Gift giving is upon us with less than 4 weeks left until Christmas. After spending all that time and money choosing, buying, wrapping, and giving those gifts, something will be too big, too small, the wrong color, or just the wrong thing. Then those same gifts will need to be returned to the store bringing us to the second phase of gift giving: irritation, aggravation, and frustration.
Store return policies will vary so knowing the differences may help you when preparing for the trip back to the store.
Refunds usually require the original receipt or the gift receipt. This is to make sure the returned item was actually purchased from the store. Some stores may require that the item be in a resellable condition with original packaging so it can be quickly sold to the next customer with no delay. Many stores will include a window of 30 to 90 days after the purchase date to make the return. This is to prevent use-and-returners and accepting items that have been discontinued.
After refunds, come store credit. Some stores may only give store credit which will require the same conditions as a refund. This is to prevent customers from getting the cash and spending it somewhere else thus dropping the profit level of the store. This can be very, very frustrating to the customer so know ahead of time if stores give refunds or only store credit.
After store credit, comes exchange. If the item was the wrong size or came damaged, the store will usually exchange it for the right, working item. Some stores may let you exchange it for a different item in a different department. But again only frustration for the customer who needs the money back to buy somewhere else.
After exchange, comes no deal. That means you are stuck with the item especially if it was purchased as a sale or clearance item and was marked as final.
Before you become frustrated and take it out on the sales clerk, remember that unfair store return policies are not their fault. So yelling at them will only give them more reason to not help you and call the police.
Instead, be positive, polite, and smile a lot. Have a sympathetic, empathetic, and heart-touching story and give the store clerk a reason to want to help you!
Have a blessed week!