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Would You Attempt to Return an Item to a Store Even If You Knew It Was Not Purchased There?

Dear readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one…

Here’s the scenario. you receive duplicate gifts at an event, after noticing the duplicate item a family member turns to you and says “is there a gift slip in the bag?” When you answer “no” they say “I bought mine at Target, but I don’t have a receipt, so just take it to Walmart. They take back everything there.”

This reminded me of a story from long ago. Way back in 1997 my boyfriend received a computer game for Christmas that was a duplicate of one he already owned. With the gift slip in hand we drove to the store to return it. When we reached the counter the cashier told us the item could not be returned. Apparently we had only fourteen days to return the game and we were a day or two beyond that period of time.

My boyfriend was disgruntled, but he picked the game off the counter and walked down the mall to another store. That store allowed him to exchange the game for another with no questions asked. The store took his brand new, shrink wrapped game and he walked out with a different one.

At the time I didn’t think much about our decision, but as an adult I view the situation with a little more guilt. Is it wrong to take advantage of a lenient store policy?

In the original scenario detailed above would you try to return the gift to Walmart even if you thought the gift giver didn’t buy it there?

Little Miss Moneybags

Sunday 26th of April 2015

I don't have a problem with a scenario in which an item in perfect condition is given to a store in exchange for store credit, even if the item wasn't originally purchased from that chain. The store doesn't wind up in the lurch - they still have the like-new item that they can sell for its original value, and they also probably gained a customer who's more likely to choose them over their competition in the future. Trying to pull this on a store with an item that cannot be resold for some reason would be wrong, as would trying to return an item for cash to a store that it wasn't purchased from.

I wouldn't return anything to Walmart because I don't want Walmart store credit, but that's a difference can of worms.