Now that you’ve cashed in on all the great deals that Black Friday and Cyber Monday had to offer, you may have a bit of buyer’s remorse. Or, you may find that the things you bought online just aren’t as great as they seemed on screen. Don’t beat yourself up over it. It happens to the best of us. And returns don’t have to be as difficult as you think. Here is how to make returns easier:
Location of your receipts
First, make sure you have all of your receipts. It’s tempting to throw them all out, but you’ll be thankful for having a file folder full of them if you need them. While shopping, put them in your wallet. If you’re shopping online, make sure you print them all out as well as keeping the ones that come in the box.
For most items and most stores, it’s 30 days after purchase with receipt. For some, however, especially with electronics items, you have closer to 15 days. Also, with things like software and video games, you can’t return them once open. You can only exchange for the same item. This ensures that you don’t download the software to your computer and then try to get your money back. Different stores have different policies, so be sure you check before you buy. It can be very disappointing to try to return something and be told they won’t take it back because you’ve missed the time window.
If you didn’t save your receipt, you can still get merchandise credit in some stores, for the lowest price they’ve ever had it available. Some stores, like Target, for example, will scan your credit card and can pull up your receipt. No such luck if you paid cash.
For items you bought online, returns are a bit more difficult. Sometimes they will cost you. Stores like Old Navy offer free returns, and all you do is go into your order history and print out a prepaid return label. Once they get the item back and see that it’s still in new condition, they will credit your card back. Don’t expect it to be immediately credited, however. They take their time.
Should you return if you have to pay for shipping?
Other stores make you pay to return the items. Sometimes, if you got a really good deal and it will cost you to return, you’re better off trying to sell it on eBay or a virtual garage sale site to get your money back, especially for heavier items that cost a lot to ship.
Your best bet is to be careful about what you’re buying and research it beforehand. Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are very tempting, and you can get some great deals, but it’s very disappointing to pay for something and then have to return it for any reason.
Do you have buyer’s remorse for your Black Friday or Cyber Monday purchases? What are you going to do?
This post was first published on 12.2.2014 and updated on 12.4.2015.