Learn what to do and who to see to ensure successful returns.
Whether your suffering from a bit of buyers remorse or want to get the red reindeer sweater from Aunt Lynne out of your sight, we've got 7 tips you need for hassel-free returns on almost everything.
If you want to bring an item back, don't touch it and definitely don't use it―even to test it out. Stores have strict policies about taking back opened boxes or cases for certain items, especially electronics. Once you tamper with an item (or even take off the tags) you may be out of luck for returns.
Check the receipt or the company's Web site for information about its return policy. You may have up to a month to return an item for its original price; after that, you may get reimbursed for only a fraction of the original cost. Electronics and big-ticket items (like computers) often have a 14-day return deadline.
Use some detective work to discover where to return the gift if it didn't come with definitive markings or a gift receipt.
Subtly ask the gift giver, "Where did you find something so pretty?" Don't rely on gift box info; boxes are often reused.
If you're at a dead end, do research online to see who carries the item―stores that sell it may accept a return or offer an exchange.
It pays to remember that salespeople are busy and hassled. A simple smile when you try to do a return often works wonders!
Without the receipt, you may only receive a fraction of the original price, or you may have to settle for a store credit.
If the item is a gift and you can't obtain a receipt, explain to the store that it was a present. Stores can be understanding, especially if your item is still in its packaging. Ask for a manager if you're not getting anywhere with a sales clerk.
You may be able to return an online purchase to the retailer's brick-and-mortar store―but make sure that you bring any packaging
or paperwork that came with it.
For items that are sold only online (or if the company doesn't allow in-store returns), you may have to ship it back. Postage costs are often not refunded, so it may not be worth it to attempt the return.
Sellers aren't required to take back items unless the merchandise is defective. Some places may refuse to take back an item that's been opened or used. Certain stores may reimburse you for an opened item, but will charge a restocking fee―as much as 25 percent of the original price―unless it was defective. If the item was bought on sale or clearance, you may not be able to return it at all.
Swap, sell or donate. Try selling the item on eBay.com or Craigslist.org. Gift cards can also be sold on sites like Swapagift.com or Cardavenue.com. Consider regifting if you know someone who would appreciate the gift. Or donate unwanted items to your favorite charity and brighten someone's day.