Target Revises Return And Exchange Policy: Items With No Receipt Worth $100 $20

Starting today, Target will reduce the maximum value of items without a receipt to $40; by August, the value will drop to $20. Target currently values returns with no receipt up to $100; customers can make two “without receipt” exchanges per year. The announcement was distributed as part of Target’s weekly internal newsletter, “News to Execute,” which conjures visions of frightened Wall Street Journals huddled against a wall. Tipster Tom from Target thinks the change will antagonize shoppers.

…people need to know about this. This policy change will increase customer inconvenience and dissatisfaction in order to stop the 1% of shoppers who collect $200 a year by gaming Target’s current return policy.

Target is not worried. They are telling concerned cashiers, who must explain the change to potentially angry shoppers, “of every 100 guests, one will be affected.”

Target’s internal newsletter, after the jump… change is neither fun nor friendly. Discuss. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER


Edit Your Comment

  1. Trai_Dep says:

    As much as I reflexively err in favor on the consumer, I have to ask why people don’t save receipts for things they think they might be returning…

  2. billhelm says:

    if you use a credit card, they can “look up” the receipt if you lose it.

  3. Shaggy says:

    Damn… Take it all back or don’t take anything back…Don’t insult your customers with a $20 limit….

  4. tromcom says:

    This is erring on the side of the consumer. 99% of the time those going in to make returns without a receipt are people who stole merchandise and are trying to get cash.

  5. mccxxiii says:

    sws211 has it right … also, don’t insult your employees by acting like this isn’t going to cause them a whole hell of a lot of trouble. Whoever wrote that sentence in the “News to Execute” isn’t going to have to face down the mass of angry customers.

    If I worked at Target, I’d rather they just be honest with me and say, “Look, we have to do this to save money, we know it’s going to make people angry, but we don’t have a choice. It’s a business decision.”

    Does Target management think that all cashiers are stupid? (Maybe so, if they’re also hyping the fact that there will now be “moving graphics” and “fewer words” on the POS screen.)

  6. ElizabethD says:

    I’m with Tarjhay on this one. When people abuse a generous policy, inevitably it will be tightened up. And yes, billhelm (above) is right — your credit card company can provide you with a duplicate of the charge, if you can’t find your receipt. Doesn’t Target have one of the longest return “windows” anyway, among retail stores?

    I’ve been to the sign of the red bulls-eye twice this past week and basically maintain that they rock.

  7. spazeboy says:

    I think that what billhelm meant to say was that if you have a RedCard–Target’s credit card–that the transaction can be looked up. That alone was a huge selling point to me on their credit card since I shop at Target so frequently. It’s good to know that I needn’t worry about keeping the receipts.

    I would think that if this policy change were an effort to sell more RedCards to guests that the NTE would say so. If I were a Target cashier, I’d explain the receipt-lookup benefits of the RedCard to any customer who was peeved about the policy change. The cashiers must have an incentive to sell the cards…

  8. catnapped says:

    @ElizabethD: Actually what he meant is that Target themselves can usually look up receipts in their system for purchases as long as it wasn’t paid for in cash. Does this new policy affect those or just everyone they have no record for?

  9. LAGirl says:

    after becoming a regular reader of Behind the Counter, and finding out what Walmart customers are like when the store says ‘no’ to a return, i hate to think of what the Target CS will have to deal with.

    a lot of people take advantage of return policies, so, have to say i’m with Target on this one. although, will probably be singing a different tune next time i need to return something and can’t find my receipt.

  10. SOhp101 says:

    First off: is this an April fools joke?

    in case if it isn’t,
    it’s easy: SAVE YOUR RECEIPT or pay with a card so they can look up your purchase.

  11. scoobydoo says:

    I love the part on the POS update. Larger fonts, moving graphics, fewer words and more icons. Makes you kind of wonder what they think of their own staff.

  12. valthun says:

    Seriously, are we sure this isn’t an April Fools joke? I mean one item per transaction without receipt, and “toss old Return and Exchange” guides. This does seem a bit excessive. As well as the POS screen changes. It’s almost like the entire page was designed for today only. Since this is something that went out on a Sunday for policy change. I would think that Target would have this information weeks in advance.

