Saturday, March 20, 2010

Being a Smart Shopper - "Getting an Adjustment"

Have you heard of "getting an adjustment" before? No, I'm not talking about going to the chiropractor. I'm talking retail shopping. I'm not sure if this is a widely recognized term, or just jargon leftover in my brain from working retail many moons ago.

Anyways, basically, "getting an adjustment" means getting an adjustment in price. For example, let's say you bought a sweater for $40 a week ago. This week, you happened to be back at the store, and you see that your sweater is now on sale for $25. You can present your receipt to the store and get refunded for the difference. In this case, you'd get $15 back. Sometimes they want to see the merchandise to do this, and other times a receipt alone will suffice. It just depends on the store (and/or the clerk you get). For example, I went to Best Buy in January, and upon seeing the phone case I bought a couple of weeks earlier on sale for half the price I paid, I promptly went to the register, pulled out my receipt, and got the difference in price credited to me - very easy.

You should also know that anytime you get a coupon in the mail (or sometimes through email), that you can also take that coupon in for an adjustment on a purchase you've already made. Just be sure that you are within the return guidelines for that particular store (usually 30 days). For example, here's what I did this week. Emma and I went to Old Navy last Saturday and bought merchandise. I knew I had a 30% off coupon for Old Navy at home, but it wasn't going to become valid until this weekend. But I knew she was busy and couldn't go shopping this weekend. So we made our purchase for full price. Then, I waited and I took the clothes in today(kept the tags on), and asked for an adjustment. It was a bit of a problem - but I succeeded. Here's how it went down (this is for you Suzanne- I know you love my retail stories!):

Me (to clerk): "Hi, I'd like to get an adjustment. I purchased these items last week and I now have a 30% off coupon I'd like to apply."

Clerk: "Sorry, we don't do that."

Me: "Can I speak to a manager?"

(clerk gets manager)

Me (to manager): (repeating myself) "Hi, I'd like to get an adjustment. I purchased these items last week and I now have a 30% off coupon I'd like to apply."

Manager: "Sorry, we don't do that. We can't have people coming in with coupons for past purchases."

Me: "May I ask you a question? Am I entitled to return this entire order and get all my money back?"

Manager: "Yes, you are."

Me: "Am I also entitled to purchase anything in this store today for 30% off?"

Manager: "Yes."

Me: "So, I should be able to return this order and buy it back with the 30% off coupon."

Manager: "Well...." (realizing that I have outsmarted him, turns to clerk and says reluctantly) "Go ahead and refund her and let her buy it all back with the 30%."

Me: "Thank you." (leaving happily with $50)

Clerk: "Well, just so you know, we don't encourage this kind of practice."

Me: (popping off inside - No duh, dude! You just lost $50!)

So, that is usually how it has to take place. It is completely legit to do this. But, understandably, stores don't like it. It's helpful to remember two things about this transaction when you are attempting it:

1) The clerk will probably not understand what you are asking.
2) The clerk, if she does understand, will not be happy with you and try not to let you do the adjustment.

Just keep that in mind, stay calm and pleasant, and you should have great success!

Happy shopping!

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Blessings Flow Down said...

You crack me up! ;D So great how you are 'training' Emma.

Lea said...

Just happened by your blog while checking out some of the blogs that have been designed by "Once Upon A Blog." Thoroughly enjoyed looking around and just had to chuckle at this entry. I love it! By the way, your blog design is lovely, think I'm going to have her work on mine. Blessings to you!