Return It

I implore of each and everyone of you that if you buy something, which for one reason or another, does not meet expectation and is eligible for return, please do just that. RETURN IT! As soon as possible after purchase or when it becomes apparent that there is a problem.

There a several legitimate reasons why you might return goods to a store and I will attempt to list them below. However not only are you entitled to return them, whether for store credit or a full refund, in some cases you are doing the rest of the world a favour in doing so. Some products are just a sheer waste of resources. They aren’t made well and they don’t live up to their promise of functionality.

There a several reasons that you might return goods due to your own fault. However depending on how lenient retailers are in your area they do have a right to refuse refunds on items returned for these reasons.  From experience, I know that the rules in the USA are much more lenient for the buyer than they are here in Australia. There are time limits imposed on all returns, but usually, when the customer is a fault, that limit is its shortest. It is an expectation of the retailer that the items return through your fault should be unused at the time of return. Some of the reasons for returning under these circumstances would be…

  • Bought the wrong size.
  • Want to swap the item for a different colour.
  • Bought too many of an item and want to return excess.
  • Simply changed your mind and don’t want the item.
  • Your circumstance changed and you didn’t need the item after all.

There are also several reasons, through no fault of your own, why you might and should return goods. It is expected that these items will have been used first before returning. How would you know if they were faulty or did not live up to expectation if you hadn’t.

  • The item is faulty in some way ~ whether at the moment of unpacking or breaks soon after when used as directed.
  • When, within a reasonable period after purchasing, clothing items shrink, fade, fall out of shape or come apart when washed correctly using manufacturers guidelines.
  • When an item does not live up to the functionality promised in its advertising or by the sales person.
  • You asked a sales person for assistance when purchasing but the item does not do what you specifically asked for.
  • If you order an item but when it is delivered it does not match the sample or demo in store.

So often I hear of people who just don’t want to deal with the returns process, don’t like confrontation or just don’t get around to returning goods until it is too late. This is such a shame because there are potentially numerous circumstances that can arise from this lack of action.

  • The most obvious is that if the item doesn’t get used it will become clutter in your home and have been a waste of your money. 
  • That waste of money can give you feelings of guilt every time you encounter the item.
  • If you force yourself to “make do” with the item, every time you use it that nasty feeling of dissatisfaction arises which makes you unhappy and resentful.
  • A recall by the manufacturing will not be enforced if not enough people come forward to make it obvious the product has a genuine fault.
  • Misleading advertising will not be ceased if enough people do not complain.
  • Misleading sales people will continue to get away with ripping people off.

So in future do yourself, your fellow consumers and the environment a favour by making the effort to return unsatisfactory items before it is too late.

Tip: Keep all receipts for items that are eligible to be return until you are sure you are satisfied or until the warranty expires. I keep random receipts for items such as clothes and other smaller goods together in one place. While the receipts and other relevant paperwork for more expensive items that carry a warranty are filed with other important papers.

Have you ever been sorry you didn’t return something, sorry you bought something in the first place or sorry that the guilt of wasted money has held you back from decluttering something?

Today’s Mini Mission

Declutter some paperwork that is no longer relevant to your current circumstances ~ old tax papers, irrelevant manuals and warranties, settled insurance claims…

Eco Tip for the Day

Don’t hesitate to return goods that don’t live up to expectation or don’t last as they should. World resources are wasted in the manufacturing of these items.

For a full list of my eco tips so far click here

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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  • Getting the stuff out of your home It has come to my attention, both through comments on my blog and through real life experience, that one of the issues people have with their clutter, once they finally decide to be rid of […]
About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Yes, that’s the one that can be tricky. I have just been decluttering books this week, and have cleared a bookshelf! Not related to returning goods, but I had to tell someone! Also have freecycled a bike and a massive chain and padlock, both left by my first lodger 10 years ago in the garage. They were waiting for someone strong enough to lift them out, apart from getting a ‘good home’.

