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View Full Version : Reminder - gift reciepts will not give you the value of the purchase back when return


Ishy
12-15-2008, 01:14 PM
The way a gift reciept works at most stores, when an item is returned, will give you 'sale' price in value back. So mom buys an 80$ sweater that goes on sale to 15$ Dec 26 and darling daughter doesnt like moms tastes, gets a 15$ store credit to use.

You are much better off giving the store receipt for any item you purchased as a gift to someone exchanging the item.

I consider this underhanded fraud, since most people believe that a gift reciept is as good as having the real thing.

If you are unsure, ask the store about its return policy and will you get full credit for the price paid for any item returned within ### number of days of the holiday gift giving or purchase date. And make sure the cashier can answer your question. Most people, even cashiers, assume a gift receipt is like the real thing.

CarolA
12-15-2008, 01:38 PM
I am not sure where you shop, but I have never had this issue and I have gotten gift receipts. The benefit of the gift reciept is that it does tell the cashier what you paid. I have never had this issue. I have always gotten full credit for the amount paid as have my family members (I know because SIL called me and said "you spent that much on THAT" LOL!)

In MOST cases if you have the orignal receipt you still aren't getting CASH. What you will get is a credit on the purchasers credit or debit card. So if I give my niece the receipt it doesn't help any more then the gift receipt.

If your store is doing this perhaps you should find new stores? I have used gift receipts at Target, Talbots and Macy's and this has never happend. (Nieces "you spent what" was at Areopostal)

hrh_disney_queen
12-15-2008, 01:43 PM
Never heard of this.

SHAYMARAYSMOM
12-15-2008, 01:45 PM
I have never heard of this.
I give the gift reiepts all the time. I have also gotten gift reciepts and never had trouble

girli565
12-15-2008, 01:46 PM
I thought the whole purpose of a gift receipt is so that the person gets the full value of the gift at the time it was purchased. I've never had this happen, ever.

taximomfor4
12-15-2008, 01:52 PM
I only had this happen once, at Dillards. I was furious. I gave up arguing, and contacted corporate after the fact. It turns out the cashier was INCORRECT in only giving me the sale price.

Since then, I worked at several different stores throughout nursing school, and learned each of their procedures. The gift receipts have the amount spent on each item listed there, just encoded as letters instead of numbers. When a return is done, the employee inputs the info from the receipt (just like a normal return), but uses the letter codes to input the numbers. For example, $19.99 could be coded on the gift receipt as CE.EE ... the C is on the #1 key, the E is on the #9 key. So when the cashier types it in, it tells the register $19.99.

Any store that does differently is going against the normal and widely used procedure. If you know of any, please let us know the specific stores. THOSE are the ones we need to beware of.

BTW, some stores I worked at include Dick's, Gymboree, and Disney Store. Oh, and also Kmart but that was years ago. Target and Kohls both credit the correct amount on all returns, because my MIL shops at those 2 stores ('nuff said, lol).

pumpkinfish
12-15-2008, 02:35 PM
Yeah, I'm sorry but that information is not correct and I used to work retail.

Your gift receipt is coded so that the person receiving the gift doesn't know what the cost is but has the store credit in hand if they ever need to return. The store credit is coded for the exact amount given.

Now...What DOES happen is going to a store without any receipts and returning/exchanging. At that point you will be given the value for what the product is at that point (no matter if the value increased or decreased).

rparmfamily
12-15-2008, 03:05 PM
I think the only time this could happen is if you bought seasonal merchandise (holiday sweater,etc) and then the item was returned after the holidays. In that case then I'd expect they'd only get the "going" price for it.

Otherwise, I've never hear of this/experienced this and I too am a former Target/Yankee Candle/Pier 1,etc employee. Lots of retail in my background!

Does the OP know of any specific stores that do this?

Shelly D.
12-15-2008, 03:08 PM
I agree with the other posters. The point of the gift receipt is for them to return the item and get full credit. If you give the recipient the original receipt, they may need to provide a driver's license or credit card to get the refund - so that would do them no good. I think gift receipts are the way to go.

Doesney
12-15-2008, 03:11 PM
I have never heard of this.

pumpkinfish
12-15-2008, 03:30 PM
I think the only time this could happen is if you bought seasonal merchandise (holiday sweater,etc) and then the item was returned after the holidays. In that case then I'd expect they'd only get the "going" price for it.

