Photo: Flickr / antwerpenR
Impulse shopping has its drawbacks, and one of them includes returning items.It’s a hassle and sometimes you won’t be able to get your money back if you didn’t do your homework about the store’s policy.
Here are some ways to put the cash back into your pocket and the item back where it belongs:
- Check the store policy. Something you should always check when learning about the return policy of the store is to see what the length is and whether you’ll be able to get your money back. Some stores will only give you credit, so be sure to see if they will refund you before buying the item. Some stores can be a pain to return items to and are picky about the method of returning — such as mail-only returns or in-store returns. Make sure you take advantage of prepaid mailing labels if the company provides them. You might not even have to negotiate with a salesperson if the return policy works in your favour. Read this for more tips on sweet-talking the store employees.
- Do it soon. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to return the item. The return policy may expire and it’ll be tough to get a refund after that date. Even if the store does not have a refund policy, it’s easier to make a case to return an item you just bought last week vs. one you’ve had for months.
- Make nice. The way you talk to the person is crucial — you should never be condescending or defensive. It can be hard not to react if the salesperson is being defensive, but the general rule of thumb is to always stay calm and be rational. Believe me, people can pick up on your irritated tone even if you’re trying to hide it, so it’s critical to be calm on the inside and outside. Understand that if the store policy won’t accept returns, there might be nothing you can do, so don’t take your frustrations out on the salesperson.
- Bring up your loyalty. You should definitely bring up how loyal of a customer you are. Mention how long you’ve been a patron and how often you shop at the place. If it’s a place you do frequent, I would advise that you build a solid relationship with one of the salespeople so it’ll be easier for you if you want to navigate tricky situations like returning items.
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- Ask for the supervisor. If you have a valid reason for returning the item (such as a damaged good), you should always explain it to the salesperson. And if the salesperson is still refusing you, ask to speak to the supervisor.
- Compromise. If you really can’t return a damaged item, you can compromise and ask them for a discount on the product, since it wasn’t your fault that the product was not durable. By asking for a deeper discount after you buy the item, you can keep the item and try to mend it while the store returns part of your money.
When you’re buying an item, you should always check what the return policy of the store is with the salesperson or on your smartphone, because retailers are always changing their policies.
For example, Macy’s used to refund you on returns as long as you return within a year. Their policy has now been reduced to six months.
My tip for you is to write down what the return policy is on the back of the receipt after asking the salesperson what is is, so you don’t forget it.
And if you really can’t return an item, consider selling it online on sites like Craigslist or eBay.
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