Registering and Gifts

Gift registry abuse--how often does this happen?

I read an account by a woman who worked for an online retailer with a bridal registry, and she said that throughout the year, couples will register for random gifts that they have no intention of keeping, and then return them for cash. As in, the entire registry's worth.

Is this really a thing? Do you know anyone who has done this? And no, I don't mean returning the second of two acacia wood trays or your second and third stand mixer that guests bought off-registry, I mean that you register for a bunch of random gifts that your guests carefully buy, and then you return them all! Why don't registries crack down on this if it's a common problem?


Re: Gift registry abuse--how often does this happen?

  • I don't know why you're asking this, but yes, we were friends with a couple who bragged about doing this. They registered at Bed Bath & Beyond back when they used to give cash refunds for returns, and only registered for expensive items. Their wedding was several years ago though, and BBB doesn't do this anymore. Most stores now give store credit for this reason. They can't ban returns or exchanges, but they can keep the money within their store. 
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensmaine7mob
  • I read an account by a woman who worked for an online retailer with a bridal registry, and she said that throughout the year, couples will register for random gifts that they have no intention of keeping, and then return them for cash. As in, the entire registry's worth.

    Is this really a thing? Do you know anyone who has done this? And no, I don't mean returning the second of two acacia wood trays or your second and third stand mixer that guests bought off-registry, I mean that you register for a bunch of random gifts that your guests carefully buy, and then you return them all! Why don't registries crack down on this if it's a common problem?


    It actually was common enough that places like Bed Bath and Beyond tightened their returned policies so you no longer get cash back on registry returns and Target's registry exchange was already pretty tight.

    It's a shame that the fraudulent actions of some couples are what spoiled it for the rest of us.  
    charlotte989875STARMOON44
  • Wow, I'm glad they tightened their policies. I asked because I read about it in a Miss Manners book on weddings, and wondered if it was an actual issue.

    That's truly disgusting and as tacky as wishing wells and all the other cash grabs, but worse, since it involves actual fraud.
  • @banana468, I don't think requiring exchanges rather than refunds is necessarily ruining things for law abiding people. (I can see it being a hassle if you got everything you registered for, though.)

    In D's case, the extra KitchenAid mixer (someone bought the first one off-registry because she got a better price) is being exchanged for a badly needed vacuum cleaner.  It wouldn't even occur to them to ask for money back, since they really do need everything they registered for, and there are still some less glamorous items (sheets, towels, and that vacuum) that guests understandably preferred not to give. It certainly makes it easy for us to know what to give at Christmas, though!
  • LD1970LD1970
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
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    Registering for stuff you don't want and plan to return, if it's store policy to accept such returns, as used to be the case, isn't fraud in the legal sense, or in any way illegal.  Perfectly "law abiding citizens" could return an item for cash if they so chose.  I find it strange that you allude to this as illegal activity.

    Is a person doing this being deceptive to friends and family?  Sure.  But deception isn't fraud, and it's certainly not illegal.
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
    CasadenaernursejeileenrobMyNameIsNot
  • Is it weird?  Sure.  But if the store policy allows for returns (for either cash or credit) it is way more work for the couple to do this than to just not register and receive cash as a gift.  It definitely it is not fraud and definitely is not worth getting this worked up over.  You (general you) seriously care that someone returns a gift you bought? 
    ShesSoColdeileenrob
  • Casadena said:
    Is it weird?  Sure.  But if the store policy allows for returns (for either cash or credit) it is way more work for the couple to do this than to just not register and receive cash as a gift.  It definitely it is not fraud and definitely is not worth getting this worked up over.  You (general you) seriously care that someone returns a gift you bought? 
    Stuck in the box.   The couple is being fraudulent to their guests if they register for items only to intend to return them for cash.   It may not be fraud as a crime but it's absolutely intended deceit if they go through a ruse to make a registry and receive gifts only to have zero intent of using them and pocketing the cash.

    That talk was far more common about 10 years ago when DH and I were married and people still talked about the BB&B return policy.    Now that's not something I've seen on the boards and if the policies have tightened it seems to be less of an issue.   

    Also, I don't care if you return the gift I purchased if you change your mind or get duplicates.   If you set out to create a registry of items you intended to use it's no harm no foul.  I care if you set out to create a registry for the sole purpose of returning gifts for cash.   Then you set out to deceive your guests.   It's abusing a store policy, and really rude to your guests. 
    ILoveBeachMusicJeeGooDowster
  • ^^^Exactly, @banana468. That's the type of fraud I was talking about. But I'm glad to know the book I read this in is outdated.
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited August 23
    On occasion on the boards, a bride will ask how best to handle gifts when attending a shower in a state other than her own.  It has been suggested by some to return all boxed gifts at a store local to the shower location, and repurchase them once back home.

