Don't Use Target's Wedding Registry If You Think Asking Your Wedding Guests For Receipts Is Rude

As we’ve mentioned before, Target doesn’t accept returns or exchanges of gifts bought through their wedding registry unless you have a receipt. Got two of the same thing? You’re out of luck unless you’re willing to call your wedding guests and ask them if they kept the receipt.

Reader Terry has two ice tea makers and two griddles that she’d like to exchange, but is having no luck with Target. Terry has launched an EECB and cc’d us so we could listen in:

My fiancée and I registered at Target as well as Elder-Beerman for our wedding on May 24, 2008; it went wonderfully, by the way. At least until after we opened the gifts. We received two iced tea makers and two griddles from our registry, and they were marked “Fulfilled” on the registry. We also didn’t receive any receipts on the items, but I’m sure our family assumed like I did that you wouldn’t need a receipt with an item purchased from a gift registry.

I hauled my packages back to my local Target, with registry printout in hand as some extra insurance. The person behind the counter informs me that I will need a receipt or gift receipt even for an exchange of the items. I asked him why that was so, that you could clearly see from the registry that Target knew the items were paid for. He said that they used to be able to look up purchase information from the registry but they cannot anymore. He again told me that I should contact my relatives and get a receipt. I asked him if he thought that was tacky, and he agreed. I informed him that I would be escalating this issue, and offered to allow him to escalate it himself, which he was completely uninterested in.

When I went out into the parking lot and loaded the packages back into the car, I called the only phone number I could find which was on my registry printout. After verifying my information with the person on the other end of the phone, she proceeded to tell me that everything the person told me in the store was correct and there was nothing she could do to help me. I went over the same argument points with her that I went over with the person in the store: that it was tacky to call someone for a receipt and that Target knew when and where those items were purchased. She did tell me one thing that the person inside did not mention, that our registry was created before this policy change took place. She told me that gift receipts print out automatically and that it was the gift giver’s responsibility to make sure a receipt was given with the gift. I told her that I found this policy hard to believe, since in the time I have been shopping in Target since this policy change not one of the cashiers have told me that gifts I give from a registry can no longer be looked up and the person MUST get a receipt or gift receipt.

I informed the person on the phone that I would be informing all of my friends of the customer-unfriendly practices at Target, but I also wanted to contact a person of authority at Target to give them a chance to rethink this anti-consumer policy. Low and behold though, while searching for the e-mail address of someone I could contact at Target HQ I found this story, which is another formerly loyal customer with the same issue.

Target: You’re logging registry purchases. We know it. You know it. Your employees know it. I understand that fighting internal and external shrink is important but intentionally removing the ability of team members to verify purchase information is ludicrous. I am not asking for a refund, just the ability to make an exchange for a gift that I can actually use. This is not an unreasonable request.

Also, FWIW: Elder-Beerman had no trouble looking up a duplicate gift I received there. They even issued me a gift card so I could order a china set that they didn’t have in the store. I guess you really do get what you pay for.


PREVIOUSLY: Target Bungles Wedding Registry, Won’t Exchange Duplicate Gifts Without Receipts
(Photo: pdxmac )


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    Isn’t the point of the registry to make sure you get things you like and you don’t get two of the same thing?

  2. bohemian says:

    Ugh. Target’s gift receipt is a double edged sword. Gift receipts don’t have prices on them. But without one under their policy they can refuse exchanges and returns.

  3. Finine says:

    Some friends of ours recently had this same trouble with baby registry at Target. I think they were able to get gift cards for use in-store? DH and I were married last year and registered at both Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. We did not have to return or exchange any items from Target but we did for several items from BBB. One was for a metal colander that broke 2 months after the wedding – we took it back and they let us exchange it no questions asked. The other item was a defective $100 coffee maker and they did not argue about that one either.

  4. Jenng says:

    While I think it is a stupid policy and I do have empathy for you. It is clearly stated on Target’s website and under the wedding registry site. [] I wonder when they changed the policy, back when I got married we exchanged plenty of stuff we didn’t have gift receipts for at Target with no problems. But this was some time ago. It’s a shame they are going to loose a lot of customers for this policy. It truly is absurd. I mean at least give peeps a store credit… sheesh.

  5. VikingP77 says:

    Target blows!

  6. SkittleKicks says:

    I had the same issue – I ended up with an extra George Foreman grill – it made a wonderful present for my friend who has no issue with regifting, thankfully.

  7. Techguy1138 says:

    Well, I know now that I’ll be removing my Target registry for my wedding.

    The advantage of having a store registry is the ability to exchange gifts if there is a problem. Bed Bath and Beyond and Crate and Barrel can do exchanges no problem.

    I’ll just remove Target, with permission ^_^’, and set up an amazon registry.

  8. boss_lady says:

    I can’t believe they still haven’t changed this policy for registry gifts. I understand requesting receipts for refunds/exchanges on everyday purchases, but as the writer says, they have proof of purchase with the registry’s information/logs.

