Have you ever bought a dress, worn it, and then returned it? This year, you might have a problem returning unwanted holiday gifts.
Wardrobing, the act of buying, wearing, and returning items, is on the rise in this
struggling economy. You know, it's the "I have nothing to wear for my
date tonight, so maybe I'll just buy something, wear it once, and then
return it." Though some people believe this is just "smart shopping"
and a growing number of shoppers feel entitled to return items they no
longer want, retailers are backlashing. This year, there will be more
restrictive return policies, restocking fees, and they will keep a
blacklist of serial wardrobers. What does that mean for those of us
just wanting to return that hideous sweater your mother-in-law gave
you? Some tips on what to do before hitting the long return lines ...
1. Lost tags, missing packaging, or damaged boxes will make
it difficult for you to make returns. Amazon.com says it will not
accept returns of products missing the serial number on the box. Best
Buy and Circuit City will charge a 15% restocking fee on some
electronics, whether or not you have opened the box.
2. Bring a receipt. Without it, a retailer might credit you the lowest recent price or simply deny you altogether. Gift givers, include a gift receipt.
3. Go to the right place: If the item was purchased by mail order or online, make sure you ship to the address the retailer specifies. Macy's and Kohls don't accept returns by mail if the merchandise was purchased in person.
4. Go online or call the retailer before you stand in line or send something back, and make sure you have what you need to exhange or return.
5. The sooner you go to return, the better. Items are bound to go on sale soon after the holidays.
6. Did you cut off the tag? Bring it with you anyway.
7. Visit ConsumerWorld.org to check current return policies of most stores.