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In The Community, News Published January 22, 2020Last Updated November 25, 2019

Returning the Ugly Sweater

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to return the gifts that we didn’t need or can’t use. It’s time to use gift cards to get ourselves something nice.

Returning a gift can be hard because there are many stipulations out there for different stores, follow these tips to make returning gifts simple:

  • Know policies: Read the policies on returns and be aware of store deadlines. Big merchants usually allow 90 days, but with electronics and similar items you may have less time.
  • Receipts: Having the original receipt or gift receipt will make the process go more smoothly. If you don’t have the receipt, you can always ask for it from the gift giver or you may be able to get in store credit. Some policies don’t allow returns without a receipt so check the store policy.
  • Exchange it: Returning a gift doesn’t mean you don’t like it; maybe you’d rather have it in a different color or need a different size. You can always check to see if the store has one, ask a sales associate or look on the store website before going in.
  • Mystery gift: If you aren’t sure where the gift came from you can try scanning the barcode with a phone app like ShopSavvy, you can even type the barcode numbers in Google.
  • Be nice: Sales associates are working with people all day long and some of those not-so-nice people. Be kind and patient with sales associates whether they are answering your questions, helping you return something or if they are trying to find something for you. Being nice goes a long way.
  • Waiting lines: Be prepared to wait in line and try to go during the week.

Gift cards are great to have and you want to use them in the best way possible to get the most out of them.

  • The fine print: Read the card’s terms and conditions, check whether the card is redeemable at a certain store or location.
  • Sell your gift cards: Don’t want the card or can’t use it? You can sell them for cash, you won’t get the same amount, but it is better to have the cash than to hold on to a gift card you won’t use. Here’s how: https://www.cardpool.com/sell-gift-cards
  • Keep gift cards safe: It’s possible to lose a card or get one stolen, you might not be able to prevent it but you might still be able to use the credit on that gift card. You can either write down the card information or you can organize them electronically in a gift card app. The easiest way to keep them safe is to take a picture of the front and back of the card, you may not be able to present it in store, but you can use it online or call the company and ask for a replacement.
  • Keep track of balances: You can check on the store website for the balance, just have your card handy because it will ask for the card number. You can use “Sleeve Pal” which is a smartphone app that logs the balance of your gift cards or you can do the old fashioned way and write it on the back of the card.
  • Donate to charity: You can also donate any unused cards to charity.

Always keep PuroClean in mind for any water, fire, mold or biohazard needs you might run into. Contact your local PuroClean office at 937-410-9700 or 513-897-8990.

Sources: https://www.giftcards.com/gcgf/gift-card-hacks,  https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2018/12/24/christmas-gift-returns-tips-exchanging-unwanted-holiday-presents/2337992002/, https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-articles-eg/5-easy-tips-for-returning-unwanted-holiday-gifts.html