How to Return Things Like a Pro

Returning things is seldom easy, most people don't like confrontation, and you are always just a little afraid the shop assistant is going to say no – even if you’re well within your rights. I am a returning things pro (yes, that’s a thing!) It is one of my special skills in life. Read my tips below and you'll soon be a pro too.

1.    Walk in like you own the place

So this is basically an exercise in confidence. Women tend to make themselves smaller in stature when they feel threatened – don’t do that! Grow an inch before you walk in the door and take up as much physical space as you can. I am aware that sounds weird, but the bigger you make yourself the bigger you will feel. Smile, chin up and look the shop assistant right in the eye.

2.    Make best friends with the shop assistant

You need to assume that the shop assistant is going to give you what you want. They are there to help you after all, and an awesome attitude with a big smile and a “Hi there! I’m hoping you can help me” makes all the difference. If they think you are the nicest person ever (you probably are by the way!) then they are less likely to say no.

3.    Tell them what you want from the beginning

How many times have you gone to the counter to return something only to be told you can exchange it – when you’d really like a refund so you can go and buy cake. Or pay the bills, whatever is most important to you that day! When you approach the shop assistant after your “It’s nice to meet you I’m the nicest person ever” tell them you want a refund and tell them why. Nicely and firmly. Get in there first and save yourself the awkwardness of saying no to what they want you to do. 

4.    Know your rights

Under the consumer guarantees act, you do not have the right to return something just because you change your mind (darn!) but a lot of places now have a great returns policy anyway – as they should. However if an item is faulty they have to give you a refund, even if they insist you can only exchange it. But please CHECK the returns policy before you buy if you are unsure about your purchase. I had a classic scenario the other day I went to return some necklaces to a shop who had informed me on purchase that I had 30 days to change my mind. When I went to return them however they said “You can’t return jewellery”. I honestly sighed and thought “Here we go”….which of course brings us to our next step!

5.    Ask to speak to the manager

Most shop assistants have zero power to return your money to you, they often don't even have a code for the computer that will let them do it, so you may need to ask to see the manager. Now I have been a retail manager and I have dealt with some horrible customers. Don't be that customer – until you have to! Again assume that they actually want to help you and if you get no joy, take it further. Only once as a customer have I ever had to email the head office of a company, but I did it. I have also had friends who have had excellent success posting on the social media pages of companies who aren’t holding up their end of the bargain (proceed with caution if you want to deal with that company again one day!) 

And if your rights aren't met under the Consumer Guarantees Act you can lodge a complaint here. 

Also, rest assured I managed to return my necklaces! 

Until next time,

Dressing Up - Because YOU are the special occasion!




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