The first day of school is a celebration of all-things-new: new shoes, new clothes, new school supplies, new computers. New things are great, until they don’t work, or they’re the wrong color, or the wrong size, or you have one too many. A savvy back-to-school shopper keeps her or his receipts and makes sure they know each store’s return policies — just in case. Here are some tips to keep in mind when back to school shopping.
• Returns: A store is not legally required to accept items for refund, exchange or credit unless the merchandise is defective or was misrepresented. Look for the store’s return/exchange policy.
• Packages: Keep item in its original box. Be aware that some companies may charge restocking fees.
• Sales/Clearance Items: Don’t assume the regular return policy applies to sales or clearance items.
• Online: Look for a posted return policy. If returns are permitted, be sure to print a copy of procedures and timeframe.
• Receipts: If you’ve lost the original receipt, some stores offer a merchandise credit.
• Expensive items: ask about the warranty--how long it’s in effect and what it covers. Weigh the pros and cons to an extended warranty plan.
• "Serial Returners": Often times companies keep track of your returns. Too many returns, and you may be put on a blacklist.