Get A Gift From Target? Guard The Receipt Carefully

When giving or receiving gifts from Target, keep careful track of the gift receipt. If you don’t, the store’s policies might cause you to lose some money, then feel some rage. That’s what happened to Chris when he exchanged a set of sheets that were the wrong size. Even though he swapped them for a smaller (and thus cheaper) set, he had to pay Target extra for the privilege.

I recently purchased a house, and my mom purchased me some nice sheets from target as a housewarming gift.

Being that she lives 1000 miles away she had them sent to me; When i received them i saw that they were king size sheets, but i have a queen size bed. Somewhere along in the move i lost the gift receipt page that came along with the sheets, and after moving in i went to target to exchange the sheets for smaller ones.

The customer service lady informed me that the sheets were on sale, and that without a receipt she could not refund me the full amount; I said it wasn’t a problem, because i just wanted to exchange for queen size sheets, which are normally cheaper than king size sheets. I didn’t mind losing the money, my mom wanted me to have some sheets so thats all i cared about. She told me the sheets were on sale for 35 bucks, and refunded both of them to me, informing me that i wouldn’t be allowed to return anything else without a receipt for an entire year. Again, no problem; i just wanted some smaller sheets; I never return things to target anyway. So i take my store credit gift card and goto the back to pickup the very same sheets that are queen size, only to find out that they are actually on sale for 40 dollars, not 35…. I took the sheets up to customer service and told her what i had found, and she said that because i didn’t have a receipt, that the sheets i returned were worth less than normal. In the end, i ended up paying them 10 dollars in order to downgrade my sheets….

The sheets i returned were unopened, and my mother paid over 50 dollars for each set plus delivery. I wasn’t going to make a big deal about it, returning the sheets when they were on sale meant id lose 20 dollars; but as i found out, it really meant i lost 30 dollars.


The “You saved $19.98” note at the bottom is really the most insulting part of this whole transaction.


Edit Your Comment

  1. bnelson333 says:

    Just a bad explanation by the CSR. IIRC, without a receipt, the most they can give you is the lowest amount that item has sold for at any time in the past. So it was probably on sale for $35 some time ago. This week’s sale @ 40 just wasn’t as good.

    • fatediesel says:

      Yep, that is what I assume happened. I know when I worked at Sears if someone brought in a return without a receipt it was refunded at the lowest price the item had cost in the last 90 days. I assume that is how most stores work to prevent someone from buying something on sale and then returning it after the sale ended (either for cash or store credit depending on the store) for more than the person paid.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      Exactly, the entire return process should’ve been explained a litte better. Most places without a reciept your pretty much at their mercy. I think they even posted here about swiping drivers licenses on a return without a receipt(the only return this year). The system seems designed to stop someone from picking an item off the shelf then returning it.

      I would’ve made a greater effort to get the receipt or the information such as the credit card number that was used to buy them.

    • RedOryx says:

      IIRC from my days at one of the big bookstores, if someone returned an item without a receipt we went with the lowest cost of any available copies, including online, which are usually way cheaper than in-store copies.

      It wasn’t explained well by the CSr, but this is pretty standard practice.

  2. Ickypoopy says:

    “The sheets i returned were unopened, and my mother paid over 50 dollars for each set plus delivery.”

    It sounds like she may have ordered the sheets online; you can print out additional copies of the invoice from the website for returns. This works for almost any online store. Also great for warranties that require proof of purchase.

  3. MGlover54 says:

    Then turn around and wait for the to be “not on sale.” This has been a fairly standard practice for years. Always keep receipts safe and secure. I file mine away just for issues like this and warranty reasons.

  4. davein805 says:

    I love this site but why is this a story? I don’t understand why OP didn’t just ask his mom to send the online receipt to him so he could make a proper exchange.

    • Mpowered says:

      Also, if you pay with a credit card, Target makes it very easy to print out a duplicate receipt. You only need to go to the CS counter.

    • PLATTWORX says:

      It’s not a story. There seems to be a need to post a new “something” every couple of hours in recent months even if it has nothing to do with the purpose of the site.

