Retailers Braced For Holiday Gift Returns, On Lookout For Fraud - WFLA News Channel 8

Retailers Braced For Holiday Gift Returns, On Lookout For Fraud

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Ashley Courtney was surprised and thrilled by her Christmas Gift: a new Mac pro computer.

Even so, she still found herself in the return line at Best Buy on Wednesday, the day after Christmas.

"The screen was 11 inch, and as I age, I need a little bit bigger screen, I guess," Courtney said.

Courtney says she got up early, to check stores to find a computer with a larger screen.

Then, she almost stayed home, fearing the line would be too long.

"We actually live an hour south of here, and this was the only best buy within 75 miles that had what we needed, so I made lots of phone calls and did my homework," Courtney said.

Best Buy manager Carlos Carrillo says the bulk of returns were folks like Courtney, wanting to upgrade their gifts.

"Things like people who come in for an ipad and maybe they got a 16 gig and maybe they want a 32 gig, or a smaller TV and they're looking to get a bigger TV."

Retailers were braced for long lines too, but morning rain kept some shoppers home.

Target managers say those who ventured out before lunch time, came for holiday deals.

"We expected more rush in the morning, but a lot of our guests went to buy Christmas merchandise. But, yeah, it's been steady but, thankfully, we are staffed appropriately for our rush," said Felipe Torrebiarte, a manager for Target on Dale Mabry Hwy, just north of Interstate 275.

Retailers expect more returns this weekend, when more people are off work.

Something else stores are braced for: fraud.

The national retail federation says stores lose about $2.9 billion in fraudulent holiday returns.

Crooks use fake receipts or return merchandise that was stolen, already worn, or bought with counterfeit money.

Many stores have tightened their return policies in order to crack down on fraud.

Retailers recommend shoppers with returns bring their receipts, if possible, and photo identification. It's also recommenced shoppers check the store's return policy before venturing out. Some stores have restrictions on certain types of merchandise.

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