Your guide to returning unwanted Xmas gifts

I am one of those people who likes to buy, take home to contemplate, and then return. I think the thrill of the hunt often blinds me to the fact that what I’m buying is not always a necessary addition to the well being of my wardrobe. Or that it’s just plain gaudy and overpriced.

After coming to the inevitable realization that the item is not wanted, I must then find time in my busy "mother-of-two" schedule — already bursting at the seams with playdates, Cinderella stories, diaper changes, naps and hide-and-seek — to head back to the store where I found it. I must do this soon before the shopper’s remorse swallows my soul and ruins a perfectly good day.

Because of these little incidents, I know a lot about return policies. With Christmas becoming a distant memory, (although it’s hard to forget entirely with the tree still up and glowing in the family room) I feel that it is a good time to share a bit of what I know:

  • Anthropologie- Will take anything back anytime! (even if it is on sale!)
  • The Gap- 30 day return policy. Merchandise certificate by mail if you don’t have a receipt.
  • Old Navy- 90 day return policy
  • H&M- 30 day return policy with or without a receipt.
  • Joe Fresh and Loblaws-  Only 14 days with a receipt.  (although I have been able to exchange past this time frame at the customer service desk)
  • The Bay – 60 day return policy, store credit after 60 days.
  • Mastermind Toys – Will take returns as long as product is in original purchased condition. (the Lawrence/Yonge location)
  • The Disney Store – 30 day return policy

Always make sure to ask about the return policy of any new store you are shopping in.  Even if you are completely sure of yourself at the cash, you may be invaded by the doubt monster when you get the item home.

I must say that a good, long policy does motivate me to buy more. I feel safest at places like Anthropologie where I can get that shopping high and then curb that buyer’s remorse monster before it starts making hot chocolate with those mini marshmallows in my kitchen.

Liisa Winkler is one of Canada’s biggest supermodels and mother of two beautiful children. Her blog appears bi-monthly at

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