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Stop Wasting Money: 5 Rules For Returning Stuff Seamlessly

Think of how many times you’ve made a shitty purchase. Maybe it’s that neon pink lipstick that looked so good in the magazine but makes you look like an 80’s hooker. Or maybe that dress that you knew would look killer on after your cleanse, but then you ended up gaining 8 lbs and it makes you looks like a stuffed sausage. We’ve all done it before, and maybe those purchases end up in some drawer, or at goodwill, or given to our skinny cousin who fits in it. The point is, you’ve wasted money on something when you could have just returned it and had that money back where it belonged – in your bank account. Here are the 5 rules for returning seamlessly:

1. Keep your receipt: I keep EVERY receipt and stash it in a giant ziplock bag so that I have it in case I ever need it. Sure, not every receipt is used at the end of the year for taxes, but I keep them all in case I ever need to question a charge or return something. Even if you are trying to return something that is past the usual 30 day return policy, having a receipt will always help your cause.

2. Don’t be embarrassed: I used to work in customer service, and trust me when I say that people who work in retail have seen it all. People have no shame and will try and return anything. At the end of the day, if something did not fit you – even if you took the tags off, or did not look good on you – even if you’ve used it, it’s always worth trying to return it if you’ll never use it again. Even expensive things like bags or shoes that you’ve worn but fell apart – you would be surprised at how great some store return policies are and how lenient they can be with returning even things that have been used.

3. Look polished: I know it seems silly, but if you are really pushing the return policy or if you are questioning the quality of something¬†– the day that you go in to return it, make sure you don’t look like a bum. We all know that people will respond more favorably to you when you look like you have class (and a job). Go in looking like a homeless person and they may not be so worried about turning you off from their store or you writing a letter complaining to head office.

4. Ask for a manager: If the salesperson is giving you a no, very politely (this is important) as for a store manager. Saying something simply like, “I appreciate you trying to help me, is there a manager who may be able to take a look and help me out?” will make everyone more likely to bend for you. Management can often override policy and it’s always up to their discretion – so be nice. If nothing works at the store level and you paid a lot for the item in question, look up the main customer service contact info. Reaching out to those who are above the retail level and eloquently explaining your situation can often lead to things getting taken care of.

5. Know where to shop: After educating myself on store return policies, I can make better decisions on where to shop. For example, I purchase all of my makeup and beauty supplies from Sephora. They have THE BEST return policy in that they will return anything that you are unsatisfied with, no matter how long its been, even if it’s been used and even without a receipt. Although the prices may be a little bit more expensive then maybe purchasing online, I have saved so much money having the ability to return things that did not work for me. The same goes for department stores like Bloomingdales – they are very flexible on their return policy, and will often take things back where the quality wasn’t great and things broke down, even after being worn. Before you drop money on a high price tag – know the return policy!




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