It happens to the best of us – it looks great online or in-store, but when we get it home, it’s just not what we wanted. Luckily, returns can be pretty easy to do if you do a little bit of pre-planning. Here are six things to think about if you buy something you may return:
1. Understand the Return Policy
When you shop online, it’s essential to know the store’s return policy if there’s even an inkling that you may be returning an item. The last thing you want is to be stuck with an item that you end up not liking.
Even when it comes to gifts you’ve received, check the return policy before you settle for keeping the item. You may be able to exchange it for something else.
2. Look at Exchanging Online Purchases In-Store
It can be quite a hassle to return items online, from having to box the item, get it to the delivery service, and pay for those shipping charges. Save yourself some time and see if you can bring an online purchase back to a local store.
3. Recognize How Long You Have to Return an Item
Each store is very different, so be sure to figure out how long you have to return an item before you’re stuck with it. Some stores may have longer return windows after the holidays, but that isn’t always the case. Target for instance allows 90 days on some items but up to a year on brands that Target owns.
4. Hold Off on Opening the Box
If you’ve ordered something that you’re just not sure about, consider keeping it in the box until you decide. There are stores out there that will not accept exchanges once the package has been opened. Of course, it can be hard to make your decision without seeing the item, but keep this in mind.
5. See How Your Credit Card Can Help You
There are a few credit cards out there that offer protection on purchases, giving you that much of an extra buffer on returns. A few credit cards that give your returns a boost are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the American Express Gold Card. It is worth noting that there are a few hoops to jump through when filing a claim.
6. Take Your ID
This isn’t too common yet, but some stores require a form of identification when accepting returns. On the flip side, even if you’ve paid for a purchase in cash and don’t have a receipt, this helps the business find your order.