Retailers relax holiday return rules due to COVID-19

Posted at 7:21 AM, Dec 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-26 19:18:29-05

We've all gotten that holiday gift we don't like, or sometimes, it just doesn't fit right.

That's why there are returns! And this year, some of the biggest retailers are relaxing their rules due to COVID-19.

According to Consumer World's annual return policy survey, rule changes include deadline extensions for gifts bought earlier in the season.

Some that have changed policies include:

  • Amazon's return deadline is January 31 for items shipped as early as October 1.
  • Best Buy's return window expanded two weeks to cover purchases made as early as October 13.
  • Target expanded its return window for electronics and entertainment products purchased as early as October 1.
  • Walmart has varying return deadlines depending on the product, but the countdown for the deadline begins December 26, covering items purchased as early as October 16.

The UPS Store locations in Hampton Roads say they're prepared for returns to pick up, likely on Monday.

"We've actually hired a couple extra people to help us with that volume and so we're prepared. We're not really concerned about too much volume because we've been ready for it the past year," said Patrick Isaacs, store manager at The UPS Store on Tidewater Drive in Norfolk.

If you saw family for Christmas, it might be a good idea to wait before heading out to the post office, shipping company or stores to make returns.

Dr. Kevin Chou, a physician at NowCare Urgent Care Center, a Bayview Physicians Group practice, says it could keep others safe if you somehow contracted COVID-19 while in the company of relatives.

"You've got a little bit of time so, if you can, wait 7 to 10 days and make sure you don't have any symptoms before you go out. That would be ideal," Chou told News 3.

And no matter when you go out or where you visit, make sure you have your mask, he says.

"As long as both parties are wearing masks, the transmission rate is actually really low. You put some social distancing between everybody and both parties are wearing masks, it's the next best thing to quarantining," Chou said.

For a larger list of holiday return policies, click HERE.