How to make a return without a receipt

  • 25/12/2017
This man doesn't want new socks.
This man doesn't want new socks. Photo credit: Getty

Christmas has arrived along with a barrage of unwanted gifts. But don't fret - there are ways to return gifts without having the receipt with you.

Here's how it's done.

Do your research

Have a look on their website for their official refund policy, then give the store a call. This will give you an idea of how strict they are with the policy.

Ask if exceptions are ever made and if you get a particularly favourable answer, expert shopper and author of How to Shop for Free Kathy Spencer tells to take down the name and title of the person you speak to.

You'll be "armed with all the information you need to get things done smoothly", Ms Spencer says.

Be polite

You want the employee to want to help you.

It may encourage them to pull a few strings if what you're asking for is outside store policy.

Explain the product didn't live up to the quality you expected, Ms Spencer tells, and this should be all you need to say.

Ask for the manager

And no, not in that patronising or demanding tone. This won't help your case.

If the service desk can't help, thank them for their efforts and ask if there is a manager available.

You could also try calling the corporate office from the desk, who could make an exception just to get you out of the store.

Take the item back before it goes on sale

Don't expect to get a full-price return if the item has gone on sale, or previously been on sale. Without a receipt, most stores will give you a refund for the lowest value the item has sold for.

Be ready to compromise

Some stores will only give you store credit if you have no receipt. This is better than nothing.

Ms Spencer tells most retailers will take an item back without a receipt, although a minority will say no and stick to it firmly.

Either way, it's probably best not to mention you got the item as a gift.