    All that said, I don’t see the problem of keeping receipts in a safe place until the return or warranty periods have ended. Target almost always offer gift receipts when a purchase is made as well, at least when I purchase toys.

  13. Scazza says:

    1 in 100 my ass, anyone who spent over 20 bucks is potentially fucked over on this…

  14. Jon Parker says:

    Return policies aside, I don’t want “fun” service. Fast and friendly will do it for me.

  15. crnk says:

    I’m fond of the fact that a newsletter is considered a “new communication vehicle…”
    Next time I’m doing something around the office, I’ll tell people I devised a new communication vehicle by writing on a slightly different color sheet of paper or another size sheet!
    Target, I love you for some things….the biggest of which is that our relationship is pretty much over.

  16. xanax25mg says:

    @scazza— how are people that spend over $20 getting fucked over? People that spend over $20 on an item should be responsible and keep their receipt. Is Target fucking someone over who brings back an Ipod they bought without a receipt and wants their money back or an exchange? Keep in mind Target isn’t saying you can’t return defective merchandise (or items you just dont want anymore), it’s saying you should have your receipt with you. Why is that at all unreasonable?

  17. Skeptic says:

    I’m very pro consumer but I have very hard time getting upset at the idea of needing a receipt for a return. It seems very reasonable to have to prove that 1) you bought the item, and 2) you bought if from the store you are making the return to.

    There are much more onerous things to worry about than requiring receipts. First and foremost are the secret blacklists. Many companies track how many returns you make and will stop accepting returns after you have passed a secret number (well, secret to you, the consumer). There is even a 3d party service that companies can use that tracks your returns and will black list you for making “too many” returns in general. That, I’d say, is of much more concern than requiring a receipt.

    In requiring a receipt, we as consumers have recourse: keep your receipts. But, against the secret blacklists consumers have no defense except to publicly disclose them when we encounter them and shame companies into liberalizing their policies.

  18. bloodr says:

    Honestly, I’m surprised this isn’t in place in more stores. I always save my receipts, and I never expect a retailer to take anything back without one. As for “what if it’s a gift?” argument, most stores will print you out a gift receipt these days. If they don’t maybe you should shop somewhere else.

  19. Scazza says:

    Why are people getting fucked over? Because ask ANYONE who works for a retail store… whats the NUMBER ONE abuse and highest cause of lost profit for a company? Shrink, as in thefts and order fuck ups. Way down the list is returns. Plus almost all companies lose nothing over returns because they go back to the manufacturer who replaces them to be resold again. The whole receipt shit is just for the stores convenience and time to proove you bought it there. Most stuff bought at stores like Target are not under $20 to begin with anyway.

  20. quagmire0 says:

    Those saying “why don’t you keep your receipts” are partially right. You *should* save your receipts on items you may need to return. However, where we’ve always gotten stung is with gifts. While we always make sure to give a gift receipt, many people don’t. This leaves you in a bad situation. You don’t want to go back to the person who gave the gift and say ‘hey, do you have that receipt and/or can I have your credit card to return this gift?!’. You’d just like the ability to at least return the gift to the store that it belongs to for the lowest sale price in x number of days. Now Target wants to take that away from you. We had a hell of a time returning a bum gift my wife got in a gift exchange. We new it was from Target and brought it back, but they would only let us exchange it for something from the exact department (which was a *really* limited department) for an equal or lesser valued item – 1 item. So we couldn’t even exchange it for two lesser valued items. It was rediculous. We ended up regifting it and just hating Target. Eventually it seemed like they got enough complaints to relax their policy during the holidays. Now it looks like they didn’t learn anything.

  21. chrisgoh says:

    I doubt the legitimacy of this story. Target has required a receipt for a while now. If you have lost the receipt, they will look it up for you if you paid with plastic. I don’t see why people think a store has an obligation to accept your return if you can’t prove you purchased it there. Here is Target’s return policy from their website, the same basic thing is (and has been) printed on their receipts, and in big print above the customer service counter –

    “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 players and portable electronics are subject to a 15% restocking fee.
    * 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.”

