Author Topic: Returning an item to retail store without a receipt - Where is the best place?  (Read 8254 times)

MoneyRx

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Any recommendations of where to go? I recently won a 16GB ipod nano at a raffle and have no use for it. I was hoping to take it back to a retail store to get a good amount for it (it is new and still sealed). I tried WalMart and they said they can only do it on items <$50. Looking for recommendations, Thanks!

AZDude

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So you are trying to commit fraud? Just sell it on ebay/CL and move on.

JLee

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Any recommendations of where to go? I recently won a 16GB ipod nano at a raffle and have no use for it. I was hoping to take it back to a retail store to get a good amount for it (it is new and still sealed). I tried WalMart and they said they can only do it on items <$50. Looking for recommendations, Thanks!
Yeah, because of reasons like this.

So you are trying to commit fraud? Just sell it on ebay/CL and move on.
^^^

Bracken_Joy

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Yeah.... that's pretty immoral.

Sell it online, give it as a gift, something. But there is a difference between cheap and frugal, and this counts as cheap.

MissStache

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Yeah buddy that is dishonest and wrong.  Post it on your facebook or something and see if one of your friends will buy it. 

MoneyRx

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

Villanelle

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

It's immoral because it is in violation of their policies, among other reasons.  You may feel it is fine, but since they don't, that's the end of the discussion.  *You* don't get to decide whether it hurts their business. 

Lis

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

Store buys the iPod for $20 wholesale, because they're buying 1000 of them. They sell them at $50 to cover their costs and to make a profit. You're selling them an iPod for $50, which they'll sell for $50, meaning they get no money. In a sense, you're stealing $30 from the store.

I can see how some people shrug and say "F Walmart, they don't need my $30." Doesn't make it any less illegal or scammy.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 12:36:13 PM by Lis »

JLee

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

You keep using terms like "returning" and "store takes it back"...both of which require it to have originated from the store in the first place. You're basically asking them to buy it from you and re-sell it for free.

Kaikou

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Well either way it seems like too much work, just sell it online. Amazon has a trade in.

NotJen

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Can you contact the people who ran the raffle and see if they can give you a receipt?  Probably not, but might be worth a try.

My company gives away door prizes at company functions, and will give you the receipt if you want to return the item. I won and returned an iPod a few years ago.

charis

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

So you are not planning to pretend that the item was purchased from their store (a lie) and that you are returning it (another lie)?  You are going to tell the store the whole truth - that you did not purchase it there, but you want the store to essentially buy it from you? 

Our mistake then.

MoneyRx

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

So you are not planning to pretend that the item was purchased from their store (a lie) and that you are returning it (another lie)?  You are going to tell the store the whole truth - that you did not purchase it there, but you want the store to essentially buy it from you? 

Our mistake then.

Yes you are mistaken. When I went into Walmart I said "I received the item as a gift and I do not have a receipt, I am hoping to return it." There were no lies and no attempts at deceit. Walmart will do this for an item up to a $50 value, but since the Ipod is ~$150, they would not. I was looking for a suggestion of a store that will do this.

MoneyRx

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

You keep using terms like "returning" and "store takes it back"...both of which require it to have originated from the store in the first place.

False- They will take a "return" if the value is <$50, even if the item was not originally purchased at their store.

You're basically asking them to buy it from you and re-sell it for free.

True- and thank you for this comment. I have a question of whether or not the store takes it back and puts it in inventory and resells or if they ship it back to Apple, which Apple then redistributes. If it is the latter, is there any downside to the retail store?

wtjbatman

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

So you are not planning to pretend that the item was purchased from their store (a lie) and that you are returning it (another lie)?  You are going to tell the store the whole truth - that you did not purchase it there, but you want the store to essentially buy it from you? 

Our mistake then.

Yes you are mistaken. When I went into Walmart I said "I received the item as a gift and I do not have a receipt, I am hoping to return it." There were no lies and no attempts at deceit. Walmart will do this for an item up to a $50 value, but since the Ipod is ~$150, they would not. I was looking for a suggestion of a store that will do this.

