HOW TO: Have Happy Returns

The tree is shedding needles and the cheap champagne hangover has faded along with your memory, which means it’s time to think about returning all those crappy gifts you got. Consumer Reports Shopping blog has some tips on making your returns happy:

• Most places extend their return deadline to Jan 31
• Don’t forget the receipt
• Brace yourself for a 15% restocking fee.
• Find out if you can return it offline, and save the shipping cost

Oh boy, a sweater! — BEN POPKEN

Gearing up for gift returns [Consumer Reports Shopping Blog]

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  1. kimdog says:

    I’ve stopped shopping at places that give me return hassles. As far as I’m concerned, I’d rather pay a higher price than have to jump through hoops to make a legitimate return. I’ve made several holiday returns to LL Bean, Brooks Brothers, and Old Navy with no problem (by mail or store). Zappos.com sets the bar. When I bought a GPS unit for my boyfriend this year, I ended up paying slightly more at Wal-Mart that I would have at several other retailers, but I knew that it would be a hassle free return with no nasty surprises. It turned out to be exactly what he wanted, but I don’t regret my decision.

  2. acambras says:

    Yeah, now if we could only get all of our friends/relatives to stop buying gifts from the meanypants places.

  3. Chairman-Meow says:

    I had a hell of a time returning duplicate DVD gifts to, you guessed it, Best Buy.

    The guy at the returns counter told me that they do not take back DVDs at all. I told him to take note that the DVDs were unopened, in their original shrink-wrap AND I have a receipt. He complained that since the price stickers were removed he could not accept them. It was at the point I informed him for the bizillionth time that the DVDs were a CHRISTMAS GIFT so of course the stickers were removed. I also told him i’m not looking for a refund but simply a store credit so I could buy something else. I then told the snot-nosed brat to go get the Manager.

    When the Manager showed-up, I handed him the receipt, DVDs and asked for a refund. The Manager wanted to know WHY I wanted to return DVDs in the first place. I told him they were duplicate gifts.

    When he saw that I was now really annoyed, he apologized and told me they are being cautious because of fraud. So, I asked him: “So since it is your policy that anyone who returns merchandise is a suspected criminal, please tell me why I would ever want to shop here”?

    Without a word, he refunded my money. Too bad because all I originally wanted was store credit but due to their “anti-fraud” measures, I took the cash and left the store. I’ll be damned if i’m going to give them another dime.

    Amazon, here I come!

  4. kerry says:

    Front_Towards_Enemy said:

    “So since it is your policy that anyone who returns merchandise is a suspected criminal, please tell me why I would ever want to shop here”?

    Precisely! I’m going to remember that exact phrasing the next time I get hassled about a return or told that I have to leave my laptop bag and purse behind the counter to shop in a store. It’s one thing if they’re nice about it, but when Sally Beauty Supply wouldn’t let me get one stupid bottle of nail polish — which was within arms reach! — because I wouldn’t hand over my valuable personal belongings I nearly lost it. If they can’t trust me not to steal while they’re standing right next to me, and they were, how can I trust them not to steal my stuff while it’s out of my sight? [/rant]
    Sorry about the freakout, but this stuff bugs the bejeezus out of me. Why would I ever want to spend money where I’m treated like a criminal?

  5. acambras says:

    Oooh, Kerry — that makes me want to go into Sally Beauty Supply to see if they try and mess with me, so I can tell them where to shove their flatirons.

    I do need shampoo…