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It's Comin' Back!

It's Comin' Back!
by Gary Woods

A lot of us these days are ordering stuff off the Internet and some times for whatever reason we've got to return it. So I thought it would be good to give you some guidelines about sendin' stuff back! First, if you know it must come back even before it arrives, when it gets you DON'T OPEN IT. "Sealed in the Box" is the Gold Standard for returns. A retailer will probably open it when it gets back to them, but if it's pretty obvious that nothing came out of the box you can bet your refund just got credited to your card.

The second thing to do is save the box and packing material. Retailers want to see that original box and if the packing material was good enough to get the stuff to you in the first place it'll be good enough to get it back to the vendor who sent it to you.

Third, make a list of everything that's in the box. Usually there's a packing list on a sheet as soon as you open the box so don't lose it. I've seen retailers turn down a return of a $300 Monitor because some $5 connecting cord wasn't in the box. Don't lose track of all the stuff in the box.

Fourth, if you're gonna' send it back do so quickly. A lot of companies give you 30 days or less to return something so don't dawdle. Fifth, save your receipt. This is so obvious it hurts.

And finally, don't be a regular returner. Retailers track this kind of thing so don't get in the habit of ordering stuff you're probably going to send back.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc