Target: No Receipt, No Returns. Period.

You heard it here first and now shoppers in the Slickdeals forum confirm that it’s gone into effect: as of yesterday, Target won’t accept any returns without a receipt. Even if you can present the debit or credit card used to buy the item, you will still need a receipt. Previously, items under $20 could be returned sans receipt. Before that, it was items under $40. So, make sure to save your Target receipts and include them when you give gifts. I understand about trying to mitigate fraud (a commenter on the previous post talked about his “friend” in college who would swap tags on a $40 item with a $10 item, buy it, and then return it later without receipt to make $30 in beer money for the weekend), but they should allow people to use the card they bought the item with as a way to look up the receipt information.

(Photo: imasuperhero)


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  1. Falconfire says:

    What exactly is their claim about why they are doing this? Is it to “speed up the line” for returns?

    Because honestly I could think of a very good way to speed up the line without screwing their customer… by getting their lazy fat assed returns people to stop dicking aroun and eating food behind the counter while 4 people wait around for 10+ minutes for someone to actually get to the desk. And NO you eating food and chatting up what your going to be doing at 10 pm does not infact equal you “doing something” and being unable to come up and help the customers on line.

  2. MickeyMoo says:

    Oddly enough – in a recent 60 minutes segment on the TJX wifi hack security breach – one of the parties interviewed cited the fact that the credit card issuers insistence that merchants keep purchaser CC data in their systems (ie: “…but they should allow people to use the card they bought the item with as a way to look up the receipt information. “) was the greatest threat to data security. I’m willing to loose a little convenience and remember my receipt if it meant that there was less of a chance of my data being compromised.

  3. Falconfire says:

    @MickeyMoo: Very true, but the fact is the data is still going to remain there, so really by doing this your securing nothing at all.

  4. jaydez says:

    good thing I retuned that stupid alcohol pump I got for xmas on Monday!

  5. Ben Popken says:

    @MickeyMoo: The TJX hack happened because they were also storing PIN blocks, which merchants are supposed to wipe from their system.

  6. Optimistic Prime says:

    I wonder if this is something they are rolling out by state or district? I was able to do a receipt look-up and a no receipt return yesterday with no problems.

  7. aristan says:

    I’m generally a fan of Target, but I’ve already run into some problems with the new return policy this weekend.

    I purchased a rather nice looking zippered sweater from the men’s department on Friday afternoon and planned to wear it to work on Saturday. Well, I put it on Saturday morning, got into the car and by the time I got to work, the zipper had broken and the collar had started to unravel.

    Frankly it looked like I’d been roughed up in a dark alley.

    So, on my way home from work, I stopped by Target again. I wait thru the return line, and the lady behind the counter rolled her eyes a little as I tried to explain that I’d bought the sweater the day before, on clearance, and I just wanted another one. She let me know what a big problem it was for her to exchange something that lacked tags and without a receipt. I offered the card that I had used to purchase the item, and it was ignored as she went on about the lack of tags. Keep in mind, the signs saying a card could be used to track down the purchase were still up at this time.

    She sighed and told me I had to go to the Men’s department, find a sweater in the exact same color & size. Needless to say, it was a clearance item, I bought the last one. Finally she tells her supervisor that I brought it back, without tags or receipt and “in poor condition”.

    Now I’ve got two people staring at me like I’m a criminal, like I’m trying to commit fraud, over a 17 buck sweater. And they still haven’t offered to use my card to find the purchase.

    Well, it finally got returned after spending about 45 minutes in the store, and I went and did what I wanted to do the entire time: exchange it for a sweater that still had the damn collar attached.

    Thanks Target, I wasted an extra hour because of your shoddy workmanship.

  8. warf0x0r says:

    I bought a few gifts there over xmas and after hearing about this I was surprised when I wasn’t offered a gift receipt and had to ask for one.

  9. bohemian says:

    Most of this is because of stupid jerks that try to defraud businesses by switching tags or trying to return items they never bought. They pick up something in the store and they walk over to returns and try to return it without the receipt.

    We all end up paying the price for stupid people with no sense of right and wrong.

  10. What The Geek says:

    At many retailers, when you make a purchase they take your name and number. That info is then tied to the transaction (as is the credit card you used) so that if something goes wrong in the future, you can come back w/ the item, and the transaction can be looked up without any hassle. I know when I worked for sears, any transaction over $20 required the customer’s name address, and phone number.

    What I’m getting at here is why make it harder for customers to return things when other retailers are making it easier? This is going to hurt them in the long run. The money saved on avoiding fraudulent returns will be lost tenfold in the loss of good will of honest customers trying to return something.

  11. fuzzball21 says:

    Ha, this seems to have gone into effect right after Christmas around here. My fiancee got a movie that he didn’t want for X-mas, and was unable to return it because he didn’t have a gift receipt, and the movie was $24.99. Total garbage IMO, because they have a loss prevention team, which is obviously not doing their job. Why else would they put this in place?

  12. selianth says:

    @warf0x0r: The Target store I shop at automatically prints a gift receipt with every purchase – you don’t have to ask for one, you get one every time. I thought every Target did this?

    • ScubaSteveKzoo says:

      @selianth: I remember that they used to almost all the time, but I was just there a few days ago and was surprised that there was no gift receipt…and this time I, for once, actually wanted it.

  13. foghat81 says:

    the SD thread makes it sound like credit card lookup is still going on. I’m confused now.

  14. matt1978 says:

    @fuzzball21: What’s loss prevention got to do with it? Are they going to stop someone from buying a DVD at Wal-Mart & trying to take it back to Target?

  15. evslin says:

    Yep, the only thing I haven’t gotten a gift receipt for at Target was groceries.

  16. fuzzball21 says:

    As per the people who walk into the store, pick things up and try to return them without a receipt, loss prevention is obviously not doing their job. The Targets that I go to have one of their loss prevention guys at every door, and returns is right around the corner, so it should send up red flags if people walk into a store empty handed and then go magically return something. I have also seen quite a few cashiers just “accidentally” not ring things up, and bag them. Loss prevention is supposed to keep an eye on the registers, as is my understanding.

  17. What The Geek says:


    On the store level, there’s nothing LP (or asset protection as target calls them) can do about it. However, just as there are district, regional, and corporate management teams, there are also district, regional, and corporate LP (AP) teams. They’re likely the ones that came up with this brainchild as a matter of fact.

