Return policies: some naughty, some nice

shoppingHave you started your holiday shopping yet? When deciding what to buy, also consider where to buy. Some return policies are more generous than others.

Kohl’s has a very generous return policy. It’s called “Hassle Free Returns” and is quite hassle free. The policy states, “You can return any item, anytime, for a full refund with a receipt. No receipt? No problem. You’ll get a Merchandise Credit good toward anything in the store or online. At Kohl’s, hassle-free is more than a policy. It’s a promise.”

That’s an amazing policy in this day and age where stores are cracking down on returns. Part of it is hte cost to the retailer and risk of fraud. I also think they’re trying to eliminate people like me. People who change their mind. I’ve changed some of hte stores I shop because of their poor return policies that clearly burn a busy consumer.

I’ll admit I buy a lot and return a lot. I don’t like to shop, so I’m on a mission when I hit the stores. Sometimes I buy something and later think twice about it once I get it home and have a clearer mind. I’ve experiecned first hand the need to get back to the store ASAP to return it or I’m out of luck.

I think Dillard’s has one of the tougher return polcieis for a department store. You need to have the tags attached, which I’m fine with, and the item must be returned within thirty days of purchase. I’m used to three months at other department stores and this return policy burned me pretty good this summer.

I bought a jacket, but ended up returning it because it was linen and I was worried it would be a wrinkled mess by the end of the day. I really liked the color yellow, and looked for another one that wasn’t linen. I found one with the help of an associate. We had to order it to get the right size, and when it arrived I wasn’t sold. It seemed big and wasn’t cut the way I hoped. I got busy with a million other things planning our wedding and kept meaning to take it back, but kept forgetting.

It’s my fault. I should have made it a bigger priority, but again I’m so used to a three month return policy at other department stores. I waited and finally found some time to get it returned after our wedding in August. That’s when I learned about Dillard’s 30 day return policy. I was shocked. Now, I’m stuck with an expensive jacket that I’ll probably never wear. What a costly mistake.

Just pay attention this holiday especially if you are buying for a woman because woman’s sizes are all over the map. There is no consistency.

J.Crew won’t let you return some sale items even within 30 days and with a receipt. I’m not talking about super big discounts. All sales were final at a recent 30% off sale I shopped. There were signs near the clothing alerting shoppers to this caveat, which I appreciated.

Forever 21 won’t return jewlery. All sales are final. The cashier told me at the register, and it certainly piqued my curiosity when the woman asked if I was familiar with the return policy? Again, at least it’s brought to the shoppers attention.

Some stores even limit the number of returns you can make each year.

For the holidays, many stores have an extended return policy through mid or late January.

Returns are not that big of a deal for some items. It seems I’m returning clothing most as I change my mind later. Everything looks good in the store. If you’re going out on a limb with a gift or buying clothing, consider the store’s return policy.

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