Exchange Students

Learning the ins and outs of store returns
Wednesday, November 16th, 2011
cavalli logo store front
If you have friends and relatives like ours who always want to return every one of their gifts, before you embark on your holiday shopping check the stores' return policies!  One would think we'd know this already, but even experienced shoppers sometimes get caught empty handed - or in this case, unhappily full handed.

Department stores are notorious for their liberal return policies, some more than others.  Nordstrom, Macy's and Neiman-Marcus generally allow returns for either a full refund or a store credit. The type of refund may depend on the amount of time that elapsed from the date of purchase. Most stores allow for returns on sale or clearance merchandise as well, although we've noticed at times a sign will be posted indicating certain sales items are not returnable, such as those on a deep discount. Stanley Korshak gives a full refund within seven days. Keep your receipt! Target and Walmart, as you probably would expect, have the most liberal stated policies, allowing for refunds on sales within 90 days and with a receipt.  Sales returns without a receipt become more problematic but not impossible, and there are specific rules, too numerous to mention here, that apply.

tamara at pucci

Do these colors work? Is it me?

Smaller, exclusive boutiques have much stricter policies.  Roberto Cavalli's stated policy on their receipts (in very small font) says "NO CASH OR CREDIT REFUNDS. Merchandise which has not been altered or tag removed will be accepted for exchange or STORE CREDIT within 10 DAYS of purchase accompanied by receipt. Store credit expires 1 year after date issued.  ALL SALES ARE FINAL."  Gucci, Versace, Bottega Veneta, and Valentino have the same policy. Louis Vuitton has a 14 day policy for an exchange or refund. Although not always specifically mentioned, sale or discounted merchandise is never accepted as a return at these stores. Hugo Boss allows for 30 days to get a full credit, while Carolina Herrara provides for 30-day returns but only for a store credit. Again, discounted items are not returnable.  Gregory's provides only store credit, but the sales staff did not give us a number of days. Just remember to have the receipt with you.

Several of the stores we visited indicated that they are more liberal around the holidays, but don't count on it unless you're specifically advised.

Does this mean we shouldn't shop at the boutiques, at the holidays, or otherwise?  NO!!!  Some of our favorite sales people reside at the boutiques. Some of our favorite dresses and jackets came from those stores.  We all love those shops for their exquisite selections and quality merchandise.  Please don't snub those fabulous fashion houses just because of a strict return policy.  Simply, know what you are buying and why before swiping that credit card.  If you are buying something for a specific outfit, bring the other pieces into the store with you.  Most stores will hold items for you if they know you are coming back to try it on with something. Roberto Cavalli is especially helpful if you advise the store clerk of your plan.  Just ask.

Happy Shopping!

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