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This One Tip Will Make Your Online Returns Much Easier

A woman holds a credit card up to a laptop that she's shopping on.
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No one wants to return an online purchase. After all, you were looking forward to your new electronic or outfit or home good. Finding out it’s not a fit is a bummer. Plus, online returns are a notorious hassle. There is one simple way to make it a bit easier, though.

Stop checking out as a guest when purchasing items online. Instead, make accounts at the stores where you order from most.

When you place an order online, you’ll most often get a confirmation e-mail with your order number. This number is now magic. Not only can it help you track your item as it heads your way, but if you need to make a return, you have to have this number to do it.

Unfortunately, unless you’ve got an impeccably managed inbox, those confirmation e-mails can get lost or deleted quickly. No confirmation number often means to way to make a product return via the brand’s website, and a phone call to customer service is in your future (and no one wants that).

To prevent this from happening, make an account on the site. If you need to make a return, all you’ll need to do is log in. Your order will be right there, and you can seamlessly move through the return process.

Now, I understand what you’re thinking—that you’re about to get an e-mail inbox full of spam by creating accounts. Here’s the thing, though, multiple platforms have ways to filter your inbox. In fact, How-To Geek has handy guides on setting them up for both Gmail and Outlook.

The next time you’re doing a bit of online shopping, you should consider forgoing that guest checkout.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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