BY DONNA L. MONTALDO – This article originially appeared on The Balance Everyday
Most of us have purchased a product, opened it up and used the product, then discovered that it failed to meet up to our expectations. Maybe it did not break, but it just was not up to par. Maybe it fit great before you washed it, but then it shrunk even though it was supposed to be pre-washed. Unfortunately, a lot of retailers will not accept returns on items that have been used or opened. Luckily for shoppers, not all retailers are the same. Here is a list of stores that allow you to return used products and opened items.
Don’t like how your pants from Anthropologie fit after you washed them? Don’t worry. Anthropologie has a shopper-friendly return policy and they want you to be satisfied with whatever you purchase. They will take back merchandise for any reason and give you a refund or exchange for the amount that you paid. Lost your receipt? Not a problem. They will give you a store credit for the current selling price of the item that you want to return.
Buying directly from an Apple Store has its advantages. This retailer will allow you to return used items if you bought the item from one of their stores or from apple.com. You can return it opened or unopened up to 14 calendar days (and not a second more). The following products are not eligible for return: Opened software*, electronic software downloads, subscriptions to the Software-Up-To-Date program, Apple Store Gift Cards, any Apple Developer Connection products and Apple Print products.
*Note: Apple will allow you to return software, as long as it has not been installed on any computer. Software that contains a printed software license may not be returned if the seal or sticker on the software media packaging is broken.
Athleta has the “Give-It-A-Workout Guarantee”. They encourage customers to work out in it and it fails to perform, shoppers should return it. Imagine being encouraged to return your used workout clothing for any reason. And get this, there is no time limit on returns and exchanges. They have my business for life.
Bath & Body Works boasts about its 100% satisfaction guarantee, and they have right to. This retailer posts their policy on their website. It reads, “If at any time you’re not completely satisfied with the quality of our products, you may return them to any of our Bath & Body Works stores.” Did you lose your receipt? They will still allow you to return it, but can only give you back the lowest selling price. But abusers be forewarned. The company reserves the right to limit returns if they feel that you are taking advantage of their liberal policies.
The Bed Bath & Beyond return policy is fairly liberal compared to other retailers in their category. If you have your receipt you can return purchases for a full refund. There is no time limit for returns with a receipt.
If you do not have your receipt and you made the purchase within the last 365 days, they will attempt to locate the purchase. If they cannot find a record of the purchase, you can still return the item for the current selling price, less 20 percent. If you have a gift receipt, Bed Bath & Beyond can look up the purchase price and refund it to you.
The Body Shop has a very shopper-friendly return policy. They will return all products if the customer does not feel it has met their expectation. If you have your receipt, you can return items, new or used, for a full refund. There is no time limit. Without a receipt, they will issue you a store credit at the lowest selling price in the past 30 days.
The Costco return policy sets the standard that all retailers should follow. Shoppers can return items to the warehouse, no matter the shape or condition, if not completely satisfied. The only products that have time limits for returning are electronics within 90 days from the date of purchase.
Here is their list of electronic items: Televisions, Tuner-Free Displays, Projectors, Major Appliances (refrigerators above 10 cu. ft., freezers, ranges, cooktops, over-the-range microwaves, dishwashers, washers and dryers), Computers, Touchscreen Tablets, Cameras, Camcorders, MP3 players and Cellular Phones (return details will vary by carrier service contract). Diamonds at 1.00 ct or larger require original paperwork for a return to be processed. There are a few other exceptions like cigarettes and alcohol cannot be returned.
CVS has a great return policy on beauty products. They offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with no time limit. If you are not happy with your beauty purchase, return it to the store, opened or unopened, and receive a full refund. You must have your original receipt to receive a refund.
Eddie Bauer is willing to stand behind their products with their “Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee” on all the products that they sell. Here’s what you need to know.
The guarantee reads, “Every item we sell will give you complete satisfaction or you may return it for a full refund. When returning items with a receipt, you’re eligible for a full refund or exchange. When returning items without a receipt, you can get a store credit or exchange.
There are a few exceptions to the policy. All sales from their warehouse stores are final and custom orders cannot be returned for any reason other than manufacturers defect. This includes color or monogram choices, or incorrect size selection.
Kohl’s has a Hassle-Free” guarantee which allows shoppers to return all items, new or used, at any time if they are not satisfied. If the purchase was paid for with a Kohl’s card within the past 12 months a full credit will be issued. If the purchase was paid for with non-Kohl’s credit card, shoppers can still return the merchandise, but a store credit or even exchange will be issued. There are some exceptions and refunds for warranty products are handled by the warranty service provider.
Lands’ End has the marvelous “Guaranteed. Period” policy that is unconditional. It reads: “If you’re not satisfied with any item, simply return it to us at any time for an exchange or refund of its purchase price.” Proof of purchase in the form of a receipt is required in order to qualify for a full refund. If you have lost your receipt, Lands’ End will give you a gift card figured at the item’s lowest selling price.
L.L.Bean offers shoppers peace of mind with their “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed” policy that has been in effect since the day they opened their doors. The policy reads, “Our products are guaranteed to give 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory.”
Receipts are required in order to process full refunds. If you no longer have your receipt they will reimburse you with an L.L.Bean merchandise credit for the current selling price, or they will replace your item. This company understands customer service and quality merchandise.
For a department store of this type, Nordstrom is ahead of the pack when it comes to keeping their customers happy. There is no time limit on returns and Nordstrom will handle all returns on a case-by-case basis with the ultimate objective of making their customers happy. All they ask in return is that customers treat them fairly in return. (We all know there are customers that abuse liberal return policies.)
Nordstrom requires a receipt in order to properly process the refund. If you do not have a receipt, and they approve the return, you will receive a Nordstrom Gift Card for the current selling price of the item you are returning.
REI states that they have a 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed policy. Shoppers have a year to return any product for a full refund. REI states that the guarantee does not cover ordinary wear and tear or damage caused by improper use or accident. Planning to return an item that is used? Be sure to wash it before you return it. According to their policy, merchandise that has not be cleaned might be denied and it will be returned to you are your expense.
According to Popsugar.com, Trader Joe’s will return any product, even one that is half eaten, and for any reason although they probably won’t even ask.
Whole Foods has a 100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee. Whole Foods will accept returns on products, opened or not, anytime, but you must have your receipt.