Have you ever bought something that you later regretted (felt sad, upset about) buying? Or did you buy something you didn’t actually need? If you’ve never returned something before because you didn’t know how, you may want to read on about returning something in English!

We all need to return something at one point or another. I remember this topic being something I was very nervous about doing when I first moved to Germany. With that in mind, here are some phrases you need to know when returning something in English.

I would like to return this, please.

When you first need to return something, this will be your go-to phrase (reliable, always works). It’s easy, simple, and the only phrase you need to let someone know you need to return whatever you need to.

Do you have your receipt?

When you’re returning something in English, this will most likely be the first thing an employee says to you. Your receipt is the proof that you’re given from the cashier after buying something. It is a piece of paper that includes the price of the item you bought, the date, how you paid for it, and other information such as tax (VAT, for example).

You usually can’t return something in English without a receipt, so make sure you have it with you before you go to the store.

Was there something wrong with it?

Stores generally like to know if there was something wrong with the product you bought, or if you are simply returning it because you don’t want it. If there is something wrong with the product, they can see if there’s something wrong with the other products of the same kind.

Some stores may only let you return something for specific reasons, so make sure to read their terms and conditions (Ts & Cs, fine details) before trying to return it to them.

Would you like store credit?

How you have paid for something determines (decides) the way you will get your money back. If you pay with cash, you can usually get your money back in cash. If you paid with a credit card, you’ll generally get your money back on your credit card, or in store credit.

Store credit can be given back to you on a gift card (voucher), and you can only use the money on the card at that particular store.

Sometimes they’ll let you choose if you want money back or store credit, so it’s good to be aware of this phrase!

Can you sign here, please?

Once your return has gone through (has been completed, finished), the cashier will probably ask you to sign something or fill out a form with your name and address on it. That way the store has proof (evidence, showing truth/facts) that you brought your product back and that you no longer own it. They sometimes have to give these papers to the manufacturer .

After you’ve signed the copy, your return is finished and you can take your money and run (leave with your money), or use your new store credit to find something new!

How often do you have to return something? Have you ever returned something in English? Share your experiences with us in the comments below!

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Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, blogger, yoga instructor, and hates when she forgets a receipt at home when she wants to return something.

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