    I get a lot of energy from getting rid of things. I wish I could show one of my friends how freeing it is, but I guess she will do what she will do and I must just get on with it. My long-term aim is to declutter enough to be able to rent the house out for 6 months without having to put everything in storage, so I can come to Australia and travel and see friends.

    • Hi Jane, that is some nice decluttering there, well done!

      Oh how I know what you are saying about wishing you could share how wonderfully freeing it is to let go of stuff. I also have a friend who I wish I could get this message through to.

    • Woohoo good for you, may the happiness continue as your home gets lighter and get free-er heehee 🙂 🙂 🙂 It is an amazing feeling so share it often!!

  2. Colleen, I have become very good at returning. My mother does not like to shop for clothes and I never know what will suit her. There is also the issue of fit because no two size __ will fit the same. So I find myself buying and then taking back clothes. I’m good at returning things anyway as I don’t have the money to “waste.” Still, I have also learned that it is easy to think something works so you keep it and then a month or two later you decide is wasn’t working as well as you thought. This is when I have a hard time returning it. For one thing, I usually no longer have the sales slip. Then I also don’t know if they will take it back any more. That is when I have a problem taking it back. I still do most of the time but I struggle.

    • Hi Deb J, when it comes to returning something that you have had for a while my opinion is this ~ The worst that can happen is that they refuse to take it back. You have nothing to lose in trying. Like I said in the post I keep every receipt from things I buy that may falter or prove useless. It isn’t a very large pile of receipts because I don’t buy much. So it isn’t hard to keep it under control. I keep them on a shelf in my craft space and on Mondays, when I dust the area, I go through the receipts to see if there are any that no longer need keep and put them through the shredder.

      • I have to do better at hanging onto sales slips until I know something is working for me. Maybe for 3-4 months.

        • Hi Deb J, I sometimes have to do returns when I get bits and bobs for my mum, she hates shopping for clothes, so I tend to pick up what I know she needs casual wise or winter woolies. I can get her knickers, but bra fitting has to done and often changes. Shoes are a pain but we perservere. My point is, although some things fit etc at the time, as a little time passes, things start to go sideways. I have had trouble in the past with boutique style shops but at most of them they are happy to change things because they want you to not make a fuss!! Major department stores are good too because I have never had a problem yet returning anything. Even without a receipt, as long as the item is still in their system, ie they still sell that brand towel or sheet or clothing or shoe or appliance.

          I keep all receipts for goods and go through them regularly, you pretty much know within a month if a top is going to stay the way it should, you know sleeves in the right place hahaha. The customer always being right, is good sometimes too, most manufacturers have a policy with a time limit. If returned quickly it isn’t a problem, after that time things have changed and you may not be able to get the product, but you will always get some form of monetary return. No store can refuse you if you have valid reasons. Just taking it one step further is enough for a store to relent, and I always ask for the manager because all problems are their problems not the cashiers or the shelf stackers. Go for the Boss when you next return something. 🙂 🙂 🙂

          • Dizzy – a bit of a jump in topic, but if you don’t mind me asking, are you still planning to build a house? If so, how has being a declutterer/minimalist influenced any decisions you made with planning the house?

            We’re looking to build next year and are starting to gather ideas. I find that someone will suggest a, say, ducted heating/air con system versus a heat pump and straight away I think – excellent, I can get rid of the three little portable heaters.

            I also find I’m leaning towards built in options too. Any thoughts?

          • Dizzy, good comment. You know what? As I have been reading the comments about returning things I realized that my real problem is that I don’t like to shop anymore than Mom does and so having to take something back irritates/frustrates me. I need an attitude adjustment. This is one of those things I need to just take in stride because it is much better than losing the money. I know I can take almost anything back to Wal-Mart and that’s where I buy most things. It’s not that far away either.

