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Trader Joe's Has a Try Before You Buy Policy and We Love It

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Linsay ThomasGuest Blogger
August 03, 2016 · 9.3k Views


Source: Garlic and Salt Tiffany Blogspot

Trader Joe’s – owned by the same company that owns discount grocer Aldi – already offers affordable prices on a wide range of unusual but delicious foods. However, this doesn’t stop die-hard Trader Joe’s shoppers from looking for ways to save money. You can find hundreds of articles about which foods to buy and which ones to avoid, as well as the importance of picking up the Fearless Flyer to help you find food recommendations.

One thing you might not know about is Trader Joe’s Try Before You Buy Policy. As the name implies, you can try out certain items before you buy them and make sure they’re up to par. This eliminates the need to bring them home, try them and then have to return them. It’s best to do this while you’re still in the store.

Source: Trader Joe's

The policy is pretty liberal, but there are some exceptions. The food must be ready-to-eat, so those Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups and the Sweet Sriracha Bacon Jerky do qualify. Salads, cheese, chips and other snacks qualify as well. The frozen Mac ‘N Cheese? No, you’ll have to take it home and try it yourself. Anything that is raw and must be cooked is not eligible under the Try Before You Buy Policy.

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Alcohol is also an exception – probably because Trader Joe’s doesn’t want to be liable if you get drunk on Two Buck Chuck while on the store’s premises. So spend the two bucks and enjoy the wine in the comfort of your own home.

This policy is especially useful considering that Trader Joe’s releases a new product every week. It can be hard to try a new product if you’re stuck with it. And even though Trader Joe’s offers low prices anyway, it’s nice to know that you can always try something before you commit to buying it. There’s no risk, making it a win-win situation. This customer-focused policy will make customers even happier than before - if that’s even possible. 

How can you take advantage of this policy? Simply ask an employee to open an item for you and dig in! Enjoy your free taste test. Just don’t be annoying about it. Don’t expect to stop in every week and ask to open every bag or bucket of treats without employees rolling their eyes at you. But if you’ve been on the fence about a new product, just ask to try it and an employee will be happy to oblige.

>> Related: 10 Awesome Trader Joe's Products You Can Get for Under $3

Source: Baton Rouge Moms

If you’re a regular customer, you know that Trader Joe’s has a liberal return policy. In fact, you can return anything, as long as you have the receipt. You can even return a half-eaten bag of chips. It doesn’t matter what the reason is. If you didn’t like what you bought, or if it’s damaged, you can return it. The policy is unusual for a retailer, since many stores only offer returns during a limited time, and some products are excluded. Not at Trader Joe’s.

With the liberal return policy, you’re encouraged to buy more because there’s no risk. If you don’t like something, no sweat. You can just return it. Because you’re buying more, Trader Joe’s is making more money. It helps them and it helps you. Plus, if a product is being returned more often than others, the store can analyze the reasons why and make changes to its stock to maybe discontinue the product.

Source: Refrigerators Reviewed

Why does Trader Joe’s have a Try Before You Buy Policy if you can return anything anyway? Because trying it first is more convenient. It saves time and gas money. Maybe you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s and visited one while on vacation. How would you return the product you didn’t care for? You would be stuck with it, and maybe in the process you would be upset and think negatively about Trader Joe’s. The store doesn’t want that to happen. They want you to be satisfied. That’s what’s most important to them.

Shopping at Trader Joe’s is definitely a unique experience, unlike shopping at your typical grocery store. Trader Joe’s has a ton of eclectic foods and it’s hard to know what exactly any of them will taste like. That’s why you should take advantage of their Try Before You Buy Policy. You’ll save time and money in the long run, and you won’t have to deal with the hassle of returning half of your groceries because you were disappointed with your purchase.


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Linsay Thomas is a seasoned writer and editor who has written thousands of articles about topics such as saving money, healthcare, law, pets and education. She hails from California, where she lives with her husband, two children and a menagerie of pets. When she's not writing, she enjoys sports, breeding chocolate Labs and visiting the beach.
BobbyMikeAug 05, 2016
Your System is Being VERY UNFRIENDLY!! Is there a LOCAL STORE @ Zip 10918, near Chester,
New York?? There IS an ALDI @ MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. @ Zip 10940. There is ALSO a large town, called MONROE, N.Y. NOT SURE of MONROE Zip. MIGHT be: 10950.

IF there IS NO local TRADER JOE, can I shop via the NET??
Em_RocksAug 05, 2016
Here is Trader Joe's store locater. http://www.traderjoes.com/stores but I believe they are a California chain. I don't think they have an online shopping option, as they're still relatively small.