Target Bungles Wedding Registry, Won't Exchange Duplicate Gifts Without Receipts

Target doesn’t accept returns without receipts to keep criminals at bay, but Chrissy recently discovered that their policy also extends to wedding registry gifts. Chrissy and her husband ended up with several duplicate gifts when Target failed to keep track of her registry. Chrissy didn’t want a refund or cash, just store credit, but Target refused to consider any proffer until Chrissy provided receipts. One manager even urged Chrissy to call her wedding guests to ask for their receipts, because in Target’s book, that’s not extraordinarily rude or anything.

She writes:

As a long time fan of Target, I am absolutely disappointed about their new “return” policy. I couldn’t wait for the day to get married, and with regards to this letter, couldn’t wait to open a Target wedding registry of my own! Only to find out Target has become completely untrusting of their customers and treat us as if we’re thieves! We sent our wedding guests almost exclusively to our Target registry, which malfunctioned, and now we have duplicate sets of gifts that we cannot return.

When we attempted to return them, and showed how the gift registry malfunctioned, they insisted that it was our guests’ responsibility to attach a gift receipt & accepted no fault. Of course, since our guests were purchasing from a wedding registry they trusted, none of the guests attached a receipt. Not to mention it looks pretty tacky to tape on a receipt to an expensive, nicely wrapped gift. So the manager suggested we go back to our guests and ask for a receipt so that we can return their gift. We felt that would be very rude to do to our guests, and just do not feel comfortable disappointing people like that, especially after they spent so much money on a gift they thought we would love. The manager also told us “that’s the point of a registry, to get what you want” – Of course! But that doesn’t mean we need two croquet sets, two coffee makers or two wine racks! We felt we were being very reasonable, we didn’t even want cash back; we would gladly accept store credit.

To top things off, I received a wok in the mail that became damaged during shipment. It came wrapped in target paper, included target shipping paperwork, and all we wanted was to exchange it for a non-damaged wok or receive store credit. They still proceeded to tell us that we needed a gift receipt, and refused to return it for us until we talked to upper management. The whole process took over 30 minutes!

We have received over $1000 in gifts from our Target registry, and if we would have known about this absurd return policy, we would have stayed with Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s, both of which have no problem with satisfying their registry customers. I do wedding photography for a living and talk with brides on a daily basis, I’m warning everyone to stay clear of Target’s wedding registry. I hope Target realizes quick what they are doing to some of their biggest fans.

Target, it’s a sad day for you when people feel more welcome at Walmart than your store.

Ex-Customer of Vero Beach Target,
Chrissy

Lesson learned: don’t use Target for your wedding registry.
PREVIOUSLY: Target: No Receipt, No Returns. Period.
Target Revises Return And Exchange Policy: Items With No Receipt Worth $100 (It Wasn’t An April Fools Joke)
(Photo:
imasuperhero)

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  1. morganlh85 says:

    I’m getting married and I refuse to register at Target because of their ridiculous return policy. If they can’t get their registry to prevent duplicates, the couple shouldn’t be punished because guests inadvertently buy them duplicate gifts.

    Bed Bath and Beyond will actually allow you to return items on your registry for outright cash. I just wish Target would get their act together so we could register for more low-priced items and basics that we can’t get at BBB. Too bad registering at Walmart sounds so ghetto.

  2. What a shame. I hope Target gets upset about the bad publicity and fixes this problem for her.

  3. skittlbrau says:

    I registered at Target, and their system does not work – gifts that were purchased did not come off. Luckily my local store was a bit more understanding; apparently other brides had the same issue.

  4. b612markt says:

    same thing happened to my friend…

    My best friend is getting married this year. She and her fiancee live in California, but her family is in Texas and her parents wanted to throw a shower for her there. When she explained this to the bridal registrars at Macy’s and Target, she was told that she could receive gifts in Texas, return them to the Macy’s and Target stores in Texas and them re-buy them in California. Awkward, I know, but it allowed her family and friends to buy real gifts instead of gift cards and saves her from having to ship the gifts across the country.

    The shower was beautiful and afterwards I helped her haul the loot to Macy’s and Target to get store credits.

    The Macy’s transaction was effortless and wonderful – they even transported her gifts from the receiving area to the third floor registry desk. Very helpful! The returns went off without a hitch and she had a Macy’s gift card in about 15 minutes, along with a printout of the items she returned so she could re-buy them in California. We went to Target with similar expectations.

    We entered the store with a printout from the Target website that had a list of the gifts that had been purchased at Target for her. We took this along with the gifts to the customer service desk. The Target experience was a world away from the care we received at Macy’s! She didn’t have receipts for any of the items as her guests simply forgot to ask for gift receipts. Target flat-out refused to accept the items for in-store credit. When she showed them the exact correlation between the gifts she was returning and the printout from their website, they still wouldn’t budge. She called customer service, and they refused. She escalated to a supervisor, and he was rude to her and also refused to help. She called the Club Wedd department, and they were zero help, didn’t apologize and basically told her it’s her fault for not telling the guests to bring receipts.

