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Lose a Receipt, Lose Money

money advice, money tips, keeping a receipt

Almost immediately after I wrote a post earlier this week regarding the importance of being organized and saving receipts, my son illustrated my point perfectly. As the situation unfolded in front of me, I came up with a great plan to show him just how important it is to save receipts.

My son went to the mall on a mission to buy a lightweight coat. He did everything right, shopping around for the best product at the right price, and found a coat marked down to $30 from $60. Once he got home he tried it on again and determined it wasn’t quite the right size. He decided to return the coat, but couldn’t find the receipt.

We went to the store together, and spent a little extra time with the cashier to understand exactly what my son’s options were in returning the coat:

  • With Receipt : If he had the receipt, he would receive the full $30 purchase price in cash.
  • With Debit/Credit Card Used : If he had paid with a debit or credit card, they would be able to find the transaction in their system and refund the full purchase price of the coat.
  • No Information : In the case of the lost receipt, and the purchase was made with cash OR he didn’t have the card used in the purchase (for example, if it was given as a gift), then he would receive the lowest price of the item within the last 45 days in the form of a store gift card. The cashier checked, and found that if this had been the route my son would have had to take with the return, he would have been given a gift card for $11.99.

A return of the coat without a receipt could have resulted in a net loss of $18.

Fortunately for my son, he had purchased the coat with his debit card and he was able to recoup the full purchase price of the coat.

Return policies vary by retailer. Some, like Costco, have very customer friendly return policies. But many are similar to this particular department store, and could have customers losing money if they need to make a return without a receipt.

Have you made a return recently without a receipt? Were you able to recover the full purchase price? Which retailer have you encountered with the most stringent return policy?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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