  9. dragonvpm says:

    @B: Used to be. Now it’s just a way to get us to help the stores lure in our friends in family.

  10. chris101d says:

    Except for their return Snafu’s I still love target..

  11. silencedotcom says:

    @SkittleKicks: Darn! Regifting was going to be my suggestion!

  12. Geekybiker says:

    Yup, I scratched target off the list for my registry due to their return policy. Thats several thousand in potential business lost.

  13. At bed Bath & Beyond, you can return items that you had on your registry for CASH without a receipt.

  14. Hamm Beerger says:

    “Target: You’re logging registry purchases. We know it. You know it. Your employees know it.”

    Well, obviously they aren’t logging all registry purchases, or you wouldn’t have received two of something.

    It’s a stupid policy, they should at least give you store credit. Registry at Crate&Barrel for weddings and at Babies ‘R’ Us for babies. Both of them do returns without receipt no problem.

  15. freshyill says:

    I think Target is right here. This is really no different than somebody walking in and trying to return something without a receipt. The fact that you registered for it doesn’t really come into play. Sure they could accommodate you, but I don’t think they are obligated to.

  16. samurailynn says:

    We received silverware from Bed Bath & Beyond and about 3 months later the stainless steel set had rust spots all over. I called and asked if there was anything I could do and they said “bring it in, we’ll give you cash or a store credit”, I said “but I don’t have the original packaging”, they said “that’s okay, do you still have most of the pieces?”

    Basically, Bed Bath & Beyond has always been willing to do whatever it takes to make their customers happy.

  17. I for one can say this is a load of hooey. Just because it is a company policy doesn’t mean it is enforced by the Third Reich.
    I’m getting married here in another month and a half.
    My fiance had a shower a month or so ago and we got like 12 towels when we only registered for 6. They all still had the original tags on them and had come from Target. The only problem is that we didn’t have the receipt or gift receipts for any of them.
    Did Target turn us away? No they didn’t.
    They gave us a gift card and accepted the return. No problems at all.
    This all happened in Eastern Iowa.

  18. B says:

    This many comments and still nobody’s blaming the customer? Here’ I’ll give you a starting point. You were married three days ago and now you’re fighting with Target? Go on a honey moon, enjoy wedded bliss for a few days and then worry about duplicate gifts.

  19. missdona says:

    @samurailynn: BB&B gave me a sick deal on a floor model Dyson and then threw in attachments that they had sitting around. Then they let me use a coupon. I love them.

  20. johnva says:

    @freshyill: Yes, Target CAN have a policy like this. That doesn’t meant it’s a good policy from a customer service perspective. Specifically because of their unfriendly return procedures, my fiancee and I have basically decided not to register with Target, when we had been seriously considering doing so. And I doubt we’re alone. So their policy is directly causing them to lose business. We will probably go to Amazon instead for the type of item we would have registered at Target for.

  21. D.B. Cooper-Nichol says:

    Target’s recent changes to the return policy have made it an absolutely abysmal place to shop. Another example: I bought one of those fancy Target-exclusive, name-designer clocks. A few months later, after the thing completely refused to keep time, the store refused to accept it back b/c it was beyond 90 days. My only recourse was to “send it to the manufacturer” (which was TARGET!!!) at my own expense (we’re talking a 20 inch clock, weighing about 15 lbs, PLUS add in a $5 “handling fee.”

    After an exhausting 60 minutes of haggling, I had to resort to the nonsense of buying an identical new clock, then returning “that” clock with my new receipt. I despite being forced to participate in such a sham, but if a store won’t stand behind its own house-brand products, I don’t know what else I can do.

    In the future, I won’t buy anything that can break from Target.

  22. chrispiss says:

    This wasn’t the case at all with my wife and I. We registered, and they took care of returns without receipts no problem, as long as it was on our registry.

    Target kicks ass.

  23. NYGal81 says:

    Target is the devil when it comes to returns of just about any type. We had the misfortune of getting an off-registry gift, with Target tag still attached, and we were “lucky enough” to be able to exchange it for ONE item (since I only had one item) of equal or GREATER value from the particular sub-department of the store that the original item came from. I wasn’t even asking for cash back! I would have gladly accepted store credit. I certainly wasn’t trying to rip them off. I have had NO problems at any of the other registry sites I received gifts from (Macys & BB&B).

  24. quail says:

    Yep, Target went NeoNazis with the receipt rules. But they were being grossly taken advantage of before. A ex-sister-in-law of mine was black listed from Target for bringing in too returns without receipts. (The family strongly suspects she and a friend were stealing and returning things for the cash.) But with today’s modern age, why can’t they use sales off of the gift registry and original packaging as proof?