    After over an hour of dealing with two in-store employees and three phone representatives, she was in tears and vowed to cancel her Club Wedd registry and stick exclusively with Macy’s. As it would be far more expensive to ship the bulky and heavy items than to re-purchase them, she is probably going to donate them to a women’s charity and re-buy them in California (but not at Target!).

    Bottom line – unless you want to nag every single one of your guests to include a gift receipt with their present, away from Target’s Club Wedd!

  5. homerjay says:

    Target, please. PLEASE don’t Wal-Mart yourself!!!! Stop this ridiculousness!

  6. craigf4656 says:

    Just wanted to echo how great Macy’s is at this sort of thing. We had a number of returns of gifts off our registry (registered for china, didn’t get quite enough to justify keeping it, so we returned what we got for other, more useful things). The Macy’s workers were great, and we had no problems. They actually went above-and-beyond, allowing us to retroactively add a number of items to the registry after the fact so we could still get the completion discount. They even let us in on the dates of their upcoming sales so we could hold off buying certain items until they were cheaper. All around, just great customer service.

    We had also registered at Linens ‘n Things — they were not so great. Let’s just say I was happy to see the bankruptcy report on Consumerist this morning.

  7. Geez, you try to register for things keeping in mind your guests’ various budgets. You register at an ENORMOUS NATIONAL CHAIN because guests coming from anywhere in the US can go there and shop! And then silly crap like this happens.

    I recommend Macy’s. The folks we dealt with for our October 2005 wedding couldn’t have been nicer. Your guests can shop online or in the store. Prices are decent and they have sales all the time. After the wedding, they’ll give you 10% off any unpurchased items on your registry. AND a gift card depending on how many things were bought off your registry!

  8. medic78 says:

    I deleted my entire registry at Target as soon as word got out that they were planning on making receipts mandatory for EVERYTHING, including registry gifts.

    I’m now really glad I did, since this is exactly what I figured would happen.

    My huge family would have loved to buy all of my stuff there, but I told them why they couldn’t, and so now Target lost out on some big money, especially since I’m sure I’m not the only one to wipe their registry.

    Way to go Target! You saved money on that $50 scammy return, in exchange for a thousand or so in real sales.

  9. bsalamon says:

    that is why Bed, Bath and Beyond is the best…you get cash for any gift off of your registry

  10. rellog says:

    As of late, I have been less and less impressed with my former favorite store…
    Yet another nail in the coffin for them.

    Not a wedding registry problem, but I once tried to return a boom box as its performance was quite lackluster and not all worth thew price. When I tried to return it, their staff told me that it was considered “music” and not electronics and was subject to their no return if opened policy. I argued, but then went to another store and returned it at a later date. It has since kept me from buying anything of value from Target for years now.

  11. rellog says:

    Oh, and I think the real jist of this story is that weddings are more of a pain than their worth…

    :)

    (Yes, 99.999999999% of men think this very thing! :))

  12. rellog says:

    Folloow-up…. I really hate not being able to edit my comments. For the record, it should be they’re, not their…

  13. rellog says:

    ARRRRGGGGGG!!!!!!!

    Follow up, not folloow-up……
    ARRRGGGGGGGG!!!!

  14. Falconfire says:

    glad i registered at Bed Bath and Beyond. There even gifts that where not bought there but that they had in stock we where given store credit for. And gifts that where on our registry but we got duplicates or wanted to return we got CASH for.

  15. ahempton says:

    It’s true, Target’s gift registry system doesn’t work. I was going to my friend’s sister’s wedding and I ended up buying the same gifts as the bride’s mother — TWICE! All because the gift registry system is BROKEN! I’m normally a great Target fan, but they really need to relax the policy in regards to the registry.

    Of course, on the other hand, thieves did probably take advantage of the lax policy in relation to the gift registry, so I suppose that’s who we have to thank.

  16. DwightIsMyCopilot says:

    When I got married three years ago, Target was the first place I registered at, but after less than a month of having a registry, I noticed about 1/2 of my items started showing up as “not available online or in store.” (And I had plenty of things on my list.) They go through their stock waaaay too fast for a registry, in my opinion. So I switched to Bed Bath & Beyond and Macy’s and couldn’t have been happier.

    Now that we’re having a baby, people keep asking me where I’m registering and I’m definitely skipping Target not only because they don’t keep anything in stock and don’t take things off registries once people buy them for you, but because of this new poorly thought out return policy. NO THANK YOU.

  17. medic78 says:

    @ahempton: Of course, on the other hand, thieves did probably take advantage of the lax policy in relation to the gift registry, so I suppose that’s who we have to thank.