  3. I’m rather bad at returning myself, but have become better. Actually, I think, I’m not that bad any more at all, given how little I buy new these days and how seldom I regret it afterwards.
    Over here, how easy it is to return things is vastly different from one store to the other. Last year I got some ill-fitting bra at a boutique that only sells ill-fitting bras – to be true, I only bought it, because I tried on each and every bra in that store and had spent what felt like hours there already, and the clerk made me feel like I should buy SOMETHING. Well, I regretted it even before I was home and so I didn’t remove the tag and was able to return it – but they would of course only give me a gift certificate as a refund and no cash. I finally turned it in to buy two thermo-leggins (for a – for me – ridiculously high prize, but that was about what matched the refund certificate, so that I didn’t have to spend even more and was very much welcome and needed this winter).
    Even though I still regretted the purchase, as I would never had spent that much on leggins otherwise, I was very proud of me that I did return it straight away and got at least something useful out of my foolishness and avoided the clutter instead of trying for half a year to make this ill-fitting bra fit, until it finally wouldn’t even be fit for donating any more.

    • Hi Sanna, good for you. Bra buying is such a pain isn’t it. Every one of us females generally has some sort of problem that makes this task difficult. I for one am just so small in the bust that it is hard to find one small enough but with enough padding so I at least look like I have something. A couple of years down the track and the company changes the style and me and I have to do the big bra search all over again.

      I hope those leggins prove to be hard wearing and last so long that you get your money’s worth out of them.

  4. I am always returning items, even unused groceries! Most recently I got à prescription and when i opened the box I realised I already had the spray inside in my medicine cupboard. Given it was $45 I asked the pharmacist if they’d take a return even with an open box. They did! No harm in trying I say – cause “no” isnt that scary a word! I even do it with low cost items (like less than $5) cause otherwise I know it’ll go to waste in my home.

    From experience, the best returns policies in Australia are with Ikea, bunnings (less so mitre 10), Kmart, target, djs, Myers. And one of the jeans retailers – maybe jeans west – full refund on change of mind!!

    • Hi Sarah, I have often wondered that about prescriptions but have never been in the need to return anything except the unused portion of a packet of drugs for proper disposal. In fact I have a box sitting out ready to go today.

      I have had reason to return an item or two to Target and DJ’s in the last couple of years and I must admit they are very good at complying. The item at DJ’s ~ a pepper grinder ~ broke within two two weeks of buying it. They didn’t have a replacement when I first tried to return it. I kept going back to see if a replacement had come in but it never did. By this time the item was well past its return time frame but they did not balk at giving me a refund. I bought a different set of grinders at another store and they also were faulty. Finally on the third attempt I got a set that worked and didn’t fall apart. Not long after one got dropped and smashed. I think the universe is trying to tell me something.

      • No grinders for you! I even took back Easter themed items after Easter (an unwanted gift) to DJs! Cheeky but always worth a try in my opinion!

      • Yep it is telling you to either buy your salt and pepper in the grinder bottle at Coles or get a Mortar and Pestle hahaha
        Just sayin’ 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Yes Sarah & Dizzy, I think grinders are against me. If these ones break I think I’ll have to come up with a better plan. Perhaps your plan isn’t a bad one dizzy especially if you can refill the ones from the supermarket. I had a set once just like that. They lasted longer than any of these kitchen department ones. They seems so throw-away but as it turns out the more expensive ones are just as throw-away.

  5. I’m very bad at returning items to the grocery store. I always say I’m going to return something, but it’s just such a hassle, I usually end up throwing the item on the compost pile, feeling bad at the money wasted, but justifying it by saying, oh well, at least it will contribute to making nice compost.

    Example: I bought one of those mini watermelons. When I cut into it, the whole thing was mush inside. I know the store would have taken it back, but sometimes it just seems more trouble than it’s worth. I wouldn’t have wanted to get another one that was the same way.

    The most annoying thing is when I buy something, get it home, then notice that the inner seal isn’t sealed tightly. In this day and age, you just don’t want to take a chance that somebody has tampered with it.

