Who remembers Geraldo Rivera and his crazy-arse exposés, like the time he pried open Al Capone’s vault on live TV to find nothing but an old stop sign and a few empty gin bottles?
Well Bossy’s exposé is just like that, except it’s about gift buying. And while it’s true Bossy’s exposé doesn’t feature a vault, perhaps gin can be blamed?
Let’s get started.
Here’s the deal: say you’re standing at a counter and you are purchasing Aunt Sadie a holiday present. And say the cashier, who is taking your money, asks, “Would you like a gift receipt?”
And say you say, “Yes, I would like a gift receipt,” if for no other reason than because if you say you don’t want a gift receipt, Bossy has no exposé.
But also because, let’s say, you don’t ever want Aunt Sadie to find out her new present from Target cost less than a tube of Bengay.
“Yes I would like a gift receipt,” say you. Says you? You say? This exposé stuff isn’t as easy as it looks.
Anyway, so now you give Aunt Sadie her present, and you provide her with the gift receipt in case she already owns a pair of Sock Monkey slippers.
Well. Did you know that most stores will not allow your Aunt Sadie to return her gift for a refund because you used a gift receipt? They will only let her exchange the item for something else in the store.
Who cares, you say? Well maybe Target is a bad example because Target has a wide variety of things available.
But say, as a random example, your 12-year-old daughter receives a gift from Lilly Pulitzer, and say she goes to return her gift from Lilly Pulitzer because it’s too small and while she’s in the store she notices that most of the clothes in Lilly Pulitzer are starched and pink and she’s not mad for starched and pink and then she does some quick math and determines that the cost of one Lilly Pulitzer vest could keep her in Sock Monkey slippers for the rest of her life so she asks you to walk to the register and get a refund from Lilly Pulitzer except Lilly Pulitzer won’t give you a refund because you are holding a gift receipt.
Just as a random totally made up example.
Gift receipts aren’t so much for the customer’s benefit as they are an insurance policy that the money will be spent in their store.
Down with gift receipts!
hokgardner saysNovember 21, 2008 at 11:28 am
Thank you – this is indeed useful to know! I look forward to your next installment.
Catherine McP saysNovember 21, 2008 at 11:35 am
Well I’ll be……..didnt know that about the gift receipts. And I sure do remember the the whole Capone vault hilarious fiasco!
kristy saysNovember 21, 2008 at 11:44 am
dgm saysNovember 21, 2008 at 11:44 am
I did not know that about gift receipts–good to know. Far more useful that the contents of Al Capone’s vault (the opening of which I, too, remember.)
Also, ew to the pink and starchy.
MariaV saysNovember 21, 2008 at 11:57 am
I knew about the gift receipts.
If gift shopping for gift cards, one should always check to see if the certificate has an expiration date. When purchasing store specific gift cards, one should check to see if the store is going to be closing soon.
Also, if you have expired gift cards, you should check to see if the store will still honor the cards. Many stores will honor expired cards after they charge you a small processing fee.
Angelina saysNovember 21, 2008 at 11:57 am
I always assumed, that gift receipts were like normal receipts in the sense that if the gift giver charged the purchase, the store won’t be able to give you cash, that at most they would either give you store credit or refund the gift givers charge card (not that that is much fun for the gift receiver…) I think though it is less about trying to keep the money in house, and more along the lines of giving cash ONLY if cash was originally paid.
MariaV saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:01 pm
P.S. I hope the second item didn’t sound obnoxious. The short expiration date I encountered and the going out of business but still selling gift cards happened to someone I know.
Debby saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:03 pm
I hate gift receipts! Thanks for the lesson Bossy
Acher saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:04 pm
So, I clicked on your link for the Lilly Pulitzer stuff, and frankly, I was scared.
David saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:06 pm
You are operating under the assumption that I actually buy people tangible gifts for the holidays.