    True, but I’m not a thief, and don’t want to be treated like one when I go to return something that I received twice because of Target’s mistake.

  18. Pro-Pain says:

    Same story here. Target didn’t get our business either because of all this “show your receipt or you’re a thief” approach to returns. Guess it’s a lose lose situation for everybody really. Target aren’t the brain surgeons of retail, I can assure you. I worked there once upon a time.

  19. LUV2CattleCall says:

    The only thing Target is good for is hand-made pizza flown in from Italy for <$5… I’ve been reading that many suppliers would much rather deal with Wal-Mart than Target due to Target’s PITA “Reverse-auction” bidding process.

  20. freejazz38 says:

    WHY would ANYONE register at Target. They carry junk, their stores are among the WORST run, and the CS is poor. The have well lit aisles of NOTHING. Every time you go to one of their store, bank on a 20 minutes wait or more at the checkout line as they have 1 register open. The clothes they sell there fall apart, and most of what they carry is junk

  21. MeOhMy says:

    Is this a new development? I got married in 2004 and was warned by others that Target applied their strict recipt requirements even to gift registries so we did not register at Target.

  22. LUV2CattleCall says:

    Also, Target no longer looks up your info with a credit card…if you don’t have the receipt, tough-fucking-luck!

    That and if you buy an item at, lets say, $35, and it decreases to $25 by the time you return it…you get $25 = yes, within 30 days and with a receipt. It doesn’t work the other way around though…

    Ironically, when I bought a Zune at Wal-Mart, they said that if I provide my name and phone number, they can log the purchase so that I can return it even if I loose the receipt.

  23. thelushie says:

    @freejazz38: Because there are people who are very aware of differences in budgets. I know alot of couples who register at Target and then Saks or Nordstroms.

    I am going to be sensitive to everyone’s budgets. I am not going to register anywhere. I will have a “No gifts, please” policy. Just come and have a great time. If they must do something, then I will tell them I would prefer them to make a donation to Kiva. I respect the process and will use it if I must, but registering for gifts puts a bad taste in my mouth.

  24. gruffydd says:

    I love Target, but this story doesn’t bode well for their reputation. Luckily when I got married two years ago, we used Amazon’s registry and requested Target and Home Depot Gift Cards through it.

    Recent Target return story:
    I ordered 4 Comforter sets from target.com (one reason to qualify for free shipping, second reason to see them in person), knowing I could return three of them at my local Target store.

    I loaded 3 of the sets into my car and made sure that I had my packing slip in hand.

    While waiting in the CS line, I started to read my Target.com packing slip, and just about choked when I read, “THIS PACKING SLIP CANNOT BE USED TO RETURN PRODUCTS TO A TARGET STORE. Please log on to target.com to request a return authorization…”

    Luckily, the woman at the counter was an example of the perfect CS employee, and said, “No problem…we can look up the purchase with your credit card”. She saved my sanity that day!

  25. WraithSama says:

    I guess we got lucky. My wife and I registered exclusively at Target to be convenient for our guests last Summer, *right* before this draconian return policy was instituted. The registry worked just fine and we received no duplicate items. We did end up having to return/exchanging a couple items for various reasons (damaged, wrong color, etc.) and we had no issues doing so without receipts because we had a printout of the registry to show.

    I guess you can’t do that anymore, which is a very crappy move by Target. I’m glad we were more fortunate.

  26. Sarge1985 says:

    My spouse was invited to a baby shower and was told that the Mother to be was registered at Target. We went in, pulled a printout and picked up several items. Not to play “Blame the consumer” here, but it is plainly stated on the printout one can get at the store that in order to process a return, the Bride or Mother to be needs to have the gift receipt. And at our local store, they print that receipt automatically so that you don’t even have to ask for it.

  27. mamacat49 says:

    The baby registry sucks, too. My friend was stuck with lots of duplicates because of the “no receipt, no return” policy. We tell everyone not to register at Target.

  28. bigbadbyte says:

    I worked at Target in my teenage years and I am sorry about their return policy, but I am sorry, bad consumers have effed it up. Consumers have shown that when corporations have generous return policies, they get abused, maybe these few rotten apples ruin the bunch, but I am sorry, I don’t think its unreasonable to want a receipt. Who doesn’t put a receipt with a gift, Target will give you a gift receipt, its easy and not a big deal. Sorry, i think this chicks just a little bit on the whinny side.

  29. rellog says:

    @LUV2CattleCall: That info is inaccurate. I just last week returned an item and had them look up the purchase with my credit card.
    As for the lowest price, they couldn’t get away with that. Unless there is stipulated wording put out specifically on receipts and posted, they have no legal ground to do so.

  30. littlemoose says:

    I’ve been to more than a dozen weddings in the last three years, so I’ve gotten quite familiar with the registry process from the guests’ side. I usually get a gift receipt and tuck it into the bottom of the box, just in case. I think it’s practical — what if the gift is defective in some way?

