Think Twice Before Returning Items to These 5 Stores

Bring back one too many items, and it could mean no more buying for you.

How many times have you skipped the dressing room, figuring you can always return what doesn’t fit? You might want to rethink that shopping strategy at some stores.

We’ve told you about the stores with the best return policies, and now it’s time to unveil the lemons. Here are five stores that may go so far as to ban you for making too many returns.

1. Amazon

For most items sold by Amazon, the online retailer gives you 30 days to make a return. Miss that window, and your refund could be docked by 20 percent of the purchase price. Take the plastic wrap off DVDs, CDs and games, and your refund drops 50 percent. And don’t even think about returning opened software. You won’t get anything for that.

All that may be within the realm of the reasonable, compared with other store return policies. What may be more concerning for shoppers is the number of people who say they’ve been banned from Amazon for what the store deems to be excessive returns. The store doesn’t say anything about banning customers in its posted policy, but it apparently closes your account when you hit a certain percentage of returns.

2. Best Buy

The electronics giant made it onto Consumer Reports’ “Naughty List” for the 2013 holiday shopping season because of its return policy. The store requires a valid ID to make a return or exchange and then tracks that information.

The company warns in its return policy: “Based on return/exchange patterns, some customers will be warned that subsequent returns and exchanges will not be eligible for returns or exchanges for 90 days.”

Beyond that, Best Buy gives customers a tiny window to make returns, only 15 days for customers who aren’t My Best Buy Elite or Elite Plus members.

3. Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue has also decided to go with a 30-day window for returns. If you try to make a late return, Saks will only credit you based on the current selling price regardless of how much your receipt says you paid.

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  • justastaffmember

    And next to this story we see another story entitled, ”

    Conniving Americans Trick Retailers Out of $3.8B in Fraudulent Holiday Returns.” I don’t blame the retailers at all.

  • Mill

    I have to say I am a home improvement DIYer and I am at Home Depot and Lowes constantly, many of the employees know me and I am constantly buying and returning items because I either buy too much or buy something that I find I already have and I have NEVER had a problem. And I’ve done this with and without a receipt. My favorite part is that they can look it up with a swipe of your credit card. I actually always considered them both very lenient with their return policy and that’s why I keep shopping with them. I always thought more companies should be like them. I’m curious to see what this retail equation has on record for me….

  • Holly Allison

    holy cow, this all comes as [sort of bad] news to me. I am an exclusively, on-line shopper because I’m partially disabled in good shape but with a 1000 year old lemon for a car and a bit older I don’t do much driving anymore. That said, I’m between sizes and because retailers, particularly women’s clothing, cannot make up their mind how to properly size *any* article of clothing w/a modicum of consistency, i.e. I take sizes from S/P -L in everything: 32DD-36C, Pants: 6-Reg- 12P, Dresses: 8-10, Tops: 4R-10P; Shoes/Boots/Sneakers: 8-10. It’s absurd & depending upon the item and retailer, I have to purchase *at least* 2 of everything knowing that I’ll be returning something because they all lie about accuracy in sizing. Victoria’s Secret is one of the worst offenders in the size game. They also have no quality control and send clothing – including intimate items and footwear- which have obviously been worn (disgusting). And their sizing is so inconsistent that it is impossible for a woman, unless she’s gained or lost a *lot* of weight every 6 months, a female of consistent weight and height would have such size variables every time they shop. VS should pay me for free advertising of their clothing line. Regarding the Big Box Stores- I gave up on those years ago when I realized than unless I deliver and install everything myself I could not count on them to bring items that weren’t dented, functioned or could be installed within a reasonable time period as promised. Therefore, as retailers continue to buy one another out, as they continue to screw, lie to and abuse those customers who *are* their paycheck, they’d better supply generous return policies because they can threaten all they want – you have the law on your side. Begin by making noise to the merchant’s customer service department. Next, contact your credit card issuer and dispute charges or lack of credits from legitimate returns (w/receipt). If you’ve exhausted your first line of defense resources, contact the BBB ,your local AG’s office. Please, take the CR’s annual surveys – have your say bc it helps all of us !

  • Holly Allison

    Yeah, as a customer I’ve stood in those lines at Sears, Best Buy, Target and TJMax – it’s disgusting what “those” types will try to return. And they make it difficult for all of us bc those of us on the up-and-up get penalized in the long run. Just like the abuses of government programs, we elders are getting screwed because of the scum who cheat and lie and get away with it for decades, we stumble along at 60 years old and must fight and prove and prove and prove , forced to beg for the very benefits we paid dearly into the system for 40 years yet leave empty handed, humiliated and frightened. We cannot make ends meet yet are forced to continue to pay the price for those cheats who still receive benefits – simply because *we* are in the wrong demographic. Drills in boxes, affordable medicare, it’s the same thing – the cheaters are killing us all and big business continues to reap it’s profits.

  • Lorilu

    A store clerk at Victoria’s Secret put the wrong item in among my gift purchases in a twofer deal. When I went back the next day to exchange it for the correct one, with my receipt, I was treated like a criminal and forced to show my ID, which was scanned, to rectify their mistake and get the proper item. Result? I never set foot in the store again.

  • robert cohen

    There is a “trick” or two the delivery people may do. They’ll bring you a floor model or perhaps a returned item. One famous old name brought me a freezer which had no light that worked. That couldn’t be more obvious they delivered a model that had probably sat on their store sales floor. I couldn’t change the darn bulb it was so obscure for this true amateur. Also when they take a box off a delivery truck in driveway or front of house, and that container box isn’t even sealed, it could indicate the full retail buyer is getting a doggy return. Frankly these were two name brand stores which I won’t name, but just think of the home appliance division of an ole department store and a major newer giant electronics store. I won’t name either because I’ll give ’em the benefit of fair doubt and don’t wannabe sued besides.

  • listkids4o4i

    I am 63 and take care of my 88 year old mother. We live in a very rural area with a failing mall comprised of just a BonTon and a JC Penney. I have to drive 60 miles roundtrip to get there. Sometimes i buy clothes for mom, bring them to her home to try, then return what she cant wear. Tags, receipt, ready-for-the-rack returns. Tonight i was blacklisted from returns at BonTon by TRE after promptly returning six items (with the receipt) that I bought two days ago for mom. BonTon has a lot of nerve doing that to somenone with a credit score of over 800 and carrying a platinum store card. Shame on you, BonTon for making me appear to be a criminal. I will never shop your failing, decrepid store again. Oh, and i’m a social worker who gets around to every corner ofthe county so i will be sure to spread the real truth about your crappiness. Your store is on the verge of closing anyway so i will gladly escort you to the edge.

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