MUNICH, GERMANY: Christmas shoppers attend the Galeria Kaufhof warehouse on December 6, 2008 in Munich, Germany.
It happens every year. You give or get a gift that just doesn't work, and you have to take it back.
Knowing store policies can take some of the hassle out of the post-holiday blues.
Some stores have special holiday return policies, like Walmart.
While most items can be returned in 90 days, some have a 15- or 30-day return time. They include computers, digital cameras, even lawn mowers.
And for the holidays, if you bought the item between November 1 and December 24, Walmart will start the return period as of December 26.
Consumerworld.org, Target has tightened its return policy this year.
The stores have reduced the return period for computers, cameras and other electronics from 45 days last year, to 30 days.
Other returns are 90 days with a receipt.
At Best Buy, if you bought something between November 4 and December 24, you get an extended return time, until January 24.
Consumer World says Toys R Us now accepts electronics for return, even if the package is open.
Our best advice: wait a couple of days until after Christmas to make returns so you don't fight the crowds.
In most cases, you need a receipt to bring back items and get your money back.
And if it's opened, there could be a restocking fee charged. Make sure you know the store's policy.
Again this year, Costco has one of the most liberal return policies because you don't need a receipt. They can track with your membership card..
Learn other stores return polices at