    That being said, I do think it’s ridiculous to require a receipt when the registry obviously indicates that it was a gift bought at Target. Wanting to exchange for store credit is very reasonable.

  31. MARTHA__JONES says:

    Sadly, I’m surprised it has taken 3-4 months for this issue to show up. Target has long been known for not correctly updating their registtied – one of many reasons my husband & I did not register there when we were married 5 years ago.

  32. MARTHA__JONES says:

    @littlemoose: Actually, you’re both right – sort of.

    Target will look up a transaction purchased on a credit card, but only once per six month period per customer.

  33. rbcat says:

    @MARTHA__JONES:

    Target will look up a transaction purchased on a credit card, but only once per six month period per customer.

    At least in North Texas Target stores, this also isn’t the case. They will use credit, debit, gift cards or check information (basically anything that’s not cash) to find a receipt, and will do this as many times as you need. We’ve returned several things using nothing more than our debit card(s) without a problem.

  34. younggreenanne says:

    I shop at Target at least once a week for household items, casual clothes, etc…. and never ONCE have I had an issue with them looking up a receipt for me when I need to return or exchange, even on purchases where I’ve used a split payment method of part cash, part Visa-check-card. I end up returning/exchanging at least once a month and have experienced zero issues.

    Target is one of my favorite places to shop, and I feel like their merchandise is well-designed and well-priced. And their customer service people are usually EXTREMELY helpful at my local stores.

    That said, i was married March 8th and my fiance and I chose NOT to register at Target even though we love the store, simply because of their lousy registry return policies. Target lost out on thousands of dollars from our families and friends. Bed Bath and Beyond and Home Depot are our favored registry vendors and we’ve had no problems thus far.

    Looks like it’s time to use those Linens’n’Things gift cards, though! Thanks, Consumerist, for the tip-off!

  35. younggreenanne says:

    @wesmills:

    I should add that I’m in North Texas (Dallas) too.

  36. galadriel7474 says:

    This exact thing happened to me, but with a baby registry in the fall. I will never register with Target again and I urge all my many, many pregnant or engaged friends to steer clear. I very much loved Targer prior to this. Even after emailing corporate, the only answer I ever got was “ask people for the receipts.” I didn’t want to do that because it’s rude and tacky. Nice job, Target!

  37. mrmcgoo88 says:

    My wife and I registered at Target for our wedding in March and we had the same horrific experience. We received a $110 comforter off of our registry and we did not receive a receipt AND the registry was not checked off. The manager told us we needed to contact the gift giver and get a receipt as well, absolutely ridiculous. I tell everyone I know to NOT register at Target for their wedding.

  38. LUV2CattleCall says:

    @rellog: @MARTHA__JONES:

    I was going by this

    [consumerist.com]

  39. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Costco needs to start a gift registry service. Target’s return policy is bullshit. There’s no reason in the world why they shouldn’t give this customer store credit.

  40. realserendipity says:

    As a soon to be bride, this definetely affects my decision to not register there. The last thing I need is family and friends purchasing things that I cant return or wont use. Amazon will be getting our primary registry and then maybe Bed, Bath, and Beyond if we decide we need a second one.

  41. rellog says:

    @LUV2CattleCall: Yeah, I kinda figured that. I asked a couple of weeks after the New Year and of the three stores I visited, none refused to look up using a CC.
    I think that either they decided not to shoot themselves in the foot, or the policy was overblown…

  42. rellog says:

    I also think emails to execs from people such as those posting in this thread would be smart. It’s never too late to change the policy to a more customer friendly one…

  43. Youthier says:

    I had this same problem two years ago… I love Target but I know that I won’t be using them for my baby registry and whenever I buy a wedding gift there, I always add the gift receipt.

  44. morganlh85 says:

    Consumerist: I sent an email via the Target website expressing my disappointment with their policies and that I will NOT be registering there because of them. But who knows if that will be read by anyone important.

    Do you have any contact information for some head honchos so we can EECB?

  45. MMD says:

    This is good to know…I have several friends getting married or having babies in the next few months. I’ll be telling them about this policy so they can make informed choices about registries, and will be shopping elsewhere for gifts.

    The return discrepancies mentioned above show that ,obviously, enforcement of the return policy is not standard. If you have trouble returning something with one employee, wait a while and try again with another. Eventually, you’ll find someone who will do it. This technique has often worked for me with phone reps. If someone is giving you a hard time, hang up and play CSR roulette again – you might get lucky!

  46. MARTHA__JONES says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: I highly recommend both Crate & Barrel and Williams Sonoma for gift registries. We used both and especially WS was absolutely wonderful about the few returns we did have.