  5. Ben says:

    The Targets near me also have kiosks that you can use to print out a new copy of your receipt. That might not’ve worked, though, since he wasn’t the person that actually did the ordering.

  6. Hi_Hello says:

    I never understand people without receipts. For whatever reason, people don’t have the receipts, stores SHOULD NOT have to to accept the item back. The problem is enough people complain that store made policy to accept stuff without a reciept and people still complain.

    I’m not saying the OP did this but someone could have:
    Used a stolen credit card, bought the stuff, realized it was the wrong size, and try to get a smaller cheaper size and try get the difference back? If he had the receipt, the money would’ve gone back to the stolen credit card.

    • haggis for the soul says:

      Because it seems tacky to give a gift along with its receipt. I understand the gift receipt thing, but it still just feels tacky. I’ve gotten over it, because stores are unforgiving of such things these days.

  7. jessjj347 says:

    A lot of people also steal store credit by grabbing an item from in the store and then “returning” it. That’s part of the reason why so many stores have policies to refund only the lowest selling price within a given selling period.

  8. angelmvm says:

    I don’t understand.. this shouldn’t have been a return / repurchase.. it should’ve been an exchange. Why did you have to go through all the return/repurchase garbage? I’d call the manager and explain you merely wanted to do an exchange — this never should’ve happened.

    • lemortede says:

      This is exactly what I was thinking.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      I think the whole problem is if even done as an exchange without a receipt the returned item price would’ve still been based on no receipt.

    • fantomesq says:

      The king and queen sized sets very likely have different SKU/UPC numbers so proper inventory management/accounting requires that the old item be returned into the system and the new one sold out of the system. Otherwise if they are simply exchanged without returning and reringing, then inventory counts will be off and reordering will be incorrect.

      Target did everything correct here. The OP failed for not having the receipts.

    • Kibit says:

      While he was exchanging sheets for sheets. He was also exchanging king size sheets for queen size sheets. So it was not an even exchange. Even if he just grabbed the queen size sheets to exchange with his king size sheets it still would have gone through the register and they still would have given him the lowest selling price for the sheets. He would even probably have to pay the difference if he had just exchanged for a different color since the return amount was based on the lowest selling price and not what they were currently selling for.

  9. Moongirl55 says:

    This isn’t just Target, folks. Most retailers are getting a lot pickier about taking stuff back without a receipt. You typically get the lowest sale price on the item, and store credit only. So guard ALL your receipts this season.Oh, and keep the original packaging, too.

  10. Beeker26 says:

    I dunno, I would have kept the king-sized sheets and used them anyway. They’ll still fit, you’ll just have to tuck in the extra material.

  11. Press1forDialTone says:

    Target and their gay-bashing president must die.

  12. somegraphx says:

    Target doesn’t believe in exchanges–everything is a return and repurchase. Once, a friend bought a wrong sized top for my daughter–6months instead of 9mths. It didn’t cost much and I just wanted to exchange the size and Target wouldn’t let me. My g.f didn’t keep the 5.00 receipt and I thought I could just get the bigger size. Nope.

    I didn’t want to use my “two free ‘no receipt’ returns” on a $5.00 item, nor did I want to just throw away a shirt that wasn’t the right size.

    Another time, I’d bought a top only to get home and see a tear on the sleeve. When I went to return it, couldn’t find the receipt (although I NEVER throw them away and must have 500 in my wallet). Again…same item. No return.

    Although it is hard to avoid them, I seriously think twice before buying from them.

  13. Kibit says:

    Try to keep original receipts and give original receipts too. Even if you have to do a few separate transactions. It can be a pain, but at least then you know that if a gift needs to be returned then the person you gave the gift to will get the full amount back.

    I had an issue at Gymboree last year. I bought a pair of jeans for $13.95 for my niece. After I got home I realized that I bought the wrong size. A few days later I returned them, but I accidentally grabbed the gift receipt from my receipt envelope instead of the original receipt. I went to the store and found out they were sold out of the size I needed so I decided to return the jeans. They scanned the jeans and the gift receipt and they tried to give me a refund of $4 and some change.

