Blog & Save

The best bargain brains on the web come together to share money saving tips to finely tune your personal finance in a coupon blog you can't miss. Join us on our quest of living well – while spending less!

Returning Unwanted Gifts Means Real Treats

By (view all posts by BeckyHarks)
at 9:54AM Friday December 30, 2011
under Shop Smarter

I was looking for tape to wrap my presents with last week when I came across something interesting:

It was one of the perils of online shopping: "things in pictures may not resemble real-life object." In this case, ugly sheer shirt, which resembled in cut, style, and color something that a 50's housewife would love. Unfortunately, I am neither from the 50s OR a housewife, so I carefully put aside the item to be returned along with its receipt and prepared to return it by mail.

That was from LAST Christmas.

Apparently, I am not very smart about returning unwanted items (or, frankly, much of anything). If I resolve nothing else in the New Year, it will be to be better about returning unwanted items.


Budgets are tight everywhere, including my own house, and the cash from those returned items can really add up. Especially if you have the sort of family that gives whacked out presents like a quesadilla maker that end up, like that fug shirt, shoved into the back of a closet only to be unearthed a year or so later. By that time, the return policy is expired and you're, well, stuck with something you MIGHT be able to re-gift--but only if you recall who gave it to you in the first place.

This year, I plan to return any item I purchase unnecessarily and put that money (or store gift card) from the returns toward something I actually want. I've spent enough time sacrificing the small treats to pay for the bigger things--like my mortgage--so I'm going to start sneaking in those small treats the only way I can. I deserve to have a small treat now and again. I'll be sure to use all of these smart return policy guidelines to help me in my quest to return!

So what if I only get a couple bucks back when I return my unwanted item? Those returns mean a couple of bucks in my pocket I didn't have before--a couple of bucks I can spend on myself.

This year, I will wait in lines and haggle with bored clerks to return each and every unwanted item I have bought or been gifted. I could even save all those small amounts of money I receive from returned items and put them toward the purchase of something larger.

I will, however, have to hit up Sears first because over 100 Sears stores are closing around the country. (Note to all of you smart shoppers: GO TO SEARS FIRST!)

And, after I return my unwanted items, I will be sure to enjoy every single treat I am able to buy myself.

In the meantime, anyone want a sheer fugly shirt?

How do you guys manage your holiday returns? Any tips for me?