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. 
    charlotte989875InLoveInQueensknottie3a07c9dc00519677
  • 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!
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