So you got overexcited about the special deals and steep discounts offered on Cyber Monday. Now the aftermath of financial depletion and buyer's remorse set in after a storm of excessive online purchasing. You want to — you should — return some items. Is overspending an understatement? Did USPS deliver a slew of packages that you don't even remember ordering? Did checking your balance online make you wince?
If you blacked out from shoppers' exuberance while buying item after item online during this Cyber Monday, it's likely now your sanity's returned. You probably want your money back and to eliminate the evidence as soon as possible. Before rushing to get refunds and scrambling to send packages back to merchants, keep your calm and follow these post-Cyber Monday shopping tips:
Receipts & Bank Statements
As you assess the serious damage, gather your receipts and look at your online bank account to check that all your purchases match up. Also track your online purchases by looking at your credit card statements. Because such an exorbitant amount of online shopping on Cyber Monday is expected, identity thieves are likely to target the Internet on this day. Scan your statements for any unauthorized charges or charges that are wrong. Guilty of carefree shopping sprees on the Internet? You'll always want to be aware of email scams and suspicious links (e.g. delivery delays and problems with your order).
Visit Lifelock on Facebook.com to learn more about online shopping safety and what to look out for during this holiday season.
A Step-by-Step Guide for Returns
Fortunately, because of the fast-growing popularity of Cyber Monday, retailers have policies that make returning purchases easier in order to attract shoppers and increase sales. If your purchase came from a retailer that has a physical store, visit the location nearest you as your first option. Since online purchases are made with a card, you'll likely get store credit or credit returned to your card. To return purchases to merchants that are exclusively online, move quickly; depending on the refund and exchange policy, returns may only be accepted during a certain time frame.
Make sure your item is properly prepared to be returned with following re-packaging steps:
- Obtain the packaging slip and an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization)
- Check with the retailer to see if you'll be charged with a return shipping fee
- Ask about a recommended shipping company and type of shipping service to use
- Re-pack the purchase securely and orderly with the RAM number clearly identified
- Request that the retailer send confirmation via email or a phone call
Visit USPS.com's Merchandise Return Service for details about returning merchandise through USPS services.
Future Online Shopping
To prevent future complications with returning online purchases, find answers to the following questions in advance for happy online holiday shopping:
- What is the store's return policy?
- Will you receive a full refund or store credit?
- Are there any fees for returning a purchase? (e.g. restocking and "open box" fees or shipping and handling charges)
- Is there a time limit for returns and exchanges?
- Does the store require a RMA number?
Lastly, if returning all your purchases has been a nightmare, you now know to shop online with caution and avoid the Internet altogether next year on Cyber Monday.