  22. Sorenso says:

    I wish this was an April fool’s joke :)

  23. tgtT.M. says:

    No, this is not an April Fool’s joke.
    Target has got to be one of the most generous retailer, ever. They try to accommodate guests in every possible way, but there will always be people who try to push the limit. When I went to work this morning (I work at Target) at 8:00 am I overheard that we would be getting a new return grid (a cheat-sheet for team members who work at guest services). I guess the new grid will reflect these changes.

    Now in terms of how they treat their employees, (aka team members) this is a very sensitive subject. Stores do it differently, but across the board the cashier position is generally indirectly reserved for team members who would not function as well on the sales floor. Whether this means they speak limited english (they would probably be in the back-room, then), they have disabilities, they are not as fast as they should be, etc… I would agree that when the cashier has royally screwed things up and the GSTL doesn’t think the cashier will notice, they tend to blame it all on the cashier as if they don’t have feelings in an effort to shift the blame that always seems to land on management. Target is all about being fast, so any modification that they can do on their end to speed things up, including modifying POS software, they’ll do.

    If anyone has any questions about anything related to Target from a team members perspective, please ask. I’ll share everything I know.

    And incase anyone is interested, their headquarters in Minneapolis had some technical difficulties today for about 4 hours in the morning crippling over 90% of all Target cash registers, nearly starting a riot in our store. Just shows how much we depend on technology…

  24. graventy says:

    I don’t really see this as that big of a deal. Target’s return policy has always been pretty harsh. The thing is, if you buy something with a check or credit card, you can look up the purchase without a receipt.

    So either keep your receipt, or don’t pay using cash. Seriously, if you’re buying something expensive, keep your receipt.

  25. Sudonum says:

    What about the shrinkage caused by people stealing the item and then “returning” it for a store credit without a receipt?

  26. Falconfire says:

    I believe the old consumerist posting of the Walmart guy’s blog would explain in great detail why Target has made a similar move. People are evil assholes, and while 200 dollars a year aint much, if you multiply it by even 4 per a store, every store in the US your talking about millions in lost revenue.

    And the guy in the Walmart blog was talking about at least 2-3 people a week pulling this scam on them.

  27. superbmtsub says:

    It makes sense that when returning a product, you also have your receipt (and credit/debit card if used) with you.

    I mean if you went to court claiming that your neighbor stole some candy from your house and that you had evidence on your CC camera tapes, won’t it make more sense to bring the tapes with you to court? Are you gonna wait for the court to have a cop dispatched to recover the tapes from your house?

    The rest of us all bear these “invisible” costs through this case of inefficiency in operations.

  28. killface says:

    I remember seeing some documentary where a heroin addict in NYC would look through the garbage in front of a store (I think it was actually Target) to find a thrown away receipt, go in the store to find the item on the receipt, and return it for money to buy heroin. Thus, I think that Target recognizes that when people don’t hold on to receipts they are not only costing Target money, but they are propagating heroin use. Target is doing this to scare people into holding onto their damn receipts, and that in itself is praiseworthy. Score 1 point for the war on drugs.

  29. laughingdove says:

    I have to agree with quagmire0. When people buy a gift, the reasonable thing to do would be give you the gift reciept right? But hardly anyone does that. What if you got 5 diaper bags at your baby shower and nobody gave you a reciept? Are you basically SOL even if you want to exchange them for things you actually need for your newborn? I understand this policy in a “cash back” sense, but for exchanges, they should just let people change one thing for another based on the current price in the system. I don’t think that would hurt them too much.

  30. etinterrapax says:

    I don’t blame them for this. It’s another case of people abusing the system and ruining it for honest people. Stores can’t afford to assume people are honest anymore. It’s a shame, but that’s what you get. If we were as hard on the assholes of the world as we are on retailers, maybe something would change, but I find we’re more apt to make excuses for bad behavior than do anything to correct it. People who deliberately cheat merchants this way are thieves, plain and simple.