Are you really still arguing this? You lied by omission. You said "I received the item as a gift", implying the gift giver purchased it from Walmart, and just didn't give you a receipt. When in reality, you won this thing in a raffle, and now you're trying to take advantage of a store's return policy which is in place to help customers. Not random raffle winners.

This is unethical. You know what we call it when individuals do this? Return fraud.*

*I am biased here, as I currently work as a loss prevention manager for a major retailer. Thanks to people like you, our store has to increase the price of items to make up for dishonest individuals and shoplifters.

Jags4186

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

You keep using terms like "returning" and "store takes it back"...both of which require it to have originated from the store in the first place.

False- They will take a "return" if the value is <$50, even if the item was not originally purchased at their store.

You're basically asking them to buy it from you and re-sell it for free.

True- and thank you for this comment. I have a question of whether or not the store takes it back and puts it in inventory and resells or if they ship it back to Apple, which Apple then redistributes. If it is the latter, is there any downside to the retail store?

What you are asking is no different than me personally asking you to take a "return" on an item. Then you figure out what to do with it.

That's what you're doing, you understand that right?  It's not the company I'm worried about but the poor schmuck who has to figure out what the deal is.

Kaikou

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Why can't you just sell it online? suspicious

Cathy

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Once again AZDude shows off his finely attuned ability to identify fraud based on a short textual description of fraud.

For those interested in the technical details, the exact rules vary by jurisdiction, but in California in the context of establishing civil liability, the definition of "deceit" is explicitly stated to include "[t]he suppression of a fact, by one who ... gives information of other facts which are likely to mislead for want of communication of that fact". Cal Civ Code 1710(3). In any case, presenting an item to be "returned" while being reckless as to whether it was purchased from that store is arguably an affirmative misrepresentation, without having to get into the technical details of whether nondisclosure is actionable in these circumstances. See Jimenez v. 24 Hour Fitness USA, No C071959, slip op at 25 (Ca Ct App June 9, 2015) ("[This] argument implies that non-verbal communications cannot be misrepresentative or induce reasonable reliance. We reject this argument.").

...Store buys the iPod for $20 wholesale, because they're buying 1000 of them. They sell them at $50 to cover their costs and to make a profit. You're selling them an iPod for $50, which they'll sell for $50, meaning they get no money. In a sense, you're stealing $30 from the store....

Although the OP's scheme is most likely fraudulent and should not be countenanced, I am unclear as to how his fraudulent scheme is actually costing Walmart anything, assuming that the product is truly in new, pristine condition. Let's suppose I buy Product Q from Walmart and my friend buys the exact Product Q from Target. I then trade my copy of Product Q with that of my friend's and then I travel to Walmart to fraudulently "return" the item that I did not purchase at Walmart. How does Walmart lose any money from this fraud? As far as I can tell, they don't.

Note: Even though Walmart might not lose any money from this fraud, I am definitely not suggesting that it is okay to do it.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 08:26:48 PM by Cathy »

Dicey

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I am unclear as to how his fraudulent scheme is actually costing Walmart anything, assuming that the product is truly in new, pristine condition. Let's suppose I buy Product Q from Walmart and my friend buys the exact Product Q from Target. I then trade my copy of Product Q with that of my friend's and then I travel to Walmart to fraudulently "return" the item that I did not purchase at Walmart. How does Walmart lose any money from this fraud? As far as I can tell, they don't.

Note: Even though Walmart might not lose any money from this fraud, I am definitely not suggesting that it is okay to do it.
Because processing this item and putting it back into inventory is not done by unicorns. Walmart has to pay real people to do this work. Sure, it's not much, but it pulls someone or several someones away from other work to handle this single transaction. Normally this expense would be a cost of doing business, paid for by making a profit on the things they sell, but in this case, they would be making ZERO profit, because they did not sell the item. Sending it back to the MFR. is no good either, because the unicorns don't fly the goods back to the mothership in glittery messenger bags. All of this costs money nd the OP has no right to expect the retailer to absorb these costs. For the record, I hold WM in very low esteem, but this shit ain't right and I don't blame them for refusing to take the return.