My family is all about teh gift cards.
janny226 saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:09 pm
I’m with you! Is that bottom photo you embedded in the battle zone at the return counter of a Lilly Pulitzer store??
amy saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:10 pm
Bossy teaches me everything. I love her
junebug saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:15 pm
You, my dear, are handy to have around! 😀
Bossy's friend Amy saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:16 pm
Keep in mind, that without said gift receipt, you will only get the current retail price, not what said gift giver paid. And some stores (J Crew, I’m just saying) have crazy return policies, that state if an item is on sale, it is not returnable EVER.
Kate saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:18 pm
I got into it with a clerk at a store over the same thing – what good is the gift receipt?
Domestic Goddess (in training) saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:18 pm
Which is worse though…. giving Aunt Sadie the gift of in store credit, or Aunt Sadie knowing that her gift was $2.99 with a dollar off mail in rebate?
Mr Farty saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:53 pm
Home made gifts always add that personal touch, don’t you think?
Especially if they’re carved out of cheese.
Tootsie Farklepants saysNovember 21, 2008 at 12:54 pm
Thank you for mentioning Target. I discovered last Christmas when the kids received multiple duplicate gifts…and about that: that’s the last time I provide the whole family with the same list…anyway, Target will only allow (2) receiptless returns and/or exchanges per person, per household, per year.
Stacy saysNovember 21, 2008 at 1:03 pm
I had no idea. Thanks for enlightening me!
Stacey Ball saysNovember 21, 2008 at 1:05 pm
Even worse is when you have no receipt at all and you walk into, hypothetically speaking, a Kmart to return some dishes that you got. Now these dishes are a brand that this hypothetical Kmart EXCLUSIVELY carries and all you want is a different color because the poo brown you got just doesn’t match anything you have except your poo. Only hypothetical Kmart won’t even exchange them because you don’t have a receipt, so instead you just take them out into the parking lot and break them one by one on the ground. Hypothetically speaking of course.
TanyaK saysNovember 21, 2008 at 1:11 pm
I just found out this news 3 days ago, when I tried to return some stuff to Old Navy. I had both receipts on me, but I found the gift receipt first in my messy purse (job of the day today – clean out messy purse!). Luckily, after digging around I found the original. Thanks for letting me know it happens in other stores too.
Stephanie saysNovember 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm
Mr Farty, can I be added to your gift list this year???
Reeb saysNovember 21, 2008 at 1:34 pm
Tootsie Farklepants, thank you. I have just been stressing over a recent purchase from Target that I want to return everything I got. I stuffed my receipt and some other lame-o receipt look-a-like in my purse. Got home, found out that once again the hugest size tights available are actually sized for Bossy’s daughter, and I’m not that huge in the waist. (What do other people do?) Of course the receipt has disappeared, except for the lame-o thing that offers $1 off for I don’t know what. I shall march back into Target with my head held high.
And immediately find the sock monkey slippers to purchase instead. I lurf them.
chris saysNovember 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm
if i learn nothing else today, this will make it all worthwhile!
Cat saysNovember 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm
Bossy makes a very scary Geraldo. As far as Target goes, I have a Target Visa that I only use there because you can use it to return stuff if you’ve lost, thrown away, eaten your receipt. I just write down how much I spend in the check book and pay it all at the end of the month.
HeyJoe saysNovember 21, 2008 at 2:10 pm
Yet ANOTHER conspiracy.
I’ve lit the torches. Someone please grab those pitchforks right there in the garage and meet me in the streets, STAT.
Chris saysNovember 21, 2008 at 2:11 pm
Seriously? I had no idea! Hmm, will have to rethink the whole gift receipt thing from now on.
Come check out our funny (and cheap) stocking stuffers over at http://www.3giraffes.blogspot.com
Jujupiter saysNovember 21, 2008 at 2:18 pm
Very important indeed, thank you BOSSY.
I’m lovin’ the special FX. Srsly.
