The end of December is by far the biggest time of the year for returning items to the store, whether they are unwanted gifts, gifts you decided not to give, defective items or simply impulse buys you want to return. We housesellers have scrounged up some of the best return policies from a selection of the biggest online and brick and mortar stores that may come in helpful as you sort through what to keep and what to return this holiday. We'll start with the two big guns, Amazon and Target. Amazon has a standard 30-day return window but they also have an extended holiday grace period which means goods purchased between November 1 and December 31 are refundable until January 31. Target has a more generous standard return policy of 90 days for most items (and a full year for Target brand items) but only 30 days for electronics. Target does, however, offer extended holiday returns on electronics and your 30 days to return electronics purchased between November 1 and December 25 doesn't start until December 26. 

The biggest home and bath related retailers have some of the most generous return policies. Ikea was one of the first retailers to take the lead in offering year-long return policies as long as you have your receipt, while Home Depot offers 365 day returns if you use their store credit card. If you use a debit or other credit card, you still have 90 days to return all items even if you've lost your receipt. Bed, Bath & Beyond has a crazily good return policy and you have a year to return any purchase for a full refund and gift registry items can be exchanged for comparable merchandise (or you can receive merchandise credit for the full price of the items), but the best part is that if any Bed, Bath & Beyond exclusive brand merchandise is deemed defective, you have FIVE years to return it! Costco doesn't even have a return time limit and, as long as you have your membership number, will accept returns without a receipt.

Clothes, shoes and certain luxury items make up some of the biggest purchases over the holiday and the retailers who have the best return policies include online shoe megastore Zappos, which gives customers a full 365 days to return any unsatisfactory unworn items, and Kohl's, which can look up items and refund them up to 16 months after the date of purchase. Nordstrom has suffered in recent years with the rise of luxury online shopping sites but does not put a time limit on returns (it does note that all returns are handled on a “case-by-case basis”). And Macy's, which has been synonymous with Thanksgiving and Christmas for a century, allows 6 months for most returns. L.L. Bean recently reduced its lifetime returns policy to one year but, as other retailers tighten their return policies, that policy--and the ones above--are still pretty great.