Blog: Financial Organizing Made Easy & Fun
Gift Receipts: Take 'em or Leave 'em?
Ho, ho, ho.... The holiday shopping and giving season is upon us. Soon to will the gift returning and exchanging season arrive.
Branded a 'picky person' by my family members, I have to admit that finding a gift receipt neatly tucked inside any holiday gift is a welcome relief for me. I'm that difficult to buy for but a gal needs only so many figurines that require dusting and only so many misfit winter garments in a place that it doesn't snow. I show that same respect for those on my holiday list by handing over those handy little receipts during the holiday season. Here are a few hints for managing the every growing pile of register tapes and slips with ease:
Form A Habit By Asking. Right after being asked "did you find everything you were looking for today?" simply reply that you'll need a gift receipt with your purchase. The key is to ask for the gift receipt(s) BEFORE the associate begins ringing up the transaction. Some retail stores seem to make printing a gift receipt so difficult and time consuming most shopper's will forgo them. With a little preparation you will avoid being caught by this trick. I was recently reminded of this retail caper. When I asked the sales associate for a gift receipt, just prior to making my payment, she replied that she would have to void the transaction and start all over again. I was nearly deafened by the moans from my fellow shopper's. Thankfully it took just second to fix, and I was off in a jiffy.
Stash Those Receipts Together. Years ago after marrying my husband I learned that our holiday shopping list included many out of town and distant family members. Through trial and error I've found a system that works for our ever growing shopping list. As I make purchases off our gift giving list, I mark the back of each gift receipt with the recipient's initials. No only is getting a retailer to provide a gift receipt difficult, but so too is trying to deciphering later with all those fancy codes and abbreviations. That is a lesson that's hard to learn from experience!
An Envelope of Simplicity.
Next, I start with a simply plastic envelop that will survive the holiday season being buried at the bottom of my purse. I place the purchase receipt and gift receipts inside. Once our shopping is complete pull out the stash. Then, I take simple white envelopes and mark them with family name and tuck the appropriate receipts inside. After the unwrapping extravaganza is complete, I quietly present the envelope with a note tucked inside that simply says, "Santa hopes that in the event that you find a gift that is not to your liking or size please use these to help find just the right one."
Don't Ask and Don't Tell. When you decide to include that gift receipt this holiday season I believe that also means you're giving away permission to ask, "So where's that _______(fill in the blank with the gift) that I gave your for Christmas?" If you can't avoid the temptation to ask, then I recommend reconsidering providing any gift receipts.
Know When to Skip 'em. I admit that sometimes it's not possible or appropriate to include a gift receipt. Consider the recipient carefully before proceeding. Here are just a few situations that come to mind when it's better to skip those gift receipts. Did you get a great deal back in July? Are you "re-gifting"? Don't want to reveal your secret shopping spot?
I hope today's tips can help you avoid some of the holiday hassles and headaches of gift giving receipts. Have you seen a register tape lately? Are they getting longer or is it me? Stay tuned next week for more!
posted on: 12/11/2007 11:30:00 AM by Nanette Duffey
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Financial Organizing Made Easy & Fun
by Nanette Duffey
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Nanette Duffey, owner of Organized Instincts, LLC provides professional organizing and money manager services to individuals, families, and small businesses. Before founding Organized Instincts in 2005, she held several finance roles at GE and earned a B.S., Financial Management, from Clemson University. Nanette has appeared in the media and regularly presents to a variety of civic and community organizations. Nanette currently serves as the Treasurer for the NAPO Georgia (National Association of Professional Organizers) chapter. Nanette loves to travel, football, photography, ballet, and learning to cook.
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