Keep All ReceiptsWithout a receipt some retailers may exchange merchandise, however you risk getting credit for what the lowest markdown price at which the item was sold for over the past 30 days. If you bought the item in early December at 20 percent off and it was offered at 50 percent off two weeks later, you risk only receiving an exchange value at the 50-percent-off price.
Avoid Tampering With the MerchandiseIf you think you will be returning a gift, avoid opening the packaging, especially those items which are sealed in hard plastic. Keep the original packaging including Styrofoam, plastic product wrapping, the box, instruction manuals, and all parts (including tags). If you plan returning a gift, avoid tampering with the packaging.
If you are given clothing or sleepwear, try it on for fit with tags intact and without wearing perfume, powdered deodorant or makeup which could stain the item. If merchandise appears to be worn, and unsellable, most retailers have the right to refuse to return it. No one wants to buy used merchandise.
Enclose Gift ReceiptsAsk for gift receipts and include them inside gifts you are giving. Gift receipts contain all the information needed for proof-of-purchase and pricing lookup to insure the gift recipient gets what you paid for the item.
Online ReturnsAsking the right questions before you buy online will help ease the hassle of returning the merchandise. If you have already made an online purchase and forgot to ask about the return policies, call now and ask while the phone lines are well staffed and special holiday policies are still going on. Here are questions you will want to ask before you buy a gift online:
- Who will pay for shipping the return - you or the merchant?
- Is the return pickup policy the same for exchanges or refunds?
- Is there a restocking fee on returns?
- Can the item be returned to a local physical store?
- What is the mailing address for returning merchandise to the company? Some online merchants have off-site service centers specifically assigned to handling returned merchandise.