Otherwise, I've never hear of this/experienced this and I too am a former Target/Yankee Candle/Pier 1,etc employee. Lots of retail in my background!

Does the OP know of any specific stores that do this?

Thinking back, I can see if it is past the return date getting whatever the price is at that point. Say you can return up until Jan 15th and Jan 20th you return and have to get what the value is at that point. At that point the gift receipt is voided.

maxiesmom
12-15-2008, 03:30 PM
A gift receipt guarantees that you will get back the same amount of money the person who bought you the item paid for it. But keep in mind some store will only give you an in-store credit with a gift receipt. If you want to return something and get either cash back, or credit the givers credit card, you will need the original receipt. And no, there is no magic button I can push that will let me do otherwise!:) If you don't want merchandise from that particular store, you need to go ask for the original receipt.

Kteacher
12-15-2008, 04:24 PM
I work at Penney's, and our gift receipts are coded so that we know what price to enter if the item is returned, and that price is what the item was purchased for. The only time it gets confusing is when items are part of a "buy 1 get 1 " situation, then the return price is exactly half of the total purchase price for the 2 items.

Ishy
12-15-2008, 04:32 PM
This weekend I confirmed with the following stores their gift reciept return policy -

Kohls
JcPenny
PacSun
Sears
and
Macys

They count on most people doing an equal exchange or not questioning the price. I put out the warning, you can disagree - I give the real reciept now. Learned this the hard way a few years back and have been on alert since. Just keep both so if you return something with the gift reciept and they dont want to credit the price paid, you have the real thing to revert too.

Again, I encourage everyone to just be aware. I only speak from my own experience. Perhaps state laws can come into play too.

BCV2003
12-15-2008, 04:41 PM
This weekend I confirmed with the following stores their gift reciept return policy -

Kohls
JcPenny
PacSun
Sears
and
Macys

They count on most people doing an equal exchange or not questioning the price. I put out the warning, you can disagree - I give the real reciept now. Learned this the hard way a few years back and have been on alert since. Just keep both so if you return something with the gift reciept and they dont want to credit the price paid, you have the real thing to revert too.

Again, I encourage everyone to just be aware. I only speak from my own experience. Perhaps state laws can come into play too.

Last year, I returned a purse from Macy's that I received as a gift. With the gift receipt I received the full amount that it was purchased for not the amount it was currently selling for.

Personally, I have never run into this. This is the purpose of the gift receipt.

SHAYMARAYSMOM
12-15-2008, 04:49 PM
This weekend I confirmed with the following stores their gift reciept return policy -

Kohls
JcPenny
PacSun
Sears
and
Macys

They count on most people doing an equal exchange or not questioning the price. I put out the warning, you can disagree - I give the real reciept now. Learned this the hard way a few years back and have been on alert since. Just keep both so if you return something with the gift reciept and they dont want to credit the price paid, you have the real thing to revert too.

Again, I encourage everyone to just be aware. I only speak from my own experience. Perhaps state laws can come into play too.

I wonder if it goes by state? I Kohls, Sears,JC Penny and Macys do not do that around here

summerrluvv
12-15-2008, 04:53 PM
I know for a fact Kohls does not do this around here. Actually it seems like it would be fraud and I would contact the Attorney General in your state.

MyZoeJane
12-15-2008, 05:29 PM
If you have let this happen to you even once then I would march back there and raise holy hell because you got duped by an uninformed salesperson.

This is NOT a legal store policy with a receipt. The ONLY difference between a sales slip and a gift reciept is the fact that the gift reciept hides the purchase price. It does not CHANGE the purchase price in any way. The bar codes are the SAME on both slips.


The ONLY time a store will give the current price in a store credit is when you return the item with NO receipt at all.

Minnie
12-15-2008, 05:32 PM
Gift giver beware..... I have had the same thing in the OPs post happen to me - total rip off :mad:

MyZoeJane
12-15-2008, 05:35 PM
Gift giver beware..... I have had the same thing in the OPs post happen to me - total rip off :mad:


I have GOT to know what state you guys live in so I can research this. I SWEAR you just got a moron for a salesperson. It simply is NOT legal to refund less than the purchase price with proof of purchase!

