I like to save money. Because of this I have read many books, articles, newsletters, and blogs about ways to do this. In all of this reading I have rarely, if ever, read about one of the most lucrative money saving strategies that I use. Returning things. Are you surprised? Don’t be. Returning things is a great money saving strategy.
I have often heard the suggestion to look around your house to find things to sell to earn money, but if you’re like most people, you probably have some things around the house that you should return instead. That paint you bought but never got around to using. Those shoes you bought your daughter that she won’t wear. That do it yourself dry cleaning kit you thought you would try but never did. These items are worth money and should be returned. I know it seems like a hassle. Where the heck did you put that receipt? What will you tell the clerk at the Customer Service desk? Relax. Doing a return is easy. They won’t even ask you why you are returning the item. They have a return policy and they will honor it.
If you can find the receipt, and it hasn’t been too long, usually about 30 to 90 days, you can return most any item and get your money back. How great is that? You can get your money back! It’s like mistake insurance. You made a purchasing mistake and you get to fix it for free. You bring the item back to the store and they give you your money back. Now that’s a money saving strategy! Even if you can’t find the receipt or it has been too long, you can usually at least get a store credit. That’s great too. You can use the credit later to buy something you will need and will use. Or you can use the credit to buy someone a gift for an upcoming occasion.
Returning things is also a great antidote to impulse buying. You know, when you were in the store you just had to have those cute shoes, but when you got home you came to your senses and realized they really weren’t worth two weeks of grocery money. No more buyer’s remorse, return them!
Even when you receive a gift, you should at least consider the possibility of returning it. Now I’m not suggesting you return something sentimental, or something you love, or something that the giver would know you returned and would have hurt feelings over. But if you’re like me, you and your family, especially children, receive so many gifts for so many occasions that the vast majority of them don’t fall into any of these categories. A children’s birthday party, for example, can yield as many as twenty gifts or more. How many craft kits or action figures does your child really need? Many of these items are excellent candidates for being returned. You should view gifts the same way you would view something you purchased. If you wouldn’t buy it yourself, you should probably return it.
The other reason to return something is if you find an item on sale, that you previously purchased at a higher price. Now, if it is at the same store where you bought it and is within two weeks of when you bought it, most stores will give you a price adjustment. But if it has been longer than two weeks or is at another store, why not buy the sale item and return the item that was purchased at the higher price? This is especially lucrative after Christmas when pretty much everything you recently purchased is now on sale.
So, don’t overlook this great money saving strategy. Find something to return today!