How do I return this item and be a good citizen in the process?
February 21, 2011 10:09 AM   Subscribe

I bought a "new" comforter at Target that is really a used Bed, Bath, and Beyond comforter. What are my options?

I was in Target on Saturday and noticed a comforter in the bedding section that was the only one of its kind. It was in a Target comforter box, however the picture on the box didn't match the pattern of the actual comforter. (I could see and touch the comforter through the box.) I looked all over the box and there was no obvious sign that this was a return, but there was a sticker and a black mark on the side of the box. The box stated that there were pillow shams included and that the comforter was 100% cotton. So I bought it, and they charged me full price in accordance with the sign on the shelf and the barcode on the box, $89.99.

I got home and opened the box and took out the comforter. There were no shams included, and the comforter had clearly been used because the tag was completely frayed (I can't read the washing instructions at all). Otherwise, the comforter is in quite nice condition and I don't see any flaws.

I went online to see if I could find out more about this comforter because if it's used and does not include all the pieces I certainly don't want to be paying full price for it. No luck finding it on Target's website, so I searched for terms describing the colors, and up came an ebay auction which lead me to a cached Bed Bath and Beyond Product page. The comforter turns out to be 100% polyester, and their cost lists it at $39.99.

So someone probably tried to pull one over on Target by returning a product that was not theirs and succeeded. Then I bought the thing and gave Target my money, so I am clearly the loser here. I want to return it to Target but what should I prepare myself for? I have my receipt, and I could repack it in the box and act like nothing's out of the ordinary and return it just because I don't want it, but what if they don't take it? What if they accuse me of trying to pull one over on them with a non-target product? Or what if they do take it and put it back out on the shelf? I don't want someone else getting duped. I would also like to know what their policy is for marking products as returns, but how do I do that without giving them more info about why I'm returning the product? How much information do I share with them when I try to return it?
posted by sarahnade to Shopping (14 answers total)
Just be honest, tell them that you brought it home and when you opened it you realized it was not the same comforter as was pictured. Don't tell them that you researched it or anything. This same thing actually happened to me before with Wal Mart sheets. The item was a sheet set (flat, fitted, and 2 pillowcases). The actual item was the fitted sheet with the pillow cases missing, and a completely different material flat sheet. They didn't even bat an eyelash when I told them what happened. It probably happens all day long.
posted by katypickle at 10:14 AM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]

Take it to the Target in the nice neighborhood and return it. Get your money back. Get your return receipt. After the transaction is finished and you have your card back, explain the situation. I'd think they wouldn't put it back on the shelf, because that just wastes more time. But make sure you have your money and card back (if you used one) first. Reason for return: "Not the right comforter". You can explain the rest afterward.
posted by cashman at 10:16 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Target is pretty good about hassle-free returns. I don't think you're going to have any problems here as long as you have the receipt. A responsible manager there will pull it out of inventory if you explain what you told us here.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:21 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

You're overthinking this. Return the comforter. When they ask why, tell them. They're not going to hassle you.
posted by jon1270 at 10:28 AM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]

I don't think you'd have any problems if the person behind the returns counter isn't in a horrible mood. If they are, speak to their manager or try again another day.
Just make an effort to look and sound like a person who isn't the kind of person who would try to 'pull one over on them'- there's nothing stopping them from judging you, sadly... and really, depending on the returns person, it could be the biggest factor in them accepting the comforter back.
Just explain the situation - you don't even need to tell them that you researched it - just tell them why you suspect that it is a return by someone (frayed tag, different than box shows, isn't cotton, doesn't smell like a brand new chemically-treated from-China Target product).
posted by beyourownsaviour at 10:35 AM on February 21, 2011

Return the comforter and tell them that when you opened it up it wasn't the one pictured/that you purchased.
posted by J. Wilson at 10:35 AM on February 21, 2011

Same thing happened to me at Target with a hairdryer. Clearly someone bought it, replaced it with the old one they had, and returned it with the old one inside. I explained it to the returns desk person and they quickly apologized and gave me a refund.
posted by cecic at 10:42 AM on February 21, 2011

Target won't give you any trouble. They almost certainly won't even open the box to see what's inside.
posted by something something at 10:48 AM on February 21, 2011

I worked at Target in high school. I once got scolded in front of a customer when I refused to take back the bag of cheetos that had been half eaten, left open, and "gone bad, during the night".

Yeah. They will pretty much take anything back. Make sure you bring your receipt.

PRO TIP: If you are the kinda person who loses receipts, use a CREDIT CARD. Target can look up your receipt from the cc.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:54 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

I actually work at Target now. If you go to guest services, there shouldn't be any problem.
posted by DeltaForce at 11:17 AM on February 21, 2011

Thanks everyone. I know I am overthinking it, but they don't even need to open the box to see that the product is not the same one as pictured, that's why I'm worried. But I don't think I look like someone who's trying to put one over on Target. I hope. :)

It's too bad, the comforter is super cute and I'm almost willing to keep it, but it probably requires dry cleaning and who wants that for something you would use every day, and eeew, it's been used.
posted by sarahnade at 11:36 AM on February 21, 2011

Odds are that the ass who bought the thing pictured on the box stuffed their old one in the box and "returned" that. It happens a lot. You won't have any trouble.
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:42 AM on February 21, 2011

You really shouldn't just stuff it in there and hope they don't open it. If they do, then it will really look like you're trying to con them. Plus, you shouldn't potentially put someone else in the position that you're in now, especially since they kind of have to accept this return.
posted by J. Wilson at 12:22 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well, I returned it (in the box). When the CSA asked my why I was returning it, I told the truth, saying it was used, the tag was frayed, and there were no shams included. They refunded the money back to my credit card. It's their problem now, I'm in that Target frequently so if I see it out on the shelf I'll say something to a manager.
posted by sarahnade at 2:27 PM on February 21, 2011

« Older iTunes Song Options Without Opening iTunes   |   My Nice Menu is sad Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.