  25. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:


    I wonder when they changed the policy

    They’ve been steadily making their return policy more and more anti-consumer for a long time. The final step (no returns at all without a receipt) was this past December

    Dec 3 2007
    Apr 1 2007

    What’s really sad is that when Target first started up (in my area of the country, anyway), they had a months long advertising blitz bragging about how generous, easy and consumer friendly their “no questions asked” return policy was.

    I still shop at Target, but only for low cost items that I’m certain I won’t be returning

  26. StellaSquash says:

    every time I shop at Target they ask if I want gift receipts. All the buyer had to do was tape it to the item, or put it in the card, or staple it to the bride’s forehead.

    It doesn’t list the price because it’s a GIFT. Just because she had a wedding registry and an item that is listed on it doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed she’s an honest person and that item came from Target.

    Target is covering their butts. Not with the customer in mind, but still, it’s their butts.

  27. RokMartian says:

    I can see potential for abuse too – I set up a registry, buy something and then return it with a receipt. Then I go grab one off the shelf and return it, saying it is a duplicate from the registry.

    Target probably can’t win with this. If they were to continue tracking the specific sales on the registry, it wouldn’t be long before some *cough* consumer site complains about privacy concerns and they shouldn’t be doing that.

    The registry should make it clear to the guest making the purchase to include a gift receipt, then there wouldn’t be an issue.

  28. maxmax says:

    Another factoid about Target gift registries: Any Team Member can add to it, including checkout staff. My now wife and I registered through Target, and it wasn’t long before we got some phone calls from family asking why we registered for cat litter!! Turns out, my sister was buying some things for herself at the same time she was buying for us. When she told the cashier, the cashier helpfully added my sister’s entire purchase to our registry! Fortunately she didn’t buy anything too personal that day.

    We had a similar experience with Macy’s. One helpful wedding guest did some comparison shopping off our registry there and supposedly found the same item cheaper somewhere else. They proceeded to call Macy’s and ask them to remove the item from our registry, which they did without telling us. Unfortunately, the items were not identical, and our remaining guests were prevented from buying us what we wanted. Now we’re stuck with a gift we can’t return, and we didn’t get what we asked for.

    Thankfully the wedding went off well, and there was only one box of cat litter on our gift table at the reception. :)

  29. sleze69 says:

    After I read Chrissy’s original story of Target’s horrible wedding registry, I have steered 3 couples away from them in favor of Bed, Bath and Beyond. I’ll be forwarding this new story onto them to re-affirm my recommendation.

  30. musitron says:


    Are you high? There’s a HUGE MAJOR difference here between a person walking in with no receipt and a person on the Target gift registry:

    THE REGISTRY IS BASICALLY FREE BUSINESS TO TARGET. If I register for my wedding/baby/whatever at Target, that’s like me telling my family and friends “YOU MUST SHOP AT TARGET.”

    For the “privilege” of the customer providing them what is essentially a captive audience, they could at least throw a bone or two to said customer.


  31. littlemoose says:

    Do any of you think it is tacky to tuck the gift receipt (no prices, etc.) in the box with the wedding present? That’s what I usually do, just in case the couple got multiples, it doesn’t work, etc. If guests do this, they can save the couple some headaches down the line.

  32. puyro {who was banned for "junk comments" what? says:

    I always tape the gift receipt to the inside or back of the card. I fold it up neatly and just find a spot that’s out of the way. My friend’s wedding registry was at Target, so I definitely made sure their gift receipt was in the card.

  33. cashmerewhore says:

    When I was married in September, I returned a gift past the 90 day limit and still received purchase price as a store credit.

    I think I had the gift receipt though, even though they looked it up on our registry.

  34. johnva says:

    @littlemoose: No, I don’t think it’s tacky, and I’m sure it’s much appreciated in many cases. But a lot of people probably don’t even think about it, and/or don’t realize how important this would be given Target’s policies. And I do think it’s somewhat embarrassing to the couple to have to call and ask people for any receipts that weren’t included just because of the store policy.

  35. johnva says:

    @cashmerewhore: They made the policy worse in December, so possibly after your wedding.

  36. Jenng says:

    I like Target and think its a shame, but at this point its better than Crap-Mart. The thing that really annoys me about our Target is on all the doors it states that they will not let people solicit outside their stores so that their customers can enjoy their shopping experience however for over two months now there has been some organization standing outside with their TV tray and their bucket asking for donations… If you are going to go so far as having a policy printed on all of your front doors you think you would at least enforce it…

  37. Optimistic Prime says:

    Many of the people who work for Target won’t use Target’s registry for either wedding or baby because it’s too much of a hassle…

  38. fluiddruid says:

    @quail: Some restrictions are fine. However, I think that Wal-Mart’s policy is more reasonable: with photo ID, you can get a limited number of returns accepted without receipt (3 in 6 months, as I recall).

    I hardly ever return anything, but, it makes me angry that Target has become so difficult. If defeating fraud is the point, why can’t they track transactions by my credit card? Why put the onus solely on the customer?

