Reading the fine print on retailer's return policies

Holidays are all about food, family and receiving gifts that you know you will never use -- with a smile. Of the $437.6 billion consumers plan to spend this holiday season, $42.7 billion worth of items are likely to be returned to stores, according to retail trade association, the National Retail Federation.

But this year, the annual pilgrimage to the return counter may prove a little less satisfying. Last year, the bad economy and gloomy sales forecasts led retailers to loosen up return policies, but 2009 is shaping up to be quite different -- 15.9% of retailers say they are tightening the rules,according to the NRF.

That makes reading the fine print on return policies even more important. Here's our roundup of retailers' return policies and our assessment of which ones are naughty or nice.



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