You probably already do a lot of research before you buy baby, toddler and kid gear, from reading expert ratings and reviews to comparing prices to checking sites like mine.
However, there’s one more bit of research you’ll probably want to add to your shopping to-do list, if it’s not on there already: Check the return policies of the stores where you shop. It turns out that a number of retailers offer pretty generous return policies, a tip that is today’s hint, and they may be where you’ll want to do your buying.
Diapers.com, for instance, is one of those retailers. If you’re not 100% happy with your Diapers.com purchase for any reason, you can return it to Diapers.com within 365 days of the original sales date and get a full refund. And Diapers.com will also pay for your return shipping.
I learned this check-the-return-policy tip from my friend, the mom of two toddlers, who says Diapers.com’s generous return policy has enabled her to return a host of baby products that she wasn’t happy with, including video monitors, as well as baby gates that didn’t work quite right and sound machines that quickly broke. “Check the return policy of where ever you get kids stuff,” she says.
Other retailers offer similar policies that extend beyond the traditional 30-day return window. For example, if you have a receipt dated within the last 90 days, buybuy Baby will accept a return in exchange for a full refund or store credit, and if you don’t have such a receipt or if you purchased the item more than 90 days ago, you can return the product in exchange for a store credit. Elsewhere, Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us generally offer a 90-day return window, though there are a number of exceptions to this policy.
Some retailers, meanwhile, have special return policies just for baby items. For most items, Amazon.com only offers a 30-day return window; however, for eligible baby items in “new and unopened condition,” Amazon.com offers a 90-day return window and free return shipping.
Looking for more retailers with generous return policies? Cheapism.com offers a nice roundup of retailer return policies that was last updated eight months ago and that was nicely summed up in a Kiplinger piece on “Retailers With Generous Return Policies.”
To be sure, there are caveats to all of the return policies. Diapers.com, for example, says that it only accepts products that aren’t used or expired, and that are in original condition and packaging (so, save your gear boxes and your receipts). In addition, retailers can change their return policy at any time, and many do for the holidays. Still, despite the fine print, these generous return policies are definitely worth knowing about and they may even sway your where-to-shop decision.
What generous return policies would you add to this list? Share your experiences with baby and kid retailer return policies below.