Need to return a gift? Here’s how retailers are making it safer during the pandemic

Need to return a gift? Here’s how retailers are making it safer during the pandemic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — If you need to return a Christmas gift, retailers have new options to safely to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, the National Retail Federation estimated Americans would spend $766 billion in holiday sales, with much of it being done online.

“I didn’t really go to any shops,” said Shrey Jain. “I just did online shopping. It was really simple and easy.”

Easy to buy, but what about returns?

The National Retail Federation estimates about 10% of all gifts will go back on the shelves. Shoppers believe returning gifts in 2020 won’t be the same.

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“It’s just going to be a little difficult,” Jain said.

While many stores made shopping for the holidays easier with online and curbside options, shoppers are now wondering about returns.

“Either you get stuck with whatever you bought, or you put on your mask, and you go and return it,” Ijeoma Okebugwu, another shopper, said.

Some retailers will let customers print labels at home and return gifts through FedEx and UPS, even if they bought it in store.

Some stores are even utilizing curbside parking spots. Best Buy and Dick’s Sporting Goods are allowing customers to use those spaces for returns. They’re advising customers to park, call and read out the receipt to an associate in order to make a return without coming into contact with anyone.

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“Curbside returns sound good, and I do curbside pick-up as well,” Okebugwu said. “That’s a good option.”

Others think most people will choose to not go through the hassle of making the return.

“I think most people will try to find ways to repurpose those items rather than having to return,” Sarmistha Sinha said. “If they do have to return, I guess just safely wear a mask.”

If you need to return an item and don’t want to do it in person, contact the store because many are giving shoppers new options this year.

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