Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

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rjbraun
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Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by rjbraun » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:32 pm

Just curious how people feel about giving or receiving gifts where a gift receipt is included.I have a particular situation that is driving the question, but I figured I would make the question broader.

I "needed" to get a gift for a family member's birthday. I put "need" in quotes as it's not absolutely essential, but seemed the right thing to do. It's a "milestone" birthday for my sister-in-law and we tend to exchange gifts to some degree for birthdays and Christmas. There's no party or anything, DH and I just plan to take her and her husband to a nice lunch or dinner.

In anticipation of seeing her, I went ahead and ordered something online. I kinda have decided that I want to try to minimize time spent on shopping for gifts, particularly when I don't really know what the person wants. In other words, while I want to get an appropriate enough gift, it seems silly to invest a lot of time (as may be my wont, "to obsess") if I don't even know that the recipient will have a strong opinion or preference about what I got. I figured if I got a "name brand" item and gave that, along with a gift receipt, she could readily exchange it for something she may prefer.

So, the order has arrived in the mail. Frankly, I'm kind of disappointed in the quality, but as I said it's a nice brand and cost about $200. 'I subsequently learned that online orders don't come with gift receipts, one must go to the store for that. Also, the company only accepts exchanges (with receipt) within 30 days of purchase.

As chance would have it, by the time I see her 30 days will have passed. Actually, that's irrelevant, now that I think about it as my online purchase didn't generate a gift receipt. So, my dilemma is whether to keep the item and give it to her, fully recognizing that she won't have the ability to get something different. Or, do I return the item and buy it again, closer to when I will see her. And, in that case go to an actual "bricks and mortar" store so I can get a gift receipt.

As it's a well-known brand, fwiw, I was surprised to learn about the rather limited return policy, imo. If the roles were reversed and someone gave me a gift from the place, I would probably have assumed that I could, at a minimum, at least exchange it for something else (assuming item was in perfect condition, of course, though I realize that some merchants have clamped down on returns / exchanges, so perhaps not). Anyway, I would feel kinda bad (embarrassed?) if SIL ended up going to the store and got turned away. If nothing else, I suppose, for that reason alone I figure the *right* thing to do is just return the merchandise and buy it again at the store closer to when I will see her.

Okay, I suppose I answered my own question, but I am open to being talked out of going through all of that if more sensible BHs think I'm being foolish. :shock:

HIinvestor
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by HIinvestor » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:37 pm

Since you are disappointed in the gift, I’d definitely return it now while it can be returned and rethink what you might want to purchase closer to when you will see SIL. It’s very thoughtful of you to get her something and help her celebrate this milestone.

Silk McCue
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by Silk McCue » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:38 pm

synopsis "Disappointed in the quality and no gift receipt." I wouldn't consider giving such a gift. Return and do something else.

Cheers

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ResearchMed
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:39 pm

Strongly agree with both of the above, for same reasons.

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livesoft
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by livesoft » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:39 pm

I'd call up my SIL and discuss it.
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CABob
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by CABob » Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:44 pm

Given the background you suggest I would lean toward you returning the gift and get something else perhaps even a gift certificate at that store or another.
Bob

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GoldStar
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by GoldStar » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:01 pm

To answer your general question: I don't believe in gift receipts. When I receive them I feel like people are saying "I made a half-hearted effort and know you might not like it so here's a receipt to return it" and when I give them I feel like I am admitting I hadn't a clue what to give. If you are going to give a gift-receipt you might as well take it a step further and just give a gift-card.

To answer your specific circumstance: I agree with others. If you are disappointed with the quality of the item I would return it and get something else.

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climber2020
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by climber2020 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:10 pm

GoldStar wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:01 pm
To answer your general question: I don't believe in gift receipts. When I receive them I feel like people are saying "I made a half-hearted effort and know you might not like it so here's a receipt to return it" and when I give them I feel like I am admitting I hadn't a clue what to give. If you are going to give a gift-receipt you might as well take it a step further and just give a gift-card.
I still think a gift receipt is a good idea in most situations. I recently got a very thoughtful gift mailed to me that fits my needs perfectly and is something I would actually use. Problem is I already owned the exact same thing. So I sent it back, got an Amazon gift card in return, and spent the money on something that I didn't already have.