    There isn’t anything you can do to stop someone from buying a DVD at Wal Mart and returning it at target – and guess what else? That doesn’t hurt target’s bottom line. As long as it’s a dvd they carry, it gets entered back into the inventory system same as anything else. You can’t do anything with an opened dvd except exchange it anyway, but that’s not really the point is it? The point is they’re avoiding things like that with this new policy, but they’re also alienating honest, loyal customers who just want to return a defective / unwanted product… not to mention making life harder on their customer service employees.

  18. Ben Popken says:

    @MickeyMoo: Furthermore, just because they’re not letting you use the credit card to make a return doesn’t mean they’re not still storing your credit card info.

  19. jesuismoi says:

    @ WARF0X0R
    I was told, while buying Christmas gifts, that Target was limiting the number of gift receipts you could have with one ring up to 8. So should I buy something for my sister, her husband, her kid, my other sister, her husband, her kid, dad #1, stepmother, dad #2, mom, husband, brother in law, father-in-law, his wife, their son, his wife, her kid, their daughter, her husband, their two kids, mother-in-law, or her husband (and that’s just the immediate family) I would have to do 4 separate ring ups… assuming I only bought one thing per person. (Last year they printed them automatically on almost everything.)

    Or I can shop elsewhere. Amazon got a lot of our business this year….

    @artisan my first consumerist comment ever was about the hell Target gave me when returning something WITH receipt but no tags. They wouldn’t do it. I had to call 1 others store, speak to the managers there, then call the Target by me and confront them with the policy confirmed by the other Targets. (i.e. no tags needed!)

    Sounds like Target is inching up on just banning returns.

  20. jesuismoi says:

    erf, correction: “3 separate ring ups”

  21. salviati says:

    This is very disappointing news for me. I often make returns by using the Credit Card lookup, and easily loose receipts. Maybe I’ll just have to keep a tape dispenser in my car, and immediately tape the receipt to the appropriate box before I forget about it.

    I don’t think they normally print out multiple gift receipts, though; so if you’re purchasing two separate gifts, make sure you get them on separate receipts.

  22. Juliekins says:

    @Ben Popken: And we won’t even talk about the unsecured wireless networks that allowed them to steal all that CC info in the first place.

  23. enm4r says:

    I returned an item using credit card lookup on the 31st, and when I asked the worker there if this would be a problem into the new year they assured that credit card lookup would still be in place. The only thing she indicated was leaving was the fact that they’d previously return items under $20. Sounds like conflicting information is being handed down/misinterpreted by various stores.

  24. TheNomad says:

    Last I remember Target was a “for profit” company and anything they sell which can not be returned is another drop in the bucket. Oh well, customer satisfaction tanks and they will not come back. Yeah, right… Everyone comes back if you are cheap enough. Everyone will be more careful where they stuck their receipts the next time, but I can bet my life that, thouse who swear not to step foot in Target will be back in a few weeks. So, get over with it.

  25. lewissalem says:

    Whatever you do, do NOT register with their baby registry. When a person sends you a gift from the website, a gift receipt is not sent. When you have a problem with the product, they will not accept a return on it without a gift receipt. You are stuck. I’ve got a ton of baby bottles my girls wont even use.

    Target must fix this. They must send gift receipts with the items.

  26. matt1978 says:

    @TheNomad: You’re exactly right. It’s all “This isn’t right! I’m so full of rage, I’ll never shop there again! Never agai – wait, I’m out of soap, and I really like that Michael Graves line…”

  27. SaveMeJeebus says:

    What is so hard about putting Target receipts in an envelope until needed?

  28. nweaver says:

    I think it probably does have to do with CC# data retention policies from the credit card companies. Its a “no No” these days to hold onto the credit card #, and it was probably pressure from Visa & MCard to start purging this data.

    They probably aren’t purging the data YET, but they know they will have to soon.

  29. bravo369 says:

    I think this is a great opportunity. I was originally going to suggest that retailers start doing what Apple does and provide an email receipt as well as a paper receipt. However that could become expensive and problemsome for smaller retailers. It would be cool if the receipt was linked to your credit card online, meaning if you logged into your visa account online, you not only have a list of your purchases but the retailer’s receipt that you can print out. It would be an online database of all your purchases with receipts. Likewise, tax season and a dreaded audit could become even easier.

  30. BlondeGrlz says:

    @fuzzball21: As a looong time now former Target employee, I have a lot to say but I’ll keep it short. Loss Prevention (AP) keeps a great eye on the registers. Even if it looks like a cashier is “getting away” with stuff, you can bet 90% of the time there’s a file with their name on it in the AP office, and it’s just a matter of time until they get called in.
    It’s my understanding that the receipt-look-up system cost Target a lot of money to install and have available. I find it hard to imagine they would completely do away with it, maybe this is just a policy change and the system will still be around for “exceptions.”
    Also, my mom still works at Target and she hadn’t heard this announced at all. You’d think such a big change would at least make it onto a bulletin board or something.

  31. What The Geek says:

    @TheNomad: @matt1978:

    You’re right and wrong at the same time. Yea, a lot of people are just blowing smoke out of their ass when they threaten to “never shop here again”. They’ll be back within the week.

    There is also a sizable number of people who will have a bad experience, and next time they need hand soap or a new blender they’ll go to the wal mart that’s three miles down the street from the target. At that point all wal mart has to do is not offend them while they’re there, and they’ve got a new loyal customer. Customer satisfaction turns into customer loyalty. They’re happy, they come back. If they’re unhappy, they may come back, but they may not. If only one percent of customers attempting a return never shop at a target again, it could mean millions of lost dollars over the next ten – twenty years.

  32. BlondeGrlz says:

    @whatthegeek: But at the same exact momment, people who have just been offended by Walmart are headed to the Target.

  33. design_chick says:

    A few days ago I returned a game a got without a receipt. I don’t think all employees are aware of the new policy because the cahier told me that I could return up to twice a year without a receipt…nothing about the policy changing soon.

  34. Youthier says:

    I told my mom this and this is what she emailed me with-

    “I just called Target (our local store) and if it is under 90 days and I have purchased it on my Target card they will look it up and return it.”

    I’m interested to see if this is true or not.