Angie saysNovember 21, 2008 at 2:18 pm
I discovered this last Christmas after returning a pair of pjs from DH to Victoria’s Secret. I still have the store-card credit because as a mom of two small kids I really have NO USE whatsoever for sexy bras and silky pjs and such (haha) no really the one time I got the chance to go try to find something–nothing looked good on my postpartum body. Anyway, yeah, gift receipts are a consipracy.
feefifoto saysNovember 21, 2008 at 2:30 pm
Has Bossy, for the purpose of her expose, considered the possibility of selling the GC on Ebay?
kate saysNovember 21, 2008 at 2:31 pm
and also? gift cards are a total scam. loads of them never get used. you’ve spent $20 on a gap gift card that you give to your niece, and your niece? never uses it. and gap just pockets the $20 when the gift card expires. they just EXPUNGE the $20 short term liability from their balance sheet. gift cards, gift receipts. just all made up gifts and made up money.
Chesapeake Bay Woman saysNovember 21, 2008 at 2:41 pm
An old stop sign and plenty of empty gin bottles…..
These are essential items found in the hope chest of Geraldo “The Former Sex Addict” Rivera’s girlfriends and/or wives.
JustJuli saysNovember 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm
Wow – I didn’t realize that. You certainly, um , exposed something there for me!
JustJuli saysNovember 21, 2008 at 2:46 pm
Okay – so that last comment looks a little creepy & suspicious. sorry 🙂
Lance saysNovember 21, 2008 at 3:20 pm
Gift cards suck too. I just heard a piece on NPR Monday about gift cards to Chapter 11 companies, like Circuit City….guess what? Gift cards can be worth nodda! That’s right….buy someone a nice $200 gift card for X-mas, but the company is shaky…..Chapter 11 means they keep your cash and offer nothing!
Be carefull with gift cards.
Lance saysNovember 21, 2008 at 3:22 pm
Oooops sorry Kate. I missed your post.
two guys, a girl and a weiner dog saysNovember 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm
I understand why you might be upset about the whole gift reciept thing…but most places will only give store credit for the price the item is selling for right then if you don’t have a reciept at all…Really, the store is just protecting itself. Anyone see the Dr Phil this week with the million dollar shoplifting couple? Send your complaints to them.
Jill saysNovember 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm
I love Lily Pullitzer. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to wear it myself, but there’s something so fresh looking about a little girl in those beautiful pastel outfits. Good point about the gift receipts though.
-jeff saysNovember 21, 2008 at 4:36 pm
Hey Deeb and Cat (and everyone else too):
The Receipt Lookup system at Target stores will find an item purchased with ANY Credit or Debit card, Check, or Target Giftcard within 90 days of purchase. As a former Guest Service manager at Target I understand the frustrations of the return policy. That’s why I always tried every possible solution, such as receipt lookup, to help guests return/exchange items.
On the subject of gift receipts however, I never really thought about it from the perspective of keeping the money inhouse but Bossy does have a point.
Lo saysNovember 21, 2008 at 4:46 pm
Thanks for caring and sharing!
clickmom saysNovember 21, 2008 at 4:54 pm
I was in the audience of the Geraldo Rivera talk show once in the 80’s. The theme was women wrestlers. It was the worst three hours of my life. I’d rather redo labor- at least I knew that was going to end.
Avitable saysNovember 21, 2008 at 5:00 pm
You look surprisingly sexy with a moustache.
Miss Britt saysNovember 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm
DOWN WITH GIFT RECEIPTS!!!
Jenn @ Juggling Life saysNovember 21, 2008 at 5:21 pm
I figured they were so you didn’t exchange for the sale price when you the person paid full price. There I go thinking like a Target executive again.
Reeb saysNovember 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm
Jeff, thank you for the inside lowdown from a former Target Guest Service manager perspective. Very helpful.
Bossy, you managed to connect with all sorts of angles for us today!
Rizzo saysNovember 21, 2008 at 6:48 pm
Geraldo has aged incredibly well
Deb in Winfield, Ks saysNovember 21, 2008 at 6:56 pm
I so OWN those sock monkey slippers!!! Brought them home last weekend. I wuv them so.
Jason saysNovember 21, 2008 at 8:38 pm
I’ve been seething about this one for a while!
MarathonMom saysNovember 22, 2008 at 12:07 am
What if Lilly Pulitzer and Vera Bradley are lesbian lovers? I bet you could work an exchange then.