  39. a_brown-eyed_grrl says:

    I had the same problem. The gift receipt included apparently did not belong to the gift. The gift was $30, and I said store credit would be fine. They said they could only give store credit without a receipt for $25. I said fine, give me credit for $25. They said they couldn’t do that because the item was $30, and would I like a bag for it? I gave my best, “No, dumbass” look and expressed my regret for registering at Target. Other places I registered at have MUCH better customer service. Target lost me as a customer.

    Yes, you should include gift receipts, but when a guest doesn’t do that, you’re SOL at Target.

    Anyone need a set of mixing bowls? I have three.

  40. OKJeff says:

    I’d recommend Babies R Us for baby shower registries. They have no problem taking back items without a reciept if they were on your registry. I have done it many times.

  41. overbysara says:

    Lesson: Don’t register at Target.

  42. Jenng says:


    I know Target can track by debit/credit card or written check in their system. I don’t know if they have stopped this but last year I returned something I lost the receipt to and the gal just asked for my card I used to purchase the item and they were able to track my purchase in their system and I was able to get a refund. Again I’m not sure if this has changed or not.

  43. DwightIsMyCopilot says:

    I had so many problems with their wedding registry three years ago that I ended up scrapping it and going with Bed Bath and Beyond. Target’s merchandise is constantly discontinued and they never scan anything that IS found on the registry properly. After a month of constantly having to update my Target registry, I just said ‘nevermind’ and went with BB&B. I’m so glad I did.

    Now that my husband and I are having a baby, Target is the last place I will ever consider registering. I ended up registering at Babies R Us yesterday. After Target’s shenanigans with improperly scanning and now with their new “no receipt, no refund” policy, I actually am considering discontinuing shopping there.

  44. steveliv says:

    don’t forget that at target, some refunds are based on the current price, not the price listed on the receipt. Guess what happens when the $35.00 item you want a refund for is on clearance for $1.99. Yup, you only get $1.99 back!

  45. amyschiff says:

    @Hamm Beerger: sometimes people buy something they see on the registry but neglect to mention that it was a registry purchase…

    I’m surprised that Target wouldn’t even give a gift card. Even Kmart would allow you to return something without a receipt and just give you in-store credit.

  46. DH405 says:

    Having bought for a friend’s baby registry at Target and then checking afterwords, I found the problem causing people to double-buy. The registry isn’t updated until the NEXT DAY!

    So, you can buy that toy or walker thing or whatever it is babies need in the morning, and it’s still printing with the registry list that night when someone else gets there. Not cool.

  47. Ask for a gift receipt if you’re giving people a gift from Target, I guess.

  48. Amazonian says:

    If the item came from, you can actually get the order number if you call in. That allows you to print of the in-store return receipt. Yeah, it’s a big hassle, but uses basically nothing but drop shippers so the packing slips are all different.

  49. insightpatch says:

    Above: Reason number one why one should not have a gift registry at Target.

    Reason number two? After applying at a local Target for a job (which I did not get), I had to sit and wait for a manager to meet-and-greet me and inform me of what would happen within the following week. While there, a pair of girls brought back a few items they had purchased for a friend’s baby shower. Apparently, the registry was in the same name as another customer, and so the items they got were essentially marked as being purchased on this matching list while the items they bought weren’t needed for their friend at all.

    Thankfully, this was an error caught before the shower and could be corrected in a timely fashion, but I can imagine some very… interesting complications that this could have caused.

    Especially if the recipient needed the receipt to return the junk they had no use for.

  50. Pro-Pain says:

    No receipt = no refund = no purchases @ Target. Wow, that was easy! NEXT!

  51. CoenzymeQ says:

    Even with a gift receipt, Target will only give back store credit. I bought my fiance’s cousin a dvd from Target for his birthday, which he already owned. I made sure to include a gift receipt with his gift, but when he went to return it to Target refused to give him cash only store credit, which he didn’t want.

    This was 3 years ago, I haven’t bought a gift at Target since and I I used Kohl’s to set up my wedding registry which has a great return policy.

    The funny thing is the cousin was able to return the dvd for cash at Walmart, no problem. Target used to be my favorite store so it’s pretty sad to see them being beat in customer service by Walmart.

  52. Donathius says:

    Crap…well it’s too late for me and my fiancee (the wedding’s this Saturday), but I’ll make sure to warn my friends in the future.

  53. graymulligan says:


    With a receipt, they give you back the purchase price shown on the receipt. At least they did as of Sunday.

  54. MCShortbus says:

    Wow, glad to hear about this. One of my friends from high school is getting married in July and has her registry with Target. Good bit of info. Thanks Consumerist!

    -makes mental note to keep receipt-

  55. karmaghost says:

    I’m getting married this August and we avoided Target for just this reason.