  35. I can bet my life that, thouse who swear not to step foot in Target will be back in a few weeks. So, get over with it.

    @TheNomad: Well since no one has said they’ll stop shopping at Target that’s a pretty safe bet to make.

    I bet $100 that all of the babies born on the moon last year will grow up to be cowboys.

  36. What The Geek says:

    @blondegrlz: Spot on – at the end of the day, customer loyalty comes down to who can offend the least customers.

  37. mobilene says:

    I remember when Target had the most lenient return policy of any store, anywhere. Now that others are catching up to where Target used to be, Target’s going the other way.

  38. mammalpants says:

    this is the best gift WalMart could have received for the holidays!

  39. zeroaxs says:

    I just got off the phone with Target Customer Service inquiring about the new program. And indeed, they have taken away the option to return anything without a receipt EXCEPT IN THE CASE WHERE YOU HAVE UTILIZED A CHECK OR CREDIT CARD. The stores are still keeping that data within their database system and you ARE allowed to have them look it up without your receipt present. You cannot however return anything purchased with check or cash without the original receipt.

  40. TangDrinker says:

    @lewissalem: That really stinks. Maybe try another target? When we had doubles of stuff last year they just allowed us to print out the baby registry that listed the item(at the kiosk) and they were able to exchange it for a store credit.

    I hope they still let you exchange diapers without gift receipts – but I have a feeling they won’t.

  41. Alex Morse says:

    Another fine example of a company making it’s customers do more work so they can catch a small percentage of people abusing the system.

    It’s the retailer’s job to prevent fraud, for their own benefit. That work should never be passed on to a customer.

  42. matt1978 says:

    @whatthegeek: Yeah right. The store three miles further down the road won’t get the business when it’s raining, snowing, hot, cold, or the buyer’s tired, hungry, low on gas, and/or 2 months later when they forgot why they stopped going to target.

    You’ll go back soon enough. Everybody does.

  43. What The Geek says:


    Let me put this a different way – earlier on last year Circuit City laid off their top 3400 best paid sales associates – these would also most likely be the most knowledgeable employees. Their stock took a large hit (70% if I’m not mistaken) in the months that followed. Any major decline in customer service leads to at least some decrease in repeat customers, which leads to losses for the company.

  44. Curiosity says:

    I am sure that everyone realizes that there is a difference between rules and what consumers can do? Inevitably either some one makes the rules or make exceptions and you can change the behavior of the organization by talking to the person and convincing them or realizing that the rules of the organization (in this case target) only bind you under certain circumstances.

    For instance in the sweater comment @aristan is very enlightening b/c if it was approached in law it is essentially either a defective product claim or fraud by Target. Essentially by claiming that the consumer is at fault they have shifted the blame inappropriately according to the evidence irrespective of their policies.

  45. bornconsumer says:

    This is exactly why when theres a ‘deal’ at any store, I take full advantage of it. it’s my way of “sticking it to the man”.

  46. algormortis says:

    i think this certainly hasn’t hit Seattle, either, as i had a hoodie i had bought and then stupidly lost the receipt for absolutely fall apart.

    one wearing, no washing, and i hadn’t worn it to work, as i do climb and squiggle a lot at work.

    i was hoping for an exchange if they could look it up; the GSTL was taking returns and literally had me in and out so fast my head spun with a $4 credit for the difference as it’d gone on sale; the receipt lookup took seconds and the GSTL was pretty horrified the thing had fallen apart. (I have another one of the same hoodie i had bought pteviously that was way more durable.)

    alas i just ask for two receipts for everything. i just stupidly misplaced both.

  47. fargle says:

    Awesome! This makes it that much easier to decide where to purchase things – by shortening the list.

    There are these things called “computers”, Target, and they’re really good for keeping track of these kinds of things so we don’t have to hold onto a stupid piece of paper forever in case something breaks a week later.

    I hate the SuperTarget in Highlands Ranch by us anyway – the only thing cool about it is the escalator for the shopping carts, but they have the nerve to charge an extra 1.5% “improvement fee” on all purchases, which annoys me whenever I forget and shop there.

    Well, no more – I’ll remember not to shop there now. No more Targhetto for me!

  48. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    What about for straight exchanges? Do you need a receipt for that too? Or heck – even non-straight exchanges?

  49. quail says:

    I hate to be the one to side with Target or any big retailer on this type of a policy, but I find that I must.

    Liberal store return policies leads to a large amount of fraud. An ex sister-in-law of mine was banned from Target and several other stores for excessively returning items without having the receipt. A red flag that the person is a shoplifter. (Which I wouldn’t put past my ex-in-law.)

    Does anyone know if this bans a simple exchange of clothing that’s the wrong size without the receipt too? Now that would be a hassle.

  50. rachaeljean says:

    I can confirm, I’m not shopping there anymore, thanks. I went there last night to spend the LAST gift card from Christmas and now I’m DONE. It’s further away from me, more expensive, and there’s never parking. :p

  51. rachaeljean says:

    I can confirm that *I* won’t be shopping at Target anymore. It’s further away, more expensive, and there’s never any parking.

    I went last night to spend the last of the Christmas gift cards, and now I am DONE!

  52. rachaeljean says:

    Whoops. :p

  53. What The Geek says:


    Generally, bans like the one you mention are reserved for stores w/o a system for for associating your name/phone number/cc number with your transactions. If you make a lot of returns that you can prove you purchased (regardless of receipt) you get a red flag. If it can be proven either by receipt or electronic record of the sale, it’s not a problem. My whole problem with this is that it appears you’ll ONLY be able to make returns with a receipt. No other proof of purchase (ie: electronic record of the transaction) accepted. For lack of a better way to put it, that’s just lame. We live in a world where we can tie a customer to a transaction without ever needing a receipt – so why take the step backwards? I’m not arguing that no proof of purchase should be required, but why rely completely on an easily misplaced or destroyed piece of paper?

  54. SaraAB87 says:

    And retailers wonder why they continue to lose sales and struggle more and more with gaining customers..

    Printing a receipt on flimsy paper that fades within a week does not help either..

    How about just tracking every return with a person’s drivers license or another ID, this would allow identification of fraudulent returners and allow stores to prevent them from constantly returning things, rather than preventing those holiday giftees from returning doubles of an item that they got.