    I told them that I paid $13+ for them and asked why I wasn’t being refunded that amount and the sales associate said “Thats just how these receipts work” I told the lady that the whole reason for getting a gift receipt is so the gift recipient has proof of purchase and can get the full value back. I declined the refund, went home, grabbed my original receipt, then returned to the store and got my $13.95 refund.

    I was so frustrated.

    I have talked to other people who have had similar issues at other stores. What is the point of these things if they don’t work like they should???

  14. coren says:

    lol no receipt so it’s worth less. Target really takes the cake

  15. stevied says:

    Exchange versus refund.

    Can’t stores figure out the difference?

    People exchanging goods (while yes costing $ to do the paperwork and resock the product) are bonafide customers and should be treated as such. Exchanging goods should never be an issue.

    Refunds are a whole different animal. Fraud, theft etc are always a concern. Want ID or something, charge a restocking fee etc, go right ahead in my book.

    But exchanges? No way. Do it. Keep it simple. move on.

  16. StrangeEmily says:

    I worked at a store where a man tried to return two unopened boxes of Enzyte, he didn’t have a receipt and demanded store credit, the General Manager let him return them. After the customer left he did an inventory check and found out that two boxes of Enzyte had gone missing.

    Then there was this lady who tried to return a phone that was over a year old and had gotten from another company, and tried to return it at this particular one instead for a full price. When the manager on duty refused she went insane, came back 6 months to a year later and managed to get another manager to give her store credit.

    Ooooh, and recently a customer who got a Digital Camera a year ago, couldn’t remember where and tried to go through the Digital Camera display to see if she could find one that looked exactly like hers so she could pretend she got it from this Company, turned out we never sold that model ever so there goes that.

    Not to mention if you buy an item on one end of the city/state/country and go to the very same company but a different area to get it returned you can either get half your money refunded because the item is on clearance in that particular area.. OR you got it at the first area on sale/clearance and drove it to the other store across city/state/country, happened to “loose” the receipt and get full price back as store credit because its not on sale where you ended up at and make out like a bandit.

  17. gman863 says:

    Rule #1: If buying a gift for someone far, far away a gift card is usually the best option.

    Rule #2: See Rule #1

  18. PLATTWORX says:

    “The sheets i returned were unopened, and my mother paid over 50 dollars for each set plus delivery.”

    NOT blaming the OP, but would it not have been easier for all parties is mom either asked what size his bed was OR sent him a Target Gift Card? Sounds like the way the gift was purchased and presented invited problems.

  19. stanb says:

    Sorry, OP, but I side with the store on this one. I have seen too many scum bags buy something at a competitor for say $20 and then go to another store, tell them they “lost” the receipt and get $30 cash back.
    Unfortunately, even though most of us are honest people, there are enough lying scum bags out there to ruin it for the rest of us. Next time get the receipt first. Mom could have requested a gift receipt if she bought them at a Target vice online.

  20. markmark says:

    Hey, at least they didn’t ask for the receipt when you initial bought them and tried to leave the store…like Wal-Mart…

  21. yautja says:

    I’m going to have to go with the store on this one, too. The Targets I’ve seen are usually pretty kind when it comes to returns/exchanges. If you have a receipt (or if it’s something only Target sells in those red/white cardboard boxes), you’re fine. They require receipts just like anybody else in order to protect themselves from the more unscrupulous population. I’ve seen people try to return a car stereos to Target, get turned down for no receipt, walk right out the door to go to Wal-mart to try again (and 10 minutes later I saw him walk into Best Buy with the same box).

  22. sebastian tombs says:

    That’s why I like Walmart’s return policy – Target penalizes you for making in most cases an honest mistake like losing a receipt. (and who hasn’t done that at one time or another), If Target gave me in store credit hassle free I would in most cases have to use it in their store which is fine with me and more then likely I would more then likely spend more money in their store then the original store credit amount. A benefit for Target but Target’s draconian return policy is why I rarely shop there despite Target being a better store all around.With Walmart shopping is hassle free for the most part.