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Ways I Save Money: Take Things Back to the Store


There have been many times in my life where I’ve purchased something from the store only to have it go on sale within the next few weeks or break shortly after purchase. I’ve heard that you could sometimes take things back, but I never did it. Either I couldn’t find the receipt or I felt funny doing it.

Not anymore – I’ve already saved $28 within the past 30 days.


Price Adjustments

Each store has a different policy on price adjustments. Our local department store states that is something goes on sale within a month after you purchase it you can come back to get a refund for the difference in price. The spiral fluorescent light bulbs we purchased a little while ago (3 pack for $9.99) were now on sale for $8.99. Since I bought three packages, taking a few minutes to bring my receipt back to the store during my next trip resulted in a savings of $3.00. Not too bad.

Return Broken Merchandise

I know if something like electronics are broken, they can be fairly easily returned. What about something like clothing? Even after you have been wearing it a while?

We purchased my son’s winter coat from the local department store. It seemed like a nice warm jacket and he despirately needed one. Less than a month after purchase, the zipper broke. I was so upset. Much to my husband’s dismay (he was a little embarassed about it), I decided to take it back to the store and request a refund or trade for a new coat.

I asked the cashier about the return policy on clothing. She said that you had a month to return clothes. I then asked about the policy of worn clothing breaking and I showed her my son’s coat. His coat did show wear (he’s a little boy after all), and I pointed out the broken teeth on his zipper. She went in her drawer and pulled out her little refund form and I knew things were headed in the right direction. I ended up receiving a full refund for the coat.

I used to feel like it was dumb luck that something I bought broke. I would shrug and say it’s a loss and then go out and spend more money to replace what broke. I don’t feel that way anymore. Every penny counts and if I buy something that breaks shortly after purchase (I actually have one more thing to return but I have to make it back to Walmart), then I will try to take it back next time I am there. The worst they could say is no.


  • Reply Ginger |

    I was just wondering if you started sleeping with the fan off? My husband and I are both fan sleepers, I don’t think I would be able to cut back on that one, I think I would rather skip a meal.Well anyway best of luck to you on that one.

  • Reply Sheri |

    I have taken back a pair of my son’s shoes to Target before; there was a hole in the toe after a couple of months. My husband had a pair of work boots he purchased from Sears; same situation-after 60 days the boot was coming apart. In both cases we were given new items. I don’t hesitate to take things back that are obviously defective or poorly made (within a reasonable time.)

  • Reply Jen |

    If you buy your son’s clothes from Sears you should be able to exchange them for nwe items as long as he’s the same size. When I worked there several years ago they had the Kidvantage warranty – if your child was still the same size and an article of clothing wore out, you get another, no problem.

    Also, the Kidvantage program had a frequent buyer aspect. The store would use your phone number to track the amount you purchased, and when you reached $100 or so, you’d get a 15% off coupon. A lot of my customers would get a coupon after doing Christmas shopping, and then they could use the coupon for Easter/spring. And, if they got a coupon in time for Back To School, they could save a lot! They probably still have that program – at least it’d be worth it to check out.

  • Reply ThisLittlePiggy |

    If I buy a product and it doesn’t live up to the advertising, I email the company via their website and request a refund. I haven’t been turned down yet.

  • Reply Karen |

    You know, it’s funny. Why should we feel bad about taking something back that is defective or does not stand up to normal wear and tear? As a consumer, we are entitled to a quality product – no matter what the price. If it does not stand up to standards, it should be replaced or (cheerfully?) refunded. I’m not sure where I saw it, but I remember reading about rebates, and how manufacturers are betting that most people will not be able to “keep up” with the receipt, rebate form, UPC code, etc. etc. They make it as difficult as possible to get what we, as consumers, legitimately have coming to us. Maybe a good subject for a future post??

So, what do you think ?