    They also should be required to post this policy in clear wording by the return desk, as in “NO RETURNS WITHOUT A RECEIPT PERIOD” instead of the get-around language they constantly use.

    On another note this has been kmart’s return policy for quite some time now and I don’t hear any whining about that.

  55. What The Geek says:


    Kmart (now part of sears) can look up your transaction by name, phone number, address, or cc number (assuming it was entered correctly at the time of sale) making this policy less relevant there. Again, as long as the customer can prove they bought it there, they’ll take it back as long as it meets all the requirements for a good return.

    Also, as mentioned above – many places don’t even require ID of any sort – just name, number, and address (depending on the store) to keep a record of the sale.

  56. crazyflanger says:

    So I got a nintendo ds from some random store for christmas. I don’t want to be rude so I didn’t ask for a reciept, or even where it was purchased. I plan on returning it to get a PSP from target? This is gonna be a no go? Maybe wal-mart?

  57. What The Geek says:


    Wal-mart. Definitely Wal-mart. Unless you have a sears closer than a Wal-mart

    Sears is pretty lenient as long as it’s still in it’s original packaging unopened… bla bla bla, you know the drill.

  58. Raanne says:

    As far as I know, Walmart will return anything that scans into the system. so a DVD bought at Target can be returned at Walmart – they will just resell it. It will be for store credit though.

  59. crazyflanger says:

    score…store credit at walmart….I’m gonna buy some shirts!

  60. coren says:

    @matt1978: No, they don’t. There are specific stores and restaurants I haven’t gone to in years because they screwed up. And I find it hard to believe I’m the only person in the world who’ll stick to their guns.

  61. coren says:

    @crazyflanger: Walmart or Best Buy, especially now, have the most “forgiving” returns policies. And being that you want a PSP, BB will also be most likely to have stuff you want for it/the PSP itself, etc.

    …just open it in store ;)

  62. coren says:

    I can’t say as I blame Target, although it’s hardly going to stop all the scams that get run on retail stores…particularly those with multiple entrances/exits.

  63. Employees Must Wash Hands says:


    Sure the “improvement fee” isn’t a charge from a municipal improvement district? Municipalities often set those up and charge an extra percentage on sales for road/sewer/etc improvements.

    The Target near me is located in such a district and their receipt prints out a line item with the name of the improvement district and the extra sales tax from it.

  64. Caroofikus says:

    @aristan: How does one break a zipper in car on the way to work?

  65. MickeyMoo says:

    @Ben Popken: That part I didn’t know…

  66. Mojosan says:

    What’s the big deal? If you want to return something, show the receipt you were freely given when you purchased the item. Geez.

    The bulk of the “righteous indignation” crowd who refuse to hold on to their receipts and will never visit Target again are probably money losing customers that Target doesn’t want anyway.

  67. gingerCE says:

    I am okay with this policy change EXCEPT I think they need to still have available the credit/debit card lookup. I no longer keep receipts from Target because I always use a credit/debit card there. It makes things a lot easier.

    I returned something a few days ago using credit card lookup and had no problem. Target, if you are reading this, please don’t get rid of this policy.

  68. gingerCE says:

    I was once in a long return line at Wal-mart and you’d be amazed at how many people didn’t have a receipt. Most of the people didn’t and they were returning worn shoes, electronics, and cookware (opened boxes)–this was right after Thanksgiving btw.

    I guess Target had had enough of this. I think this is fine as long as they offer credit/debit card lookup–even gift card lookups.

  69. firesign says:

    @selianth: same at every target i’ve ever been to.

  70. turkeybacon76 says:

    This is an awful customer service move and they will most likely be dealing with loyal customer backlash. I brought back a robe that was given to me as a gift so I had no receipt. My return was refused, based on the new/current draconian policy. They have given me, a frequent and honest Target shopper, a strong reason to take my business elsewhere. I am sure I am not alone. They need to find a better way to prevent fraud that does not involve punishing all. We all know how easy it is to lose a receipt.

  71. karlmarx says:

    I was a Guest Services Team Lead – (Staff level manager/front end manager) and Target has a wonderful Point of Sale system. Each receipt has a balance, which means if you return something, and then try to return it again, the receipt wont let you. The started using the receipt look up at Guest Services with credit cards and checks. They are able to swipe your credit card, or run your checking acct through the reader and then scan the item and return it as if you presented a receipt. Unless Target is downgrading their system, then this simple task should not be a problem. It doesn’t make since to me, and I usually dont save my Target receipts if I use my credit card, this is ridicilous.

  72. MommaJ says:

    What do people think a receipt is for, anyway? It’s proof that you paid for your purchase, not something to blow your nose on. Of course you should have to present it to return an item. I can’t believe the concept of keeping and filing receipts is so overwhelming to anyone.

  73. Leiterfluid says:

    My wife returned something yesterday using her credit card. She had the wrong receipt with her, and the CSR said quite plainly “I can look it up from your card.”

    Sure enough, she found it within seconds.

    Sounds like there’s a lot of FUD going on around regarding what target will and willn’t do.

  74. What The Geek says:

    @Mojosan: @MommaJ:

    Ten years ago I would have agreed with either of you. We live in a different world now. We live in a world where it is not only possible, but becoming common place to have an electronic method for keeping track of a customer’s orders. If I need to return something at sears, all I need is my phone number. They can then look me up, and see every purchase I made with them in recent history. I don’t have to worry about hanging on to a receipt that can fade and tear, and they don’t have to worry about me returning something I didn’t buy.

    Hopefully KarlMarx is right, and they’ll be retaining their current system where they can in fact, look up your order by CC number or bank account. If that’s the case, it’s really only inconvenient for those that paid cash – if they upgrade to a system where they can look it up by phone number, there goes that problem.

    Using the receipt as the ONLY acceptable proof of purchase would be like me telling you that in order to respond to this comment, you have to snail mail your comment to me – it’d just be silly.

  75. cooper says:

    Had my first experience with the new system when I attempted to get a receipt reprinted after Christmas. I bought my mom a sweater that turned out to be the wrong size but, being the irresponsible daughter I am, did not have the receipt. They had a sign by the customer service counter stating that receipts could be reprinted if the original credit card was presented, but this is apparently not the case.