  47. MARTHA__JONES says:

    @MMD: You are so right – and a good friend. Spread the word! Everyone should, and everyone should take a minute to tell Target exactly how they feel about the policy. I did back in January when it was announced, although this is all I got in response:

    Dear Martha__Jones,

    Please accept our apologies for any disappointment you experienced with our return policy. I’m also sorry to hear about the frustration you experienced during recent visits to various Target stores and with our registries.

    If you want to return an item and don’t have a receipt, we still have a few options for you:

    - Your local store will accommodate two no receipt returns a year for you on small gifts under $20.
    - We have the ability to look up a receipt’s information for the gift giver, so they can make a return on most purchases,
    provided they purchased your item with a check, Target GiftCard, credit or debit card within the past 90 days.
    - If the gift giver still has the original receipt for the item, they have the ability to reprint a gift receipt at the Guest Service desk
    next time they visit Target.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and comments with us. Your feedback is helpful in our continual review of our return policy.

    Sincerely,

    Kathy
    Target Guest Relations
    http://www.target.com

  48. penarestel says:

    @b612markt: Go back to the forums, you posted the same thing there and I still don’t believe you.

  49. sam says:

    @MARTHA__JONES: I can assure you that this is not remotely accurate. It’s two returns a year without a receipt and the item is under $20. Target can and always will, without any restrcitions, look up a receipt with a debit card, credit card, check or giftcard. This is a free service and does not have a limit on it’s frequency.
    @LUV2CattleCall: This is also not true, and is most certainly not legal. As I said before, Target will allow 2 returns without a receipt (tracked by an official government ID) in a 365 day period, and the item must be under $20. You are confusing your claim with another similar stipulation. Not only does a receipt prove when you bought it, but how much you bought it for. If you make a return using your Drivers License without a receipt, since Target has no way of knowing when you bought it, will issue you store credit of the cheapest price in the last 90 days. This is absolutely the only time the price will be adjusted for the return, and only because they have no way of knowing when you bought it, so they don’t know how much you paid for it. So they just assume you paid the cheapest price it was sold for.

  50. dorastandpipe says:

    Target is horrible in every way imaginable!!!

    I needed to exchange a DVD that my child got for his birthday. We wanted a wide screen format and had been given a full screen version. The DVD was in store packaging and had store stickers on it. Never opened. They tried to make HIM (7)feel like a thief! (Yes, I put and end to that right quick!) I know, sometimes people send in kids to do the dirty work…but I was right there trying to walk him through what needed to be done.

    I used to work at Target and we would have been reprimanded for treating customers, even the thieves we KNEW BY NAME because they came in so often, if we would do something like that…now it is standard operating procedure to harass people and treat them like thieves.

    This company no longer gets my money.

  51. dragonfire81 says:

    That’s got to be one of the stupidest return policies I’ve ever heard of. Target sucks.

  52. Major-General says:

    I’m sure it goes a little deeper than this. For instance, are we actually sure that everyone gave their registry sheets to the cashier to be scanned? Also once scanned, gift receipts are automatically generated for those items, printing at the end of the regular receipts.

    Also, what part of saying “Hey, I need a gift receipt” is so hard. Those can be printed at the register after the transaction is completed.

    And to spread the blame around: it is the cashiers responsibility to ask the “guest” if they need a gift receipt for anything in their purchase.

  53. Mr_Burmie says:

    My recommendation— sell the duplicate items on e-bay. Probably should do it under an alias so as not to offend. It’s more of a pain than being able to just return to Target. But it clears up the problem of having two identical bread makers crowding your counter space.

  54. ThunderRoad says:

    Target = consumerist hell. I used to love this company as a discount everyday store with a real focus on keeping the customer happy. I remember as a kid the day after xmas when the return lines were full with people bringing back wrong-sized or just plain wrong stuff they would get, only to be greeted with a warm smile, a CASH refund, and a “thank you for shopping at target – please come again”.

    These days, everyone is a thief, the employees are indoctrinated by a corporate culture of rudeness, and the prices at the store are frankly not all that impressive.

    Hasn’t anyone taught the pinheads at corporate the basic premise that it’s easier and cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one? Or that it only takes one incident to lose one, if not more (after all, bad experiences are shared) forever?

  55. morganlh85 says:

    @Major-General: But how hard is it for a store to accept returns WITHOUT a receipt for items from a gift registry? Apparently NOT THAT HARD since every other store with a gift registry allows you to do so.

  56. humphrmi says:

    When our first son was born, we registered at Carson’s, Fields, and (for the few people on our list who wouldn’t shop anywhere else) Lord & Taylor (don’t ask). Then, for fun, we registered at Target for things like butcher knives, nailguns, and ammo.

  57. omgyouresexy says:

    We’ve registered at Target for our wedding in June… sonofabitch.

    I think I’ll have to talk to the wife-to-be and see if we can get that changed to another location.

  58. stephenjames716 says:

    I love target, go all the time (usually for two things and end up walking out with 20) and am getting married next summer. I hope that this mess is cleared up by then otherwise I won’t use them.