    • Hi Becky, I guess the biggest problem with returning what ought to be fresh produce is that you really need to get it back to the store within a very short time period or they might think you had just stored it too long. I can imagine what a nuisance this can be. I have to say I don’t often find the need to return things to the grocery store but I did so not so long ago and was pleasantly surprised at the result. At Woolworths here in Australia they have a policy of Buy is fresh or it is free. I had bought some lamb chops on the Sunday and on Tuesday when I went to cook them they were rotten. I did not have time to get back to the store and quite frankly did not want to take green lamb chops in there with me or store them in the fridge until I could go in. However I went to the returns counter with receipt in hand but no goods. I really wasn’t expecting a refund but just wanted to let them know that I had been disappointed so they would take on board this issue. However, was I surprised when they not only honoured my refund but their policy is to not only give you a replacement product but to also give you your money back. To say I was impress would be an understatement. I will not hesitate in future to return items there should I find the unsatisfactory. Fortunately this is rare.

      • This is good but i worry it does mean they are picky with their produce! I notice how much “prettier” Coles and Woolworths produce is compared to my local green grocer. But i feel the prices are competitive (ie cheaper) on ugly, bruised fruit at my green grocer so I’m ok with things

        • I agree Sarah. Although I would rather shop local I am never sure if the produce is any more local than the stuff at Coles or Woolworths but in truth it is just easier to get everything at once. I waver with meat sometimes shopping at the grocery store and sometime at my local butcher who does source everything he can locally. Now that it is just Steve and I it is much easier to predict what we will need so I will be shopping local more often.

      • Was going to post the same thing! Did you know Coles has much the same policy. With these two giants at each others throats it’s win win if you have a problem!! Stores can only get better at service when they listen to their customers.

        🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Stores will only get better when there is enough competition to force them to do so. That is one of the reasons why shopping is much cheaper in the USA. 300,000,000 people = far more retail competitors = better prices for the shopper.

  6. I am pretty good about returning things. For me it does not matter how much I spent on it either. If it does not work for me, I would rather return it and get my money back rather than it cluttering up my home. I find that for one reason or another that I have to return items to the craft store more than anywhere else. Usually I have made a purchase thinking that I would need extra for a project and it turns out that one was enough or something like that.

    • Good policy with the craft item returns Jen. When you don’t need it for the project you bought it for send it back. Crafters often make the mistake of “I will use it on another project sometime.” and then they don’t, over and over again. It all builds up.

  7. I have become more conscientious of this in the last 6 or so months and if I’m buying on behalf of my daughter or I’m not entirely sure of something for myself, I ask up front what is the returns policy. And I’ve discovered that within a store, different levels of staffing will have different levels of capability in this area. For example, an entry level shop assistant may only be able to return for store credit, but a 2IC or manager maybe able to refund onto your card or refund cash. Just a different clearance level in the system I guess.

    • Hi Moni, it is a very good idea to confirm the stores returns policy when buying an item, especially when in doubt it is quite right. I did this a Christmas when I bought my husband a set of heated hand grips for his motorbike. I told them his handlebars were after market and the measurement of them and they insisted the grips would be right. As it turned out they weren’t, and when my husband went to return them they tried to tell him he could only have store credit. Needless to say he argued the point and ended up getting his money back. He is not happy with that establishment because just about every item he has bought at that shop for his bike has turned out to be wrong even though he tells them what bike he has. A bike that they are the dealers for and he bought off them. Hopeless. I dare say he won’t be taking his bike there for services once the warranty runs out because he is tired of their incompetence.

      Should you encounter a time when you are returning things and the assistant does not have the clearance to give a proper refund I would enquire when the manager will be in store and return then. In the case of a larger store when a manager or 2IC is always in attendance I would ask to see them if I wasn’t getting satisfaction. Also just because something is out of warranty doesn’t mean you won’t get a refund either. I have encountered this recently with my MacBook power cable. I argued that every MacBook we have owned, 3 at that point, has had the power cable give out soon after the warranty has expired. In the end they gave me a new one for free. Believe it or not, only a few weeks later, my daughter’s MacBook cord packed it in. That makes 4. Clearly there is a problem there. Yet in the Apple store they said to me that they don’t get many people claiming for this problem. Well neither did I the first 2 times because I figured the kids were just too rough on their things. When it happened to me I knew that wasn’t the case because I had babied mine. I think the fourth failure proves the theory that this item just can’t last the distance. That and the fact that other laptops we have owned have not had a similar problem. All that being said I was very pleased that Apple saw reason and I left satisfied. My daughter also took hers to the apple store and they replaced her’s as well. Perhaps now they are starting to see a trend.