    After going back and forth a couple times, I was informed that they can’t look up anything with only the credit card… that the original item must also be present. When I went into the racks and found the identical sweater (did not have the one I bought with me, since mom lives a few hours away), they were then able to find the original purchase in the computer — BUT were still unable to print a new receipt.

    Argh. Luckily I was able to get the sweater from my mom and will be going back with the sweater AND the credit card this week. Hopefully that is the magic combination.

    Target was unable to explain to me why the sign advertising receipt reprints was even up, since it was clearly not true.

    Oh Target, how I used to love you.

  76. xl22k says:

    Shop at Kohl’s. The store’s always a mess but they’ll take just about anything back.

  77. Charles Duffy says:

    @MickeyMoo: Three words: “One-way hash”.

    You can tell if someone is presenting a card which was used earlier without storing the contents of that card.

  78. UpsetPanda says:

    Can’t say about returning items bought from the Target stores, but if you buy at, if you need to return something and lose the packing materials and ship information, you can go online and print off a return receipt. It’s fantastic. I just returned a dress and got all of my money back. Btw, a tip if you’re buying online at and are unsure of the sizing (therefore, more likely to consider returning it) buy enough to get the free shipping so if you return your items, you won’t lose money on the shipping because they don’t refund that.

  79. Mojosan says:


    You know…you’re right.

    The technology is there to do it both ways. I agree with you.

  80. r4__ says:

    @lewissalem: yeah, they used to let you do that and then people would just register for the things they needed to return without receipts and try to get around the no-receipt return thing that way… cat and mouse games and the only sure thing is that innocents lose.

  81. parad0x360 says:

    as of yesterday? this rule has been in effect at every target i have been to in the NE for the past 4 months…

  82. morganlh85 says:

    I will definitely NOT be registering there for my upcoming wedding now. I’ve heard enough horror stories about duplicate registry items and trouble making returns from registries, I’m not about to attempt to deal with them now.

  83. themediatrix says:


    I’m not giving my name and address to a store, unless they are giving me a giant ticket item I’ll be making payments on, such as an automobile.

    They’re getting my money, and that’s about all they should get. If I want to returns something, I’ll bring the receipt.

  84. Mills says:

    @SaveMeJeebus: Because with all the thermal paper rubbing together, the text fades making the receipt unreadable.

  85. arirang says:

    I had the WORST overall customer experience at Target today. So I did what any livid no-longer -a-Target customer would do. I called the corporate headquarters….of WALMART and pretty much told them, “please give me a reason to never set foot into Target ever again.”.

  86. SadSam says:

    Shop at Nordstrom’s they will accept any and all returns at any point (years later) with no receipt required. Its a no questions asked policy. Of course, that policy is built into the price of goods but perhaps its worth it to those who don’t or won’t keep a receipt.

  87. StevieD says:

    @Alex Morse:

    Wrong, everything gets past onto the customer. LP costs, electricity, employee salaries, whatever the cost, it will be included in the price paid by consumers.

    If shrinkage, shoplifting and scams cost Target $10, then that $10 will be add to the price paid by other consumers.

  88. DanGarion says:

    Waa Waa, complaints complaints. I have returned three items to Target since Christmas and they have a sign posted (looks new) that says they can accept returns without receipt if it was purchased with a Target card. I tested this and they were completely able to do it for me.

  89. vitonfluorcarbon says:

    Target used to have a fabulous return policy. So fabulous, that I’m sure people took advantage at times. I remember taking back a Walk-Man that stopped working after a year or so, and they did it no questions asked – and I didn’t have a receipt.

    At the time, 20 years ago, Target had a “no questions” asked policy that was gaining them loyal customers. I realize that the line has to be drawn somewhere, but I’ve told Target in those “online polls” that are on the receipts that I basically will not consider buying a “big ticket” item there with these policies, or the one that say they will only issue store credit. Why would you possibly buy a new TV for $1000 knowing that if it didn’t work out, you’d only get store credit.

    Some common sense needs to be applied, and Target needs to attempt to get back to what made them a success.

    As much as I hate Wal-Mart, I remember an incident where they excelled. I bought a $25 can of Baby Formula one morning and when I got home, I couldn’t find it. I called the store to see if a can was found in a cart, etc. They said, “no, but bring your receipt back and we’ll give you another can.” …And they did. As much as I hate them, this was a top-notch act.

  90. AbsoluteIrrelevance says:

    @ everyone saying it doesn’t matter how Target treats their customers, because they will always come back for the low prices.

    1. There will always be a certain percentage of customers that WILL be angry enough to not come back to Target after being treated unfairly by the new system. It’s not hard to not return. There is online shopping and usually a conveniently placed Wal-Mart, or grocery store, not too far away.

    2. There will always be a group of customers that will hear from their friends about how they will never set foot in a Target again. These people will think twice before shopping there.

    3. There will always be people pissed off by their return policy enough to not go to Target for a few months, even if they eventually return. And Target lost out on that revenue.

    4. This is NOT a policy that will draw any fans.

    So, of course Target should care. Especially when their competitors have the credit card look-up system, and they don’t.

  91. SaraAB87 says:

    I usually only buy sale or clearance items at retail stores anyways, everything else is bought online. Large purchases like electronics if they must be made in a retail store will be researched carefully, and if a store has a no-receipt policy, then I will likely not purchase at that store. I will not stop shopping at target but I will be sure that I spread this policy by word of mouth and carefully consider each purchase before making it at a store with a policy like this.

    So far Walmart seems to be the best place to purchase electronics as you know they will take it back no questions asked, and if you have the receipt they will give you payment in your original form back. I cannot speak for returning things without a receipt at Walmart because I have never had to do it. They even have a 90 day return policy on video game systems the last time I checked. Their receipts don’t seem to fade either, as I have one thats well over a year old that has not faded yet. Target’s receipts will fade.

  92. phdsd says:

    I still shop at Target, but only for loss leaders. I bought a sheet set at one store and found it missing the pillowcases when I got home. That store didn’t have any more sets so I drove to another store. That store could not return and credit my debit card so they gave me cash back. I bought another set but the sheets turned out to be crappy – terrible pilling and the top sheet changed color in the wash. I could only find the two original receipts and Target refused the return or even store credit. I even tried talking to Corporate office and they couldn’t care less. So, for $75, Target lost a customer; Target screws up and then treats me like I stole something. I spent nothing over Christmas in Target; it’s not worth the hassle with the cheap stuff they’re peddling.