    I save receipts for non-consumables and hardly ever have to return anything. I don’t return gifts. If I truly can’t use something, I donate it for a tax deduction.

  31. tgtTL says:

    I saw this the other day, before you guys got it because I work there. I was actually called into the AP office and about died when the woman told me what was about to happen. I then proceeded to tell the “security” team that we have someone better be up front beside that service desk to back us up because my team nor myself will get hurt(physically) or upset about all this. Especially since now, there will be no work-around like there once was. I honestly don’t know what was wrong with the return policy as it was, very easy and simple, now the mid-level managers(me) and my service desk kids(most all are in high school or college) are going to take the yelling, cursing, etc from people and we can’t do anything about it. What kills me though is when people say, “I know you can’t do anything about it, I just want to let you know…” Well, if I can’t do anything about it, why the hell are you standing here trying to degrade me and telling me all this mess? But hey, that’s just me. I go back to work this afternoon to see how the roll-out has gone so far, I honestly don’t look forward to it.

  32. rockergal says:

    @Falconfire: the guy in the walmat blog is actually a girl :-)

  33. lmbrownmail says:

    I’m assuming that most of the readers are too young to remember when the return policy at ALL stores was 30-days with receipt. No receipt, no return. Over 30 days, no return. Return policies today are still generous compared to what they once were.

    As to returning gifts – years ago you simply didn’t do that. If a gift was unsuitable you passed it on to someone that could use it.

    Maybe folks today are a bit spoiled?

  34. Metschick says:

    I love Target. And I don’t really have a problem with the new return policy. I rarely return things (if I really don’t want them or need them, I gift them forward).

    And I agree with the other commenters that I make sure there’s a gift receipt, but I don’t always get one with my gifts. Also, when you get lots of gifts, it’s hard to keep track of all the gift receipts, especially if the person didn’t tuck it carefully in with the gift.

    Two years ago, right after giving birth, I had to go through all the shower gifts and return the repeat gifts. I kept the gift receipts tucked into an envelope, but a few items didn’t have them. My sister returned the items for me, and the woman at Target gave her a hard time about the missing gift receipts, and the fact that I wasn’t there. My sister calmly explained that circumstances being what they were I was unable to be there. She finally had tell the lady that I had been widowed two months prior and was now home taking care of a newborn. That shut the woman up and she quickly took care of the couple of items that were missing receipts.

  35. Donotmisstarget says:

    I tried to return something to Target about 5 years ago. Actually, it was just an exchange for a different color. They would not let me do it. I had to pay the price difference, originally it was on sale. I sent an email of complaint over the Target Web site. They never responded. I have not been in a Target since; still waiting for their reply.

  36. bradriley says:

    I have worked the service desk at Target. Within 90 days, they are able to look up ANY transaction, except those paid with cash (for obvious reasons). I have since moved on to a local retail store with a return and exchange policy that is literally different for every product in the the store. Believe me when I say, a strict and equally enforced return policy is better for everyone.

  37. shawneechance says:

    actually the moving screens in the new updates are designed for a number of reasons

    1– they allow for the screens of the monitors to not get burn in on them like the older screen images did

    2– the new screens also are larger and easily readiable than previously they were — the old text was roughly an 8 ariel text size.

    3– having pictures does help some folks out as opposed to simple text screens do. I have two cashiers who cannot hear but the screens help them out far better with th training and operation of the register. also in areas where there is a higher amount of non-english speakers or those where english isn’t their first language, it does aid them in the operation of the system.

    4– the new images also allow for the future setting up of cashierless lanes should Target start testing them in the future.

    also I do agree with the redusing of the amount of no receipt returns (those that cannot be looked up from credit/debit card, check, or gift card) down to $20. too often many people take advantage of liberal return policies and it does end up costing not just the stores but the consumers as well. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times I have people returning multiple sizes of items or colors simply because they didn’t want to try them on in the store or have the person who the items are for come to the store and that does cost ths store money from the standpoint of having to restock the item and the consumer in the fact that what if that item was something another person wanted but couldn’t get because it was sold out?


