10 January 2007

Returning Merchandise to the Store

With six-and-a-half years of retail experience, I've pretty much seen it all. From irate customers to saints, I've dealt with every customer on the spectrum. Strangely enough, many consumers seem confused about returning unwanted merchandise. Here are a few pointers from the other side of the counter.

Be prepared to wait.
Chances are you're not the only one who decided to return their items right after work. If you want to avoid the rush, try going to the store in the morning or afternoon. Avoid returns on the weekend.

Have your receipt ready.
Knowing it's "somewhere in your wallet/pocket" is not good enough. Be organized so the people in line behind you don't have to wait. Some stores can do receipt look up by your debit/credit card or check. If you can't do either, graciously accept the store credit, even if you know you paid cash. It's your fault you lost the receipt.

Note: You may need your driver’s license to do a return. Take it out of your wallet. Typically, the cashier needs the numbers, and they're hard to read from a distance. Besides, do you really want to give someone access to your wallet?

Take your items out of the bag.
Okay, this is a personal preference. No one wants to touch the wet, dirty bag that sat in your back seat for three months. Ew.

Be aware of return policies.
Policy varies from store to store. Several stores have toughened their policy and don't allow returns without receipts. Each store lists its policy at the return desk, but you can often find it on your receipt or online. Use your common sense. Don't assume the store will return your item without doing research.

These tips are useful when the product is unopened, unwanted merchandise. In the case of broken or non-working products, manufacturer's warranty must be taken into account.

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