-jeff saysNovember 22, 2008 at 1:59 am
Reeb, I’d like to apologize for incorrectly spelling your name in my first comment. I just noticed my error and feel like a fool.
amberstar saysNovember 22, 2008 at 2:04 am
I didn’t know that and will certainly take it into consideration when purchasing gifts For some reason I just can’t think of anything witty tonight. Time for sleep.
Renee in Seattle saysNovember 22, 2008 at 1:35 pm
So, I was at a dinner party last night, and somehow (blame it on the booze) we started talking about Geraldo Rivera. Friend at the party said her husband met him in the 70s when he was doing a story on Marine Boot Camp and friend’s husband was a marine.
G.R. is short. Uber short. like, 5 feet tall short. Wears lifts, platforms, and stands on a box to do his interviews so he is eye to eye with the subject. There’s an expose for you.
so NOT cool saysNovember 22, 2008 at 3:45 pm
I dislike facial hair on men. But on Bossy?! Mmm mm mmmmm.
Ree (the other one) saysNovember 22, 2008 at 7:18 pm
Bossy’s expose is so much more enlightening than those old newspapers that Geraldo unearthed.
JCK saysNovember 23, 2008 at 1:27 am
I was reading along…MUSTACHE….and reading…smiling…MUSTACHE. Forget gift receipts, what about BOSSY’s animal above her lip?!
mrs nm saysNovember 23, 2008 at 3:58 pm
you know – you’re right! They do that here too!! You know what else I hate? Shops that put a notice about no refunds available in this store ad it’s in an 8 pt font behind another item for sale at the side of the checkout where no one EVER looks until the attendant waves it in your face when you ask for a refund. That – drives.me.insane!
Redneck Mommy saysNovember 23, 2008 at 4:37 pm
Not only did I not know this useful holiday advice, but I did not know how hot you would look with a moustache.
Look at all the things I learned by reading you today!
zenmomma saysNovember 23, 2008 at 5:05 pm
Thanks for the tip BossyGeraldo!
katie saysNovember 23, 2008 at 6:51 pm
Dear Geraldo Bossyera,
I found your expose` thrilling! When is the next installment out?
~Local Target Shopper
Kim saysNovember 23, 2008 at 8:55 pm
Those pictures make me want to let my mustache grow out.
Rebeckah saysNovember 23, 2008 at 9:04 pm
So interesting : ). Target, which is a great store that I LOVE, has a TERRIBLE exchange policy. It kind of makes me a little mad. Well, actually VERY mad or I would not be noting it in this comment : ). Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving week.
NewfoundlandGirl saysNovember 23, 2008 at 11:38 pm
Gift receipts are a pain. But gift cards may be worse. According to Consumer Reports, from the 80 billion in cards sold in 2006, 8 billion were never redeemed! Best Buy alone posted a 43 million dollar profit in unredeemed cards. Check out this article:
apathy lounge saysNovember 24, 2008 at 3:30 am
But can you get a gift receipt for Ben Gay? Just asking?
Rhea saysNovember 24, 2008 at 1:21 pm
That is when the beauty of re-gifting comes into play.
Say What? saysNovember 25, 2008 at 9:57 am
Oh, thank goodness! I thought Bossy was going to expose that Geraldo was her boyfriend! And I got slightly ill.
Yeah, I love Tar-jay, but I agree, even with a receipt, their return policy is not the best. And those gift receipts can be a pain too.
Gift Cards – about the only ones I do buy are WM because you know they will around, like the roaches, even after the nuclear holocost.
ricky saysNovember 25, 2008 at 3:38 pm
please send this post to lily pulitzer corporate offices so we can see their reaction, ie the showering of gifts upon you and your family. pink, starched gifts!
Lynette saysNovember 25, 2008 at 4:07 pm
I don’t love gift receipts, anymore than I love giftcards. My philosophy is I bought, you keep it (and you are more than welcome to re-gift it)
Kait saysJanuary 5, 2009 at 4:06 pm
I did not realize this horrible truth until this Christmas. I actually read the receipt because we are buried under enormous hills of snow and I didn’t know when I could get to the mall. I was very annoyed to see the return policy on there and thought it was a store aberration. Now I know it is all of them. That sucks! NO more gift receipts for me!