Don’t Use Target’s Gift Registry, It Sucks

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Target recently changed their return policy to limit returns to two items each rolling 12 month period if you don’t have a receipt. I think that policy makes sense and it mirrors similar policies at other retailers and I understand that it’s meant to combat return fraud. However, someone forgot to think about the effect that will have on their gift registries, especially in the case where they fail to remove items off the gift registry and the gift giver doesn’t attach a gift receipt to the gift.

Let me give you an example, my fiancee recently had a bridal shower in which a Target gift registry was established and stocked with a variety of items such as board games. Well, when people purchased items off that list, the Target gift registry failed to remove the items from the list. You can imagine what happened next, she received multiple copies of some of the board games. Well, being a classier than average bunch, many of those duplicates didn’t come with a gift receipt taped to the box. In trying to return the items to Target, she ran smack into this new ridiculous policy. Target employees couldn’t check the registry, see that there were mistakes made on their part and give her a refund. The duplicates were Target’s fault but all their executive brains failed to identify this entirely common scenario.

I’m not writing this to complain about Target because I want them to change their policy, I could care less. I’m writing this as a warning to anyone thinking about a gift registry to skip Target’s. Target is really no different from any of those types of stores so register somewhere else and save yourself the hassle of dealing with them.

You know who does do it well? Bed Bath & Beyooooond really does a good job with their registry. If you buy it somewhere else, just give them a call and they’ll remove the item from the list. Everything is automatically 20% off, they are a bit pricier on some things, since you can find those coupons anywhere (they will accept expired coupons). And lastly, if you had it on your registry, you can return it without a receipt (the worst case is that they give you a gift card).

Who else does it well? Macy’s actually gives you a gift card or certificate worth 10% of the total value of items purchased from your bridal registry, among other similarly awesome benefits I can’t remember. 10% “cashback” is pretty freaking sweet compared to Target’s gift of a headache and a wonderfully frustrating shopping experience. So, lesson of the day is to skip Target and go elsewhere.

{ 100 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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100 Responses to “Don’t Use Target’s Gift Registry, It Sucks”

  1. brian says:

    I registered at target and they didnt even give me and my fiance gift registry cards? that was the most inconvenient thing ever. screw them. I deleted it.

  2. Sue says:

    I am also having issues with Target’s Club Wedd registry. In addition to items that were purchased not not getting marked as purchased on my registry, two items were attempted to be delivered by UPS but ended up back at Target. One UPS damaged, so returned to Target. The other couldn’t be received because we were on our honeymoon, so was sent back to Target (complaints here about UPS, too). I contacted Target and learned that in both cases they credit the buyer’s account, send an email to the buyer, and basically ask the buyer to re-purchase the item. How awful! Now I’ve got two items showing up as purchased on my registry that we don’t have and I have no way to find out who purchased them to alert them of the problem. The guy I spoke with at Target said they didn’t have that information, which seems highly unlikely. This is the worst registry policy ever!

  3. xavier says:

    My wife and I got married on November 6, 2011. Two months prior we signed up for the online wedding registry at About two weeks before the wedding it showed us that eight gifts had been purchased. So after the wedding we drop by a local target to see what we needed to do to get our gifts, they instructed to call the 1800 number. We called the number to see what the next step would be for us. It took three phone calls to get in contact with someone because we kept getting hung up on. After getting through to a person we were told that we needed a reference number or the person name of who brought us the gift. When doing the registry it don’t give you any information outside of letting you know what items that were purchased. So without that information we were told to just wait cause they couldn’t do to help us. Its been over a month since our wedding and still no gifts have been delivered to us. Every time we call we get hung up on, passed from department to department, or told just to wait. At this point it don’t look like we are going to get our gifts. Its horrible how customer service has treated us and how bad is for not delivering our gifts. This has been the worst experience with target ever. This is something I would expect from wal-mart. We just want our gifts thats already been brought for us.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I personally avoid buying gifts from Target registries at all costs after seeing so many duplicates at every shower I’ve gone to in recent years–all Target registry items. All the purchasers say they’ve had the cashier take the items off the list and I see very few duplicates with other registries.

    Either Target’s registry system is hopelessly screwed up or (my personal opinion) they’ve designed it that way to increase their sales. Here’s how it works: even when the gift recipients return the gifts with a gift receipt, they don’t get cash or a credit on their credit card. They get a Target gift card. That means that instead of the purchasers going to a different store when the number of items in their price range run low, they buy a duplicate, thinking it hasn’t been purchased yet and the recipients have to spend that money at Target whether they want to or not. Never mind that they inconvenience the recipients and disappoint the purchasers (who wants to give a duplicate gift?).

    Whether it’s intentional or not, Target needs to fix this or they will continue to lose registry business as people see all the duplicates flow in.

  5. Ann says:

    NEVER use their customer service is very bad. Unwilling to be reasonable or helpful in ANY way.

  6. Audrey says:

    Never register at Target! I just spent two trips and an hour and 20 minutes on the phone with gift registry (mostly holding) trying to return a baby item that was on ON MY REGISTRY. The person who bought the item did not scan it off my registry, so it wasn’t in the oh so important Purchase Log. The item was $89.99 and they have a $70 limit without a receipt. All they would offer me was a in store exchange in the same department for $70.00. They could not even offer me a $70 gift card. I read that Target allowed returns up to $250 against your registry. Their response to this was that not enough had been purchased off my registry to return. After over an hour on the phone with Gift Registry the service worker asked me if I could just ask the purchaser for the receipt. That was her solution for me. My phone battery died before she could give me more of her insightful solutions. Im so glad most people have bought me things off my Amazon registry. It has been really easy and great.

  7. Andy says:

    Target registry is absolutely terrible. They shipped the packages that a family member sent to us for our baby registry to the wrong address, then wouldn’t change it even before it was shipped. Then the packages were returned by UPS and Target refused to ship again to correct address, they said the only option was to refund the purchaser’s credit card and they would have to go back on-line and repurchase all 7 items again. The service that I received from the manager that I spoke with was horrible, he made me feel like I was in the wrong by even asking to change the shipping address so that it would come to my correct address and was incredibly rude. The whole experience was a reminder that Target is a large corporation with no regard for flexibility or customer service, and they certainly didn’t value me as a customer through the registry. I would highly recommend going elsewhere for your wedding or baby registry.

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