K-State Research and Extension News
December 02, 2010
Share  Email the story

Check Retail Policies Before Buying, Save Receipts

MANHATTAN, Kan. -- When shopping, during the holiday season or any other time, for that matter, it's best to check a retailer's exchange and return policies before buying, a Kansas State University financial management specialist said.   

While the recommendation applies to any purchase, it can be particularly important when purchasing clothing or other sized merchandise as a gift, said Carol Young, K-State Research and Extension financial management specialist.

The same is true for electronics and other working items, such as a power tool, that may not live up to advertised claims, said Young, who also advised checking warranties and guarantees before buying.

And, while financial management pros typically do not recommend running up a credit card bill while shopping for the holidays, using a credit card to pay for items that may need to be returned can sometimes provide leverage for customers, she said.

That doesn't mean, however, that a customer will get cash back if a replacement item is unavailable, Young said. 

"Many retailers offer a credit, rather than a refund," she said.

"Keep receipts," said Young, who recommended organizing receipts for holiday shopping and gifts in an envelope or file folder; filing receipts by category, such as appliances, home improvements or other items, including tax deductible expenses and donations.

Keep holiday receipts for several months after a gift has been given in the event that the product falls short of advertised claims, said Young, who also advised requesting a gift receipt that can be included in the package to facilitate an exchange or return.

More information on managing money is available at local K-State Research and Extension Offices and online: www.ksre.ksu.edu/financialmanagement/.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.

Story by: Nancy Peterson
K-State Research & Extension News

Carol Young is at 785-532-5773