We’ve all been there: you open up a gift, excitedly look inside, and…have to display the uttermost enthusiasm for a gift that, in reality, kind of sucks. Or, at least, it’s just not for you. Thankfully, returning or exchanging your less-than-perfect gift doesn’t have to ruin your holiday spirit. Read on:
1. Perfect timing: Monday through Wednesday is the best time of the week to make returns. These days are known to be less busy in stores, and we know there is nothing worse than waiting in line when you’re not even buying anything. If you want your sales associate to hear you out when you are trying to return, go in the morning right when the store opens. This way you’ll get their undivided attention, and they won’t have had all day to get fed up with other customers’ problems. If you do have a problem returning something, ask for a manager (they have the power to break rules). Be polite and ask them to make an exception for you since you are a loyal customer. It never hurts to try. (Or to cry! Just kidding.)
2. Know the rules: You have three options when it comes to dealing with an unwanted gift: returning, exchanging, or collecting store credit. In order to return, you must have a receipt. If you go to return before 30 days and the item goes on sale in the store, you will still get a full refund for the amount you paid. After 30 days, you’re stuck with its current value in the store, and could end up losing lots of cash. So if you know you don’t want it, don’t wait! Exchanging and store credit will be your plans of action if you do not have a receipt. If you don’t see anything you want to exchange the gift for, ask for store credit to use in the future. You never know, it could come in handy to buy a gift for someone else! Just remember to keep that store credit slip in a safe place; many stores won’t honor your credit if you come in without the slip.
3. Save on the stuff you like: This tip goes for the gifts you actually do plan to keep. Most stores offer big sales shortly after the holidays in hopes to get those people coming in for returns (aka, YOU) to buy more stuff while they’re there. So don’t be surprised if that pair of boots your mom bought you just went 50% off. Go to the store with the receipt, return them and ask for full store credit. You can then use this store credit to repurchase them online at the discounted price — plus, you’ll have 50% left of the store credit to use on other cool stuff. If you just want to return a gift, and the purchaser of the gift used a coupon listed on the receipt, get store credit without the receipt. No, you wont get your money back, but you’ll get some extra cash to spend at the store.