  38. brwneyedgrl says:

    I have worked at the Target service desk for a little over 2 years. I can testify that I have run into my share of rude, insulting, and loud guests. What they do not realize is that we are not there to ruin their day but simply follow company policies. Our store adopted this $40 max return without a receipt thing about a month ago. In 30 days I have probably had to turn away 1-2 guests because of it. Its quite amuzing at times to recite the 5 minute without a receipt return policy to guests. just when they thought they could only exchange AND only twice a year we have to state..and the exchange HAS to stay within the dept. (which some store team members still do not understand which causes team members who follow the real policy more problems) As a target shopper as well I can understand the policy may be a little tight and that with birthdays and Xmas two no-receipt returns can be impossible sometimes. But back to the $40 max and soon to be $20 max for no receipts, any person with some sense would know that if you are buying something over 20-40$ at target, which is probably some electronic or pricy houseware item, why wouldn’t you save your receipt??!! So anyone who brings in a 250$ digital camera (like I just faced yesterday) and expects to get store credit or cash back without a receipt is just out of their right mind. Our warranty is for 90 days so if you’re buying a pricey item SAVE YOUR RECEIPT because where in this world can you expect to redeem your warranty without any proof of purchase???!

  39. Jake4551 says:

    Are you guys kidding me with saving a receipt? My wife spends $1000’s at Target yearly, and now she is pissed off because some of her baby shower things couldn’t be returned, because others did not include the receipt, even though the Target tags are in place, and the items are still carried. They won’t even exchange the items for a smaller size. Futhermore, why should Target fall outside of the industry standard? Everyone else takes things back constantly, understanding fully that their $10 item is really worth about $1.00. People lose receipts, especially since they are so small, and we live in a world with SO MUCH paperwork.
    They don’t seem to comprehend that they are going to lose millions over this. Why would I buy a major purchase from them? They aren’t going to back it if I misplace the receipt. Furthermore, the Target we were at would not look up credit card transactions.
    If Target really is proud of their new policy here perhaps they should post it and print it on their receipts.

  40. nightshadowon says:

    Just affected me today. We are registered for our wedding at Target and on our gift list we had a featherdown bed cover (king size). We got the featherdown bed cover, but in full size from my fiancees Aunt who is very nice and ill. We didn’t get the gift receipt and feel bad about having her look in her trash for it. We go to Target to exchange… not return, not get money back, not anything, but exchange for the king size which is exactly the same price. No deal from the person, the manager-on-duty or store manager. “The exchange policy has always been like this”, “It is not possible to override the computer”, “the bad people forced us to change our policy” are their excuses. The item is $69.99 just above the current limit of $40 and 22 days past the reduction from $100. This was not in affect when we signed up with the Bridal registry. Our ONLY next course of action is contacting some 800 number during normal business hours to plead our case.

  41. verbaldave says:

    tromcom does not know what he’s talking about.

    What about the THOUSANDS of bridal and baby registries that are created every year? Do you think all those people taking back / exchanging gifts are part of this 99% of “people who stole merchandise and are trying to get cash”???

    I’m all for “no receipt=no cash”, but come on. If I’m exchanging something without a receipt give your customer the benefit of the doubt. It will pay off in spades over years of loyal shopping. It’s too later for me to withdraw my wedding registry from Target, but you better believe I’m telling everyone I know to STAY AWAY from registering at Tar ‘jet.

  42. Jake4551 says:

    Well I hope that Target is glad to be the industry leader in being the worst customer service. We are telling everyone we know about this policy. People just can’t believe that something this insane exists. It is like going to a restaurant and being charged for silverware and water, just not the industry standard.
    A lot of our friends used to shop at Target, A LOT, however they have laid off in the past couple of weeks. One even went as far to send out letters and get in touch with people who had previously been told to buy off her registry at Target.

