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5 Tips to Successful Product Returns

Updated on January 25, 2013

With the holiday season fast approaching you will not only be purchasing gifts, but also returning ones that you do not want or you may find another product to purchase instead. Retailers are expecting to lose around $3 billion because of people trying to get over on their system. That is why many companies are fighting against this with even more strict policies than ever before. What does this mean for you is you will have to jump through a few more hoops this holiday season to make sure you will be able to return your product. Here are five easy steps that can make your return process a bit smoother:

Know the time frame

Most stores will allow up to 90 days for products to be return; however, you some smaller companies may have a lesser time frame. This is why it is good to always know what the time frame for returning the product is. With that being said remember household and personal electronics, software, CDs along with DVD’s will always have a much shorter time frame for them being returned too, so keep that in mind when buying your loved ones these things.

Get a receipt

Many stores use to offer a store credit if you did not have a receipt, now many times they will not give you store credit without seeing your proof of purchase. However, if you paid by credit, debit, and even a check and do not have your receipt you are in luck. They can usually find your electronic receipt, but if you paid with cash you may not be so lucky. The best thing to do is always get your receipt, even if you do not like them and store them some place safe, so you will not have to worry about being turned away with the item you no longer want/need.

Take your driver's license

You should always have your driver’s license on you regardless, but some companies like Best Buy is now requiring you to have a government-issued ID when returning any product. The reason why they have this rule in place is so they can track how many items you return and they can even track the items you returned when you paid cash! If you are a serial returner you may be denied also, so keep that in mind.

Be sure before you open the box

Be sure this is what you want before you open up the package because stores cannot sell an item as new after you opened up the box. Plus many stores will charge you a restocking fee, which can run you about 15% of the items cost. These fees will apply to mainly electronics and other household goods.

Know where to go

It can be confusing these days when stores have online stores too. You will need to always check their return policy when purchasing something off their online store because sometimes they will make you ship it back other times they will allow you to bring it to their store to return it. Before you buy anything always, I repeat always read up on their policy. It will not only save you time, but it will save you from having a headache too.

If you abide by these five easy tips you will have a great headache free holiday season. When in doubt always read the companies return policy on the items you are buying because all companies have different policies.


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    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      5 years ago from sunny Florida

      Many stores have products for sale that are retaped and the price is reduced. I look for those in clearance sections and take them to customer service if there is something I want and ask them to open and make sure there is not a problem with the item.

      You have shared some helpful information. It is especially important to save all receipts these days in case an occasion arises that you want to return an item. Another important thing to do is to save the ORIGINAL item comes in. I know that can be a pain but often stores will not allow items to be returned without them. Thanks for sharing this with us.


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