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Your holiday gift returns in a wrap

HOUSTON – The presents are all opened and dinner is devoured. Now you have to make some decisions about what to do with the gifts that don't fit, that you don't want or that you just don't like.

This year's survey of holiday shoppers by the National Retail Federation also asked a lot of questions about retailers' return policies.

"One-third of shoppers said it was really important for the store they choose to shop at to have an easy return policy," said Consumer Reports reporter Donna Rosato.

With that in mind, Consumer Reports rated the best and worst return policies at retailers nationwide. They found many retailers willing to make returning as painless as purchasing.

"A lot of companies now do want to make it easier," said Rosato. "They'll give you a free shipping label to send it back if you need to make the return."

Usually, you'll have at least up to 30 days to make a return, which is also easier with a receipt and gently opened packaging.

"Some retailers will not want you to return the gift unless it has the original tags and, sometimes, the original packaging," said Rosato.

Got something to return at Walmart? This year, you can start the return on the Walmart app by scanning the receipt. Then, finish in the store faster by hopping into the mobile express lane.

Without a receipt, you can get a cash refund only if the purchase was under $25. For a return over that amount, you can get a Walmart gift card or make an even exchange.

This year, Amazon is paying for return shipping on items purchased by voice using Alexa. Just process your return as normal and you'll automatically get a refund of the shipping charges within seven days of your product refund. Items shipped by Amazon between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 of this year may be returned until Jan. 31 for a full refund.

Consumer Reports put Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, Costco and Kohl's on its nice list of retailers with the best return policies.

On its naughty list were Forever 21, Game Stop and Best Buy.

At Best Buy, you normally have just 15 days to return any item and you must have a receipt. Even then, you'll pay up to a 15 percent restocking fee on some items.

The electronics retailer lightened up for the holidays. If you bought anything other than a cellphone at Best Buy between between Oct. 28 and Dec. 28, the items can be returned through Jan. 12.

Macy's still allows 180 days to return most items, but there are different time limits for different categories of items. Most jewelry, watches and small electric items must be returned within 30 days.

You can see Macy's full return policy here.