What do you do when you buy something that turns out to be a mistake. Perhaps it’s the wrong size, defective, or you just change your mind. Of course you could

  • Return it to the store or Amazon – but that takes time or postage.
  • Suck it up and use it anyway.
  • Or…might you look at it as an opportunity to pass it on?

I’ve recently done all of the above.
Return it: I bought an apron as a gift for Jim but it wasn’t quite the right style. After discussion and more careful washing of his previous apron, we agreed that it was fine to just return it.

Suck it up: I don’t wear much make-up but I was almost out of the color and kind of lipstick I prefer. Unfortunately, the original manufacturer no longer made it. I found something that looked similar on Ebay but when I got it, it was too dark – which of course I only confirmed by using it. It didn’t seem right to return it or pass it on, so I’m dithering and sucking it up. Haven’t yet found the perfect substitute.

Pass it on:

  • I don’t drink coffee but a few of our relatives do so I bought some free trade coffee as Christmas gifts. One bag was decaffeinated because I mistakenly thought our daughter drank that. Once I realized my mistake I couldn’t return it to the Christmas bazaar where I bought it. I put out an email to friends and found I had some decaf drinking friends. Success!
  • I needed new underpants (sorry, no photo) I bought some that I thought would fit but after trying them on at home in a sterile way, I realized they were too big. I couldn’t return them because I had removed the packaging. Solution: give them to the local women’s shelter.
  • Hamilton ticket. This is a long convoluted story, but suffice it to say that in the long, tedious process of working through a lottery to get tickets to Hamilton, we had mistakenly bought one extra single seat ticket.
    *My frugal side said, “Hey, I bet I could sell this for more than I paid for it.”
    *My altruistic, dramatic side said “Maybe, on the night of the play, I should just find a street person and surprise them with the ticket and drive him/her to the theater.”
    *My easy side won when I learned that a friend close to the family was hoping to go to the play, so I just gave it to her.

Moral to the stories: There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but look for the generous one.