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Store returns, years later

July 23rd, 2010 at 02:15 pm

I'm really pretty careful about how I spend my money. Still, there are occasions when I end up buying something and never using it. I may have intentions of returning it, but maybe at the time I figure it's a small purchase and not worth a special trip.

Well, I recently started noticing that all those little unused purchases were popping up around my house, and so I recently began returning things to stores for a refund or credit. All these purchases were made over a year ago (!) and I didn't have the receipt, but most retailers these days will process the return.

Here are a few examples:

1. Retractable clothesline. I had one I loved and used often, but it broke. I went to Lowe's for a replacement, but they were out. I found one at Home Depot a few weeks later, and snatched it up, even though I had already switched over to collapsible folding racks in the driveway. Still, I was so attached to this particular product that I held onto it, "in case I needed it." Well, I finally realized I really didn't need it, several years later. I was able to return it to Home Depot with no receipt for $17! Cool.

2. Bow saw. My trusty old bow saw got stuck in a tree limb I was trying to cut up. The weight of the branch slowly separating as I cut it locked up the saw and would not let go. There was nothing to do but buy a new bow saw to free the old one. I figured the blade on the old one was dull anyway. I bought a new one at Wal-Mart for $5. Well, that new blade was so thin it actually wobbled as I used it, resulting in a curved cut. Very cheap product. After freeing my first bow saw, I threw the new one in the garage, disgusted, but later realized I could probably return it and get my money back. And I did.

3. A gallon of ammonia. A friend of mine promised to help me seal off my basement to mice. He gave me a laundry list of supplies to buy before his arrival. One of those supplies was a gallon of ammonia, which in hindsight would appear to be a useless/pointless mice deterrent. It irked me that my friend completely failed to show up, and I had that gallon of ammonia sitting on the laundry shelf for over a year. Luckily, it was the Shop Rite generic brand, so I marched over there and got $2 and change.

4. Hair color.I purchased a special brand of hair color at a health food store years ago when I wanted to get away from using peroxide on my hair. But after reading the directions, I realized it wasn't going to work for me. That product sat in my linen closet for years. Luckily, the price tag has the store name on it so a return should not be a problem.

In other money news, I've also return to selling stuff on Craig's List after a few months' hiatus.

I reposted 7 or 8 things that haven't yet sold. One was a plastic Stanley toolbox an old boyfriend gave me. One Xmas he got 2 of them, so he'd given the spare one to me. But I have no need for a toolbox, so I checked the price of a new one at the Stanley website and included a link showing the $11 price in the Craig's List posting where I am just asking $5 for a quick sale. I got a taker, and he's coming over tomorrow for it.

I also got a taker, hopefully, on an old 300 mm camera lens I bought 25 years ago. It cost a lot of money but I hardly ever used it. I'm asking just $90 for something I spent several hundred on, but I will be thrilled to have converted this particular item to cash as I hadn't thought anyone would still want it. I've gone totally digital.

I hope to meet that buyer next week when I'm down in his area for a focus group that will pay me $125 (tax-free) cash for 2.5 hours of my opinions on groceries.

I'm still working for the Census. I'm in week 12 of what was originally said to be a 6 or 8 week assignment.

The Census work has been a godsend for me. Normally, after a layoff, I would fall back on my freelance real estate copywriting. But of course, the current real estate slump means very little work has come my way. I lucked out in that i happened to be laid off in the once-every-10th year they do a census, so all my census work has really made up for the loss of income from the freelance writing. I've grossed $5,200 from it so far.

I got called for Jury Duty, something that's never happened to me while I was unemployed. Surprisingly, they continue to pay unemployment benefits, but only for the first 5 days of jury duty. After that, if you're so unlucky as to be selected, they reduce your benefits to 75% of your normal amount. Note to self: make sure I get disqualified for Jury Duty.

2 Responses to “Store returns, years later”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    Great job on the returns and craiglist sales. I really need to get back to selling online! I think I'm a bit busy with the girls at home right now.

  2. rob62521 Says:

    Bravo on the returns and the sales!

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