I had purchased a Xyron sticker maker refill some time ago. I ran out of the original and noticed that my refill was the repositionable kind rather than the permanent kind I'd been using, and which I preferred. I no longer had the receipt and wasn't sure which store I'd gotten it from.
I called AC Moore first to find out if I could get an even exchange without a receipt and without a penalty. They told me I would have to return it first and then buy the replacement, but they charge a 20% penalty for any return without a receipt.
I called Michael's next and made the same inquiry. I spoke to the supervisor and he asked me if I had a rewards card. I did. He said I could make the exchange without a problem. I went to the store to complete the transaction. The cashier called the supervisor who approved an even exchange, since both items were the same price. They simply replaced the repositionable box with the permanent box without having to bother entering anything into the cash register. So I was very happy. I also bought several other items at the same time.
By the way, I also have a rewards card from AC Moore. I've gotten two or three $10 coupons from them in the mail, after spending a certain amount of money during a designated period of time. I really don't know what the Michael's rewards card does. But the people there recognize me as a repeat customer.
Michael's probably also charges a penalty for returns without a receipt, but I don't know what the percentage is. Also, both stores probably base the price of a returned item on 50% of the listed price, assuming it had been purchased with a 50% off coupon. Then they would deduct another 20% (or whatever) off that.
So the lesson to be learned is to hold on to all your receipts until you actually use the item. the problem is how to keep track of them, since several items can be listed on a single receipt. And if you try to return something that was a gift, you lose out.