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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Remember: Return the Duds

I am a big believer in saving little bits of money; over time, they add up. Lately there has been a lot of cleaning up and out in our frugal home, both for happy reasons and sad ones. Many transitions.

Miss Em is getting ready to return to school soon. As the neatest and most organized member of our household, she gets it done. Today, she got together stuff that needs to be returned.

I am always recommending sticking to shops with unconditional guarantees. To wit:

Garnet Hill: two sweaters (she's keeping the shoes)
Nordstrom: some shoes that, alas, did not fit well
LL Bean: her backpack ripped at the seams

These guarantees are great, but only if you make use of them. I am always quoting my late frugal dad: You're paying a lot of money for that guarantee, so use it.

Additionally, she is returning items to two stores that you may not know stand behind their merchandise: Sephora and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Yes, if the eyeshadow doesn't please, bring it back.

Being a good consumer can yield more than a few dollars back. The total for the above is going to be SOMETHING, even though everything was bought on sale.

Have you been a good consumer lately?

6 comments:

mette said...

In the past, the first thing I did, having bought something new, was to rip off the tags.
Nowadays, things have changed. I will keep them on, until I am positive, I want to keep that something.
I try to make sure/ will shop from a store, which has a return policy.
Great, if a shop will let you take home an article for trial - with rugs and furniture this is often possible, sadly ( happily ) I don´t need any of those right now.
In some cases, shops, not having a return policy, just might make an exception for " just you ", that is if you look reliable and talk angel languages ; ).
Naturally, I will check an item at the shop/ home to make sure, that it is in mint condition.
Btw., just yesterday I took back a frying pan, because the teflon outside had scratches.
Waiting to hear, if it will be replaced.

departmentofcolor said...

Yes. I have 4 boxes packed and ready to send back.

My favorite online stores are Nordstrom and Zappos, because they have free shipping and free returns, and a generous time limit, so I don't have to rush to send things back.

And I like Nordstrom and Sephora for cosmetics, because they'll take anything back, no questions asked, even if it's used. I am careful not to abuse this policy, but I think it's totally fair to return a product that doesn't live up to its price point.

Rosa said...

This reminds me of a story that my friend told me about dealing with Bose, the company that makes uber-expensive headphones.

When my friend's dog was sick with cancer, he developed the habit of chewing up things that he had never chewed before. One of those things was an expensive set of Bose headphones. When my friend called the company to order new headphones, he explained about his dog and how the chemotherapy was affecting him. The company rep apologized, said he hoped his dog got better, and sent him a replacement set of headphones gratis.

I've never bought anything from Bose, but I know they've made a loyal customer or two from that story.

Shelley said...

If I'm shopping new, I head for Marks and Spencers, as their prices are reasonable and they are easy about taking returns. I've been caught out with 'no returns, only exchanges' and 'just no returns'. So...I don't return - at all.

Frugal Scholar said...

@mette--My mother takes the tags off too--and then she donates the items! It can get expensive. Good luck w/ your pan. I think it's easier to return in the USA than in Europe.

@dofc--Good point about not abusing the guarantee--that's why Talbots no longer takes things back.

@Rosa--Wonderful story and a good one to pass on.

@Shelley--M and S is in a class by itself. My daughter just bought some undies there--to replace the ones we got her many years ago!

Funny about Money said...

Yup. That's why I shop at Costco. They took back a set of six-month-old bed sheets because the elastic went kaplooie! Could. not. believe. it!