  93. Edjamacator says:

    I gotta tell ya, I’m all for this. As long as people are given receipts in the correct fashion I don’t see a problem with it. Yes, you may have to keep it and blame yourself if you lose it, but as a business it makes sense.

    I want those who try to steal to fail. Plain and simple. If that means I have to hold onto a receipt, fine. “The customer is always right” is the biggest line of BS in retail. The customer isn’t always right, especially when they’re a festering zit on the public’s face.

    As for the “won’t go there again” claim, I agree with those who say people will. Personally, I have given Sears the boot years ago and haven’t been back, even when a HDTV I was purchasing was $50 cheaper there than where I ended up buying it. I said I didn’t want to shop there again and didn’t. Same with Best Buy. With most people, though, they rant and rave but the instant they calm down are already in line with a full cart and their credit card out. Puh-leeze.

  94. aristan says:

    @Caroofikus: When one has it zipped up 3/4 of the way, gets a little warm and tries to unzip it, only to have the little tab on the zipper come completely off.

    @Mojosan: I rarely hold on to receipts as I rarely need to return things, especially to Target. Usually when I buy items there, they are of good quality. However, they did not make it easy for me in a case when it was a straight exchange because the product was defective.

  95. gingerCE says:

    Okay, usually I’m a fan of Consumerist but whoever wrote this article (ben) just caused a lot of people a lot of confusion. I finally clicked over to the article linked to this one. At the very top, the posting is clear–if you bought an item with cash or received an item as a gift and have no receipt you are screwed.

    However, the site you linked is very clear that you CAN return items to Target without a receipt if you have the credit or debit card used to purchase the item. Again, it’s fine if you have no receipt. Also, the link says you can return an item no receipt if you paid with your check (can look up check) and even a gift card if you still have the gift card or the gift card number.

    This Consumerist heading is as absolutely misleading and is as guilty as a lot of the companies we complain about how they are give out inaccurate info.

    Yes, Target did change their policy and that needs to be noted, but the Consumerist article makes it sound like you need a receipt when you have the credit/debit/check or gift card number–and you don’t.

  96. aristan says:

    @gingerCE: I think there’s confusion all over the place, gingerCE. Even people working at the Target stores aren’t sure what’s allowed now.

  97. MercuryPDX says:

    @Mojosan: Your comment makes me laugh because it seems as if the same people screaming about having to SHOW a receipt on the way out of a store, are the ones saying how unfair it is to NOT show the same receipt when making a return.

  98. Martha_Jones says:

    @selianth: Nope. I get a gift receipt automatically every single time – except when I need one.

  99. Martha_Jones says:

    I abhor this return policy. I will still shop at Target – I quite like Target, but I will never register for gifts there, I will suggest others do not and I will not ever buy gifts for anyone there.

  100. MChasteen1 says:

    Hey Guys..

    I’ve been working at Target for awhile now. 90% of the time there is a gift receipt included on your original receipt. Sometimes there is not IF it is groceries or chemicals, like bleach/ detergent. If your buying something as a gift though, ANYWHERE, you should check to see if there is a gift receipt, and if not you can always ask.

    The Article written is extremely misleading and Admins need to re-check this. Target needs a receipt if you payed in cash, basically thats it. Or call a DC and complain alot, because most of the time they give in to whiney customers (lame – causes trouble for Guest Service in the store). If you pay with cash, keep the receipt, if you don’t – its your fault, slap your own forhead for it. Target can pull up credit/debit cards and IDs (only twice a year) in order to find your information.

    Also, some people mentioned our AP. Normally its only one or two a store. I would like to see anyone else try monitoring every person coming in the store, even with cameras everywhere. They do the best they can, its a hard job. But we dont have an army of AP so it doesnt surprise me that Target may tighten some of the rules in the return policy. As far as Team Members, AP also watches them too.

    So, Target is just another retail store like any other, and yes its a business. However Target, in my opinion has excellent products for good prices, and theres always awesome sales going on. Theres no reason for people to start bashing Target just because the Consumerist put out a bad article on something you might do once a year, return something, and probably have no problem.

    Hope this clears some things up.

  101. Copper says:

    Things I buy at Target (and WalMart) aren’t usually things that need to be returned for cash value. If that $10 extension cord doesn’t work right and I’ve lost the receipt, I’m fine eating the money. And I’m a poor college student.

    Americans have this self-entitled attitude now. Yes, Target can look up the transaction by your debit/credit card and that’s a convenient time saver…but you’re given a receipt. The purpose of a receipt is to show proof of purchase and if you discard or lose it, tough shit. Target has been gracious enough to accept returns without a receipt and now that they aren’t (unless credit/debit card) and now that they want to help keep prices lower by inconveniencing you, ask yourself this: Are you shopping at Target because of their great customer service or because they’re cheap?

    People want Target to be able to pull up their transaction by the purchase card, but whine about corporations invading their privacy by asking for too much personal information (name, address, phone number). You can’t have it both ways.

  102. crypticgeek says:

    So wait, you’d rather take the risk of them having to securely store your credit card number to look up the transactions than actually take some personal responsibility for keeping track of a paper receipt? Yeah, no thanks.

  103. superborty says:

    Target is off my list. Like I am going to keep track of their receipts!!!…. Why can’t they keep track of them? Oh, right, loss prevention. Has nothing to do with screwing their customers, of course not… This is an obvious short for all those stock pickers out there. Target stuff is getting poorer quality anyway so might as well go to WalMart.

  104. superborty says:

    @ Copper I agree with your rant on people getting upset about saving credit card data, etc… and then expecting to get anything they want at stores. However, I have no problem with them keeping my purchase history as they have been doing. The heck if I am going to keep an envelope with 1000 receipts a month just for stores when they already have this stored electronically. Glad you are wasteful enough to eat $10. Doesn’t sound like you are that poor of a college student.

  105. gingerCE says:

    @aristan: I agree that there is confusion–but the Consumerist article is adding to it–and I’m not sure why since the article it uses as it’s “source” is clear that if you used a debit/credit/check/or gift card to purchase the item, you do not need the receipt. It’s only if you pay cash that you’re screwed if you have no receipt.

