Received a gift that’s not a fit? No problem. “Anything can be returned to a store as long as you say the right things,” says Christopher Elliott (** Elliott.org**), a consumer advocate who has worked for more than 27 years to help people return their not-so-loved items. And while you may have to settle for an exchange if you don’t have a gift receipt, he says these three simple phrases can help you get the best possible value:
(1) *“As a one-time exception.” *Let them know quickly that you won’t always expect special treatment and they’ll be more willing to make a special case for you.
(2) “In the interest of customer service.” Stores want to know you’ve had a good experience that will keep you coming back, so pointing out that your experience could be made better with this return will make them more agreeable.
(3) “Please…and thank you.” As Elliott explains, “The door swings open with those magic words. Of all the weapons in your arsenal, that’s going to be the one they least expect at this time of year after everyone else is upset because they didn’t get the right toy. You’ll be the only one with a smile, a please and a thank you. And guess who will get the good service? It won’t be the person screaming.”
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