Without the gift receipt, it would have gone to Goodwill.

Also, I've learned over the years that a lot of Americans don't like to give cash or cash equivalents as gifts despite its incredible usefulness and flexibility. So having a gift receipt at least allows me to get back some cash instead of having to deal with how to get rid of another useless piece of junk.

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rjbraun
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by rjbraun » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:36 pm

Lots of helpful input. Still open to ideas or suggestions ...

Actually, if I went to a physical store to buy the gift at a later date, I would probably check out other products and see if I found something I thought was nicer. But, yes, it would be the same brand so decent chance the quality issues I had would remain. So, I guess a takeaway is that I need to rethink the gift and consider getting something else entirely, as I think one or more posters have already noted.

I was about to think that I would just look for something over the next few weeks, while I'm "out and about" anyway to see if I can find something suitable. In that case, I would not make a point to go the gift receipt route. It's helpful to know that not everyone appreciates having a gift receipt included. Then again, others do find it helpful to be able to exchange something (myself included, I suppose) :confused

For her last birthday, we included a gift card (to supplement other small-ish stuff we got her) so I am a bit reluctant to give another gift card again this year.

livesoft wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 1:39 pm
I'd call up my SIL and discuss it.
Interesting idea to just speak with her. Will give it more thought. I wonder if she would feel comfortable telling me what she would like (or if she would even know). SIL is DH's sister, maybe he could ask her ...?

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ResearchMed
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by ResearchMed » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:59 pm

Unless you/your spouse are VERY close to SIL, I'd suggest not calling to ask.
Tacky.

What really can she say, other than, "Oh, that is so sweet but I don't need anything", and if you insist, the she can insist you make a donation to a charity in her name (and that IS still a possibility, if she has a pet cause).

How is she going to say, "Oh how wonderful! I had my eye on this absolutely marvelous Hermes handbag...!" :shock:

Or how about a gift certificate with a small token gift?

IF it is something returnable, do her the favor of trying to shop at a place that includes a return shipping label, if possible.

RM
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late to the party
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by late to the party » Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:26 pm

I definitely agree with the others that if you're disappointed in the quality, you should be the one to return it while you can.

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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by michaeljc70 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:26 am

I either give a gift I am relatively sure someone will like or give something else. I don't give gift receipts. I'm sorry...I know people call gift cards and such as impersonal and thoughtless, but if you give a gift card for a restaurant (or other place you know they enjoy) to someone, who is going to fault you? A gift they are going to have to bother returning or throw in the basement is a waste.

goodlifer
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by goodlifer » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:08 am

I had the same problem when I bought a gift from the Coach outlet online store, thinking it was the same quality as the regular Coach but at clearance prices. It was sewn crooked and had a plastic feel to it instead of fabric and I could only do an exchange for another outlet item. I wound up selling it myself and using the cash to buy something completely different. I would first find out if you could return it for a gift card, or if you were able to exchange it later, would they consider the return time started from the original purchase date or the date you exchanged?

I just buy a nice bottle of champagne and take the person out to a nice restaurant for milestone birthdays.

student
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by student » Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:52 am

I agree with others on returning the gift. I would so that I can give one with a gift receipt.

Thegame14
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by Thegame14 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:15 am

why don't you return it and give her a gift card to that store?

OnTrack
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by OnTrack » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:01 pm

goodlifer wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:08 am
I just buy a nice bottle of champagne and take the person out to a nice restaurant for milestone birthdays.
Agree, this is a good strategy. It's very hard to guess what other adults want or need. Often a gift will just add to additional unwanted clutter. Other than gift cards, a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or a fruit basket might make more sense.

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rjbraun
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by rjbraun » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:23 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:59 pm
Unless you/your spouse are VERY close to SIL, I'd suggest not calling to ask.
Tacky.

