Price Changes and Crappy Return Policies

May 8, 2013 at 2:21 PM 5 comments

We have been blessed by box after box of hand-me-downs from friends and family. It’s been a true blessing because my son seems to outgrow his clothes ridiculously quickly.

At the current time he’s an odd fit. He has a very long torso, but he’s skinny and has relatively short legs. At least it seems that way because his shirts are always showing his belly, his pants are always slipping off his waist and his shorts somehow look like pants even though he’s taller than 99% of other children (according to his medical charts).

While I’ve received a lot of pants and shorts for my son I didn’t receive too many shirts. At least I haven’t since he grew out of 12 month sizes. If you are going to receive only pants or shirts I think pants are the best thing to get. They tend to be neutral in color so as long as they fit he can wear them and they can be paired with an adorable shirt.

I take a lot of photographs of my son each week. I’ve taken thousands since his birth and I will admit that I like to dress him in color shirts that look good on camera. Also, boys clothes tend to be rather boring, when compared to clothes for little girls, so I want to dress him in bright colorful clothing while I can. By the time he’s four or five the colors and designs are quite boring.

While I have found some items at thrift stores, for some reason mine local store has a plethora of adorable hawaiian shirts, I haven’t found much in the way of colorful shirts that I want to photograph my son wearing. I tend to buy deeply discounted items at local department stores as well as TJ Maxx and Ross. I’ve also bought a few items at Gymboree.

I like the quality of Gymboree clothing, but the way they constantly lower and raise prices drives me crazy.  One day the shirt you want to buy is on sale for $9.99 and the next it’s $15. The next day they hold a 40% off sale, two days later it’s only 30% off and the next it’s back to full price.

It makes me bonkers to buy my son anything there. I’ve actually decided if I want to shop there I can never look back online at the same items again. I tracked the changes for one item over the course of two weeks and found a difference in over $6. Imagine how this adds up as you buy more and more things.

I recently bought a bunch of items for my son and then cursed myself when all of the items went on sale two weeks later.  I decided to return the original items and then buy everything again as it would save me over $25.

I drove to the store last night to return the items. It had only been a few weeks since I made the purchase so I was within the boundaries of the return policies, but I was unable to receive a credit back to my card. Since the time of that purchase my credit card was compromised and the credit could only be issued to the card I originally used. I was angry, since it’s not my fault the card was compromised, but I was okay with receiving a merchandise card that could be used in store or online instead.

Apparently that wasn’t possible. According to the clerk I could only receive a merchandise credit that can be used in store. I’m not a fan of in store only cards since I tend to perform 90% of my shopping online.

When I inquired further I was told that there is a significant amount of fraud at Gymboree stores. As a result they will not issue a card that can be used online. They will only offer you one that can be used in the store.

Huh? I don’t understand the policy. What difference does it make if you are purchasing in store or online? If the store believes you are committing fraud they can certainly keep track of your purchases just as easily online as they can in the store, so why not issue a card that can be used online?

Is anyone familiar with this type of store policy? I’m sure there is reasoning behind the decision but I can’t imagine what it is.

Entry filed under: shopping. Tags: .

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5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michelle Hart  |  May 8, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    My problem lately is returning something that was paid for with cash, and the store not having enough on hand to do the refund! My husband bought me a few things at White House Black Market, and I had to return them. I did it the following day, but I had to wait for 3 weeks for a check to be issued. I did not want a store credit, so I had no choice.

    Reply
  • 2. Ellen K.  |  May 9, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Not a fan of Gymboree at all. The sizing is messed up, and it’s expensive. I didn’t know about the return policy. To me that signifies a company that won’t stand behind its products.

    If you want colorful, high-quality clothes, you should try Hanna Andersson. They’re durable and very colorful. They wash really well, too. The return policy is great: anything at any time for any reason. A friend who has kids in the 99th percentile buys most of their clothes from HA. If the kid grows suddenly, she just exchanges any item that is still in stock. Customer service is great. Shipping is kind of expensive; that’s the only downside. When my twins were going on 3, I bought an entire winter wardrobe from HA. I purchased something like 26 articles of clothing and tights for about $550. I may have gone a little overboard, but the clothes were just so cheerful and cozy! My daughters wore them all winter, October-February, and I was still able to hand down the outgrown clothes in good condition to a friend with twin girls. Alas, now my girls are 4.5 and intent on picking out their own clothes, so my wardrobe-shopping days are already over. : )

    A relative has handed down bags of clothing every few months since my daughters were still in utero. We received fewer 2T-3T items, especially shirts, because toddlers are so hard on their clothes!

    Reply
    • 3. One Frugal Girl  |  May 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve never heard of Hanna Anderson before. I will definitely check them out.

      Reply
  • 4. Vanessa@cashcowcouple.com  |  May 9, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    I don’t have kiddos yet, so I’m not familiar with this Gymboree store at all. However, we have been finding stores harder and harder to deal with when it comes to their return policies. NEVER try to do an online registry with Amazon for a baby or wedding or otherwise. It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get anything refunded for full price. It was by FAR the worst customer service I have ever been unfortunate enough to endure.

    Reply
    • 5. One Frugal Girl  |  May 13, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      I had problems with all of the stores with registries. The worst part was returning items when I received duplicates. It was so bad I actually kept some things and just sold them on eBay.

      Reply

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