    • Yep that’s it I always go for the manager, why put the poor floor staff through the trauma. Management are paid to handle these situations. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. The less you buy, the less chance of having to return it for whatever reason. I find this is especially relevant to food. With less groceries purchased, food is eaten quickly and does not have the opportunity to go bad before its use by date, which is really annoying!
    I always feel sorry for the returns counter staff at KMart after Christmas. The line up to return items is legendary.
    Which makes me think, if the return policy was less forgiving, would we be more mindful of our purchases?

    • Good point there, but as a consumer you still have to give a valid reason as to why the goods are ‘Whatever”. I always tend to think the returns line is full of parents trying to return rowdy toys hahaha!! Everytime, return week rolls around I deliver a box of chocolates to the stores front end, the poor staff are frazzled but seem to perk up with a choccy!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Wendy F. You think K Mart is bad you ought to visit Walmart in the USA after Christmas.

      Perhaps also if you didn’t insist on buying gifts for people that far too often aren’t wanted, the after Christmas returns lines wouldn’t be so long either.

      • I am finding that it is good to do whatever you can to not be in any store during the week between Christmas and New Years here in the USA. The lines can be long for both the returns and the purchasing. I think people come in and do a set of returns and then go pick out something else and go through the purchasing line. I feel sorry for anyone who works retail from Thanksgiving to a couple weeks after New Years. Those people don’t get paid anywhere near enough during that time.

    • I use to work on the returns counter at K-Mart. It was horrible, although most people were nice about the waits. I definitely don’t miss that job.

  9. Today’s mini mission – warranties and instruction manuals. I realised recently that we don’t actually have one place for these in the house. Who’d have thought? I always kept them in a upstand box in the bookcase but there was another one in the little cupboard above the microwave in the kitchen that was left by the previous owners with all the info relating to the house build and 7 years later it is still there! Isn’t it funny how things get past you and become the new normal – and the only reason I realised is because Adrian was trying to find a warranty a couple of weekends ago and he had one box spread all over the kitchen bench and I said it probably in the other box of manuals and warranties. He asked if he was hearing right – Little Miss Everything Has A Place And Everything In Its Place – has two places for warranties and instruction manuals? And then I realised recently that I kept all the warranties and instruction manuals for my sewing machines and overlockers in the craft cupboard, so there we go – a 3rd location. Anyway, I’m gathering them altogether and I’m going to have a big sort out of these this weekend, and work out a better arrangement.

    • Andreia – if you’re out there – yes this is the same little cupboard I was talking about in the e-mail that I can’t fit my recipe books back into – so hopefully removing these will help – but for the rest of you, a friend dropped back something I’d borrowed her years ago and she’d only recently discovered she still had it. I plan to get rid of it as I haven’t missed it – just a tupperware thing – but am waiting to hear from a relative who was on the lookout for one a while back – anyway, as it used to live in this little cupboard above the microwave once upon a time, that was where Adrian promptly put it back. And now my recipe books are living on my desk.

      I would be tempted to pull it all out right now today and sort it out – but as I told Andreia I pulled everything out of some drawers in the dining room and then went down with a headcold and its still sitting there on the dining table as there are some odd things to figure out what to do with them. Little Miss Everything Has A Place And Everything In Its Place needs to lift her game I feel! Yay for Queens Birthday weekend coming up!