What really can she say, other than, "Oh, that is so sweet but I don't need anything", and if you insist, the she can insist you make a donation to a charity in her name (and that IS still a possibility, if she has a pet cause).

How is she going to say, "Oh how wonderful! I had my eye on this absolutely marvelous Hermes handbag...!" :shock:

Or how about a gift certificate with a small token gift?

IF it is something returnable, do her the favor of trying to shop at a place that includes a return shipping label, if possible.

RM
Thanks, RM.

Charitable donation is an interesting idea. I’m not aware of any particular pet causes on her part, though.

We gave a few smaller gifts last year, topped off with a gift card. Trying to think of a larger, “standalone” gift year, given it’s a milestone birthday, I suppose.

Good point about trying to include a return shipping label, in the event gift can be returned.

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rjbraun
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by rjbraun » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:31 pm

late to the party wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 5:26 pm
I definitely agree with the others that if you're disappointed in the quality, you should be the one to return it while you can.
Yes, I’ve pretty much decided to return the gift, while I’m still in the returnable period. It’s already packed and sealed, just need to drop off at UPS in the next week or two. The quality just isn’t to the standards I would want, especially to mark a milestone birthday.

I just need to find an alternative in the next few weeks, before I see her. I will keep an eye out for ideas. If I see something I think she may like, I suppose I am more willing now to get it even if it means she doesn’t have the option to return or exchange it.

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rjbraun
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by rjbraun » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:37 pm

Thegame14 wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:15 am
why don't you return it and give her a gift card to that store?
I thought of that, but unless the other products are of better quality it doesn’t really make sense. I don’t really see why other stuff would be better, though. Sure, some items could be a bit nicer, but at this point I’ve kind of written off the brand.

As I bought the stuff online I can ship it back for free. I don’t want to spend time lugging stuff to the store, seeing that the other merchandise is no better, which means I wouldn’t bother to get a gift card. Might as well ship things back now and be done.

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rjbraun
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by rjbraun » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:53 pm

goodlifer wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:08 am
I had the same problem when I bought a gift from the Coach outlet online store, thinking it was the same quality as the regular Coach but at clearance prices. It was sewn crooked and had a plastic feel to it instead of fabric and I could only do an exchange for another outlet item. I wound up selling it myself and using the cash to buy something completely different. I would first find out if you could return it for a gift card, or if you were able to exchange it later, would they consider the return time started from the original purchase date or the date you exchanged?

I just buy a nice bottle of champagne and take the person out to a nice restaurant for milestone birthdays.
Ha! My purchase was at the Coach online store, the regular Coach store, not the outlet.

I also found that the small bags I ordered (of which I would select one to give SIL) had a “plastic feel”. I suppose I didn’t find crooked stitching, but I did find that the outline of the little Coach label (to claim “authenticity”) sewn inside the bag was visible from the outside of the bag. Those issues (and maybe another one or two) just made me think that the $200 or so small bag looked like it should cost $80, tops. Okay, maybe a total of $120, just for the Coach logo (which isn’t of interest to me, personally), but certainly not 200 bucks.

Anyway, not interested to give a Coach gift card, at this point, simply because I just don’t think the quality is there. I still have a Coach leather bag or two from years and years ago. They were wokrhorses and classics, but their newer stuff is hardly comparable, imo.

Yeah, she doesn’t really drink champagne (or wine), and we already plan to take her to a nice restaurant

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rjbraun
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by rjbraun » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:00 am

OnTrack wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:01 pm
goodlifer wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:08 am
I just buy a nice bottle of champagne and take the person out to a nice restaurant for milestone birthdays.
Agree, this is a good strategy. It's very hard to guess what other adults want or need. Often a gift will just add to additional unwanted clutter. Other than gift cards, a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates or a fruit basket might make more sense.
Yup, I hear you and I hardly want to give her more stuff that contributes to clutter, etc. I do try to give consumable gifts, but she doesn’t really drink and tries to “watch her weight”, which means no chocolates. I’m not sure a fruit basket would work for her, either. Also, in my experience fruit in baskets or monthly clubs or similar are pretty disappointing in quality. Maybe some of the fruit is okay (but still not great) and some is, well, not very good (but, admittedly, probably not rotten or anything).

