April 17, 2012 by Gina
This isn’t going to be the most earth-shattering confession but hey…it’s a confession and I’ve been a bit stressed and busy lately. Nothing like an excuse up front, huh? Maybe that should be my confession. Here goes…I return items to stores. These are unopened, un-used items that I have either received as gifts or have found in my house and realized I no longer want or need them. This doesn’t happen all the time (I don’t return every gift I receive – maybe 25%). I have receipts for some stuff and some stuff I don’t have receipts for but know which stores the merchandise was purchased from. I am always up-front with the customer service folks and tell them I need to return merchandise but don’t have a receipt. Most of the time, it’s not a problem.
For example, I recently returned some items to a major retail big-box store and was astounded at the total. I had literally found things lying around my house and didn’t need them – a few unopened pacifiers that we bought for Getty who refuses to take a pacifier, a huge box of Littermaid automatic litter garbage receptacles that our cat won’t use (he decided one day he no longer wanted to use the automatic litter box) and some Pyrex baking dishes. There were a few other things too, but all of the items totalled…are you ready…$77!!! Of course, I promptly walked around the store filling my cart with things I did need – baby wipes, rice cereal, yogurt – but still have over half the amount left on a gift card.
The benefit to returning unused, new items to the store is that you clean out stuff that you otherwise would keep lying around your house taking up space or donate to some charity and then you get cold hard cash in the form of a gift card (if you don’t have your receipt). It always amazes me how quickly this stuff adds up! I try not to purchase things I don’t need in the first place or get sucked in to buying things on sale that I don’t need. Believe me, I’ve done that in previous lives. I’m all about minimizing now and if it’s something I don’t need, I’d rather return it and use the money to buy something we’ll consume like food or toiletries.
Do you ever do anything like this? If you do, let me know! I won’t feel so alone or like I have to hide all those gift cards in my purse.