CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey encourages consumers to know store policies when purchasing holiday gifts that may need to be returned.
“When purchasing Christmas gifts, it is always important to ask the cashier or sales associate about the return process,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Knowing a company’s return policy before purchasing items can save a lot of time and potential headaches.”
A purchase or gift receipt will accelerate the process and ensure the recipient receives the full purchase value for their return. Some stores may only offer in-store credit or a gift card for returns without a receipt.
Additionally, many retailers offer both an online outlet and a brick-and-mortar store. This means consumers, at times, may only be able to return an online purchase to the online store, which could leave the recipient responsible for shipping fees with any return.
Shoppers should also beware of “all sales final” policies. Merchants must exchange or refund money for defective items or those not as represented to consumers. Nonetheless, returns of size and preference still may be refused.
Tips to help include:Know the store’s return/exchange deadline. Many are extended for holiday purchases.Do not open the original packaging or remove tags. Some stores will not accept returns that have been opened or appear to have been used.If the store’s return policy is out of sight, ask for it. A reputable merchant will post return and refund policies in a clearly visible place near the point of sale.The advice comes as part of the Attorney General’s Holiday Consumer Protection Week.

Consumers with questions regarding holiday returns can contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at