If this is happening, then it is happening because stores are defrauding customers, NOT because it is a LEGAL policy!

SHAYMARAYSMOM
12-15-2008, 05:36 PM
If I was the person who brought the item and found out the store did this I would be so mad.
They are stealing from people

MyZoeJane
12-15-2008, 05:37 PM
Okay, I sort of stand corrected! First thing I found was this article:

http://wcco.com/consumer/gift.receipts.price.2.624125.html

I'll keep researching, but I am willing to bet my left armt hat this is NOT LEGAL...

I keep finding this issue with sporting goods store particularly. I have NEVER had a problem with getting the purchase price with a gift receipt, but I must be shopping at stores that track the transactions. It seems like the problem IS more common than I would have EVER imagined. I mean, what the HECK is the point of a gift receipt if it doesn't tell the salesperson HOW MUCH WAS PAID FOR IT? But apparently, in some stores, the only point of the "gift receipt" is to prove it was paid for, and NOT how much!?!?!

Who would have thought this??? There MUST be some sort of legal issue that could be brought to fore regarding this because I have NEVER seen any notification in ANY of the stores I have shopped in that outlines this policy. Where it IS happening, it is deceitful and likely unlawful.

I willc ontinue to research this to see if any legal action has been taken on the issue...

MyZoeJane
12-15-2008, 05:52 PM
A link to a thread that discusses this issue:

http://www.planetfeedback.com/dicks+sporting+goods+inc/exchanges/returns/gift+receipt+ripoff+at+dicks+sporting+goods/305930


Still researching.... (OP, MANY Thanks for posting this topic. I absolutely love it when someone enlightens me to injustice! I swear I would have never guessed this might be an issue!)

Kteacher
12-15-2008, 06:59 PM
I can only speak for Penney's, and I have worked for this company for almost 15 years- when a customer returns an item with a gift receipt we ring in the code that is printed on the receipt-and that code is for the purchase price. Without a receipt the customer is given the current selling price of the item. Exceptions are made at the discretion of mgt., but I know in my store that mgt. always tries to please the customer. They would rather lose a few dollars on an item than lose a return customer.

Shelby5514
12-15-2008, 07:30 PM
Ishy~ Your information is totally WRONG about Macy's return policy with a gift receipt.

With a gift receipt you will recieve an in store credit in the form of an EZ Exchange card for the amount of the original purchase.

Without a gift receipt you will receive an in store credit for the lowest selling price in the last 30 days.

With the original purchase receipt they will return the item to the original form of payment or you can opt for an EZ Exchange card. If the original form of payment was a check you will receive cash if it's been 10 days since the purchase. Less than 10 days you will receive an EZ Exchange card.
Also, if you did not receive a gift receipt, as long as the item has the UPC barcode and the CRL barcode (Customer Return Label) you will receive the original purchase price.

I have been a Customer Service Supervisor at Macy's for 10 years and this has always been our policy. If you run in to a situation that you think is not right, ASK FOR THE FLOOR MANAGER.

GJM
12-15-2008, 07:36 PM
I have never had this happen to me at all. I have done alot of shopping at Kohls, Macy's & JC Penny's. I have received gift receipts for some gifts that I have returned and never have had a problem.

This is in NJ & SC

CarolA
12-15-2008, 08:38 PM
I just spoke to a friend of mine who is a manager at a Macy's in Atlanta.

1. If you do an even exchange then generally they don't give you a credit. She said that they will if you ask, but generally its the two days after Christmas and folks just "swap" to get out of there LOL!

2. If you want a store credit then you get the ORIGINAL selling price as a credit. You will not get cash with a gift receipt. However, if the person who bought it for you got in on sale you don't get the retail price you get the sale price. (She has had lots of folks who got upset on that one assuming that Grandma NEVER would have bought that at 40% off)

3. If you don't have a receipt, then you get the current price store credit only.

4. The above rules do NOT apply to Christmas decorations. They got burned ONE too many times. If you bring back your Christmas Decorations on January 2nd you get current price. (In other words don't decorate the house and then take it back LOL!)

