"It's a really good idea to have a gift receipt, because if the person needs to exchange the item or get their money back, that they're able to get the full money that you paid," said Ellen Davis, National Retail Federation.
Keep all packaging intact.
"If an item comes back and the box is dinged or damaged, it's going to be more difficult for retailers to return that at the best price possible."
If you're not going to return it right away, stash it in a secure spot to avoid damage and lost parts.
"Take that item and put it on a high shelf or put it in your car trunk, so that you are not tempted to open it or kids play with it."
And you don't necessarily need to make your returns, right away.
"Most retailers' return policies are good for at least 30 days, so there's not as much of a need to rush out to the stores on December 26th or 27th."
According to the national retail federation, 80% of stores will have the same return policies as last year. 17% are tightening them, and just under 4% of retailers are easing return policies.