    Yet the article on this site says you need a receipt even if you purchase with a credit/debit card, which isn’t true and since the source article never says this, I’m not sure where the Consumerist is basing this claim on.

  106. Caroofikus says:

    @aristan: I see…that usually doesn’t happen for a few years, if ever.

  107. Caroofikus says:

    About Target gift receipts, one is always printed out when an item costs $10 or more before taxes. If you need extras, just ask. They can also print them up after the sale.

  108. Martha_Jones says:

    “If you pay with cash, keep the receipt, if you don’t – its your fault, slap your own forhead for it. “

    That’s all well and good until you’re talking about someone who received the item as a gift…or someone who registered at Target for their wedding and when Target screwed up they ended up with 16 blenders that they now cannot return.

  109. gingerCE says:

    I have not done a registry with Target, but as of last year, I know you can return an item without a receipt (for gift card) if the item was on your registry.

  110. asten77 says:

    For all you whining about this for big electronics purchases.. Cripes, that’s the kind of purchase anyone intelligent absolutely positively always keeps the receipt for.

    I’ve shopped at target for 15 years or so, and I think once I didn’t have a receipt. It’s simply not that hard. I toss those receipts for consumables, and keep them for anything else. It’s really not that difficult.

  111. carlymf says:

    As a Guest Services employee at Target, I haven’t heard a single thing about this policy change.

    When I first heard about this change, I internally groaned. I enjoy my job and I try hard to make things right for each and every guest who walks in, but this will be hell. People already get very upset at the “under 20 dollars” rule, and I can’t imagine what they’ll do now.

    As for the lookup system, I sincerely hope that is just a rumor. That system has saved a lot of people with bad luck from losing hundreds of dollars.

    Not all Target Guest Services employees like to sit around and eat instead of helping people. I’m sorry some people have had that negative experience, but I for one try to help the guest as much as I can, and I have no problem calling LODs and GSTLs [basically, managers] over to help if I feel something more can be done than what is in my power. However, I am empowered enough that there isn’t really anything they can do that I can’t.

  112. venomroses says:

    I also had a friend who did the tag switch scam thing, but at walmart. So I think its a good idea, but I guess I could see its a problem with gifts, but really you should be getting gift receipts anyways.

  113. algormortis says:

    @MChasteen: Thanks for the input. I have this sneaking suspicion that there might be some stores that are cracking down on returns due to return fraud, misguided actions, etc…and going against policy but that by and large the policy hasn’t really changed, that lookup still works.

    I called 7 Targets today to check (needed to test the new corporate cell phone, right?) and all of them replied that they had no problem looking up information via a credit or debit card “or a Target GiftCard or Store Credit card if you still have the card. Hold onto those!” (-Lynn, Federal Way, WA)

    Let’s hope this remains an isolated incident, and thanks for the view from inside.

  114. patrick.h says:

    I work in a Wisconsin Target store at Guest Service. I did not work today but yesterday I was able to return several items without a receipt, and was also able to look up receipts.

    It looks like this might be a phased roll-out.

    Please don’t get made at the Team Member telling you no. We would really love to return your item. Honestly we would. You look like a decent person.

    If we tell you no, it’s because the computer won’t let us, and most of the time a manager can’t override anything.

    Write a letter to Target Corporate, we don’t make these sorts of rules.

  115. 3ringmama says:

    Read all these posts this afternoon and went to Target to make a return this evening with fear and trepidation in my heart. Fortunately, I had receipts for $48 worth of merchandise which I returned without a hitch. Then I asked to return the webcam and microphone that I got for Christmas with no gift receipt. (duh-dun, duh-DUN, DUH-DUN) The cashier at the customer service counter looked up the price–currently $25 instead of the $30 my brother claimed he paid–and offered it to me on a gift card. She said I could do 2 no-receipt returns a year. So I guess that’s how Target is playing in South Carolina. I wasn’t as disapppinted as I had expected to be.

  116. yetiwisdom says:

    I used to like Target until I got a gift exchange item this year with a Target tag. Didn’t know who of the 27 colleagues participating gave it and certainly didn’t know what credit card they bought it on or the personal phone number. Didn’t like it so I thought I’d return it for something I liked. No dice. The CS rep said I wasn’t the only one with that circumstance and could only give me the number to call corporate and bitch. Frankly, the item was so small it’s not worth my time (I’ll regift) but I’ll think twice before I return to Target.

    Bad move, Target. I thought you were the “good guys” for customer service but maybe not.

  117. cjoseph says:

    Recently my youngest of five children was having their first child. They registered at Target for their baby registry. I always appreciated the fact when someone registered at Target because it made shopping for them so easy. I understand why Target wants a receipt for items being returned but sometimes they put their return policy before their customers. My son and his wife got an item on their registry that they changed their mind about and wanted to return it. But the store would not give them credit for it without a receipt because it was over $20.00. Their registry shows the item as being purchased. I called Target’s Guest Relations number and spoke to four different people. They told me when it was purchased at Target and told me it was purchased within the 90 days return period, but told me I could not get store credit for it because we did not have the receipt. So they know it was purchased at Target, they know when it was purchased at Target and they even know it was purchased in the store and not online, but they still would not allow the item to be exchange for something they actually needed. It looks to me like Target cares more about their return policy than they care about their customers.

  118. taylorlightfoot says:

    @Optimistic Prime:

    You need to realize that without the DPCI # Target can not do a receipt lookup. It just doesn’t work that way. The way it works is they swipe your card then they scan or type in the DPCI or UPC number and then the card history is searched for that item and only that item. Swiping your card will not yield a list of everything you have bought from Target.

    DPCI # is the preferred number Target uses for their merchandise. It stands for Department (DP) Class (C) Item (I) number and is in the following format 000 00 0000, it looks just like a social security number.

    If an item is manufactured by Target or for Target, it will have this number on the packaging, or in the case of clothing it will be sewn into the garment on a small tag.

    Unfortunately many employees don’t know about these sewn in numbers, but if you know about them it will help you next time you don’t have the tags for clothes items you want to return.

  119. taylorlightfoot says:

    All gift receipts for a transaction are the same. You can share them with family members if you have multiple gifts to return. For example all your children could share one gift receipt as long as the items they received as gifts were all bought on the same transaction. If you can’t share them, then just make a photocopy; all guest service needs is the barcode on the gift receipt.

