NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Returning unwanted purchases isn't fun, especially during the holidays. Retailers obviously don't like it either.But sometimes, you need to return an item that either doesn't work, isn't what you expected or you no longer want. While there are people out there trying to game the system -- causing some of the National Retail Federation's projected $2.9 billion in fraudulent returns this holiday season -- most of us just want to buy the right thing the first time. Technology is helping make returns a lot easier. Shopping online means you always have a record of purchases. You just have to pay attention to return policies and possible restocking fees. Offline, several stores are now accepting returns made at their online counterpart, not to mention easing return policies to help those who just want to return an unwanted item. Limit those returns by following these suggestions: Do the research. If gifts are going to be given this season, make sure you give something the person wants or make sure you're telling people what you want. You can always ask. Or be a little sneaky by using a gift-recommendation service.