I’m Returning this Jacket – for Spite!

One of our favorite Seinfeld episodes ever was when Jerry returned a jacket to a clothing store “for spite”! When the saleswoman stated that “spite” wasn’t an acceptable condition for a refund, Jerry was indignant – he wanted his money back. How many times have we – or our kids – been caught in a similar situation, not fully understanding the return policies for purchased items, particularly those purchased online? At Gifting Sense, every aspect of a possible purchase is considered before money can be asked for or spent, including a retailer’s return policy. Children are encouraged to answer yes to the question “I understand and can explain the return policy” when they are taking two minutes to answer 12 questions about a potential purchase. Those questions are designed to turn shopping for holiday and birthday gifts, into a tool to learn about financial literacy, gift etiquette and even personal style development.

How many times have we – or our kids – been caught in a similar situation, not fully understanding the return policies for purchased items, particularly those purchased online?

It can be a nasty surprise to learn that an item is final sale – or that the cost of shipping an unwanted dress or lamp back to a retailer will take a significant chunk out of any refund. Some stores will only offer gift cards for refunds – so you are getting your money back – but not money you can spend anywhere else. In our most recent blog, we used a sports analogy, describing financial offense as making money, and financial defense as spending the money you have as wisely as possible. Knowing the return policy for an item is part of a person’s financial defense tool kit. As such, buying only when you know the return policy is a way to up the DIMS (Does It Make Sense) score of a purchase on Gifting Sense.

As Jerry learned all those years ago – you can’t return an item for spite – and sometimes you can’t ever get your money back. Give your kids the greatest gift of all – the habit of taking things like return policies into consideration. It will last longer than almost any other thing you can get them.  They can “Get Started” right now with one of our Gift Surveys – and who knows – you may not ever have to return an item again!


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