Black Friday 2022: Attention shoppers, be aware of new store return policies

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola via WPVI logo
Friday, November 25, 2022
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And while online sales are expected to increase this year, a return to in-store shopping will make up a larger portion of all holiday sales.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- As the turkey and trimmings digest, many people will turn their attention to Black Friday deals. We have tips on what to buy and what not to buy this weekend.

Black Friday isn't a contact sport the way it used to be, but shoppers will still be angling for some of the best deals of the year.

Shopping experts recommend to not do all of your shopping over Black Friday weekend. They say to focus on the categories that are historically the most deeply discounted this time of year. That's tech, fall fashion, beauty, and small home appliances.

Also to figure out if something really is a good deal, compare prices online. There are browser extensions that will do the work for you like PayPal Honey.

"As you browse around online, you can do this on your phone, tablet, computer, you will see the honey logo. You hover over it and you will be able to tell right away if this is a low price or if this is a high price based on historical pricing," said shopping expert Trae Bodge.

SEE ALSO: Black Friday 2022: From Target and Walmart to Best Buy and Apple - deals for holiday shopping

Despite high inflation, the National Retail Federation estimates nearly 8 million more people will shop between Black Friday and Cyber Monday this year compared to last year and spend up to 8 percent more than last year.

Already last month retail sales beat expectations up 1.3 percent in October.

And while online sales are expected to increase this year, a return to in-store shopping will make up a larger portion of all holiday sales.

When it comes to toys, winter clothes, and anything holiday-themed, experts say do not buy those this weekend. You're likely to find better prices next month, but be aware of items that have the potential to sell out.

And as you shop, be aware of store return policies. Some retailers will still let you return anything even without a receipt. But others have become a lot stricter. Consumer Reports has a rundown of return policies at some of the more popular stores.

Nordstrom has one of the most lenient return policies, generally with no time limit and no receipt required on most items. But that's not the norm this year.

"Some retailers have made their return policies a little bit more restrictive this year whether they've ended expanded COVID policies or they're offsetting increased costs due to inflation. What this means for you as a shopper is that if you're thinking of buying anything you might need to return, make sure you read that policy carefully first," said Samantha Gordon of Consumer Reports.

Bed Bath & Beyond used to give shoppers a full year to make returns. But now the return window is 90 days for most items. Less for electronics and smart home products.

L.L.Bean used to allow returns with no time limit and no receipt, but now customers have one year, and only if you can show proof of purchase.

Kohl's gives shoppers up to 180 days for returns on most purchases. And no receipt? No problem. The store can look up previous purchases.

You'll have 90 days to return items at Walmart, Target and Macy's, but not all merchandise qualifies so check out the exceptions online.

At Costco, electronics, and appliances have to be returned within 90 days, but most others have no time limit on returns and you don't even need the receipt.

Amazon is extending its typical 30-day return window, but for the holiday season, most items can be returned up until the end of January. Just be aware that items purchased through third-party sellers may have different return policies.

"The best shot at getting that refund or store credit is to make sure you don't open any of the packaging and save a gift receipt if you've got one," said Gordon.

Also online purchases can usually be returned in person and you'll usually get a faster refund. Plus, you might save on return shipping fees. Just don't forget to bring your ID. Some merchants will ask for it.