UNITED STATES—Something that has recently changed in the retail industry, something that has raised my eyebrows and made me think: hmm, is that a good thing or a bad thing? For me, it feels like a bad thing. Why? The return policy for many retailers vastly changed. I mean 10 days to return an item? That is crazy when you have retailers that used to give you 30 days. Most people take you almost 10 days if not longer to determine if you want to keep an item or return it.

I think it is stronger when it comes to clothing. You never know how something will truly fit or look until you have it at home. Yes, you can try on some items at a store if you actually visit the store. That is the problem with so many retailers today, everyone is shopping online. Guess what? You cannot try the clothes you purchase online until you get them at your home.

So many people realize upon receiving those items it doesn’t look the way you expected it to look like, and as a result you have to take that dreaded trip that you did not expect to take. I remember one retailer in particular used to give you 180 days to return an item that recently changed to 30 days. Making the situation worse is the fact that, items on clearance or sale, you cannot return now. They are final sale, once you purchase it, you better be 200 percent certain this is an item you like.

That wasn’t the case back then, but the pandemic has impacted a lot of retailers to a degree where they are not allowing the consumers to bring items back after they have been purchased. It is one thing if the item has been worn, damaged or open. I don’t think for a second any retailer should allow that to happen, because quite frankly I have seen it more than I would like to argue.

Hell, I saw a woman who purchased an item from ANOTHER RETAILER attempt to bring it back to an establishment that didn’t even sell the item. Of course the person did not have a receipt and I cannot understand that at all. You need a receipt to return items; you cannot just bring something back because you feel like it. The person tried to argue, but the employee was not having any of it.

I even witnessed someone who purchased something nearly a year ago, attempt to bring it back. Now most retailers don’t allow that, I do know of one, but I will keep that a secret to myself. With that said, do not expect to pull one on the retailer. Be fair and be honest. If they ask you is there a reason you’re returning the item, it’s simple, “I changed my mind. I decided it is something I didn’t need or it doesn’t fit properly.” Those are the typical answers so there is no need to feel any guilt about having to return something.

Now, the notion of dragging the items back to deal with the return is a pain, but do you really want to toss money in the trash? No, and you need to be aware, how you pay for an item is how you will receive the return. If you paid with cash you get cash. If you paid with a credit card, the credit is applied to your credit card. Do not expect to pay for something with a gift card and get cash back. You didn’t pay with cash, you used a gift card so you will get a gift card aka store credit in return.

Honestly speaking, most retailers should AT LEAST give the consumer 30 days to return an item. Anything less than 30 days is just not fair and feasible, especially if items are being shipped or mailed to you, where you are waiting weeks to receive them. Not that easy to return something within a day, if you just got it in the mail.

Written By Zoe Mitchell