Target's image might have been tarnished recently after disclosing political leanings, but one thing that the corporation did right many years ago is to institute a receipt lookup system. If you don't have a receipt and you know that you charged it, Target scans the bar code and your credit card and issues an immediate credit (assuming that it's within 90 days and the product is in resellable condition).
Target's policy has saved me money many times. It helps that I charge almost everything, especially when it's an item I might return. It seems ridiculous that every major retailer doesn't institute such a system. Apparently, more have done so than I realized.
When I told a friend that I might be stuck with a $60 rug from Menards because I couldn't find my receipt, he told me that Menards has a receipt look-up kiosk in its stores. After scanning the credit card the item was charged on and the UPC, a receipt prints out that can be taken to customer service. It's an extra step compared with Target, but it's better than store credit at the lowest sale price.
After my good experience at Menards, I tested it at Bed, Bath & Beyond, too. Its customer-service desk also can process refunds without a receipt using the credit card the item was charged on.
So I wondered what other stores offer this hassle-free service. More important, what stores don't offer receipt lookup yet and what's taking them so long? Here's what I found. Some small, independent retailers also will have records, although they might not be credit card-based.
Note: Some stores also offer refunds on items paid by check if the checking account number is provided.
REFUNDS WITHOUT RECEIPT
Stores that do:
• Best Buy
• Costco (cash purchases, too)
• Home Depot (including cash purchases if the exact purchase price and date are known)
• J.C. Penney
• Lowe's (including cash purchases if a phone number was provided)
• Sam's Club (cash purchases, too)
• Ultimate Electronics (searched by customer name)
Stores that don't:
• Container Store
• Pottery Barn
• West Elm
• Williams Sonoma