Save Money by Returning Items

by Mike Holman

When my wife and I bought a new house a couple of years ago we undertook an extensive renovation. One of the after effects of this reno and subsequent move into the house was that it took us a long time to get the house organized and cleaned up. During some of the cleanups of the basement it came to light that we had quite a bit of reno material from Home Depot that wasn’t used and could be returned. Last fall I collected quite a bit of this stuff and took it back with no receipts and they gave me a store credit for $230 which I found quite amazing since these were items that I more or less considered junk and had very little use for. A couple of months ago I did some more exploring in the basement and found more returnable items and got another credit for $137 at Home Depot.

Now I realize that most people don’t have that much extra reno material sitting in their basement but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to take a look in the basement or garage and see what is there. You might have bought some materials or tools with the intentions of a project but never used them. If it’s been a while and you aren’t likely to use the stuff then return it, clear some space and get a store credit.

Another possibility are tools that were bought for a specific project. In our case we own a tile saw and once we finish off the kitchen backsplash – scheduled for anytime in the next 10 years 🙂 then we might as well try to sell the saw since we are unlikely to have any further use for it.Another area to look for returnable items is the garden. Most of the larger stores that sell plants offer a one year guarantee so if they don’t last the summer or perish over the winter, then take them back and get a new one. It may seem silly to be digging up a rotten plant to take back to the store but the fact is that you probably paid at least $5 for that plant so you should get your money’s worth. This will require a bit of organization since you’ll have to keep the receipts for these.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MillionDollarJourney

Mike,

I agree, i’m a big fan of returning items. Especially @ hardware stores. That reminds me, I have to return some lighting that I purchased recently.

2 telly

Thanks for the reminder. I have a CO dectector in my desk that needs to go back to Lowe’s.

Besides the fact that they tend to be much cheaper than Home Depot in Canada, they have a great return policy. If you return an item that was purchased with a credit card, they swipe that CC and credit the card…no receipt required!

3 Wooly Woman

I am terrible at returning items. I know I should return them and then there they sit and then I think the time has gone past when I can return it. How amazing you got back so much money though! I need to get motivated to return items…

4 FourPillars

Wooly – the worst thing that can happen if you try to return something is they say no…

5 Jennifer

I completely agree! I have often written about this in my blog but I think this is the first post I have read by someone else. I actually plan on my schedule to “do returns” every other Monday. And I always have something to return! 🙂 (This is my secret weapon against Buyer’s Remorse – article included in this weeks Carnival also!)

6 FourPillars

Jennifer, I know a few habitual shopper/returners – sounds you might be one of them 🙂

Mike

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