  56. JoeInRaleigh says:

    “”Target: You’re logging registry purchases. We know it. You know it. Your employees know it.”

    Well, obviously they aren’t logging all registry purchases, or you wouldn’t have received two of something.”

    That is dead wrong. A wedding registry should not stop you from buying a duplicate. It should however tell you how many the couple asked for, and how many have already been purchased. It is then YOUR option as to whether you want to purchase a duplicate. Can you imagine the complaining you would find on here if the registry physically stopped you from buying something?

  57. Scoobatz says:

    This is a horrible policy. While I’ll agree that Target has no obligation to make accommodations in this situation, it’s simply bad business.

    My wife and I registered at Bed Bath & Beyond when we got married a few years ago. With about 300 attending guests, we had over $8000 of items on our registery. And, let me tell you, that included a ton of shit that nobody needs. Needless to say, we returned over $1500 worth of items and received cash. Some of our returned items had no receipts and some weren’t even on the registry. We returned everything without a problem. Could it be that we gave them over $6500 in unexpected business?

  58. andystep12 says:

    I’m registered there for my wedding in August.
    Maybe we won’t be any more, unless they fix this.

  59. nick_r says:

    This might be one of the few issues where an online petition actually could make a difference. If enough people sign a petition saying that they will NOT register at Target until they revoke the policy, then Target will have a hard number of sales they’re losing which the beancounters will be forced to compare to whatever the alleged benefit of the policy is.

  60. kabuk1 says:

    I don’t shop at target much anymore simply because they’re becoming so damn elitist(and the selection of things I liked to buy there is slowly diminishing). They’re friggin’ TARGET fer chrissakes, ONE step above WALMART, yet they seem to have the opinion that they are on the level of Dillards or Nordstroms. I understand a stiff return policy, which is why I keep EVERY receipt(other than for stuff like disposable razors & stuff) until the return cutoff point, but this is kind of silly. Like others have said, the registry shows it was purchased, I don’t see why she cant just exchange it for something she needs.

  61. Nickel3 says:

    I had the same experience. The first time my return from the registry was refused, I tried another nearby Target thinking I got a grouchy customer associate / manager. At the second Target I received the same response. The manager said that the policy for registries was very recently changed & they could not accept anything over $25 dollars for credit. I was able to get one gift receipt, but we are stuck with several duplicates of items it would be unwise to sell off on e-bay (ie: glassware). One Target worker said that I could give the item back to the gift giver and have them return it for credit, or see if they would give me their credit card information to make the return myself. It is very sad, and with many friends getting married in the near future, I will be sure to make them aware of Target’s poor customer service.

  62. nikegolf05 says:


    Lucky for you. A couple that I know who were recently married were not allowed to return an item with an expired gift receipt. The item was purchased around 3 months before the wedding and because of the honeymoon and getting settled after the wedding they didn’t realize until it was too late. I’m a former Target peon and will still shop there for many things, but a wedding registry does not sound like a good idea to me anymore.

  63. joellevand says:

    FWIW, many big box retailers ask for your phone number during a purchase for exactly that reason: so they can exchange or refund what is being returned.

    Also, when I got married, my husband and I registered at Macy’s, and we had no problem returning items from the registry without a receipt.

  64. crichton007 says:

    Has anyone ever heard of a little thing called a gift receipt?

  65. Kajj says:

    @crichton007: Has… anyone ever heard of a thing called reading?

  66. terrabyte says:

    I bought a gift on a Target registry six months before the wedding, which I could not attend. A month after the wedding, I got an email from Target saying the item was out of stock and my money would be refunded. I was mortified. I used to shop at my local Target every other month or so, but after this experience two years ago, I haven’t been back.

  67. rmt0058 says:

    It’s sad the way Target’s return policy interferes with the otherwise great registry system. As a cashier at Target, I think I’ve figured out how to make it work for you.

    If you’re buying a gift off a registry, MAKE SURE you inform the cashier BEFORE (s)he starts scanning your items. As long as you notify your cashier that there’s a registry to be cleared, it’s their responsibility to take care of that. But tell them early in the transaction, because after (s)he hits the Total key, things can become a little tricky. Once your receipt prints out, the cashier is then supposed to inform you of the gift receipt that comes attached to your itemized receipt. Once you leave the store, you are responsible for attaching the gift receipt to the gift in some form or fashion. Of course, sometimes there will be errors, such as the computer system having an off-day and your items ending up not cleared from the registry (which has happened more than once at my store), or your cashier is just either a. lazy or b. spiteful (also completely plausible scenarios).
    I know returns are a bitch, but it’s possible to play within the system and not get screwed. All it takes is a little responsibility on the part of the employee and the buyer.

  68. Lucky225 says:

    In targets defense, they do print a receipt AND gift receipt, I found this out buying a pack of condoms from there once, I asked if they happened to be defective and a pregnancy resulted if they could be returned.