Cathy

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I am unclear as to how his fraudulent scheme is actually costing Walmart anything, assuming that the product is truly in new, pristine condition. Let's suppose I buy Product Q from Walmart and my friend buys the exact Product Q from Target. I then trade my copy of Product Q with that of my friend's and then I travel to Walmart to fraudulently "return" the item that I did not purchase at Walmart. How does Walmart lose any money from this fraud? As far as I can tell, they don't.

Note: Even though Walmart might not lose any money from this fraud, I am definitely not suggesting that it is okay to do it.
Because processing this item and putting it back into inventory is not done by unicorns. Walmart has to pay real people to do this work. ...

This was already taken into account in my analysis. Whether Walmart is accepting the copy of Product Q that I purchased from them or the copy that I traded with my friend but that she bought from Target does not matter. Either way, Walmart has to do the exact same work in restocking, etc. So that work is not unique to the fraudulent case. You might say that in OP's scheme, he didn't trade with somebody that bought it from Walmart, and that is true, but OP's scheme can be modelled as if OP traded with somebody who in turn never attempts to return their own copy of the item.

Once again, I am not saying that this fraudulent scheme is a good idea (it is not), but I am not convinced it costs Walmart any money assuming that (i) the item is in new, pristine condition and (ii) the item is something that the store would accept for return if it had actually been purchased at that store.

The scheme could cost Walmart money if more people return Product Q than who purchased it from the store, but for an item that sold many copies (like an Apple product), that seems unlikely.

To be extra clear, I am not endorsing this fraudulent and deceitful scheme in any way. The scheme is a bad idea.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 09:04:29 PM by Cathy »

Dicey

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I am unclear as to how his fraudulent scheme is actually costing Walmart anything, assuming that the product is truly in new, pristine condition. Let's suppose I buy Product Q from Walmart and my friend buys the exact Product Q from Target. I then trade my copy of Product Q with that of my friend's and then I travel to Walmart to fraudulently "return" the item that I did not purchase at Walmart. How does Walmart lose any money from this fraud? As far as I can tell, they don't.

Note: Even though Walmart might not lose any money from this fraud, I am definitely not suggesting that it is okay to do it.
Because processing this item and putting it back into inventory is not done by unicorns. Walmart has to pay real people to do this work. ...

This was already taken into account in my analysis. Whether Walmart is accepting the copy of Product Q that I purchased from them or the copy that I traded with my friend but that she bought from Target does not matter. Either way, Walmart has to do the exact same work in restocking, etc. So that work is not unique to the fraudulent case. You might say that in OP's scheme, he didn't trade with somebody that bought it from Walmart, and that is true, but OP's scheme can be modelled as if OP traded with somebody who in turn never attempts to return their own copy of the item.

Once again, I am not saying that this fraudulent scheme is a good idea (it is not), but I am not convinced it costs Walmart any money assuming that (i) the item is in new, pristine condition and (ii) the item is something that the store would accept for return if it had actually been purchased at that store.

The scheme could cost Walmart money if more people return Product Q than who purchased it from the store, but for an item that sold many copies (like an Apple product), that seems unlikely.

To be extra clear, I am not endorsing this fraudulent and deceitful scheme in any way. The scheme is a bad idea.
While I am always impressed with your legal analysis, I think the example you gave wasn't a very strong one, which is why I didn't mention it earlier. In either case, those returns cost money to process, no matter who buys what where.

Cathy

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My comment about whether this proposed fraud will cost the store money is not a legal analysis. It is purely an economic comment. There was no intent to comment on the law with that part of my post.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 10:39:50 PM by Cathy »

sunday

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But it does cost Walmart a sale, which they made through their various efforts. The party who it should cost is the one who sold it to the would be returner, where the sales effort failed to completion. But instead, it is passed unfairly to Walmart, who did complete the sale to the customer, in that the customer purchased the item and wished to keep it. Since the other seller could not accomplish this, they are unfairly benefitting in lieu of Walmart.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 12:46:49 AM by sunday »

sunday

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Yes you are mistaken. When I went into Walmart I said "I received the item as a gift and I do not have a receipt, I am hoping to return it." There were no lies and no attempts at deceit.

You can't "return" something if it didn't come from there in the first place.

