Look Out For Fees When You Make Returns

Many retailers are ending free merchandise returns, citing fraud and cost.

A store manager packs cookware at a Bed Bath & Beyond amid shoppers.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you received a gift this holiday season that deserved a clear "thumbs down", you may find yourself forking out the money to return it. According to a 2023 report by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and Appriss Retail, $148 billion in holiday merchandise is expected to be returned. 

That tidal wave of returned goods amounts to about 14.5% of all 2023 sales. And given how easy it is to purchase online, a higher percentage of online orders (17.6%) will have been returned by the end of 2023. 

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Kathryn Pomroy

For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.