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Photo: Maridav (Shutterstock) Between widespread shipping issues and dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic (again), the 2021 holiday shopping season wasn’t without its challenges. Online retailers once again made shopping safer and more convenient this year, but what happens once the gifts are given, and some need to be returned or exchanged? Here are a few things to keep in mind about holiday returns this year. Check return policies carefully In the past, it was safe to assume that most stores had a 30-day return policy, but during the last two years, thanks to the pandemic, many retailers extended theirs. The only way to know for sure is to check their return policy, either on a gift receipt or the retailer’s website. Items purchased by third-party sellers—including those sold on sites like Amazon—may have their own separate return policies and dates, so pay attention to those as well, Consumer Reports advises . Curbside returns may be an option Stores that offer curbside pickup may also the service for returns. But don’t assume that’s always the case: Be sure to check with the retailer before making a special trip there for that purpose. Pay attention to the costs of return shipping Just because your gift was shipped to you, doesn’t mean that you can ship it right back for free. The person making the return or exchange is often responsible for the costs of shipping. However, the following retailers send prepaid shipping labels with purchases, which makes the return process a […]