      • Hi Moni! I think you should calm down first. Then I think you should have a look at those warrants to see if any of them were for things you currently own. And I do think you should get rid of a cupboard that does not fit your cookbooks properly. Or get rid of the books or rearrange stuff so everything is properly stored (kind of gave me the shivers know those words together – rearrange/store 😀 😀 😀 ) And don´t worry those papers that are scattered around will not go away. Believe me I have been waiting for 6 months for the papers in my home office to magically disappear and they are still here…sigh… Still I have a non working day coming up and I think I am going to work on getting things in order. Good luck to both of us Moni! 🙂

        • Andreia – I have conquered! I now have one magazine-holder-thingee that holds all our warranties, instruction manuals and the house build file. I did have a throw out of expired warranties, instruction manuals for things we no longer have and asked myself – did I really need the installation guide for the oven that has been in place for 8 years? Did I need an instruction manual for our vacuum cleaner? Or the refrigerator? The fridge one was actually a good laugh because there was a very sincere set of instruction on how to use a refridgerator.
          I only kept instruction manuals for a couple of electronic items and the oven – we can never remember the sequence for changing the time at daylight saving time.

    • Hahaha Moni, I had the very same thing happen awhile ago. I have a filing cabinet for most of everything, I also had a box for insurance of jewellery blah blah blah. When we needed to find a particular one, we also found warranties for kettles, toasters, hairdryers, freezers, fridges etc etc etc. Most had bit the dust when the Ark sailed, monumental ‘WHAT THE’!!! Note to self, get all CURRENT warranties etc together in one file!! hahaha 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Hi Moni, I would be inclined to keep that one pertaining to the house in the kitchen. That is where I keep the one for this house. Should you ever move they are more likely to stay behind, as they should. The chances are that if they are kept with the others they will leave with the others. Then the next owners won’t have the manuals to tell them how to operate things. Truth is you can probably get the manuals online anyway so it may not be that big of a deal.

    • Moni, I know just how you feel. As I have been working on the home inventory I have found some things I didn’t know we had in the warranty/instruction category. I am going to put them all in the same place with the inventory. Sheesh! I thought I was doing so good. NOT!

  10. Hi Moni,
    Yes we are building and yes de-cluttering has made me more aware of what we’ll need. We are building an energy efficient home, so our aircon system will be great temperature low cost and maintenance, heating will be a gas heater, reverse cycle over here has proven to be rather expensive to run and maintain, we have bottle gas where we are building as there is no mains through our area. I have chosen, an energy efficient gas cooktop/oven, but I’m leaning towards induction like I have in this rental. We’ll need to get a new fridge soon as this one is on it’s last legs (Blech!!) typical of whitegoods though, they die when you don’t want to buy a new one!!

    One of the biggest shocks that everyone screamed at was that we didn’t go for WIR’s in the Master Suite. I just didn’t want to have a huge area just for clothes (that I don’t have) It would end up housing the bits that get thrown in till they are moved to their place Yeah right !!! We have slider robes on one wall and that will hold everything! I have a massive kitchen here at the moment and our new one won’t be so huge, so I will only have what I need and use all the time. Rather than loads of useless storage, we opted for a storage area with a door so all extra whatever within reason can go there if need be, I don’t like coat racks behind doors or shoes left hanging about so I feel this will serve a purpose and be well utilised. We are putting in a pool with a heating system that runs on solar and stored non-used power off the energy panels on the roof,we have sourced the best most energy efficient pump etc we could find so the pool will be able to be used year round. If all works well we should have a climate controlled space set out to draw the Northern Sun in and keep the Summer heat at bay. We are also looking at a slimline shed for the minimalist garden we will have, hubby wants a little grass but I am happy with pavers or similar and potted trees and flowers that are water efficient. Hopefully all will come together nicely. One thing is for sure, there will not be a lot on display, the furniture will function well and all bits and bobs will be minimal and mostly out of sight. I have a cabinet maker friend who will be building in our cabinetry so I have asked that he will custom build a wall unit for me that will house everything. At this stage I only want my garage to hold a car/cars and not much else. This poor garage has had a beating heehee!! I will be having internal shutters throughout the house to save on Verticals, cutains and such, our windows are set to catch the breezes so we can ventilate the area by adjusting the slats. I love the slimline look of a room that has shutters rather than layers. Of course here in WA we don’t have too many extremes, and we are semi-rural so I think it’ll be fine!! Overall everybody thinks I’ll have a boring, dull house, but as I point out, they won’t be living in it and they don’t have to visit!! They love their messy clutter filled storage areas they call a house, I don’t want anything like that!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I have had a lot of flak from people telling me I’ll regret not having the space to store everything, as I have replied with’ If I don’t have the extra stuff I don’t have to store it’ !!

