If there’s one thing I usually hear over and over again from people, it’s that they need to get better about returning things.
They always say it’s on their list, and they’ll be getting to it soon, but something tells me it never actually gets done ;) Which is kinda weird to me cuz it’s more MONEY in the bank!! And if you’re not using whatever it was you bought, what’s the point anyways?
I’d like to think I’m pretty good at returning stuff I shouldn’t have gotten to begin with, because I make this mistake a LOT :) I don’t know if it’s cuz I have a system in place (more on that later), or I’m just super anal about who gets my money and when, but either way you can bet your bottom dollar that if I don’t want something anymore I’m gonna do all that’s in my power to get those bills back. And really, it’s not that hard anyone else to do it either!
Last week was a perfect example of this. I had upgraded my suitcases cuz my old one was literally falling a part (the wheels have broken off, and everyone just stares at me when I stroll through the airport pretending everything’s normal, haha…), but shortly there after I started having killer buyer’s remorse. Not cuz it cost me a cool $200 – that was fine cuz I was going for much nicer and higher quality stuff since I travel 2-3 times EVERY month, but cuz I wasn’t too sure I had picked out the best kind coming out of the store. (I had gone with London Fog which I had recognized, and thought the bags LOOKED pretty high class.)
They *seemed* like they’d do the trick, but after 1 leg of my last flight I could tell I most definitely made a wrong choice. I don’t know if the bag was suppose to wheel like that, but either way it was super strange rolling it around, and the whole time I kept wondering if the whole thing was gonna split wide open cuz it felt so thin and flimsy (I had gotten one of those “super light” types, thinking it would cut down on the poundage (which it did, but in turn loss the sense of toughness)).
So the choice I had to make at that point was to either a) Put up with it, and hopefully get used to this new kind of baggage, or b) Go back to TJ Maxx and try to return it. Even though it was used, and you could def. see some minor wear and scrapes after just 1 trip out in the wild. I had only used 1 of the 2 bags, so on the plus side I knew I could at least get $100 of it returned no problem whatsoever. (I had picked up a matching set – one being bigger than the other).
The wifey doubted my skills, and honestly I did too not knowing if you can return things already used?, but I figured it was worth a shot and I didn’t wanna be kicking myself later for not even going for it. So I went in on a day I was really feeling it, and mustered up as much charm and courage as I could and laid it all out on the table. I didn’t lie – I told them that I used one of them, but that it didn’t seem to be the greatest of materials out there – and I still had all the tags and receipts and everything on me, and then it was left up to TJ Maxx’s return policy and the good graces of the manager that would inevitably be called over to make the call ;) And that he did! He came over, asked me what the deal was again from the beginning – which I happily re-told all over – and then he gave the cashier the secret head nod and my hard earned money was all mine again! Woohoo! He even went a step further to recommend his own choice of favorite suitcases (Delsey), and walked me over to some he had in the store to show me why they were so great :) Win-Win!
Now, I could have gotten lucky and caught the manager in a good mood, but either way I think it’s important to go into these things and just take the chance even if there’s a small % of you winning. Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating the store or something, even though that doesn’t make much sense, but if you just think to yourself “Would I have bought this all over again had I known ____,” I think it helps put things in perspective much better. There’s no shame in going back and getting your money back — some of us suck at making the right decisions the first time around :)
Here are 4 tips on returning things that might help you out:
- Always GET a receipt. I know it’s annoying, and perhaps it wastes a whole tree in your lifetime, but the first step to being able to return stuff is actually *getting* the receipt to begin with.
- Always KEEP your receipts! Find a shoebox and label it “2011” or something with a big ol’ sharpie, and then every time you get a receipt just throw it in there. You honestly don’t have to think about it all – just keep it near wherever you put your wallet or jeans (I always keep my receipts in my right jean’s pockets throughout the day, and then unload it all every night before brushing my teeth. (yup, that’s right, I brush my teeth naked!))
- Always keep your TAGS. Or anything else that comes along w/ the items you buy. Just throw them into that same box if they fit, or get another one if it makes you feel better.
- Keep a box, or bag, in your trunk for anything that ever needs returning. This may sound pretty funny, but it honestly helps! Every time you have something to return, just open up that boxes and find your receipts and tags (if they’re no longer on the item) and hurry up and throw them – along with the item you need returning – into your cars’ trunk! As someone who has a horrible memory, I can tell you that this one step alone helps out immensely :) There have been so many times I’ve been driving around shopping when it hits me that I had something to return at that store! But if you already have it all sitting in your trunk, receipts and everything, you’ve just surprised yourself with a WIN! And the reward is money money moneyyyyy! (although quick side note: DON’T do this with super expensive stuff)
Okay, I think that’s enough typing for one day – my fingers are burning up from all the work, haha… So the two things to keep in mind today: 1) ALWAYS try and return things even if they’re used and/or it’s been a long time since you bought them (you can usually at least get store credit), and 2) Always hold onto receipts and throw your non-wants back into the car for whenever you’re out and about later. It took me 7 days to return my bags and those guys just hung out in my back seat the entire time until I happened to be going in that area ;) Learn to make it easy on yourself!
Anyone else have some good tips on returning things? Or any great STORIES they couldn’t believe worked out? Like returning a kangaroo or something? ;)
(Photo by livingonimpulse)
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!