  59. Cisslepants says:

    I registered at Target for my baby shower, and it looked like NOTHING ever came off the list. I didn’t get totally slammed with duplicates, but I had to really monitor the registry. I seem to recall when I got married six years ago that this wasn’t a problem.

  60. teapartys_over says:

    @Major-General: There’s just no reason to have to deal with gift receipts, or hope that your wedding guests remember to, when other stores do not require them. I registered with Bed Bath and Beyond and Williams Sonoma, and they could not have made it easier for everyone involved. They bend over backwards to make registering, returning and keeping track of gifts easy because they know in the end nomatter how you slice it they make lots of money off of weddings – plus have the potential to connect with a customer for life. It just seems like a dumb business decision on the part of Target.

  61. themidget says:

    If you’re getting married soon, DO NOT use Target wedding registry. At least five women I know, in addition to myself, have had a HORRIBLE time with their wedding registry. I had at least 5 gifts that were duplicates because of their shitty registry system and trying to exchange for store credit was harder than anything should ever be. And it’s only up for 4 – 6 weeks after the wedding date. Seriously. I know people who had massive problems with baby registries too. I love love love target, but the discount store in them is obvious when it comes to registries.

  62. barty says:

    My wife and I were registered at Target for a few things and we didn’t have that problem. We did receive a few duplicate items but we were able to exchange them painlessly, even without a gift receipt in a couple of situations. This same store has taken a very customer oriented attitude though and has handled any issues I’ve had in a very positive manner.

    That said, I don’t know why some stores seem to go out of their way to be a pain in the butt. They KNOW they still currently sell the item, its still in its packaging and/or has a label on it that says “TARGET”, yet they refuse to budge. I can understand not wanting to issue a CASH refund or credit back to someone’s debit or credit card. I’ve worked in retail before and witnessed an internal theft ring that revolved around people bringing in stolen merchandise for cash refunds…with no receipt. (Un)Official policy was a refund could be issued at any time, at the manager’s discretion, for store credit if a receipt could not be produced. Usually if it was still in the computer as current stock, it would be OKd. I know we ended up refunding stuff that was a year old sometimes, but at least it kept people happy for the most part.

  63. parvax says:

    We registered at Target for our wedding too and they changed policies after the shower and wedding – we have quite a few duplicate gifts that we’ll never be able to return because we don’t have receipts. Its a ridiculous system. Most guests refuse to put a gift receipt in the box or envelope, and I don’t blame them.

  64. parvax says:

    FWIW, we had a great experience at Bed, Bath & Beyond if you can handle the limited selection and high prices.

  65. StevieD says:

    If you are lucky to get some gifts, just be thankful and accept the duplicates.

  66. SkokieGuy says:

    Target: Just exactly what kind of criminals are you deterring by your laughable return policy on registry items?

    The criminal would have to go online or to a store to search the registry, find items, steal those items, then pretend to be the bride and return them, all to get an in store credit?

    Are there huge gangs of bride-impersonating organized theft rings invading only Target and ignoring Macys, Nordstroms and other stores that have sane bridal registry policies?

  67. jenl1625 says:

    @Major-General: Getting a gift receipt isn’t hard – Target prints one huge receipt that includes the gift receipt automatically.

    The problem is that if I buy an expensive gift off a registry, I may have it shipped directly and (as stated above) the stuff that comes in the box is apparently not good enough for returns (at least at some stores).

    Also, if I buy an expensive gift off a registry, and I’m wrapping it up beautifully to take to a wedding, I may very well not attach the gift receipt because I know they want it (it’s on the registry) and they shouldn’t be getting duplicates (the registry should take care of that). Why ugly up a pretty gift, especially if I don’t often shop at Target and don’t know the “you must have a receipt no matter what” policy?

  68. turkeybacon76 says:

    I used to shop at target ALL the time. I had an issue with returns from my wedding and have not stepped foot in the store ever since. Not out of anger, just don’t feel like being unappreciated and inconvenienced when there are tons of other shopping options out there. Target should take note.

  69. assirac says:

    I registered at Target for my wedding and was lucky enough not to have a problem with duplicates.

    However, every present ordered through Target’s website and shipped to me required a signature for delivery. Everything, even $5 pillowcases. I got really tired of driving across town every few days in the run up to the wedding to wait in line at UPS for the stuff. (UPS threatened to return packages left at the facility longer than a few days, and they refused to let me specify only weekend deliveries.)

  70. anonymousmonk says:

    my fiancée and I are registered at Target, and we will be canceling our registry and signing up elsewhere because of this email. I sent their return department and email letting them know that they have this publicity to thank for it.

    As we registered, we already found out that almost no items we scanned in the store had an online counterpart, meaning no one could see or buy online, but this is just ridiculous for a company to make so much off of a couple and not offer even store credit.