    • Dizzy – do you mean ‘Plantation Shutters’ – just so I’m on the same idea? I do like them. I like the idea of things being built in and not seperate pieces of furniture. I want one of those Robin Hood ironing boards set in the wall with a power point and place to keep the iron. Not that I believe in ironing, in general, but the less items the better as far as I’m concerned. I’m also thinking computer nook rather than freestanding desk. And no corner cupboards in the kitchen, so probably a galley style kitchen.

      Unfortunately its probably a bit cold here to not have curtains – we’re having an Antartic blast today – jeepers, it is freezing!

      • Hi Moni, yes plantation style shutters for the inside of the windows. Most people don’t know what I mean when I say plantation style’ one friend even said ‘you mean like on Gilligan’s Island, grass and reeds”!!! hahahaha. We are still deciding on wood or the new ‘wood’. Real timber need a lot of maintenance and constant oiling or whatever. The new ‘timber’ are UV Stabilized and are guaranteed not to have pests, give off chemicals, and won’t shrink or swell, don’t need painting and are scratch and scuff resistant!! Let’s hope so. To clean, wipe with a damp cloth and a regular swipe with a microfibre duster and done!!

        I’m in a rental at the moment and it has the wooden venetians. I can vac both sides of the surface but the strings that hold it all together get dusty and end up neding a wipe ‘YUCK” I would truely hate to see what would happen to them if I never dusted them!!!

        Good luck with your plans for your new home. Isn’t it nice knowing you won’t have to pack a lot. That is why I’m being so ruthless now. I just don’t want to have to take it with me if I’m not using it!! Maybe when we have moved in you might fancy a quick trip to WA and come and laze by the pool with cocktails whilst the men carry on over slimline sheds and tool racks heehee!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. I’ll do that today! I bought some clothes to try at home because there is just no way to decide properly on the spot with a baby wanting attention at the same time. I’ll keep 2 out of 7. I would have been happy to keep more but I have become very picky and okay is just not good enough anymore. I am sort of proud that sales are not as tempting anymore as they used to be because some items I’ll return were reduced a lot.

  12. I have changed the way I do things when buying gifts because of the return policy of several stores. When returning wedding gifts on time, even though I had registered at the store, they wouldn’t take back gifts that were bought and sent through their store online. Other places wouldn’t take gifts that were without a receipt. It makes things really difficult for the recipient. Now I just write checks or give cash or gift cards. They don’t have to deal with any of the frustration of taking things back if they have more than they want. They can use the money or gift cards to buy things they didn’t get that they wanted. I know it may not be as personal, but maybe the money would be better used helping them pay a bill if their finances are tight or something. Even when I go to Walmart in our area, they won’t take things back if the receipt is over 30 days, even if it is unopened. It has made me be more cautious about making purchases. It is like when you buy stuff and end up selling it in a garage sale for pennies. Getting burned a few times helps you to wise up about future purchases.

    Idealistin – great idea so you don’t have to manage kids while trying to try on clothes, etc. I know someone has their husband buy enough clothes online for the free shipping. He chooses what he wants and then tries them on at home and she takes the rest back to the store. He hates to shop and so this is a win-win and they don’t have to pay for shipping. But, the important thing is taking it back to the store in time!

    • Hi Marianne, I love the idea of wishing wells at weddings. The concept is that instead of giving gifts there is a small wishing well set up at the reception where people can put cash gifts for the bride and groom. This way they can buy whatever they want wherever they want. This also saves the hassle of having ugly gifts hidden in cupboards 10 years down the track because you feel you should keep it because old aunt Bertha gave it to you. There will always be those who insist on giving gifts regardless of your wishes but that is life.