  69. farker says:

    A) Target and many big-box stores are VERY particular about their return policies because they are targets for return fraud. There are many ways crooks could defraud a company by trying to return an item to Target that was bought elsewhere (many stores sell identical items, obviously), so they’re trying to cover their own asses in this instance.

    B) Sure, it may be a little tacky to ask your relatives for a receipt, but so was them not giving you a gift receipt, or not doing the registry purchase correctly! I don’t see why calling up Uncle Jimbo and saying “Hey, got two griddles, I need the receipt for it so I can exchange the one you gave me for something else I need”

    C) Target should try to work with this lady to see if they can get her the items she needs, but I don’t see much else they can do if their stated return policy is clear.

  70. Leiterfluid says:

    @bohemian: That’s the whole point of the gift receipt. So that the recipient can get the gift, and the option to exchange it without knowing exactly how much you spent on it.

    Besides, every Target I go to automatically provides gift receipts with every purchase. Don’t blame target because whomever gave you the gifts weren’t thinking clearly.

    I got married in ’04, and was registered at Target. Maybe my expectations have been lowered over the years, but Target is one of my favorite places to shop.

  71. loudambiance says:

    That’s odd, my wife and I had our registry at Target (June of 2006) and we got multiples of a couple items, however Target took them back and gave us store credit no problem.

  72. neworlenzgirl says:

    “No receipt = no refund = no purchases @ Target. Wow, that was easy! NEXT!”

    Really, folks, it doesn’t get any simpler.

    All this stuff about “just tell the check-out lady” such-n-such, or tape a receipt (Oy vey!), or whatever…..all that is, is one too many complications, simple or not, especially when you add in everything else your day consists of.

    Not only that, but let’s say you’re a bride whose registered at Target, and let’s say it’s a pretty large wedding, the bread-n-butter kind most stores desire, it isn’t simply about making sure you keep hold of the receipts for items you want to return, it’s that on top of all the other gifts, on top of everything else you have to deal with, meanwhile there’s other stores that allow for MUCH simplier, hassle-free returns.

    Seriously, this is a no brainer. Register and shop elsewhere.

    Besides, have you seen their stocks lately? Like the downward slope of a kid’s backyard slide….and I have a feeling they won’t be going upwards for a while.


  73. JonasElectryon says:

    Thanks to reading the Consumerist, I talked my Fiancée out of registering
    with Target. She didn’t believe me, or the articles and posts from everyone
    here. She actually called the gift registry at Target and got the same
    answers: no returns without a receipt, it may be tacky but it’s the policy,
    yadda yadda yadda. She cancelled our registry at Target and we have now
    registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond and Macie’s. Forget Target. With
    everything going on getting ready for our wedding, I don’t need one more
    thing to worry about. Thanks everyone for all your advance scouting…

  74. DantePD says:

    This is actually his (name above’s) Fiance. It is a well known fact amongst a blogging group I belong to that Target BLOWs for registries. Don’t bother, I did because I have family members that refuse to shop at Bed, Bath & Beyond which is the other place we registered. I did however put on my wedding blog that if you buy from there…please, please, PLEASE….include a gift receipt as Target is stupid…for the aforementioned reasons. It is *not* entirely the customers fault, but then again people seem to think fine print excuses a company from all responsibility.

    It should be noted that this policy is *new* and any “registries” before late 2007 were subject to the logical “hey if it’s on your registry you can return it no questions asked” policy.

    Just register at Bed, Bath & Beyond, they’ll take anything back and they give an awesome “completion” sale after your wedding for items on your registry.

  75. stephenjames716 says:

    I am getting married next summer, I love target, but will not be using them for the registry after reading multiple stories like this.

    Such a shame. Clean up your act target.

  76. WickedKoala says:

    Return the items to Bed Bath and Beyond – they’ll take anything. Doesn’t matter if you bought it there or not – if it’s an item they sell as well they’ll take it.

  77. MattO says:

    i just got married and had the exact samething happen. HOWEVER, at the store i was at, they did offer any item under $25, they would give me the store credit for what it was selling for at that time. they said of course there is no way of knowing what it sold for to the person who bought it. turns out, from what i remember, if the person bought it at target online, you can log onto your registry and print out a reciept from their purchase – thus allowing you to return it.

    our biggest problem was the fact that there was no way to get a reciept since the items were SHIPPED to us – hence the online printing of the reciepts.

    will NEVER recoommend a registry there to anyone

  78. This is really funny, it really is.
    Are people really that lazy that they can’t tape a little receipt to a present? It isn’t too hard.
    I worked in retail for over 10 years and all I can say is that the people who return stuff without receipts annoy the piss out of us. They really do.
    It isn’t that hard to tape a receipt to a purchase. It really isn’t. Oh boo hoo, you’re too busy in your hectic day to take 2 seconds to tape something to your purchase.
    Here’s a tip. Not just at Target, but everywhere else, ask the cashier to tape the receipt or gift receipt to the package. They’ll understand why and they’ll be happy to do it.
    “The customer is always right” is not law. I don’t know of any store that has that as their policy and they shouldn’t. Customers need to take responsibility for their screwups.