PrincessMom98
12-15-2008, 09:03 PM
The above rules do NOT apply to Christmas decorations. They got burned ONE too many times. If you bring back your Christmas Decorations on January 2nd you get current price. (In other words don't decorate the house and then take it back LOL!)

O my gosh! I was behind a woman in Kmart last January who did this! She drug in an opened Christmas tree box (the tree was obviously used and couldn't get the tree back into the box) and boxes of ornaments and garlands. I couldn't believe it when the cashier gave her back nearly $200 without question!

tinytink
12-15-2008, 09:36 PM
O my gosh! I was behind a woman in Kmart last January who did this! She drug in an opened Christmas tree box (the tree was obviously used and couldn't get the tree back into the box) and boxes of ornaments and garlands. I couldn't believe it when the cashier gave her back nearly $200 without question!
This is so true back when my youngest was a baby my mom purchased formula from Target for him but I was nursing so I didn't need it. My mom gave me both her original receipt and the gift reciept since she paid with her CC and she wanted me to get store credit for it I used the gift receipt to return it and at the time Similac she purchased was $9.99 per can and when I went to my local Target they tried to give me a refund price of $7.99. I whipped out her original receipt with the price she paid and expected the same refund price and only then did they adjust it to reflect what she actually paid vs. what that store was selling it for. Thanksfully she gave me her original receipt so I was able to get what she actually paid for it. So bottom line beware!!!!

pumpkinfish
12-16-2008, 07:30 AM
Like I said previously I worked retail...
When we would do an exchange, we had to run everything through the system unless someone was exchanging the item/size/color for the same item/size/color (like if there was a defect). We werent able to "exchange out" due to that messing with inventory results. When we rang in the return the register would prompt us if there was a gift receipt or original receipt or no receipt. Now it is quite possible that some of these stores' employees are ringing up the item and selecting no receipt (or the equivalent) so that the customer is getting back what the value is at that point. It is absolutely outlandish that a store would issue a gift receipt and NOT give back the value that the buyer paid. I appreciate the OP bringing this to light but unless I've heard from corporate that their policy is to give the person returning/exchanging a new value for the item bought I will still doubt this information.
Of course I am not speaking about getting cash back in the above scenario...just getting a store credit or credit towards their current purchase. If the OP is discussing cash back that might be a different story.

*and it's quite sad that after 5 years not working in retail I still remember all the information provide above :sad2: :rotfl:

Darsa
12-16-2008, 07:52 AM
*and it's quite sad that after 5 years not working in retail I still remember all the information provide above :sad2: :rotfl:

I've been out of retail for going on 14 years now, and I could probably still quote the Ames Customer Service return policies! This thread has brought those things right up to the front of my brain again! :rotfl:

MyZoeJane
12-16-2008, 07:52 AM
Well, fromw hat I was able to find, this issue seems to happen mostly at Dick's Sporting Goods Stores. They, and maybe other stores, too, do not have their register systems set up to TRACK purchases. With their gift receipts, they have no way of knowing what was paid for the item, they can only use the gift receipt to verify that the item WAS paid for.

I still stand by my original shock and disbelief that this is common store policy, though. I truly think that 99% of the time people will get what was paid by using a gift receipt.

But thanks again to the OP for raising the issue, which is certainly worthy of scrutiny and caution!

hrh_disney_queen
12-16-2008, 07:58 AM
Yeah, I'm sorry but that information is not correct and I used to work retail.

Your gift receipt is coded so that the person receiving the gift doesn't know what the cost is but has the store credit in hand if they ever need to return. The store credit is coded for the exact amount given.

Now...What DOES happen is going to a store without any receipts and returning/exchanging. At that point you will be given the value for what the product is at that point (no matter if the value increased or decreased).

I agree with everything you said but the bolded part. If you have no receipt, you will receive the lowest price the item has ever been. They will not give you MORE than what was paid for it, just because the current price is higher. So if the item was purchased at full retail price, but was on sale two weeks ago for 50% off, w/o a receipt you will receive the sale price. Otherwise people could buy stuff on sale, then return it for full price and make money.

MyZoeJane
12-16-2008, 08:01 AM
I agree with everything you said but the bolded part. If you have no receipt, you will receive the lowest price the item has ever been. They will not give you MORE than what was paid for it, just because the current price is higher. So if the item was purchased at full retail price, but was on sale two weeks ago for 50% off, w/o a receipt you will receive the sale price. Otherwise people could buy stuff on sale, then return it for full price and make money.

