PARKERSBURG - With the gifts unwrapped and holiday parties and dinners finished, today marks another busy day for local businesses, as customers throng to return gifts and look for post-Christmas deals on various products.
Kyle Chester, store manager for the Vienna K-Mart, said the store typically sees a pretty busy time for the first couple of days after Christmas.
K-Mart also has two other local locations, in south Parkersburg and Marietta.
People generally want to return gifts for reasons like wrong sizes, colors, duplicate gifts and others, he said. They usually want to exchange the gifts for money or for similar items in the correct size, for colors more to their taste and for similar reasons.
If the returnee has a receipt for the item - which can be rare in terms of items received as gifts - Chester said they can receive cash back on the returned item. Without receipts, Kmart will exchange item for item or the value will be put on a store gift card, he said.
While the holiday season is a busy time for the store, Chester said the level of staffing will decrease after Christmas. The number of employees throughout the store will decrease to more pre-holiday levels, although the service desk and returns department will continue to have more people since that is where most of the immediate post-holiday activity will be, he said.
In addition to gift returns, Chester said K-mart will also see a lot of traffic after Christmas as people seek after-Christmas sales on a variey of products, especially seasonal items like decorations that see a sharp drop in cost after the holiday. Many people like to take advantage of those sales to get a start on the next holiday season and there is often an increase in the sale of storage items and bins to keep them in at the same time, he said.
Jay Wilson, manager of Kohl's in Parkersburg, said Kohl's has a hassle-free return policy for merchandise returns and exhanges.
Customers returning merchandise with receipts are eligible to receive full refunds or even exchanges, he said. Customers with gift receipts will be granted an even exchange or Kohl's merchandise credit for returned items.
Customers without a receipt will get a merchandise credit good toward anything in the store, Wilson said. If a customer paid with a Kohl's Charge or other credit card, Kohl's can look up the purchase and give a refund or even exchange, he said.
Kohls.com customers have the option to return items to either Kohls.com or at any Kohl's store nationwide. There is also no time limit for returns, Wilson said.
Unless you are interested in finding those post-holiday deals, it may be best not to make returns on the day after Christmas. According to industry experts, the day after Christmas is usually the third-largest shopping day of the year, due to large discounts in most stores and the use of gift cards given as presents the day before.
For simple gift returns, it may be best to wait a few days, since many stores offer up to 30 days or beyond for returns, officials said. Check with the specific stores to find out their policies, since items like electronics may have shorter return windows.
Another tip is to keeping packaged items in their original packaging, since some stores won't accepted merchandise that has been opened for returns.