  71. FistyDollars says:

    I work at the Service Desk at a Target in Southern California, and let me clear up a few things. The people you’re talking to in “upper management?” They have no more power in overriding this policy than I do. The registers are designed to not allow returns over $20 w/o a gift receipt, no matter who is logged in. If corporate themselves decide to issue an override code, then and ONLY then will it go through. And that NEVER happens.

    Our registry system is a joke. No one updates it. Half the time the cashiers don’t know how to remove items from registry during purchases. The registry scanners don’t always transmit properly, meaning that those 50 items you carefully chose aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And pointing out that the item came from Target is like pointing out that the sun is shining today. We all know, and we all don’t care.

    It’s funny, actually. Until about half a year ago, we had the power to see which items were actually purchased off of a gift registry, but then, corporate decided to remove that option, citing that “the percentage of guests who will be affected by this is minimal, and most will appreciate the new, simpler policy.” Do yourselves a favor. Register somewhere else. Trust me.

  72. asten77 says:

    Hah. This is entirely on the people buying the gifts.

    1) If you’re buying a wedding gift, (or birthday, christmas, festivus, etc), get a gift receipt. That’s kinda the point. I don’t recall a purchase at target that DIDN’T come with a gift receipt automatically in a long time. Even when I’m buying socks and deodorant.

    2) Updates to the registry fail mostly when the person buying the gift doesn’t give it to the cashier. I see the sheets laying around in random aisles almost every time I shop there.

    Get smarter friends :)

  73. Magicube says:

    Regarding those who think for some weird reason Target should be “better:” what ever made you think that Target is any better than any other mass-market retailer? They have great branding, great design, and great advertising. And none of those things has anything to do with the in-store experience which is usually worse that Wal-Mart or Home Depot (two of my least favorite stores).
    Crate and Barrel tweaked their online/offline registry system so gift recipients won’t get duplicate gifts 10 YEARS AGO. It’s not a trivial job, but it’s completely feasible.

  74. nva85 says:

    Sorry for the length of this post, you’ve been warned!

    I used to work for Target for a year & a half, and I understand all of your complaints about their Wedding Registry. Their registry printouts are nightmares! Its impossible to find items without an employee’s scanning gun. So, I’d find customers going down every aisle looking for the right item, only to realize when they checkout that its the wrong size or brand, and hence, not on the registry. Then they’d ask for help, and I’d find out that somebody moved the items without updating the system so our scanning guns could say the right aisles!

    The main reason I’ve seen products not available in the store is because the bride/groom chooses mostly online-only items, which are not available in stores. I’ve also found some brides/grooms scanning the clearance items to get a good deal, when the items being scanned are never coming back to the store again.

    VERY IMPORTANT: There are different-sized Target stores. You have the Super Target with a full grocery store and 2 entrances, a mid-size Target with 2 entrances & the freezer food section (but not the grocery store), and then a regular Target with one entrance and no grocery store at all. If your bride/groom makes their registry/selects items at a Super Target, you are definitely not going to find everything if your local Target is a smaller-sized store.

    So, all in all, the bride and groom might be *partially* at fault for items not being available when you are looking for them (especially if they are online-only), but Target could definitely change it to where its more obvious that it’d be harder for others to find items if the bride/groom chooses to do their registry online. My store (including the store manager himself) complained to corporate about this and nothing happened by the time I left the store.

    In regards to the gift receipt, we had to print them out whenever someone had a registry at the checkouts (and asked when we didn’t see them.) Target is extremely strict with their return policy, but people have abused it to the point where they had to have the rules. I’ve seen everything from people trying to return items from Wal-Mart (like their own brands), electronics with Best Buy store stickers on them, and empty (most likely stolen) CD jewel cases re-shrinkwrapped by the customer to get a ‘refund’ on it. Of course in all cases they didn’t have a receipt. Although I agree that they should let you return things with a registry if its obvious that the item is on the registry, you have to understand that (as someone else said on here) that ‘one bad apple ruins it for everyone.’

  75. redarmymother says:

    I recently got married and had a similar incident. We received 6 of the same food processor that we registered for. We registered for 1 of course, but on our registry it showed that we got 0. Target would not take them back without the reciept. I could the comment number and also the wedding registry. They were unwilling to comply or help me at all. Just that my comments would be taken in and reviewed. Wow, thanks alot Target. We were able to finally solve the situation. But not without asking those who got them for us to return for us. Yeah, that isn’t at all tacky to do. I understand Target has a policy and I am sure that they have gotten screwed before, but they need to look at things on a case by case scenario. This was there fault we got so many. They have lost me as a customer and I am telling people to stay away from the target registry and to not shop there anymore.