I think this depends on the store. Kohl's gives the current price, NOT the lowest price "ever." But their prices go up and down and all over the place so much because they are always having sales!

hrh_disney_queen
12-16-2008, 08:03 AM
I think this depends on the store. Kohl's gives the current price, NOT the lowest price "ever." But their prices go up and down and all over the place so much because they are always having sales!

You could actually profit from a return? That seems odd, but we don't have Kohl's around here.

pumpkinfish
12-16-2008, 08:07 AM
I think this depends on the store. Kohl's gives the current price, NOT the lowest price "ever." But their prices go up and down and all over the place so much because they are always having sales!

You could actually profit from a return? That seems odd, but we don't have Kohl's around here.

I'm sure it might vary from store to store but where I worked (and the surrounding stores) you would be given the price at that point in time. And yeah, we'd get scammers coming in that would benefit from the returns :sad2: . Right before I left that job they were installing a system to track returns and to "cut off" those that abused the return policy. But that's a whole nother can of worms :) .

maxiesmom
12-16-2008, 03:03 PM
[QUOTE=CarolA;29185409]2. If you want a store credit then you get the ORIGINAL selling price as a credit. You will not get cash with a gift receipt. However, if the person who bought it for you got in on sale you don't get the retail price you get the sale price. (She has had lots of folks who got upset on that one assuming that Grandma NEVER would have bought that at 40% off)
/QUOTE]

We get that all the time!!!:rotfl2: People give you the gift receipt, and when you tell them they are only getting $5 back, they look at you like you are crazed! "But I know Grandma paid full price!" Umm, no she didn't. Grandma is a bargin shopper honey.:thumbsup2

Vijoge
12-16-2008, 03:11 PM
Like I said previously I worked retail...

Of course I am not speaking about getting cash back in the above scenario...just getting a store credit or credit towards their current purchase. If the OP is discussing cash back that might be a different story.


That could be. DH recently returned some items at Kohl's. They told him if he wanted his CC credited they could only give him the most recent price but if he wanted a Gift Card they would give him the full amount.

luvtogo12
12-16-2008, 05:58 PM
I think this depends on the store. Kohl's gives the current price, NOT the lowest price "ever." But their prices go up and down and all over the place so much because they are always having sales!


My Kohls gives the "lowest price of the Season" when an item is returned without a receipt. Last week I returned something and they gave me something like $4.00 back. I went out to the floor and found the exact item for $12.99. I was furious but it was my fault for not having the receipt.

Scornelius
12-16-2008, 06:26 PM
I used to work at Sears, and I know that it not their policy. I would raise holy heck if any store tried that with me. I'm currently an assistant manager at a clothing store, and we use the code system that a PP mentioned. CUUU=19.99, etc.

I have GOT to know what state you guys live in so I can research this. I SWEAR you just got a moron for a salesperson. It simply is NOT legal to refund less than the purchase price with proof of purchase!

If this is happening, then it is happening because stores are defrauding customers, NOT because it is a LEGAL policy!


I totally read this as 'I SWEAR you're just a moron' and my eyes nearly fell out of my head. :lmao: :rotfl2: :lmao: :rotfl2: And I agree, it's fraud. If you contact head office, I'm almost positive you would get the full value back as a store credit. (We issue gift certificates for the value at my store.)

leahjade
12-17-2008, 10:51 AM
I always thought gift receipts were silly anyway. If you return the item, you'll see what the person spent on the gift card anyway.

maxiesmom
12-17-2008, 02:48 PM
I always thought gift receipts were silly anyway. If you return the item, you'll see what the person spent on the gift card anyway.

But they keep everyone from claiming Grandma paid full price for all of their Christmas gifts.

kimsuenew
03-05-2009, 04:03 PM
We have had GR from Toys R Us, Macy's, and Kohls and have never had an issue like the OP presents (we are in Ohio). Now TRU is a "touchy one" if something is bought during a BOGOF or B2GOF promo or something, as one thing will ring up as $0.00 cost, therefore having no value when returned (we had this with both a movie and a video game).