  13. What a perfectly timed post! I am looking at a pair of shoes I bought from Zappos 4 months ago and have not worn (they don’t fit well). Luckily they have a 1 year return policy. IT is time. Thanks, Colleen!

    • You get on to that Tony. I hope those shoes weren’t Keens. Zappos is where I bought my first pair of keens from. They are great shoes and it would be a shame if you were missing out on that pleasure.

  14. You won’t believe this, or maybe you will. I purchased, but did not take delivery of, our new front loading washer and dryer. Monday was Memorial Day and everyone was having sales. I may have gotten wrapped up in the “ON SALE NOW” thing. Yesterday, I was looking at the floor space. I took some tape and mapped out for the new W/D. Guess what? Too big. Crap. So today I will be going back to the store to void the transaction. I am so angry with myself. I wish I had done this earlier. I’m not sure what I was afraid of. I should have spoken to the contractor about space usage first. Our old set which still works good is about 4 1/2 inches smaller and in a tiny room, it can make a difference.

    • Hi Michelle, I can believe this. I used to work in a furniture and we had to stress to many customer that they need to go home and make sure items they were intending to purchase would not only fit in the house but be able to get into the house. Many a three seater sofa would have to be swapped for a two seater when customers didn’t get this right.

      Also my washer dryer combo that was only six years old sprang a leak when I was away visiting family. It was going to cost way too much to fix it so we were forced to buy a new one. At the last moment I remembered to tell my husband to check that it would fit. Our laundry is a very small space which also has a toilet crammed into it. I was too late but my husband was clever enough to check the measurements. What we didn’t bargain on was that although the washer was smaller than the last the door (it is a front loader) is actually bigger. It fits but I have to lift the toilet set in order to open the door. No biggy. Could be worse.

      • LOL @ Colleen! 🙂 What I had texted the contractor was this: “If we have a big front load washer and dryer, I’m gonna have to stand in the cat litter box to open the door!” And I know some folks would say to move the litter box. Well the only other available space is our front mudroom/foyer. I seriously do NOT want that to be the first thing people see when they come into our home. I want the litter box in the laundry room!! So, I completely understand the lifting the toilet seat!

        Several years ago, my mom had to do the “buy the big one. oops. exchange for the smaller sofa” thing. It can be so darn difficult to buy correct sizes.

        I already know that we have to take off the screen door to get appliances in the house, so I do always doublecheck doorways.

        • Hi Michelle, sorry for giggling but the thought of you in the litter box, priceless!!! Don’t worry everyone at some stage has forgotten to measure. The biggest blunder, size wise I have seen is my neighbour with her new cars. A hot sports car Holden and the 4WD. I laughed when she said they are getting them as I said good luck getting them in your small garage. Width okay sort of!! Depth – no way, freezers fridges, tool rack, built in cupboards etc etc, all neat and tidy just no more room. I was right and the 4WD is huge, almost took the paint off the roof, they have an old style door that is quite low from the ceiling. An old carpenter’s advice comes to me everytime ‘Measure twice – Cut once’ !!! Good luck with your white goods!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  15. I was rereading this message again today and remembered that I had 2 tops that I purchased from Avon that were still in my desk ready to send back. I originally ordered a medium – too tight in the shoulders so got a large. Too tight around the middle. On sale for $15 each so will have $30 coming back to me. I really don’t mind taking things back when they don’t fit or even to the grocery store when the quality is bad. But for some reason, after I brought these tops to the office so it would be easier to go to the postoffice, I put them in a desk drawer and promptly forgot them. Clearly, I need to declutter my office some more.

  16. I have just caught up with this post on returning goods and after looking at some bed linen I purchased and hadn’t got around to using decided to return it. The docket did state a 14 day limit for a refund but the store was happy to issue a credit note in the form of a gift card that I have 12 months to use.
    I am very happy with the outcome and will quite possibly use the card for Christmas gifts. Also freeing up the space all this linen was taking up is great.


    • Hi Mich and welcome to 365 Less Things. Well done returning that bed linen. Linen is just another of those things where I feel less is more. Better to have a gift card in your wallet than an over stocked linen closet.