Local News

Dec 26, 2013 12:36 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Proof of Purchase Needed Before You Make Exchanges

CORPUS CHRISTI - While the Christmas season is now winding down, plenty of people are turning up at stores all over town to return or exchange gifts. However, this time of year, what's known as 'merchandise return fraud' becomes a big problem for retail stores and has been in the past. Customers can take items back, some proof of purchases is needed.

Javier Colmenero is one of the many customers bringing a gift back to the store the day after Christmas.

"You have to bring a receipt once you have a receipt you tell them hey I want to get an exchange or something different and bingo! Colmenero said. I want to make sure it's not going to be defective in the future, so it works but it's got an electronic scratch on it."

Fair enough, meanwhile, Best Buy employees say while a receipt is the easiest way to make a return or exchange customers don't have to have one.

"This one is just a flat return and this one is a no receipt, so during the holidays we have a lot of no receipt returns," an employee said.

Right now, during the holidays, any customers making returns get a sticker. Each one indicates something specific. It also helps move the line more quickly and allows employees behind the counter to look up the purchase.

"I mean if they got it as a gift and said they bought it here, as long as it's in our system, we'll be able to take a look at it," one employee said.

This time of year though, people try to pull a fast one by buying stuff then returning it. Or sometimes worse, not having paid for it all and still trying to return it for full value. Employees say that's what one woman did.

"She said it was a gift and what happened is I said where is the receipt and she said I don't have a receipt, I got it as a gift. I picked up the item and looked at it but ma'am this is not a best buy stamp, and she grabbed it ran out of the store," the staff added.

Return fraud costs companies, like Best Buy, billions of dollars a year and the way to combat it these days is for employee to keep an eye out for multiple returns and customers returning items with no proof of purchase.

Customers just need to note that proof of purchase is needed. Something employees can look up using your phone number, I.D. or another form of purchase on record like a credit card.

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