Getting Your Money Back: What To Look For In Return Policies

Feb 07, 2018Reading Time: 4 min

Too often, shoppers are surprised when they try to return an item, only to find they didn’t read the return policy carefully enough in the first place. Perhaps the store only offers returns within the first week of purchase, or the item must be accompanied by the original tags and receipt. Sometimes returns might not be offered on sale items or at all. Needless to say, it’s easy to be taken aback by a strict policy.

So what should you look for in return policies? Check out these tips and trick to make sure you’re never denied a return again!

Look For A Large Window Of Time

When possible, shop at stores that offer return policies with large windows of time, so you have ample opportunity to decide whether you want to keep or return the item.

Most stores offer up to 4-6 weeks to return a product, while some may offer an unlimited window. However, others are more strict in their policies, and may only allow you up to 7 days to come in to make an exchange or refund. But sometimes it takes longer than that to realize you need to return a product. The longer the time you have to make a return, the better.

Know Whether To Keep Or Trash The Tags

Some stores have a strict policy that the item must be returned with the original tags still attached. Maybe you never wore those jeans out of the house, but if they don’t have the tags included, then the store has no idea whether you’ve actually worn them or not.

When shopping at a store, make sure to inquire whether the tags must be attached or not in order to make a return. This is especially important for all those shoppers who like taking clothes home without trying them on. Don’t lose out on money simply because you didn’t know what to do with the tags!

Read Customer Reviews Online

When deciding whether to deal with a store, take a look online at other people’s experiences with their return policy and customer service. This is especially helpful if you’re planning on making a big purchase, like a piece of furniture or an electronic, which you’ll be more likely to return if you’re unsatisfied than something not as expensive.

If people have had poor experiences dealing with the store’s return policy, then it might make you think twice about taking their business there. Or, if you already have something you need to return, it can at least give you an idea of what to expect from the shop’s customer service. And, if you have a particularly positive or negative experience, you can leave your own review to help other fellow shoppers.

Shop At Stores With The Best Reputation

Let’s face the facts: some stores are known to have a better return policy than others. If you’re likely to be returning a product, try to stick to stores that you know have good policies for customers.

For instance, Costco is one retailer that is committed to returning any product if the customer is dissatisfied. Costco members have upwards of 90 days to return an item. Right now, Costco is offering up to $200 off of Lenovo products. With a great return policy and sale, now is a great time to shop if you’re in the market for an awesome deal. 

Target, as well, is known to offer a 90-day window, with the exception of electronics’ 30-day policy. Take advantage of this return policy right now and you can receive a $10 gift card when you spend $50 or more or a $40 gift card when you spend $150 or more on home sale purchases at Target for a limited time. 

Don’t be taken aback by a strict return policy the next time you’re trying to get a refund. Know what to look for in return policies and how to make sure you don’t spend more money than you have to.