Shoppers hoping to score big on returned items

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — First was the pre-holiday rush, then came the flood of returns, and now the next stage of holiday shopping has begun.

All those gifts you brought back to the store are now getting marked down, and shoppers are zeroing in on those items hoping to score like-new merchandise at a deep discount.

“The discounts are there, you see the stores, they’re all offering some sort of a discount,” said Eric Wruck of Meriden, Mass. “This is a very good time to shop.”

Manufacturers are working hard to refurbish returned items to get them back on the shelf, only those items are now selling at a cheaper price.

Experts say return rates this year are higher than years past because of the free shipping being offered by companies.

Companies such as Amazon have warehouse deals on their website, which are marked-down items that have been returned. Target and Walmart have similar deals online.

The only catch: Remember to ask about the company’s return policy. Many times, the sale of these items is final.

Some consumers skipped the return rush, knowing the deals they would find without all the hassle.

“As much as it’s saving money, it’s also just less stressful shopping in general at this time of year,” said Alicia McCoy of Middletown.

Some retailers won’t put returned items back on their shelves, and will instead use resellers online to take them off their hands.

Before you buy a returned item online, be sure to read the product description so you know if it’s been damaged at all.

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