The Ohio Attorney General's Office provided a series of tips for those buying gifts this time of year.
Shoppers should know stores set their own return policies, but must clearly inform customers prior to sale. Most gift cards must last at least five years, however fees will vary.
Purchasing items with a credit card typically provides greater protection, according to the office.
Officials received more than 3,700 complaints last November and December to the attorney general office's consumer protection section.
Residents seeking help with a consumer problem are asked to reach the state office at www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.
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