  79. oneguynamedjosh says:

    my wife and i had the same problem when we got married. their return policy is ridiculous now. my wife used to shop there at least twice a week, but now we go rarely, if ever.

    we were told it is to prevent shrinkage because ppl will take something off the shelf and then try to return it. if wal-mart can put a senior citizen at the door to put a sticker on things you bring in to return, can’t target figure it out too? they’ve already got security guards standing at the door doing nothing, sounds like a good job for them.

    i never thought i’d see the day when wal-mart’s customer service beat out target’s, but apparently armageddon has come…

  80. teapartys_over says:

    @Terd_Ferguson: This is an old thread, I know, but are you serious? Whether or not you think they’re lazy or “should” attach a gift receipt, the fact is that Target is in competition with lots of other wonderful stores who make returns beyond easy. Why on earth should anyone settle for sub-standard customer service when they don’t have to? To make the retail clerk’s life easier? It doesn’t work that way. Workers like you are the same people who are surprised when their store goes out of business and they lose their job. Nobody owes you or your employer a paycheck – you either need to be as good as the other guys or expect to lose business, it’s that simple. Sounds to me like you’re the one who’s whining here.

  81. BenettaAmphithea says:

    Okay, I know people are saying it should be a no brainer to not
    register at Target…but I registered there for my wedding a year ago,
    unknowing their horrible return policy, because I’d never had to
    return things to Target before.

    We registered there, had our wedding April 5th, 2008 and ended up with
    a few duplicate gifts. I did the very same thing the OP did, went in
    with my registry print out, expecting to be able to use it as a
    receipt, just like all the other stores I registered at did.

    They of course wouldn’t let my husband and I get store credit for
    anything that didn’t have a receipt and kept telling us to “simply
    call your wedding guests and we can look up the receipt.”

    Um, no…I wasn’t about to call my older family members (who were the
    ones who forgot receipts in the first place) and ask them to call
    Target to give them their credit card number to look up a duplicate
    receipt!! And what if they paid with cash?? Can’t really look that up.

    Anyway, we asked to talk to the manager, basically just to personally
    let him know that we were two loyal customer who were very
    disappointed with the return policy and explain that we just wanted to
    spend more money at Target, we just wanted store credit. After
    listening to us for about 10 minutes, he was like….you need the
    leave our store.

    Do huh?

    We were standing in Customer Service, talking about an issue we had
    with the manager….and he picked up the phone and called the city
    cops on us. A city cop always patrols that shopping center so he was
    inside in no time. He said we would be arrested for trespassing if we
    did not leave. At that point, there was nothing we could do….you
    can’t talk back to a cop unless you wanna go to jail.

    So we had to leave. It was RIDICULOUS! We were arguing for the right
    to spend more money in that stupid store and Target decided to call
    the cops and kick us out rather than do what they needed to to make us
    happy and come shop there again.

    Needless to say, we’ve called corporate, we’ve written letters, and
    gotten no love from Target. About the cop thing, they told us that the
    manager simply must have felt threatened if he had to call the police.
    (We never even caused a scene, I can only figure he called the cops
    b/c he wanted to stop talking to us fast.)

    So yeah, not only am I telling everyone I know not to register there
    EVER…..I am personally never shopping there again. I’ve never been
    treated so crappy by customer service in my life!

  82. neworlenzgirl says:

    Amen, Teaparty! Well, said….

    It’s not about laziness, it’s intelligence.

  83. XanderSan says:

    A similar thing happened at John Lewis in the UK for my brother’s wedding. We wanted to exchange a clock our dad bought from the gift-list because it turned out to be much larger in person than we thought it would. However, they insisted instore that we have a receipt despite there clearly being a record online that someone had bought the clock which was sitting there in our hands. I understand that they may be screwed over by people in the past, but in this particular case the clock had been devalued since the gift-list was arranged, so it was actually only worth £14.99 now.

    They backed down after we got the receipt from our dad, but they refused to give us the full price that he bought it back before it was devalued. Huge pain, and over £14.99 in the end? It wasn’t like we were trying to get a refund of an espresso machine or anything. Sure as hell picking somewhere else if I get married. Hopefully somewhere mercifully cheaper.

  84. Mike says:

    I had *no problem* returning items at Target after my wedding. In fact, the experience was honestly better than I expected it to be. No gift receipt? No problem, as long as the item is on your registry.

    Not on the registry? No problem. We’ll take it back and give you store credit in the form of a gift card. And you know what? A Target gift card is basically as good as cash.

