What to Know About Post-Christmas Returns, Sales

The day after Christmas is a historic day for shopping and saving.

December 26, 2016, 6:57 AM

— -- Dec. 26 is a historic day for shopping and saving. It’s a great day to use all those gift cards, return unwanted items and get the most bang for your buck as post-holiday sales roll out.

Read below for my tips for maximizing your post-Christmas shopping.


Having the receipt is the key to getting full value for your item, but not if you don’t go as soon as possible to make an exchange or get cash. Stores now have varying time frames for when you can return those gifts and the policies can also vary by product.

In addition, 23 percent of stores change their return policies around the holidays, according to the National Retail Federation. Many stores are actually shortening the deadlines for full-price refunds and exchanges. Some retailers will let you return items in store that you purchased online, but many will not.

Many stores will also now ask for your ID when you return an item in an effort to curb shoplifting. Be sure to bring your ID to the store, especially if you don’t have a receipt.

Pro Tip: The return window for drones can be as short as 14 days. They are so prone to damage that retailers have limited their exposure on these popular toys. If you don’t want that drone from your grandmother, take it back as soon as possible.


If you received a gift card from a merchant you don’t patronize, you have very few options on returns. Even if you have a receipt, many stores will not take the card back. Your best option is to sell the gift card.

Pro Tip: I recommend known online gift card exchange sites like GiftCardGranny.com and Raise.com. They take a small percentage of the sales value, but you’re still getting money back.


We all know the deepest discounts on the day after Christmas are on clothes. Fifty percent off a store’s entire inventory is common for larger fast-fashion chains.

Clothing chains Express, The Limited, Ann Taylor Loft and Lucky Brand are all offering online deals of 50 percent off sitewide, while Gap is offering 40 percent off sitewide, according to Dealnews.com.

If you are in the market for new earrings or a bracelet, you will find deeper discounts on jewelry now than in January and February. Keep in mind that big box stores like Kmart and Sears also carry jewelry and often discount it this time of year.

Audio devices and digital photography items are often overlooked during the run up to the holidays, so they can be discounted deeply too. Check online sites like Crutchfield, Monoprice, Abe’s of Maine and B&H Photo for discounts, in addition to your local electronics retailers.

Shutterfly is offering a 50 percent sitewide discount, according to Dealnews.com.

Pro Tip: As we move from holiday excess into New Year’s resolutions, you will also see fitness equipment discounted.

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