What’s the silliest excuse you’ve ever gotten for a return?


Steve Ginsberg, vice president, Ginsberg Jewelry, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

A man bought a Levian ruby and diamond ring set in 18k gold for his wife. Shortly after, he went back to the store to return it. “I don’t want this,” he said, pointing to the sticker on the back of the ring box. The sticker said “Made in China,” which the customer apparently associated with low-end goods. The sticker, of course, indicated where the box was made, not where the jewelry was made. Ginsberg took the return anyway.


Karen Fitzpatrick, owner, Harris Jewelers, Rio Rancho, N.M.

Harris Jewelers donated a black-face Bulovawatch worth $165 to a local member-guest golf tournament as a door prize. The woman who won the watch brought it to Harris Jewelers to see if she could exchange it for something she “liked more.” Store owner Karen Fitzpatrick was so shocked by the crass request that she let the woman make the exchange. “I heard she won a raffle prize and tried to exchange that, too,” Fitzpatrick says.


John Wallace, owner, Autumn Gold, Middlebury, Vt.

A pearl solitaire ring set in white gold was too large for a customer and fell off her finger. She asked if she could return it—after she retrieved it from the belly of her pet goose. Store owner Wallace told her she could, so long as it was in the same condition as when it left the store. The woman never returned.


A young couple bought a citrine engagement ring. The special-order was also a rush job, since the pair needed it before the girl’s mother came to town. More than a week after the purchase—and after the store’s return policy—the couple tried to return the ring, which they no longer needed. Mom had left town, content with her belief that the couple was engaged.


Oscar Borda, owner, Oscar’s Jewelers, Metairie, La.

A customer bought a plain gold wedding band and returned with the ring two weeks later for resizing. However, the ring was bent and smashed, and the customer insisted that the store had sold it to her that way. When store owner Oscar Borda inquired about the bits of asphalt and gravel that were stuck in the band, the customer finally came clean: Her husband had run over the ring with the car.

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