As Christmas comes to a close and you're left with unwanted presents from friends and loved ones that came with no receipt, there's no reason to hold onto them, unless you feel guilty about returning them.
On the other hand, you may have bought something but didn't have a chance to return it before Christmas, and now you can't find the receipt anywhere.
Whatever the case may be, when your receipt it missing, it feels like you're throwing much-needed cash away.
Kathy Spencer, the author of How to Shop for Free, told Fox News that "most stores accept returns without receipts."
"Depending on which store the item is from will determine how easy — or not so easy — this task will be."
The expert shopper and extreme couponer shared some of her secrets to make the holiday season a little easier on your wallet. She also has one bonus tip!
1. Is it possible for you to get the receipt?
If you feel bold enough to ask your friend or family for the receipt, it would make your life a whole lot easier. However, if that's not the case, proceed to the next step.
2. Research a store's return policy.
"If the policy isn’t written in your favor, give the store a call before heading out. Always be polite and courteous and ask if exceptions are ever made," Spencer said.
The key is here take down the name and title of the employee you spoke with so you can be "armed with all the information you need to get things done smoothly."
3. Be courteous.
No one wants to help out someone who is in a bad mood. Make sure you're polite and smiling when you arrive at the store, even if you have to smooth-talk the clerk.
"Sometimes, common courtesy can get the stores to pull a few strings for you," Spencer said. "Saying the product didn’t live up to the quality you expected from that store is all you need to say."
4. Talk to a manager.
If the clerk doesn't seem helpful enough, try talking to a manager and asking for an exception.
"Any time I don’t get the answer I wanted from the service desk, I kindly say, 'I understand that this is all you can do, and I appreciate your efforts, but can I please speak to the store manager?' You can also call the corporate office [from a phone at the store] … and that usually does the trick," she said. "Corporate doesn't want an unhappy customer hanging around the service desk, and will usually 'make an exception this one time'."
5. Weigh your options.
"It all depends on the store," Spencer noted. "Some stores do not require a receipt for any return, and they will simply provide you with cash back if that's what you want ... [and] other stores will happily offer you a credit without a receipt."
The retail guru said there's some retailers who won't take back an item without a receipt no matter what, but those places are a minority.
"Most stores in this economy want your business and want to keep the customer happy so they come back."
Spencer said disappointed giftees should return their gifts as soon as possible, especially before it goes on sale.
"Most stores [only] take back merchandise without a receipt for store credit at the last sale price."
Some shoppers try to be sneaky and return their item so that they can get it for a cheaper cost, but retailers are fully aware of that. "So if you see the item is going on sale … you will want to get to the store now and get the higher value," Spencer added.