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

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.