Larger retailers spend a great deal of time crafting return policies. According to the National Retail Federation, 83 percent of retailers kept their policies more or less the same as last year with 7 percent tightening theirs. Those with more restrictive changes usually shortened the period of time during which a customer may return the purchase. During the holiday season, however, many retailers have implemented special return period windows that extend into January and February as a way to further stimulate sales. One trend which is becoming popular is developing different return policies for different types of merchandise. Usually electronics and software have the strict return policies with shorter windows for returns, higher restocking fees and other restrictions. In general, businesses are free to setup whatever return policy they choose. Some state laws do require that the return policies be prominently displayed but when it comes to restocking fees or return windows, the retailer can choose what to offer.
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