  85. dr3w807 says:

    I read consumerist alot, I read this everyday and quite frankly I’m getting tired of all the target bashing. I’ve worked at target for almost a year and until recently I worked at the guest service counter. Since I’ve been there the return policy has not changed it’s posted everywhere in the front of the store, it’s posted in the aisles that are most frequented for gifts, it’s on you receipt too. Just because a item is on a registry doesn’t mean you get a special treatment, it doesn’t mean the rules don’t apply to you, grow a spine and tell the person who bought you the gift that you got another and you need the receipt or that you really don’t like what they got you. I’m not trying to say everything that target does is right all I’m saying is they are not trying to screw you over, they are just trying to do their job, if you want something changed email corporate or send in a comment card
    (they really do get mailed and read).

  86. illflux says:

    …Thank you, Mike. Now return to your executive desk at Target headquarters.

    I’ll be getting married in November, and Target was the first and primary store at which my fiancee wanted to register because she likes their products. However, as soon as we heard all the horror stories of how much Target are dicks about returns related to wedding registries, we decided to take our registering elsewhere. I think this is really going to backfire on Target, because they’re treating every customer like they’re out to cheat the store. Sounds like it already may be backfiring. Target needs to realize that the gym teacher punishment (i.e. – one or two people fuck up, so everybody gets punished) is going to breed a lot of resentment among those of us who *aren’t* out to run a scam.

  87. v0ice says:

    Target is only alienating their customers with this stupid, stupid policy. Follow Walmart and Best Buy’s lead and post someone at the front door. It ain’t that damn hard. What they’re really saying is that they aren’t smart enough to figure out a way to keep theft down, so screw the consumer.

  88. zoomer54 says:

    As long as it is under 20.00, they will refund back on a gift card. You have to use your license to do this and you can only do this 2 times in one year.

  89. zoomer54 says:

    The amounts that you can return have changed twice in the past 2 years with out any fanfare to let people know. It used to be 100.00 then 40.00 then 20.00 with out a reciept. You used to be able to print a bar code page for the registry to return gift itmes- this also went away with out informing the shoppers other then by word of mouth when they were registering. Yes, othr companys want shoppers to be happy ,so they will do what ever it takes to keep them happy. Target is looking at its bottom line only!!!!

  90. icanoop says:

    I just got ripped off by this policy. Now I’m stuck with duplicate baking pans and a $50 accessory for a kitchen appliance that I didn’t get. I’m never shopping at Target again. I hope all of you won’t either. Make sure you tell everyone you know not to register at Target.

  91. QuinlanAstyanax says:

    I work at Target. At least once a day, we get people coming into the store
    with nothing in their hands (or sometimes all they have is a receipt), and
    within minutes they are back at the guest service desk attempting to
    “return” merchandise that they just took off of the shelf. That is why
    Target has such a strict policy on returns. If they allowed all returns,
    even without a receipt, many more people would try to get away with it. Of
    course not everyone commits return fraud, but it is those people who ruin it
    for all.

    If you want to compare Target with Bed Bath and Beyond, all you need to do
    is spend a day in each store and it will become very obvious to you that
    Target tends to bring in a different crowd of people that BBB does not.
    Target has to deal with shoplifters and fraudulent activity, and even
    sophisticated crime rings. And especially with all you Target haters out
    there and what you have to say, it just gives criminals justification for
    their actions because they can say they’re “sticking it to the man.”

    It’s convenient to place the blame on Target, isn’t it? You don’t have
    personal friendships and family ties with Target. But the real issue you
    should be dwelling on is that the givers of the gift were forgetful and
    misplaced the gift receipt. You see, the gift registry only shows that an
    item was purchased, not the specific one you have. It doesn’t provide
    information about when it was purchased, which day, at which register, and
    by which cashier. The gift receipt contains all of that information,
    information that can be used to verify the purchase. I’m not calling you a
    criminal, because I’m sure you aren’t. But the fact is that Target’s policy
    is so strict for a reason. It’s not because they want to make life miserable
    for people, which seems to be common belief. The fact that the policy
    changed means that too many people were being dishonest. And as I’ve said,
    they’re the ones who ruin it for everyone.

    And here’s the best part: with a gift registry, once an item has already
    been purchased, the computer shows that it has already been purchased. Your
    friend would have to have bought it anyways, with the knowledge that it was
    already purchased. And once a cashier scans a registry, the transaction
    prints out a gift receipt on its own, so the buyer does not even need to ask
    for it. So if you don’t have the receipt, you can’t blame Target.

  92. Anonymous says:

    I just received a wedding invitation which included a note that the couple was registered at Target. I know … I know. Iit is tacky to include that in the invitation… But I swallowed my distaste and brought up Target online to see what the currently happy couple wants from Target. I saw your site and I am glad that I did. Because of what I learned, I will NOT be buying a wedding gift for this couple from Target. I want them to stay happy despite their bad decision to register at Target. What a racket the store has going…. JSG in Oregon