Dicey

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Yes you are mistaken. When I went into Walmart I said "I received the item as a gift and I do not have a receipt, I am hoping to return it." There were no lies and no attempts at deceit.

You can't "return" something if it didn't come from there in the first place.
Touche!

charis

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

So you are not planning to pretend that the item was purchased from their store (a lie) and that you are returning it (another lie)?  You are going to tell the store the whole truth - that you did not purchase it there, but you want the store to essentially buy it from you? 

Our mistake then.

Yes you are mistaken. When I went into Walmart I said "I received the item as a gift and I do not have a receipt, I am hoping to return it." There were no lies and no attempts at deceit....

Yeah, no.  Offering an item for "return" when you didn't get it from that store is lying.  See, it's right there in the language you used.

JLee

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

You keep using terms like "returning" and "store takes it back"...both of which require it to have originated from the store in the first place.

False- They will take a "return" if the value is <$50, even if the item was not originally purchased at their store.

You're basically asking them to buy it from you and re-sell it for free.

True- and thank you for this comment. I have a question of whether or not the store takes it back and puts it in inventory and resells or if they ship it back to Apple, which Apple then redistributes. If it is the latter, is there any downside to the retail store?
That was semantics, my friend. You can't "return" something to a place it has never been. You also can not "bring something back" to a place it has never been.

Guesl982374

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Wasn't expecting the backlash, didn't think this was a bad thing as this is a new in box item and I would also be fine with store credit/exchanging. If a store takes it back at its lowest sale price, why is this immoral? I am completely open to changing my view on this if anyone has an explanation of how it is hurting the business.

Store buys the iPod for $20 wholesale, because they're buying 1000 of them. They sell them at $50 to cover their costs and to make a profit. You're selling them an iPod for $50, which they'll sell for $50, meaning they get no money. In a sense, you're stealing $30 from the store.

I can see how some people shrug and say "F Walmart, they don't need my $30." Doesn't make it any less illegal or scammy.

You are forgetting that the OP now has to spend $150 at Walmart assuming store credit (which the OP wanted in the first place.) Walmart would make their normal margin on the $150 so in reality, they would still make money.

Thegoblinchief

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I'm not going to make a value judgment one way or another here. If Costco carries the particular item they'd take it back. Honestly not sure about most other electronics retailers.

Rather than deal shopping, your time and gas/bike wear and tear are worth something. Sell it online with a "new in box" description. Bam. End of story. (Though I'd first offer it up on FB to local connections first to avoid commission fees. Note: not worth dealing with Craigslist whackos if that fails.)

choppingwood

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You are forgetting that the OP now has to spend $150 at Walmart assuming store credit (which the OP wanted in the first place.) Walmart would make their normal margin on the $150 so in reality, they would still make money.

Walmart isn't making money if it has to pay the OP $150 to get a sale that only gives them their margin.

sunday

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I'm not going to make a value judgment one way or another here. If Costco carries the particular item they'd take it back. Honestly not sure about most other electronics retailers.


Is it Costco's policy to take back items that they did not sell to you?

JLee

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I'm not going to make a value judgment one way or another here. If Costco carries the particular item they'd take it back. Honestly not sure about most other electronics retailers.

Rather than deal shopping, your time and gas/bike wear and tear are worth something. Sell it online with a "new in box" description. Bam. End of story. (Though I'd first offer it up on FB to local connections first to avoid commission fees. Note: not worth dealing with Craigslist whackos if that fails.)

Are you sure?  Their return policy changed in 2007 (likely because of situations like this, and other abuses of their liberal return policy):

http://gizmodo.com/239924/costco-officially-changes-return-policy-for-the-worse

Thegoblinchief

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Walmart isn't making money if it has to pay the OP $150 to get a sale that only gives them their margin.

Actually, yeah, they are. In fact, they are likely making MORE money. Margins on electronics are a lot thinner than margins on random household crap or whatever OP would be buying. $150 spent is $150 spent, whether now (the not-purchase) or later (the purchase with future store credit). Not sure how they're magically not making money....