    NO receipt No cash is a great policy, and that is the industry standard. But you better allow my wife to exchange a sweater with the tags on it for another one that is on the rack.
    Tar`jet you are just too good for us.

  43. TargetGS says:

    I am a Target Guest Service Team Member who will be dealing with the effects of the new policy change. Keep in mind, Target’s policy has ALWAYS been that a receipt is required for all returns and exchanges. Target has just restricted our ability to make exceptions for guests and have not changed the posted policy.

    Also, Club Wedd and Target Baby registrants are able to print out a Gift Purchase Log from the store kiosk to return any items on the registry that did not come with gift receipts. They will be given a GiftCard for the amount with valid ID matching the name on the registry.

    Any other questions, just let me know.

  44. Jake4551 says:

    Target has not always required a receipt for a simple exchange. Exchanges, at least at the Target I shopped at early last year, could be done without a receipt in the same department. Furthermore, taking away the exceptions is a big deal and then further limiting that with a maximum is making it even harder to return an item. Making a little change here and a little change there, results in a big change.
    Yes you can return items on your registry, however we were told they must be the SAME SIZE, BECAUSE IF THEY ARE NOT THE SAME SIZE THEY ARE NOT THE SAME ITEM. UPC IS DIFFERENT.
    I worked at Kmart when I was in graduate school, and they would take ANYTHING back if the customer raised enough hell, to the point of insanity, but the store manager didn’t care because the item would be sent back to the manufacturer or they would take a minimal loss on it, better to keep the customer happy and coming back rather than never have them spend another dime in their store for years to come.

  45. Jake4551 says:

    One other thing, I appreciate the people who work at customer service, it isn’t their fault that they have to enforce policy that screws the customer and allows the corporate fat cats to buy more homes and yachts. Then to make it extra hard for the people at the Customer Service center, this new policy isn’t posted. Not posting this policy is smart for the higher ups, but gives the poor service rep very little to fall back on,and keeps the customer further in the dark.

  46. TargetGS says:

    It does seem to be true though that this change will only affect a small percentage of guests. Since the change has gone into effect, only a few people have been turned away out of the many people that come to return items every week. I definetly expected the change to be more of a problem than it was.

    Oh…I found out that when the exception policy changes to under $20 w/o receipt, there will be no more Gift Exchange required (equal or greater value, same department). You will just get a GiftCard for the amount of the return.

  47. Jake4551 says:

    Well, I think you have to realize that a few people during your shift in the past month, a few people on other’s shifts in the past month, multiply that by how many stores Target has, and then multiply that by how many people those ticked off customers are going to tell. Then if you take that to the extreme, mulitply that by 12 months.
    In the restaurant business they used to say one ticked off customer will cost you 20. And in my wife’s case it has been more than that.
    Just poor business practice, take people on a case by case basis, customer service people ought to be able to tell if something is wrong or not, if they have concerns leave it up to the manager. And futhermore, if Target is going to have hidden policies, then they themselves must not be very proud of what they are doing.
    My wife received an email from a Target representative, more circular in nature than anything, but he stated returns could be made WITHOUT a receipt, with a proper ID, which is required to track the number of purchases, since customers are only allowed so many. Nothing about the $20 limit, or only allowing 2 items a year.

  48. TargetGS says:

    I certainly wish we could override policies at the store level for certain situations. There’s nothing worse than seeing a guest become visibly upset after I explain the return policy.

    In reference to the “hidden policy”, Target’s posted return policy has always been that “A receipt dated within 90 days is required for ALL returns and exchanges.” According to that statement, if you don’t have a receipt, then you can’t return your items.

    Since that seems a little harsh, Target allows 2 items per year (tracked by a driver’s license, I’m not sure why the email you received stated otherwise) without a receipt. It’s not much, but it is an exception to the return policy designed to help guests, not a hidden one. It’s not posted because it is an exception that we are allowed to use for guests w/o a receipt, it is not part of the official posted policy.

