Christmas 2011 online shopping return policies

We know it happens. Your holiday purchases don't always work out. We'll tell you the return policies of some popular online retailers so you can plan your refund or exchange.

Return policies
Screenshot by Ed Rhee

Hey, it happens. You buy a tech gift for someone (or yourself) over the holidays and it doesn't work out.

Maybe that new tablet is just too complicated for your parents or the new digital camera you bought for yourself takes lousy photos. Product returns are as much a part of the holiday shopping experience as buying them, unfortunately.

Return policies can vary greatly from retailer to retailer. Over the holidays, most retailers have extended return periods. Some retailers with a brick and mortar presence, even allow online purchases to be returned at the physical stores. Check out the link to each retailer's return policy for more details.

Here are the electronics return policies of some popular online retailers:

Amazon.com
Return period: 30 days
Extended holiday return period: Items shipped between Nov. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2011, may be returned until Jan. 31, 2012.
Note: Original packaging required. Software, video games, music, and movies must be unopened.
Link to Amazon.com's return policies

Apple
Return period: 14 days
Extended holiday return period: Items received between Oct. 29, 2011 and Dec. 25, 2011, may be returned through Jan. 9, 2012.
Note: Holiday return policy doesn't apply to iPhone. Opened memory or software cannot be returned.
Link to Apple's return policy

Barnes & Noble
Return period: 14 days (Nook)
Extended holiday return period: Nooks purchased between Nov. 14, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2011, may be returned through Jan. 31, 2012.
Note: Must call 1-800-THE-BOOK (843-2665) for a return authorization or return to Barnes & Noble store.
Link to Barnes & Noble's Nook return policy

Best Buy
Return period: 14 days for most electronics, 30 days for other products, 45 days for all products for Reward Zone Program Premiere Silver members
Extended holiday return period: Items purchased as gifts between Nov. 13, 2011 and Dec. 24, 2011, may be returned through Jan. 24, 2012. Premiere Silver members have until Feb. 7, 2012.
Note: Opened software and video games may be exchanged for identical items only. Wireless contracts or earphones cannot be returned.
Link to Best Buy's return policy

Buy.com
Return period: 45 days from ship date
Extended holiday return period: Items shipped between Nov. 21, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2011, may be returned until Jan. 31, 2012.
Note: Opened software, movies, music, or video games may only be exchanged for identical items.
Link to Buy.com's return policy

Newegg
Return period: 30 days standard for many products, depending on product category
Extended holiday return period: Most products can be returned or exchanged within 60 days of invoice date if designated with "Iron Egg Return Policy." See product's detail page for more details.
Note: Restocking fees may apply.
Link to Newegg's return policy

Target
Return period: 45 days for most electronics
Extended holiday return period: No extended return policy.
Note: Most online purchases may be returned to the physical stores.
Link to Target's return policy

Wal-Mart
Return period: 15 days of receipt
Extended holiday return period: Electronics purchased between Nov. 1, 2011 and Dec. 24, 2011, can be returned through Jan. 10, 2012.
Note: Opened music, movies, or video games can only be exchanged for the same title.
Link to Wal-mart's return policy

About the author

Ed Rhee, a freelance writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, is an IT veteran turned stay-at-home-dad of two girls. He focuses on Android devices and applications while maintaining a review blog at techdadreview.com.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Nissan gives new Murano bold style (pictures)
Top great space moments in 2014 (pictures)
This is it: The Audiophiliac's top in-ear headphones of 2014 (pictures)
ZTE's wallet-friendly Grand X (pictures)
Lenovo reprises clever design for the Yoga Tablet 2 (Pictures)
Top-rated reviews of the week (pictures)