Are you sure?  Their return policy changed in 2007 (likely because of situations like this, and other abuses of their liberal return policy):

http://gizmodo.com/239924/costco-officially-changes-return-policy-for-the-worse

I just (last week) read their return policy. The only qualifiers they've added is an exception for normal wear and tear (e.g. can't return car tires, etc.)

Scratch that actually, they do have a 90 day limit on electronics. And they probably scan your member card anyways to know whether you bought that item (even w/out a receipt). So never mind.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2015, 12:01:40 PM by Thegoblinchief »

robartsd

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Costco does not need a receipt to accept a return of a purchase you made because they have the purchase recorded on you membership record. Costco is certainly great for no hassle returns of things that you bought there; but I don't think that would extend to items purchased by someone else.

sunday

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When it's a "return policy", it's for the things people are returning-- that was purchased there in the first place. Yes, there are people who can misuse it, which is what people seem to be having issues with here. If the question is what store is it easiest to cheat, then I suppose Costco is a fine place.

Edit: Or maybe not. As others have pointed out the Costco scans your membership card for your purchase record.

Eric

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Walmart isn't making money if it has to pay the OP $150 to get a sale that only gives them their margin.

Actually, yeah, they are. In fact, they are likely making MORE money. Margins on electronics are a lot thinner than margins on random household crap or whatever OP would be buying. $150 spent is $150 spent, whether now (the not-purchase) or later (the purchase with future store credit). Not sure how they're magically not making money....


I'm confused.  Normally, they would buy the iProduct for $75 and sell it for $150.  If they offer $150 worth of credit, no matter what other products were purchased with that, they've essentially paid retail price for a product that they normally purchase at wholesale price.  This is a bad deal for the store, but most do things like this only to provide good customer service.  It's definitely not good for the bottom line.

I would not be comfortable doing this, personally.

mtn

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I'm in a similar boat. We are getting married next week, and are receiving a bunch of gifts--some that we registered for but now realize are silly, and don't need, some we didn't register for. Some of the latter we have no idea where they are from. It would be slightly rude to ask where they got it. We may still do that since we can plainly say "we already have a bundt pan and don't need this nor have room for it", but it is easy to know that Bed Bath and Beyond returns almost anything.

I'll probably go into BBY, and explain the situation, and ask if they can see if that one was bought from the store. If they can tell, wonderful. If they can't, they may still return it anyways.

Guses

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Aren't there stores that accept returns regardless of where the item was purchased? As in, they explicitly advertise this feature?


merula

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I'm in a similar boat. We are getting married next week, and are receiving a bunch of gifts--some that we registered for but now realize are silly, and don't need, some we didn't register for. Some of the latter we have no idea where they are from. It would be slightly rude to ask where they got it. We may still do that since we can plainly say "we already have a bundt pan and don't need this nor have room for it", but it is easy to know that Bed Bath and Beyond returns almost anything.

I'll probably go into BBY, and explain the situation, and ask if they can see if that one was bought from the store. If they can tell, wonderful. If they can't, they may still return it anyways.

For wedding registries specifically, often the store will allow you to return items that were on your registry without a receipt for store credit. But, in this case unlike OP's, they're offering this as a service to convince you to tell all your friends and family to shop at Store X for (generally high-margin and high-value) wedding gifts.

partgypsy

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Aren't there stores that accept returns regardless of where the item was purchased? As in, they explicitly advertise this feature?

none that I know of. Stores are in the business of selling items. 
On Amazon a lot of things you can sell, that is another option.

Dicey

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Costco does not need a receipt to accept a return of a purchase you made because they have the purchase recorded on you membership record. Costco is certainly great for no hassle returns of things that you bought there; but I don't think that would extend to items purchased by someone else.
Yes, it does, provided that it's their merchandise. I shop there a lot (it's my main source of groceries), so my return percentage is very low, but I do return stuff on occasion. I keep my fat stack of receipts in a huge binder clip. When they ask, I laugh and show them the clip. They always laugh back and just look it up on my account. Occasionally, I've returned something someone else has purchased and it's just as hassle-free. They may opt to give you a Costco Gift Card if they can't find the transaction, but that's never hard to spend. I <3 Costco!