YOUR MONEY: Research store return and exchange policies before buying holiday gifts

Scam alert
Scam alert(WAFB)
Updated: Dec. 16, 2020 at 12:36 PM CST
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - One of the worst things to deal with after the holidays is returning or exchanging a gift.

The 9News Alert Team is sharing this scam alert because we know parents are searching for the most popular toys for their kids but may not be able to find it anywhere in stores.

Every year, there is a specific toy at the top of the hottest toys list. This year, it’s the Star Wars The Child Animatronic Edition.

If you do a quick Google search notice the difference in prices for this specific toy.

Pay attention to the vendors selling the items and do research on the company. Make sure it’s a legitimate company with good reviews.

One shopper spotted a cheap counterfeit toy and reported it online through the Better Business Bureau’s Online Scam Tracker.

When the disappointed customer tried to contact the company, the staff did not respond or refused to give a refund.

“People need to understand if they’re going to purchase something, whether it’s in a local store or online, they need to understand who they are purchasing it from,” said Carmen Million, President and CEO of BBB South Central Louisiana. “They need to investigate the company. They also need to find out what their return and refund policy is before they make the purchase. If they’re not happy can they send it back and get a full refund? In some cases when you order online you will have to pay the shipping to send it back. Usually if the shipping is around the same amount as the item than that is going to tell you right there you definitely need to think twice about it.”

Million recommends shoppers take five to 10 minutes researching a company and its policies to make sure they don’t get burned in the end.

Another shopper reported paying about $60 for a Baby Yoda toy that fell short of their expectations. The victim explained when they received it it ended up being an “ugly plastic hand puppet”.

The victim contacted the company for a refund a customer service agent said the customer would have to pay $20 for return shipping and only a 10% refund.

“Consumers assume that everybody is going to take it back. Actually the law does not require companies to give a full refund or exchange. If it’s not defective or it has not been misrepresented the company does not have to do anything. They do not have to take it back and in some cases if they take it back they may ask for a restocking fee,” Million explained.

If you find an item you have been looking for, take the time to make sure it’s authentic, whether it can be returned and if so, if you have to pay the return or restocking fee.

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