When Returning Gifts, Sooner is Better

SACRAMENTO -- To crack down on fraud, some retailers are changing the rules when it comes to gift returns.

A Christmas day article on TIME Magazine's website offered the following tips for consumers hoping to return gifts:

- Act quickly.

- Check store return policies.

- Bring the receipt and an ID.

- Don't expect cash.

Acting quickly is important because some retailers have shortened the window of time during which you can make a return. And in some cases, electronics have shorter return periods than other items. At Target, for example, drones purchased during the holidays have return windows of 14 days.

An ID is required with a receipt by some stores to cut down on "serial returning."

The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated last year that 3.5% of holiday returns were fraudulent. The cost of that fraud was more than $2 billion for retailers, according to NRF.

FOX40 spoke with consumers returning gifts at the busy Arden Fair Mall on Dec. 26.

Some were unable to return items such as makeup and video games. Most others said they were offered store credit but not money in exchange for their returns.