Brandon, Florida -- On this day of after-Christmas sales and returns, we're checking out good tips to make your returns go smoothly.
Stores are opening up early all over Tampa Bay on the day after Christmas. Kohl's turned on the lights at 5 a.m., as did Walmart stores that spent Christmas Day closed.
See Also: Retailers roll out huge after-Christmas deals
If you want to get in there and trade out that gift that didn't quite work for you, 10 News has some great tips.
The number one tip: don't go on the day after Christmas!
You'll get a combination of a flood of returns, after-Christmas sales, and people wanting to use their gift cards. It can be chaos inside stores.
If you're going to go anyway, here are some other good tips:
Don't expect cash back.
If you don't have a receipt, plan on getting store credit. And it will be at the lowest price that item has ever sold for.
If you have a gift receipt, also expect store credit. But at least you'll get the exact price the buyer paid for it -- even if it's gone on sale since then.
There are websites that will let you sell your store credit and gift cards for cash. Check out Gift Card Granny, Card Hub, or Plastic Jungle.
Watch for tricky return policies.
Many stores have a 90-day return policy. It's likely that has already started ticking away from the moment the gift was bought.
However, some items like electronics have a special, shorter 15- or 30-day policy. Those policies typically start counting down on December 26th.
And watch out, open items -- even if they're unused -- will sometimes get you charged "restocking fees," up to 15 percent of the price.
If you think everyone should just be taking this day to relax, consider moving to Australia or the United Kingdom. There, December 26th is a national holiday called Boxing Day.
Or maybe not. In those countries, the stores open even earlier and Boxing Day is their version of Black Friday.
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