return policies en-US 7 Ways to Deal With Unwanted Gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-deal-with-unwanted-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="opening gifts" title="opening gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone has received at least one horrible or laughably useless gift. But what should you do if you receive a gift that you don't want or can't use? Here are seven ways to deal with gifts that don't meet your needs. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">Wise Bread Gift Guide:&nbsp;Gifts That Save You&nbsp;Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Refuse</h2> <p>OK, this is really more of a pre-emption, and it's a tricky option, but a valuable one. If you have the opportunity to politely turn down an unwanted gift before receiving it, then you can stave off the hassle of finding a new home for it later. If your giver is an understanding type, you can simply describe how you are trying hard not to acquire new stuff in your home. Make sure to express appreciation for the gift (or at least, the thought behind it!).</p> <h2>2. Return</h2> <p>If your giver was kind enough to provide a gift receipt, then you don&rsquo;t have to do much explaining. Just take the gift back to the store and return it or exchange it for something that you want or need. You can even <a href="">return or cash out most major gift cards</a>.</p> <h2>3. Regift</h2> <p>Some gifts are useful specifically because you have the option to give it to someone else. Perhaps that skull-shaped vase isn&rsquo;t really your cup of tea, but you know a person with more eclectic tastes that would love it.</p> <p><a href="">Regifting can be tricky</a> &mdash; if both the person who gave you the gift and the person you are regifting it to happen to know one another, then honesty is probably the best policy. Explain to your giver that you know someone who would be incredibly jealous of the gift and ask if it would be OK to regift it.</p> <h2>4. Resell</h2> <p>If the gift is of any monetary value and you can sell it without your gift-giver finding out, then by all means, earn some cold, hard cash on eBay or craigslist. Check out this article on <a href="">where to sell common household items</a>. You can even <a href="">sell Groupon coupons</a>.</p> <h2>5. Repurpose</h2> <p>So skinny jeans are in, but your aunt thought you&rsquo;d like a pair of extremely flared jeans. If you can&rsquo;t return them (and can&rsquo;t bear to wear them), <a href="">alter the jeans</a>. People still wear jean shorts in the summer, don&rsquo;t they?</p> <h2>6. Refinish</h2> <p>Sometimes, a gift just needs a new coat of paint to make the grade. Chairs can be recovered, <a href="">furniture refinished</a>, clothing dyed, posters reframed, and brass chandeliers spray painted a brilliant shade of pink and hung in a funky bedroom or dining room. If you&rsquo;ve received a well-used (or simply ugly) gift that has good bones (and you&rsquo;re feeling a bit crafty) consider finding ways to shine it up and use it before getting rid of it.</p> <h2>7. Recycle</h2> <p>Donating unwanted things to Goodwill or any charity of your choice is a win-win. Non-profit organizations are able to fund their operations, and you get a tax deduction for charitable donations. If the unwanted gift is incredibly unique, make sure to donate it to an organization where the giver won&rsquo;t see it!</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="7 Ways to Deal With Unwanted Gifts" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Andrea Karim</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> DIY Green Living Lifestyle Style regifting return policies unwanted gifts Fri, 21 Dec 2012 11:24:31 +0000 Andrea Karim 959574 at Impulse Shopping: A Controllable Handicap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="marked woman" title="marked woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="373" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>A good friend and former client of mine was always cheerfully depressed in our regular financial review meetings. Inevitably at each consultation she had either made no headway on her debt repayments, or even worse had dug herself a little bit deeper into the red.</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Her weakness: impulse shopping. All too often she found herself in a store searching for a black skirt for work, and walking out with a red shirt, blue skirt, three scarves, and two pairs of jeans - but no black skirt. Then off to the next store looking for a coffee table, walking out with bags upon bags of other items she &quot;needed&quot; but didn&#39;t actually need. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>To her, the <em>need</em> was to walk out of a store with bags in her hands. Even if she didn&#39;t find what she wanted, there was some part of her that was satiated from an afternoon spent shopping if she could return home with all sorts of new loot in her possession. You could say her eyes were bigger than her pocketbook. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Guilty Spending</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Inevitably, she would feel terrible about her purchases within a week. But by that time she had ripped all the tags off, used or worn the items, and made them part of her life such that even though they were constant reminders of her inability to afford them, she couldn&#39;t let go of them. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>And in this way my friend passed many debt-ridden years of her life: living amongst rooms upon rooms of &quot;stuff&quot; she didn&#39;t need and couldn&#39;t afford in order to have the satisfaction of a day spent shopping and buying. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><strong>Impulse shoppers:</strong> if this is a tune you know well, you are not alone! There is indeed something strangely satisfying about carrying all those beautiful paper bags out of the store, taking your loot home, and finding a place for that perfect ornament, pair of shoes, or kitchen utensil. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>But if your pocketbook doesn&#39;t agree, there is a solution, which my friend discovered and has been using successfully for years. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Two Day Rule</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Feeling satisfied with the day&#39;s purchases, my friend will carefully set her shopping bags in a corner of her home and <strong>not touch them for two days</strong>. This is a hard and fast rule, not to be broken. As much as she needs what is in those bags, she cannot even look in them for two days. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>After the two days are up, she allows herself to pull the items out of the bags, but <strong>not to take any tags off</strong>. She lays them out for a third day to admire her wares and to truly decide if she needs the items she bought. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Return Policies</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>The other trick to this scheme is that my friend only buys items from stores with a cash refund policy. Reason being, after the three day trial period, she inevitably returns most of the items she bought on impulse. A few prized possessions might make it through this rigorous process, but if they survive the trial period, she is happy to keep them and absorb the financial consequences of doing so. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><em>I am in no way advocating a shopping spree with subsequent returns of the items purchased as a financial plan or solid financial advice!</em> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>But I will say that my friend managed to dig herself out of a mile-high pile of retail debt by recognizing her weakness for impulse shopping, and using this disciplined approach for managing it in the best way she could. Just like yo-yo diets, using extremes (like stopping something cold turkey) to manage a problem is rarely a viable long-term solution; creativity and a little discipline can be much more effective, and possibly even fun. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Impulse Shopping: A Controllable Handicap" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping impulse shopping refunds return policies Tue, 01 Jan 2008 00:48:49 +0000 Nora Dunn 1571 at Why Spending a Little More on a Brand Name can Pay Off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="waranty" title="warranty" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">I have always been a fan of buying the less expensive generic version of whatever it is I am in the market for. Running shoes, clothing, electronics, prescription drugs, you name it. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And in many cases, the generic version is just as good and saves a ton of money. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">There are a few cases that I have discovered, though, in which it pays to spend a little more at the outset. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I owned a pair of brand name running shoes that had a great little feature which was an alternative to laces, and I was loved them. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">However after a few months, the lace-alternative mechanism stopped working, and the shoes were rendered all but useless. Since the shoes were well used by that point though, I didn&#39;t even consider the fact that it could be covered under warranty. A friend who was visiting and worked in an athletic shop asked me how I liked the shoes. Needless to say I gave him a piece of mind about the company and their crappy shoes!</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;Well, just return them,&quot; he said. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;I&#39;ve moved all over the country. I&#39;m thousands of miles away from the store I went to, and I don&#39;t have a receipt anyway,&quot; I replied hopelessly. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;That&#39;s okay,&quot; he said. &quot;Just take them into our store. We carry that brand, so we can ship the shoes back to the carrier for you, and they&#39;ll replace them for free. You&#39;ll just have to pay for the shipping since you didn&#39;t buy them at my store originally.&quot; </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Done! A month later, I was wearing the brand new, next-generation of the shoe for the paltry $12 in shipping. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I&#39;m pretty sure the generic brand version of those shoes wouldn&#39;t have held to that level of service. In fact, I might have gone through two to three pairs of the same shoes in the time it took me to wear in the brand name shoes I still own. And when I calculate the cost at the end of the day, I actually saved money with the brand name shoes. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">That experience opened the doors for me to a world of brand name warranties. You don&#39;t always need to fill out a silly card or register by internet a lot of the time; you simply need to own the product. If it fails, you take it to a store that carries it and politely explain your problem and ask if there is a way they can help you. Alternately, circumvent the store entirely and go straight to the manufacturer. Again for the cost of shipping, you&#39;re likely to end up with a brand new replacement. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Most warranties specify that they will only cover manufacturer&#39;s defects, which is reasonable. But if you look hard you can even find a few items the manufacturer claims are indestructible, for which even wear &amp; tear is covered. And even if the warranty policy states manufacturer defects only, I would challenge you to spend the small amount of time required to see if you can get a replacement anyway. If it can save you the cost of replacing that item, it`s worth at least asking. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Here are just a few brand names I&#39;ve had experience with that will honour returns and replace damaged (and even just plain worn) goods: </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="" target="_blank">R.M. Williams</a> - The Australian boot company. If any part of the boot wears for any reason, they will repair or replace the item.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="" target="_blank">Oakley</a> - For sunglasses. Friends of mine have had luck with getting broken frames replaced without question. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="" target="_blank">Tilley</a> - Specializes in upscale travel wear, and their real specialty is the Tilley Hat - indestructible. So if any of their items wear, just return them. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="" target="_blank">North Face</a> - This is the company that replaced my running shoes. Not only that, but a friend of mine had a North Face jacket with a lifetime warranty, and I`ve read stories about others who have received brand new next-generation jackets (to the tune of $500 or more) for the cost of shipping. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="" target="_blank">Arcteryx</a> - Another outdoor gear outfitter, with extremely high quality (and high cost) items. I don`t personally have any Arcteryx swag, but others who own it say the warranty is honourable. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And for Canadians, items purchased at <a href="" target="_blank">Mountain Equipment Co-op</a> (they ship internationally by the way) are almost always returnable. I have returned punctured water bladders, ripped pants, and defective watches without as much as a blink of an eye from customer service. I don&#39;t even need a receipt, since they have my purchasing history in their computer.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">All this is not to say I am a brand name junkie. I couldn&#39;t care less about designer labels, and you&#39;ll never catch me carrying a $500 (or even $100) designer purse. I choose my brands carefully, based on functionality, price, and customer service.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">So if you are debating whether or not that brand name item will truly last longer than the generic alternative, consider the warranties available. You may get a lifetime of use out of the initially more expensive item if you play your cards right. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Why Spending a Little More on a Brand Name can Pay Off" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Nora Dunn</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Shopping brand name return policies warranties Wed, 31 Oct 2007 19:14:20 +0000 Nora Dunn 1342 at