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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by RudyS » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:14 am

Gifts are (or should be) a personal thing. At our point in life, we do not need or want any more "things." Currently trying to downsize. We are trying to keep temptations like chocolate out of the house. DW and I would appreciate being taken to a nice dinner more than any objects. Gift cards seem impersonal, except for a restaurant that the gifter knows we would enjoy.

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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by lthenderson » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:15 am

GoldStar wrote:
Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:01 pm
To answer your general question: I don't believe in gift receipts. When I receive them I feel like people are saying "I made a half-hearted effort and know you might not like it so here's a receipt to return it" and when I give them I feel like I am admitting I hadn't a clue what to give. If you are going to give a gift-receipt you might as well take it a step further and just give a gift-card.
+1 This is what I always do. Why force them to do extra work returning an item and within a certain time limit? Just give them a gift card an let them buy what they want when they want.

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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by goodlifer » Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:06 am

rjbraun wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:53 pm
goodlifer wrote:
Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:08 am
I had the same problem when I bought a gift from the Coach outlet online store, thinking it was the same quality as the regular Coach but at clearance prices. It was sewn crooked and had a plastic feel to it instead of fabric and I could only do an exchange for another outlet item. I wound up selling it myself and using the cash to buy something completely different. I would first find out if you could return it for a gift card, or if you were able to exchange it later, would they consider the return time started from the original purchase date or the date you exchanged?

I just buy a nice bottle of champagne and take the person out to a nice restaurant for milestone birthdays.
Ha! My purchase was at the Coach online store, the regular Coach store, not the outlet.

I also found that the small bags I ordered (of which I would select one to give SIL) had a “plastic feel”. I suppose I didn’t find crooked stitching, but I did find that the outline of the little Coach label (to claim “authenticity”) sewn inside the bag was visible from the outside of the bag. Those issues (and maybe another one or two) just made me think that the $200 or so small bag looked like it should cost $80, tops. Okay, maybe a total of $120, just for the Coach logo (which isn’t of interest to me, personally), but certainly not 200 bucks.

Anyway, not interested to give a Coach gift card, at this point, simply because I just don’t think the quality is there. I still have a Coach leather bag or two from years and years ago. They were wokrhorses and classics, but their newer stuff is hardly comparable, imo.

Yeah, she doesn’t really drink champagne (or wine), and we already plan to take her to a nice restaurant
I had a feeling Coach was involved. Macy's sells some of the same Coach bags but they have a better return policy. I agree about the quality going downhill. I think the last purse I bought from them will be my last.

HIinvestor
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Feb 07, 2019 3:13 am

It really is tough choosing gifts for loved ones, especially when we aren’t sure of their tastes and everyone is in a declittering mode. My sister gave me certificates for foot massage and massage but I’m not a fan of either. The gifts she gives me I generally quietly return as they aren’t my taste at all.

I’ve heard great raves about cashmere wraps/shawls from Nordstrom, who has a great return policy. That may be something she could use but might not splurge on for herself.

Maybe like Nordstrom’s portolono cashmere scarf? (Also at Nordstrom’s Rack for big savings.). https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/prod ... lor=SILVER

MDfive21
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Re: Gift giving: gift receipts / returns

Post by MDfive21 » Thu Feb 07, 2019 10:31 am

i've sidestepped this dilemma by writing a nice note in a blank greeting card, including a $20 bill and going along my merry way.

unless you are sure the gift is a good one, just give her some b-day money and call it a day. literally everybody will appreciate the thoughtful note and nearly everybody will appreciate the opportunity to spend/save/burn the cash as they please. i'm sure there are some 'never give $$, it's tacky and thoughtless' people out there, but i think we're talking about less than 10%.

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