I give GR (when I remember to get them:rotfl: ) often but only give the real receipt if I did not have a GR, or the person asks me for it.

Leajess99
03-05-2009, 04:47 PM
[QUOTE=Ishy;29179431]The way a gift reciept works at most stores, when an item is returned, will give you 'sale' price in value back. So mom buys an 80$ sweater that goes on sale to 15$ Dec 26 and darling daughter doesnt like moms tastes, gets a 15$ store credit to use.

You are much better off giving the store receipt for any item you purchased as a gift to someone exchanging the item.
QUOTE]

This is NOT the case at Target. We have always gotten the price paid for the item by using the gift receipt even when the item has been clearanced out.

Leajess99
03-05-2009, 04:53 PM
This weekend I confirmed with the following stores their gift reciept return policy -

Kohls
JcPenny
PacSun
Sears
and
Macys

They count on most people doing an equal exchange or not questioning the price. I put out the warning, you can disagree - I give the real reciept now. Learned this the hard way a few years back and have been on alert since. Just keep both so if you return something with the gift reciept and they dont want to credit the price paid, you have the real thing to revert too.

Again, I encourage everyone to just be aware. I only speak from my own experience. Perhaps state laws can come into play too.

Maybe it is just your local store because the Pennys and Kohls here do not do it this way. You get back what was paid for the item. I buy a lot of my daughters' clothes from Pennys since they have plus size (my 10 year old is NOT big by any means but the plus size shirts fit her so much better and she hates anything that could be tight) shirts. I have gotten some really good deals at our Pennys as well to include $35 jeans for $1.97.

At Kohls we have bought tennis shoes and gifts for others and no one I know has had an issue with not getting back what they paid.

TaraPA
03-05-2009, 05:04 PM
I agree with everything you said but the bolded part. If you have no receipt, you will receive the lowest price the item has ever been. They will not give you MORE than what was paid for it, just because the current price is higher. So if the item was purchased at full retail price, but was on sale two weeks ago for 50% off, w/o a receipt you will receive the sale price. Otherwise people could buy stuff on sale, then return it for full price and make money.

I'm in retail management & we always give CURRENT selling price for a credit without a receipt. We have no way of knowing what the lowest selling price was for an item, our system does not retain that info. So in theory, yes you can make a profit on returning sale merchandise once it goes back to full price. However we only give store credit without a receipt, so you'd have to spend it on our merchandise anyway.

Our gift receipt policy is to credit back (in store credit only, never cash or return on a CC) the actual sales price which has been encoded on the gift receipt, not the current price or lowest sale price. I've never heard of that & I've been in retail for 20 years. I just returned an item last week from before Christmas to Kohls with a gift receipt & got the full purchase price.

LaurenLC
03-05-2009, 06:21 PM
This weekend I confirmed with the following stores their gift reciept return policy -

Kohls
JcPenny
PacSun
Sears
and
Macys

They count on most people doing an equal exchange or not questioning the price. I put out the warning, you can disagree - I give the real reciept now. Learned this the hard way a few years back and have been on alert since. Just keep both so if you return something with the gift reciept and they dont want to credit the price paid, you have the real thing to revert too.

Again, I encourage everyone to just be aware. I only speak from my own experience. Perhaps state laws can come into play too.

I am an executive for one of the stores listed and I can tell you that this is not the case. Doesn't matter what state you live in, a gift receipt will give you a refund (store credit) in the amount that the person paid.....
Garbage like this does not helping the retail industry at all.

LaurenLC
03-05-2009, 06:25 PM
Also wanted to say, people's problem with gift receipts are that people don't want to belive that someone would buy them a gift on, heaven forbid, sale! I can't tell you how many times I've been told, "But my mother in law never buys stuff on sale."... Well guess what, she does now!

The Disney Bunch
03-06-2009, 03:50 AM
I will be honest - I find it hard to believe that the OP could have CONFIRMED that these MAJOR stores are counting on people not knowing what the price was that was paid on a gift receipt & that they try to give back only the last sale price - Do you really think they are going to confirm this to a customer? Come on! I have NEVER had this happen to me - I have only used a gift receipt a few times but each time, I have received the full price that was paid originally. I find this a bit hard to believe and would love to see more proof of how she/he confirmed this. You know they are not going to admit to something that basically is fraud.