Best, worst return policies for major retailers

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DENVER -- Nearly $60 billion worth of holiday merchandise was returned in January last year. Stores try to balance being flexible with customers while also keeping away chronic returners.

Personal finance website recently looked at the return policies of major retailers and categorized them according to ease. The site examined whether a receipt or invoice is needed at return, whether the retailer permitted in-store return processing for online purchases, available time limit for returning goods, and the refund type offered at return.

The best store was Costco for the way the company encourages simple returns in-store and allows customers to return items without a receipt by looking up member numbers.

The other stores with best return policies included Nordstrom, Zappos, REI, Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Macy's, Kohl's and Apple.

The worst performer was Sears with their tiered return policy. Depending on the product, customers have between 90 to 30 days to return an item (along with original packaging and receipt).

The other worst stores included Best Buy and American Apparel.

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