    I certainly do understand why guests are frustrated about needing a receipt for everything. I know if I got a gift with no gift receipt and wanted to return or exchange it, I would not be happy if someone told me I couldn’t. But that’s where the 2 returns come in handy! Target makes the exception, up to 2 items per year, for no receipt gift exchanges. That is not part of the return policy, rather a rule for exceptions.

    I better go before I keep on typing. I think I already typed too much :) .


  49. Jake4551 says:

    Bottom line bad business practice and it costs them money, and it isn’t part of the industry standard. Doesn’t make sense that one cannot return an item for a different size.
    I can’t find ALL the details of Target’s US policy on line, but for the Austrialian stores you can return things without a receipt. Check out number 4 on this weblink.
    Apparently the Aussies are more wanted at the stores than us Americans are.

  50. Jake4551 says:

    Oh yeah, the reason that the policy is not on the board, is because that is not Target’s FULL return policy. It would not be good to state that Target will only take 2 items back a year for $20 a piece without a reciept. That is what I meant by a “Hidden Policy.”

  51. Jake4551 says:

    By the way I do have a question. Does Target still only give you one gift receipt per checkout? So if I am buying different Christmas gifts for different individuals they have to be rung out at diffent times? This used to be their policy.

  52. TargetGS says:

    One Gift Receipt automatically prints out at checkout. If you need separate ones, just ask the cashier and it’s just a simple press of a button for each gift. The cashier, after pressing total, will be prompted to ask you if you need separate gift receipts of just one. It can all be done in a single transaction, no need to ring up separately.

  53. TargetGS says:

    Typo in the last message (I meant “or” not “of)

  54. TargetGS says:

    Oh…just another bit of Target knowledge. Apparently Target Australia is owned and operated by Coles Group, an Australian company. Target Corporation (USA) granted them rights to the name and logo, but do not own the stores. It’s completely separate.

    If what you said above is true about the hidden policy, Target should want to post it. According to Target’s return policy, a receipt is required for ALL returns and exchanges. It says nothing about being able to return at all without one.

    Here’s the Store Return Policy link:

    The more clear version is printed on the back of every receipt (it is the same policy, just more concise…the online version is more detailed probably because they couldn’t fit all of that onto a receipt or you’d need a magnifying glass)

  55. Jake4551 says:

    Don’t you think that the in-store “News to Execute” handed out to employees, outlines a policy that is not posted on the board? (see above).

    Interesting other information you have their though about Target Australia not being owned by the same company.

  56. dclipper says:


    Not to scoot the point of this issue, I do have a receipt, however I think there is a more sinister plan behind the whole deal.

    I just picked up a self inflating mattress from the big T, which was obviously just recycled. When I left the store I took notice to a little bit of extra tape on the outside of the box, but shrugged it off.

    Later that evening I had some time to check the thing out. As I opened the box, somehow I felt as if someone had been here before me. Loosely tied cables and opened inner packaging confirmed my suspicions.

    I plugged in the mattress and fired up the pump, the packaging promised a 90 second inflation time, 10 minutes later the mattress still lay flat on the floor

    I began thinking, how often this probably happens and how target, probably realizes that recycling that broken item is to their advantage, here is how;

    When you walk out of the store paying them $100 for an item that costs them $35 or less, your money goes into their banks. The average time to get a return back for most busy people is 2 to 3 days, the stores usually offer 30 days (as a convenience to you..hmhmhm) or more, so that you the consumer feel there is no sense of urgency to return the item immediately, thus increasing the chances that you forget and miss the window of opportunity, in which case the retailer makes out.

    Now take into account the number of Target stores, and How many future returns leave their stores every day. The interest on the items alone would not be enough to help the stores recoup their loss, but the consumer helps them get something for nothing. I think this practice is wrong.

    Word of advice:
    If the box doesn’t appear to be in factory fresh condition, or your gut tells you NO. Swap it out for another one, and don’t settle for taking it because it is the last one left. It is probably not by accident.