    I personally always find that suggestion absurd.

    I don't know anyone that has actually done this.  I also wonder if, in the case that it has happened, some brides have had "second thoughts" and opted for cash rather than repurchase.


    InLoveInQueens
  • MobKaz said:
    On occasion on the boards, a bride will ask how best to handle gifts when attending a shower in a state other than her own.  It has been suggested by some to return all boxed gifts at a store local to the shower location, and repurchase them once back home.

    I personally always find that suggestion absurd.

    I don't know anyone that has actually done this.  I also wonder if, in the case that it has happened, some brides have had "second thoughts" and opted for cash rather than repurchase.


    I've seen this too, and it just seems like a ginormous headache. Plus what if your local store doesn't have the same item or something?

    We did get a few gifts that we didn't use right away and eventually decided we'd rather have something else that was more useful, but we only exchanged a few items & didn't return any of them for cash/gift cards.
  • I read an account by a woman who worked for an online retailer with a bridal registry, and she said that throughout the year, couples will register for random gifts that they have no intention of keeping, and then return them for cash. As in, the entire registry's worth.

    Is this really a thing? Do you know anyone who has done this? And no, I don't mean returning the second of two acacia wood trays or your second and third stand mixer that guests bought off-registry, I mean that you register for a bunch of random gifts that your guests carefully buy, and then you return them all! Why don't registries crack down on this if it's a common problem?


    It actually was common enough that places like Bed Bath and Beyond tightened their returned policies so you no longer get cash back on registry returns and Target's registry exchange was already pretty tight.

    It's a shame that the fraudulent actions of some couples are what spoil it for the rest who just want to return the extra tray. 
  • @banana468, I don't think requiring exchanges rather than refunds is necessarily ruining things for law abiding people. (I can see it being a hassle if you got everything you registered for, though.)

    In D's case, the extra KitchenAid mixer (someone bought the first one off-registry because she got a better price) is being exchanged for a badly needed vacuum cleaner.  It wouldn't even occur to them to ask for money back, since they really do need everything they registered for, and there are still some less glamorous items (sheets, towels, and that vacuum) that guests understandably preferred not to give. It certainly makes it easy for us to know what to give at Christmas, though!
    Well, it was a feature when I registered nearly 12 years ago that BB&B would give cash back.   It was nice because a guest's purchase was then added as a registry purchase even if I didn't put it on there.   I wound up with some extra trays and place settings that we ultimately decided to return.

    It was nice because we ultimately turned around and then just bought new curtains but I heard through the grapevine of people just pocketing the cash with no intention of keeping anything,
  • Casadena said:
    Is it weird?  Sure.  But if the store policy allows for returns (for either cash or credit) it is way more work for the couple to do this than to just not register and receive cash as a gift.  It definitely it is not fraud and definitely is not worth getting this worked up over.  You (general you) seriously care that someone returns a gift you bought? 
    Stuck in the box.   The couple is being fraudulent to their guests if they register for items only to intend to return them for cash.   It may not be fraud as a crime but it's absolutely intended deceit if they go through a ruse to make a registry and receive gifts only to have zero intent of using them and pocketing the cash.

    That talk was far more common about 10 years ago when DH and I were married and people still talked about the BB&B return policy.    Now that's not something I've seen on the boards and if the policies have tightened it seems to be less of an issue.   

    Also, I don't care if you return the gift I purchased if you change your mind or get duplicates.   If you set out to create a registry of items you intended to use it's no harm no foul.  I care if you set out to create a registry for the sole purpose of returning gifts for cash.   Then you set out to deceive your guests.   It's abusing a store policy, and really rude to your guests. 
    ILoveBeachMusicahoywedding
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    2500 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    I think it is tacky AF. Plus, this is why stores raise prices. Do you think it is free to have someone build a website for an online shop? Build a store? Employ people to work on the checkout and returns? 

    If you want cash, just don't register. Why go to this hassle?

    People hide the truth when they know they are doing something wrong. Otherwise they would own it. 
    levioosa
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
    Eighth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    On occasion on the boards, a bride will ask how best to handle gifts when attending a shower in a state other than her own.  It has been suggested by some to return all boxed gifts at a store local to the shower location, and repurchase them once back home.

    I personally always find that suggestion absurd.

    ***(Side note....if this response actually posts, it will be the first in several days.  I have been in "waiting for approval purgatory" since August 15, including, ironically, sending a pointless SOS on the Tech Board.)
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