmas gifts," Andrea McMillian said.

Tracy Schoem said she asked Gap about its policy that was shortened, and she would like to see it go back to its original return rules.

"It used to be 60 days, and now it's down to 45. So I think it still should be 60, 'cause you don't know, especially with kids, come 60 days down the road, you don't know if their sizes are gonna be different," Schoem said.

In any case, if you're going to return something, it may be a good idea to do it soon, before it's too late.

If you're going to make a return, shoppers may want to give the store a call ahead of time and make sure they know the policy. Also, be ready to bring the item's receipt, bring an ID and be mindful that some stores require the item to be returned in its original packaging.

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