Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Returnable Christmas Trees at Home Depot?

One of the by-products of new kitchen cabinets and a new countertop is that random stuff is left out and not put away, causing yet another cluttered surface. How ironic, as cabinets and drawers are intended to create just the opposite - places to hide stuff from plain view.

I tend to accrue receipts. For items like clothing, I'll keep them for a bit just to make sure that the items fit and look OK. Grocery store and drugstore receipts, I usually shred immediately.

I'll keep Home Depot receipts for a few weeks, as I'm often buying and returning things from there regularly during my random household projects.

Home Depot is also where I purchased my Christmas tree this year. I bought an 8-9' Frasier and paid 65 bucks, which is about 30 more than I thought it was going to cost, but it was one of their best looking trees. So, why not?

I noticed their return policy on what I purchased.

90 days, expires 2/27/09

Wait, I can return a Christmas tree?

In February?

Now it seems a bit obvious to me that a cut Christmas tree is a non-returnable item, especially two months after its expiration date.

But I wonder how many people try to return their trees, citing the date on the receipt. I'd imagine a few each year.

Reading a bit further reveals Home Depot's out - "reserves the right to limit / deny returns."

Still, why print a return policy specific to this item when common sense defies all policy?

I seem to recall Home Depot guaranteeing their plants for a set period of time (perhaps 30 days), so I looked on their website for more information. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything about plants beyond this:

Holiday Trees and Wreaths: Plants and live goods, including cut flowers, holiday trees, wreaths and garland are non-refundable. Please call 1-800-430-3376 within 3 days of delivery to report damaged or dead plants and/or live goods and we will promptly ship a replacement at no charge.

OK, makes sense. But what about holiday ornaments and such?

Holiday Décor: Holiday Décor items must be returned within 30 days of delivery. Any product damage and/or defects must be reported within 30 days of delivery.

So trees and wreaths are out....but ornaments, stockings, nativity sets...all returnable? If I purchase all of my Christmas adornments on December 16th - today - I can return all of them on January 15th for full refunds, essentially renting my Christmas décor?

Hmmm. Times are tough. Pinching pennies. Might not be a bad idea.


Josh said...

You should probably save the clothing receipts and receipts for other long last items, in case you ever have to file an insurance claim for them.

Jason said...

I do usually save receipts for any bigger-ticket items, furniture, electronics, etc. I never thought to do it for clothes though. Good idea!

Anonymous said...

Grocery store and drugstore receipts, I usually shred immediately.

Funny, I've taken to trying to save them, too, at least for a few weeks. I hate it when I replace an item I've just run out of (shaving cream, say) and then, when you have the empty container and the new one side by side, you can't compare prices to see if the cost has gone up since last time you bought one (nobody individually prices items any more).

Alison said...

I used to work at Home Depot and I can't ever recall anyone trying to return a Christmas tree, which is surprising based on what people actually try to return.

I remember having posted signage stating that Christmas decor was not returnable, but maybe their policy has changed.

I think returns for live plants were something like 1 year with receipt. People would walk in with dried up plants with receipt in hand and would be refunded. I always found that strange because I have killed many plants over the course of my life due to neglect. Obviously my fault and I would not expect to be refunded for being irresponsible and not watering a plant. Who knew, had I just kept my receipts I could just keep killing plants year after year and just returning them and starting all over with another plant.