Clothing most often returned

Published 7:16 pm Saturday, December 25, 2010

If you’re spending today trying to figure out how to return a few gifts without hurting the giver’s feelings, you’re not alone.

Millions of gift recipients will spend their time today or some day this week standing in a line to return or exchange gifts. Most of those gifts will be clothing, according to a straw poll of Christmas Eve shoppers at Suffolk’s North Main Street Walmart.

Most people said the worst gift they had ever received was some sort of clothing item.

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“I got a Rasta beanie,” said Steve Hamerly, who said his girlfriend’s daughter’s boyfriend gave him the offending item. “Do I look like I would wear a Rasta beanie?”

Even loved ones closer than a girlfriend’s daughter’s boyfriend can make bad clothing choices, though. Vicki Lassiter admitted one of her worst-ever Christmas gifts came from her husband.

“He bought me these legging things,” she said. “I kept them, but I didn’t wear them.”

Lassiter said she has never returned a gift.

“I always keep things,” she said.

Shopper Ronald Cary said his worst gift was Fruit of the Loom underwear.

“They were too big,” he said.

Perhaps the worst clothing gift, however, is the kind that can’t be returned to a store.

“I’m going to have to go with when my grandma knitted me a sweater,” said Amanda Robinson. “You had to smile and act like you like it and wear it to her house.”

However, even non-clothing gifts can be all wrong. Jen Crouse said someone once gave her cedar chips for her rabbit.

“I took them back, because they were wrong anyway,” she said.

Fortunately for gift recipients, many items are returnable. The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice on returns:

  • Get the receipt or a gift receipt from the giver, if you can.
  • Beware of restocking fees, which are especially common for electronics, and other costs.
  • Attempt to return the gift as soon as you can. There may be a certain number of days from the time of purchase to return your gift.
  • Familiarize yourself with the store’s return policies.