  57. TargetGS says:

    Target doesn’t purposely put previously used items on the shelf. Guest Service Team Members are supposed to ask every guest if the item being returned is defective and then check the contents of the box/package. There is a procedure for processing defective returns, we don’t just pretend it’s new and tape the bix back up. All defective returns should get a color-coded sticker and are shipped either back to the Central Return Center (Yellow barcode), given to charity (green barcode, mostly clothing), or destroyed (red barcode).

    I agree with your word of advice. Sometimes during the course of a busy day, even though all products returned to the salesfloor by Service Desk Team Members are supposed to be new and unused, some items go unchecked. It couldn’t hurt to check to make sure before purchasing something used. You’d be surprised how many people use items and try to retun them while saying they never opened the item.

    If you’re in Target, and I’m sure other stores will do the same, go to the Guest Service Desk and someone will help you look at the contents of a possibly previously opened box before you purchase it.

    And save your receipt just in case :)

  58. tgtldy says:

    I currently work for Target. I completely understand why the policy is what it is and why the EXCEPTION is why it is. I had a friend who would buy items that Target carried at a lower price somewhere else and return them to Target. Also As law abiding consumers you wouldnt believe the scams people pull. I was shocked when I started working guest service. I have people on a daily basis grab items off the sales floor and bring them to return. It really hurts it for the rest of us. As for returned items being put back on the shelves. That is not common. Infact we are told that items from our sales floor should be taken off the shelves if the box is bent or the packaging is slightly ripped. Unfortunetly mistakes are made from time to time. But Target (atleast my store) strives to make our guests feel appreciated.

  59. jeanrtco says:

    What about registries? People above are commenting on us saving receipts but if they are gifts than you are out of luck.
    Do NOT register with target unless you want to tell all your guests to attach the receipts. My daughter received 3 black & decker blenders (only sold at targets) and it was never removed from the registry list. THey refused to give credit on gift card or an exchange because the item is $29.99 (only allow less then $20 w/o receipt, and only 2x per yr) She received 2 other duplicates which I was able to return but now I can’t do returns w/o receipts for 365 days, I will not be shopping there, nor will I register my other daughter’s wedding there! As of 2 wks ago they do not accept the registry receipts for items over $20 either.

    Called the corporate office they said we were out of luck, I can’t control what my guests do with their receipts and it’s not like i am expecting money back just to exchange or use credit at their store. This will happen to all baby and wedding showers!


  60. amyv says:

    I think their policy is awful. I registered at Target for my baby shower. Unfortunately despite the registration, I got multiples of some gifts. Most people were thoughtful enough to include the gift receipt, but I had about $40 worth of merchandise (clearly from Target, clearly brand new in original packaging) that I didn’t have gift receipts for. They would not exchange it. I was furious. I understand that some people steal stuff and then try to return it but any idiot could see that this was not my situation. I have spent literally tens of thousands of dollars at Target over the past ten years and am furious about this. How is it a good business decision to alienate someone who spends about $300 a month at Target over $40 dollars of store credit? Target Sucks

  61. jeffrey_stevenson says:

    Yeah, everyone should call 1-800-440-0680 and complain like mad to get this stupid policy reversed. Don’t shop there until they change! Don’t register for weddings, or baby showers or anything else, you will regret this!

  62. TheMrsMack says:

    We registered for a Baby Shower w/over 120 Guests. It was inevitable that we would get duplicate gifts; not everyone understands how to use a registry & cashiers don’t know how to ring up registry items).Target apparently changed their return policy in Aug. but failed to advise it’s registers. Therefore, we have over $300 worth of duplicate gifts that we can not use. This policy makes no sense. It is obvious (by our registry) that we registered for the gifts & they were purchased at Target. What a shame that Target is willing to loose a $10,000/per year customer. It would be nice if I could speak to someone who actually works for Target! All calls are routed to New Delhi, India. They read a script-NO ONE is offering a solution! I guess $10,000 isn’t important enough for Target to consider changing the policy for people who have registered at their store. Target benefited A LOT from our registry than WE did! Is it possible to speak to someone at the Target Corporate Office?

  63. StoneKitten says:

    There is a simple workaround to this problem.