The best and worst return policies of the holiday season

Spending time with family is one thing, but spending a lifetime with that sweater your Aunt Emily gave you for Christmas is another. Before you head back to the mall with your unwanted items, there are few things to know about retailer return policies this holiday season.

The most important thing to know is that retailers are cracking down. Not only are stores struggling with lower profits, but theft is also on the rise. The National Retail Federation estimates shoplifting could cost retail stores close to $30 billion this holiday season. Fraudulent product returns pose even more problems. In a recent poll, 93% of NRF retail members said stolen merchandise has been returned to their stores.

In an effort to stem those losses, many retailers are tightening their return policies. Even some of the most traditionally lenient stores have put restrictions on certain items. WalletPop reviewed the return policies of several major retailers. Here is our list of best and worst places to return your gifts this year.