  120. taylorlightfoot says:


    If the robe was over $20 that would be why they did not allow you to return it without a receipt.

    -Target allows TWO no receipt returns in a TWELVE month period (it doesn’t start over each new year).

    -Each no receipt return can have as many items in it as long as the total of each transaction is under $20.

    -With a no receipt return, the guest gets the lowest sale price within the last 90 days.

    -If the item was on clearance there is a good chance it has been clearanced down to $0, in which case the item could not be returned without a receipt.

    -Target tracks your two no receipt return limit by swiping your drivers license number

    -and finally the value of the goods being returned without a receipt will be given to the guest in gift card form

  121. taylorlightfoot says:


    Target does offer debit/credit card look ups as well as gift card and check look ups.

    Their receipt look up does not show a list of items bought and does not reprint a receipt. You will need the items DPCI or UPC number to do a receipt lookup.

  122. taylorlightfoot says:


    The only reason target will only issue you store credit is if you are returning an item without a receipt or if the item you are returning was paid for with a gift card.

    – If you paid for the item with a debit card you have the option of store credit, cash or returning the money back to your debit card. Keep in mind you will need to have the debit card with you for the third option.

    -If you paid for the item via credit card or debit card used as credit you will have the option of store credit or putting the money back on the credit card.

    -If you paid for the item with a check I believe you have to wait 10 days for the check to clear if you want to return something for cash, otherwise its store credit.

    -If you paid cash you get cash back or store credit.

    -For some low value returns the register will only allow you cash for the refund.

    I hope this clears things up a bit.

  123. taylorlightfoot says:


    Target has a great registry system. They give you a nice scanner, you scan items you want and they are on your registry list.

    -Make sure you don’t scan items duplicate times if you only want one.

    -Make sure you remember your password for the registry

    -Make sure you tell the people buying gifts for you to print out your registry list and make sure to have them present the barcode on it to the cashier during checkout so that they can scan it and remove the bought items from your list so that others wont buy you the same gifts.

    -If you need to return gifts given to you you can do so with the gift receipt, if the give it to you with the gift

    -If they do not give you a gift receipt, then you can print out a gift registry log and Guest Service can scan that barcode and look up the receipt for the item you are returning. (you need your password to print out this log)

    -The only time you run into problems is if you forget your password, you mistakenly scan things multiple times or people buying you gifts don’t have the cashier remove the item from your registry log.

  124. taylorlightfoot says:


    TJX SHOULD have the register system on a separate subnet from the rest of the inventory equipment that uses the wifi signal. As well as using some sort of wireless security as you just mentioned.

  125. taylorlightfoot says:


    All of Targets systems, are on separate subnets, the register system, the inventory system, the price scanners, the wifi printers, the office computers, the gift registry scanners. It is not all bunched together one one network.

    -That and they do not broadcast the SSID of their wifi network and have it locked down with security.

    – To get hacked, the hacker would have to know the SSID the particular store uses, each stores is different, then they would need to break through the security on the signal, and even if they got that far, the wifi network isn’t on the same subnet as the servers that store your information.

    -Target is not TJX, they don’t lump everything on one network and they do not broadcast the SSID of an unprotected wifi network.

  126. taylorlightfoot says:


    Target can do receipt look ups with a blank check.

  127. taylorlightfoot says:


    Yes you do need a receipt for straight exchanges. The inventory and defective merchandise system need to see the transaction/return so that item counts don’t get screwed up.

  128. taylorlightfoot says:


    You can’t return your game system to Target without a receipt since it exceeds the 20 dollar limit for no receipt returns.

  129. taylorlightfoot says:


    “I have not done a registry with Target, but as of last year, I know you can return an item without a receipt (for gift card) if the item was on your registry.”

    ****-If the item was on the registry and the person who bought you the item remembered to have it removed from the registry list at the time of purchase.-****

  130. Jonny1977 says:

    I realize that you are upset because you were not able to return the item that you tried to return. That said, you should find out what the return policy is when you submit your opinion to this sight. I was at Target this week and I returned an item that I had lost my receipt for. The kind person working there scanned my debit card, then scanned my item. The receipt was linked to my item and I was able to receive a full refund. I asked her “Is this your normal policy to look up my receipt in this manner?” She indicated that they always try to do a receipt look up when possible with check, credit card, debit card, giftcard or product serial number. I asked her “since when?”. She indicated that she has worked for Target for 5 years and its always been possible during her time there. Anyways, before you shoot your mouth off about the policies at a store, take the time to investigate. And anyways, why should stores take the kit if you are not responsible enough to save a receipt?

  131. dave7927 says:

    Well, what about this situation. I purchase an item with my debit card. Two weeks later, I go to return it without a receipt, unopened, in perfect condition. I give them my debit card and they are unable to find the transaction. I was told to call the CS number. I go home and find the receipt and it confirms I paid for it using my debit card. The CS supervisor states that I am SOL if they can not find the transaction. Sounds like a scam as this has occurred numerous times (my wife’s debit card works fine..different number, but my card does not)…Killer is, the card works just fine for them to take my money!!

  132. JmoneyGangsta says:

    I just got married. We registered at Target, but not everyone gave us gift receipts. There are things that are obviously from Target, I saw them in person at the store and know that Target sells them. But I can’t return everything because I don’t have a receipt. The things we are returning are the random things people bought us that were not on our registry (that is why we are returning them after all). But we can’t. All they would let us do is make 2 returns up to $20 (between my wife and I that is a total of 4 items worth $20 or less. If it’s worth more than $20 you’re SOL. We are allowed this once a year, they scanned our drivers’ licenses just so we couldn’t go to another store and make more small returns. What am I supposed to do with my extra $50 crock pot? FYI: Don’t register at Target… their return policy sucks.

  133. JmoneyGangsta says:


    For our wedding we invited 300 people, there is no way we could tell them all to make sure to bring the registry to the counter, and it’s a little tacky to put that on the invitation.

    They also told us that we could not print off our registry to return the things that were on it. I can’t remember the reason offhand though.

  134. StoneKitten says:

    As a very happy contributer to I am now off on a Fact Finding mission to my local Target Store.

    I will report back how they handle my return of 2 copies of 24 season 2 and 3.

    If there are any problems I will be reporting back here and also calling their Media Relations department.