Return Policies – They are your Friend!

by James & Miel on November 12, 2006 · 0 comments

We all know that consumer purchases aren’t the way to build wealth. At the same time, they are part of life. My opinion is that you get the most out of your money by shopping wisely. One way to do this is to be conscious of the return policies at the places you shop, and don’t be afraid to use this when you need to.

This week has been one of running errands, as I’m about to depart on an overseas business trip. Here are a few examples of places I’ve saved money by using the the return policies:

  1. REI – They have have a FABULOUS return policy. You are much better off buying outdoor equipment here, just based on the fact that you can return it for just about any reason. I received a pair of sandals this summer for my Birthday from my mom and could never keep them on my feet. I returned these and found a perfect pair on sale for $35 off the full price and got a new pair of sandals for my trip for $4.99.
  2. Victoria Secret – I made a purchase several months ago and accidentally got one pair that was the wrong style. I could have just said whatever and worn them anyway, and they would end up at the back of the drawer. Instead, I put this aside for returns and finally made it back to the mall to take care of it.
  3. Banana Republic – I found our bridesmaids’ dresses last year in Hawaii and wasn’t sure about the sizes for two of the ladies who were currently pregnant and would be breast feeding at our wedding. The sales woman let me know that it was in my best interest to buy extra dresses and return the ones that didn’t work, since they were seasonal dresses. This worked great, as we didn’t know until the last minute which dresses would work. They’ve just reduced their return time, but it is still a long period of time.
  4. Ann Taylor Loft – I bought two pairs of tights and realized that one was the wrong size and returned this right away. Plus, I by then I figured I only needed one pair.
  5. Bed Bath & Beyond – a good one to keep in mind for great return policies
  6. Nordstrom’s – a given for great returns.
  7. Target – A big pain! You’re lucky to get store credit!
  8. Speciality items – We bought my wedding ring at an antique store in Portland, Oregon and the side baguette fell out only two month’s later. I had remembered that there was a no return policy, but when I called to let them know what the situation was, they were happy to fix it. Considering that I’ve had estimates where the lowest price was $750, that was my best value this week!

The point is, don’t just keep something because you bought it. One of the great things about the American way is that you can return things. You might as well use this to make sure you are getting the most for your money. The same goes for gifts you don’t love or need!

Happy returns!

Miel

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