Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What's Your Return Policy?

I've been known to return everything from a pair of shoes to a meal that had a hair in it. Why not? If something doesn't do what it is advertised to do, I don't want to pay for it and I'm pretty sure I ordered Shrimp over Angel Hair, not Human Hair. But some people shy away from the "return" - here are some tips to do it easily and effectively - with as little drama as possible.

1. Keep your receipts!! This is the number one secret to a successful return, I've done it without, but with it is so much easier. When I buy something, I put the receipt in my wallet and then when I get home or I can't shut my wallet anymore, I put all receipts in a manila folder marketed 2011. That way if I have a problem, I quickly look through the folder and find the receipt.
*Added bonus - when it is time to do the taxes - all my receipts are right there!

2. Keep any tags that might be helpful. I once bought a throw rug that said "5 year guarantee" - I stapled that to the receipt -if I had been really good, I would have circled the date on my calender for 5 years later!

3. Don't be afraid to speak up!! I know this can be hard, but be polite, state the facts and then be quiet - most places want to please the customer and I do mean "most" and if they don't ask for the manager. My brother and I just went to pick up pizza for the fam. and knew they had overcharged us. As we explained it to the cashier, we knew she wasn't getting it- so I made eye contact with the owner, he immediately came over, looked at the receipt and fixed it - no problem.

4. Don't over explain. When returning a backpack that Colin had for less than a month, I simply pointed out that the straps were ripped and I had only bought it a month wait for it... OK, here's your money. I used to think I had to offer a huge explanation when in fact, they don't care.

5. Express your loyalty. Explain how your family has eaten here, shopped here, got your haircut here for many years and you have always been happy with the service/product. Making a friend works better than alienating one.

6. Know the policy before you buy. Dylan just bought a used piece of equipment from the music store. Before he paid, he asked about their return policy - they said he had a few days. So he immediately went home and used it. It ended up not being compatible with the other equipment he had - so back it went - no problem. But if he had waited to use it, or we had waited to return it, that might not have been the case.

7. Some stores are better than others. LL Bean has an unbelievable return policy, so I bought a hammock from them knowing that in a few years it would probably break -so when it did break, I called, told them when I had bought  it and they immediately mailed me out another one - free shipping!

Remember - it's your money - spend it wisely and if you aren't satisfied with your purchase, speak up with receipt in hand  - that just makes cents!


  1. Oh, I HATE returns. Actually, I think I hate the ANTICIPATION of returns more than returning it. Some stores are absolutely amazing....but then you get the others who just want to fight with you or give you the run-around. I laughed when you said don't over-explain. I do that with everything, thinking I owe everyone an explanation. My husband says I'd be HORRIBLE on the witness stand!

    ps I'm having a ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY GIVE-AWAY on my blog. Stop by! Now, THAT makes cents!!


  2. Hey Mary! I am a big fan of returning things when necessary. When my kids were little and played store, they always had a RETURN line next to the register! I guess they noticed more than I realized! Keep writing! love your blog!

    :) kimberly blest


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