Nothing spoils the thrill of a good deal like realizing that you have to return it. But sending your last gadget purchase back doesn't have to be a hassle. When shopping on dealnews, come back and reference this list of return policies for the top electronics stores. Follow their guidelines, retain all your packing material, and don't wait to make a return. All stores require an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) unless you're returning to a local store. To get an RMA, contact the store before sending an item back.
A few observations:
Costco continues to have the best return policy in the business.
Amazon's return policies don't apply to third-party merchants, and it's confusingly hard to tell who you're buying from at Amazon.
If you might return it, don't open it.
Buy.com has slow shipping and a short 14-day return policy, so be wary.
TigerDirect has the worst return policy of all 14 stores. Second Act isn't far ahead, with no returns on TVs (the bulk of what they sell).
Not all stores enforce their restocking fee in every case, and you may find some willing to accept a return that they normally would refuse. It's worth a call to customer service to haggle.
30 days if unopened, 15 days for products in original condition, 7 days for items from clearance center.
Minimum of 20% for items ruturned after normal return policy timelimits, damaged contents, opened software.
Paid by consumer.
Louis Ramirez is a dealnews Features Editor who wishes more stores would pony up for return shipping. With reporting by Jeff Somogyi, who wonders if you can return a pony.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire
unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were
available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of
publication (unless otherwise specified).