Just another reason why it's good to be an American …

So you wanted to hit the Labor Day sales all weekend and now it’s Tuesday. Look at you, all remorseful and straight out of cash until the next time payday rolls through. You could return some of the stuff, but have a hot date this Friday and need to look fly if you’re wanting to break that dry-spell you’ve been on since the vernal equinox.

Oh, what to do?

Fuck it. Come the weekend, wear it anyway, impress the date and live your life. So long as that garment doesn’t look like it went through the wrong end of a weed whacker, chances are the store is going to take it back — no questions asked.

And it’s all because we live in mother shittin’ America.

According to Quartz, some U.S. companies are increasingly becoming more lax on their return policies than in days past. Though they’ll preach up and down it’s about treating the customers right and how it ‘fits into their mission,’ it’s mainly because Americans are conditioned to receive this type of treatment opposed to other countries. We expect a type of insurance on our goods, especially if we buy them online and can’t experience them physically beforehand.

Companies have no other choice but to concede to our demands.

This is making it so places like Zappos, Staples, REI, Kohl’s and others tout their easy return policies like it’s some sort of one-up on the competition. Because, as they see it, it kind of is. Research recently published by Narayanan Janakiraman, Ryan Freling, and Holly Syrdal in the Journal of Retailing, found that hooking up customers leads to more buying power from them, as well as brand loyalty.

Janakiraman says that similar countries don’t have the same type of policies because they never really had any reason to enact them. The U.S. is a massive market, with thousands of companies competing for their share of the pie. Taking things back, regardless of what condition (within reason), quickly became the norm once one or a few stores began doing it to get ahead. Going backwards in that is all but impossible.

Because, you'd likely be reluctant to go back somewhere if the store was rude about returning something, even if it was your fault. Come on, admit it …

Quite a few years back, in my retail years as a teenager, I worked the back end of a large department store in the shipping garage. It wasn’t a bad job, but it wasn’t the best job, either. One of those things you get to pass a summer and get enough of a paycheck to afford a case of Miller High Life and a few movie tickets every so often. Even back then, in the ‘90s, the lax return policy of this company was apparent.

See, we worked with returns all the time. If something were to be taken in that was damaged, we shipped it back to the main office. As this was a store frequented by senior citizens (who seemed to be the most frugal of customers, and also the ones most willing to exploit the process), most of the clothing that would be returned wreaked of old people, and often had strange stains on them.

This happened almost every single day. Yet, the same people who shopped and returned broken goods, were always the ones waiting at the door the next day before we opened. Switching out a $15 t-shirt for them to spend another hundo is a win for a massive company. As I only made $8 an hour, I didn’t see it that way.

But after figuring out I could do it too, I did. The questionable lifehack got me out of more than a few hungry nights in my early-20s. And you know what, I still shop there, even if I’m not exploiting the policies any longer. It's almost like that store is family, like it helped me out when I needed it.

The customer isn’t always right, but keeping them happy is a way to keep us all around. Go on, splurge a little on holiday weekends. You're not as tied to the purchase as you might think.