Here’s a list of topics that could help you avoid a tricky situation. Please add to it as you see fit.
Don’t throw away the receipt and packing materials
This is one of those things that might seem too obvious to list but it happens. People misplace receipts and toss the empty box after unpacking the item. But, some stores, like Target, require all original packing materials when returning electronics and appliances. They also require the receipt. Failure to provide a receipt might mean not being able to return the item or settling for an in-store credit, which might be at a store you don’t like.
Be careful when buying gifts that require a monthly charge
Everyone has bills so if you buy someone a gift that requires a monthly charge then the courteous gesture the gift-giver is to absorb the monthly payment for about six months as part of the gift. This way the person who receives the gift has a good length of time to decide if this gift is worth keeping after your 6-month payment period expires.Don’t over-extend your financial capabilities
It’s tempting to buy something for yourself when shipping for others. But, don’t get sucked into the no-interest financing deals or use your credit card without thinking about the long-term impact your purchase will have on your budget. You’ll see some pretty good sales on electronics equipment from now until the end of the year. Say “no” to the impulse buy this holiday season and “yes” to financial bliss in the New Year.
Make sure there’s not a restocking fee in case of return
Restocking fees are those pesky charges stores put on the consumer for returning electronic items. They can range from 10 to 30 percent or higher depending on the store and item. Be sure to read the fine print before buying and question the salesperson about restocking fees. If the store has restocking fees then consider buying the item at another retailer. You can always request a price match from the restocking fee store to get the better price.
If ordering something online, make sure you ship it to the right address
If you are traveling this holiday season or are planning on buying something for someone that is traveling then make sure you know the address where the item should be shipped to. You might think this is a non-issue but a couple of years ago I ordered a golf club online and shipped it to my home address. That was fine only I wasn’t at home when the package arrived. I was at my Mom’s house playing in a 3-day golf tournament. So, I wasn’t able to use the club in the tournament.
Make sure that the person has interest in the item
Buying something that someone doesn’t have interest in or need is a no-no. It shows the person that either you don’t know them or didn’t think about what they could really use. Instead, think about their viewing habits, listen to what they talk about and take a look at their television and related components.
Don’t buy something for yourself and pawn it off as a gift
You may ask yourself, “Who does this?” But, it happens. I know people that buy something for their significant other only to take possession of it shortly after the holidays. Guys, this means that buying a new plasma high definition television for your wife isn’t cool if you plan on installing it in your home office or garage – unless that’s where she wants it.