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Did you spend too much on the holidays?

Rita With Christmas Gift 2011 094

Although the holiday season is over, many consumers are probably dealing with its aftermath. They may have exceeded their budget and are wondering what to do now. And, with unwanted gifts, they may be shopping again or having frustrations returning items.

To get an idea of how the first act of the holiday season progressed and what’s happening in the second act, WalletHub, a personal finance website, conducted a survey.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • 29 percent of people say they overspent this past holiday season. Overall, 62 percent of people plan to spend less in 2018 than they did in 2017.
  • 24 percent of Americans plan to return a gift they received this past holiday season. More than two-thirds of them plan to return clothes. For electronics, it’s 14 percent; furniture/appliances, 6 percent; video games, 6 percent; and jewelry, 5 percent.
  • 21 percent say retailers’ return policies are the biggest hurdle to returning an item to a store. Other obstacles are finding the receipt, 36 percent; laziness, 22 percent; and takes too long, 21 percent.
  • Four in 10 Americans say companies shouldn’t be allowed to track consumers’ retail return history.
  • One in 10 people think stores should accept returns for an unlimited length of time.
  • Six in 10 people say it’s getting easier to return purchases, while 45 percent say they wouldn’t be satisfied with store credit in exchange for a returned item.
  • Nearly half of consumers say they would never shop at a store again if it refused to accept their return.
  • More than six in 10 people don’t know that some credit cards give you extra time to return purchases.
  • 48 percent of consumer credit cards have a return protection program. Most provide a 90-day return period and up to $300 in coverage per item.
  • Jewelry and video games are the items most commonly excluded from credit card return protection.

Before we know it, it will be time for the holidays again. I sure had fun this year visiting my daughter and her family. I didn’t have any items to return, but I did give a gift that was the wrong size because I received incorrect information.


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