  76. TARGET4LIFE says:

    First off let me tell you the return policy:
    Target Stores Return Policy
    We will issue a full refund for most items returned within 90 days in new condition, with the original receipt, packaging and accessories. A form of personal identification may be required.
    Also, please note:
    Music, movies, video games, software and collectibles must be returned unopened.
    Camcorders, digital cameras, portable DVD, computers, portable electronics, framed art, gas-powered scooters and hot tubs purchased from Target.com are subject to a 15% restocking fee.
    Most consumer electronics purchased from Target.com cannot be replaced or exchanged.
    Holiday and Seasonal merchandise on clearance at the time of the return will be refunded at the current clearance price.
    Any purchase made by check may be refunded as a merchandise voucher.
    Refund value for each item returned will be reduced to reflect value of free gift or discount.
    Other restrictions may apply.
    All other returns or exchanges – including those without a receipt – will be offered manufacturers’ warranty and repair assistance at
    1-800-303-0308.
    Don’t have your receipt?
    In most instances, Target stores can verify purchases made within the last 90 days on a store account, third-party charge account, check or GiftCard using our unique Receipt Look-up system.
    To return an item purchased on Target.com:
    Most items on Target.com can be returned to a Target store or by mail. You will need the order number or a gift receipt/packing slip in order to return a purchase from Target.com using our Online Returns Center. To find out if your item can be returned to a Target store, visit our Online Returns Center. The “Method of return” drop-down box will let you know where the item can be returned and allow you to choose which return method you’d like. If you select the “Store” drop down, your receipt will appear and you will be prompted to print the receipt. You must have an in-store receipt from our Online Returns Center in order to return a Target.com item to a store. If you choose to return your item to a store, shipping and handling and gift-wrap charges cannot be refunded.
    The following items cannot be returned to a Target store, and must be returned by mail:
    Items that specifically state they “cannot be returned to a Target store” on the “Additional Information” tab in the product’s description
    Items that have been replaced because they are defective, damaged or incorrect.
    Items purchased from the Amazon.com store at Target.com
    Books, DVDs, videos, CDs, music cassettes and vinyl records purchased from the Amazon.com store at Target.com must be returned by mail within 30 days of ship date
    All other items purchased from the Amazon.com store at Target.com must be returned by mail within 90 days of ship date.

    With wedding and baby registries, it tells you to make sure that you include a gift reciept with your gift so that it can be returned. and its not that target isnt “updating” your regisrties its that youre not giving the papers to your cashier to scan off so that they arent getting duplicated, or that there is 2 or more people that are there shopping for the same couple and you two got the same things. you cant exactly mark off a registry that is already printed… the exception to the policy changed almost a year ago, sucks, but everyone should include a gift reciept anyways cause you never know if they alredy got it or not. or it is defective, or whatever the reason might be. – I dont agreee with it either, I think that registries should be the only “exception” that we have, cause you did take time and register with target they should make it easier for those who did.

    you are still able to do reciept lookups with a debit,credit, check, giftcards, pretty much anything except cash!! whoever tells you different is lying!!!–within 90 days of purchase that is– as for online purchases you can most likely look it up, with credit card, but if not then you can use the kiosk and return the item using the packaging slip either to the store or online, depending on the item.

    Target believes that it should be a fast, fun, and friendly envirnment, what was said about waiting in line for 20 minutes is BS!! There would be someone that would come up and help you asap.

    Without a reciept, target does make an exception that if the item is under $20.00 then they can try using a no reciept return using your ID, only allowed to do so 2xs in a year… 365 days after the last time you do it. It is an exception they dont have to do it for you, so if youre a dick or a bitch then they can be one back.

    If you really want to voice your openion then call the Guest Comment Card number… 1-800-440-0680. *targetgirl*

  77. rosa0053 says:

    I just deleted my Target registry. Too bad for Target; we have invited 290 guests, and I will be having 3 bridal showers within the next month. I called Target to confirm that this was, in fact, true. They told me it was. They reassured me that they would keep track of my registry and that I would not receive any duplicate items. The consequences of being stuck with duplicate items are too harsh to trust them. I guess Bed Bath & Beyond and the Pottery Barn are about to get lucky!

  78. paperboy6645 says:

    We went through the same thing with our Target registry. we told all of our friends that were getting married to use the Crate and Barrel registry. Their return policy rocked!

  79. baraboo says:

    Same issue happened with my wedding gift registry. Target didn’t remove purchased items from the registry, then refused to accept the returns, even refused to give us store credit. We ended up with 12 camping chairs (registered for 4), 2 camping stoves, etc. We ended up giving the duplicates as Christmas gifts to close relatives who didn’t mind us “re-gifting” these things (i.e. parents and siblings.) Target is so tacky. They try to be “upscale” compared to Wal-mart, yet they sell the same products at higher prices and have super crappy “customer service.”

  80. Anonymous says:

    We’ve run into this problem just today with Target trying to return shower gifts and will be removing all but the cheapest things from our wedding registry. They have a miserable return policy, and will hopefully not be getting our wedding guests’ business.