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How Can I Get a Copy of a Receipt?

By Gabriele Sturmer
Updated Jun 04, 2024
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A survey by the National Retail Federation revealed that in 2021, the rate of returned merchandise in the United States was about 16.6%. This trend highlights the significance of retaining purchase documentation. Whether you're managing personal finances or preparing for a potential return, having a copy of a receipt is crucial. 

If you've misplaced the original, securing a copy can be as simple as reaching out to the retailer or scanning the document yourself. Remember, while some businesses may accept credit card statements as proof of purchase, others may require a store-issued duplicate for returns, making it essential to understand the policies of the place of purchase.

It's usually easier to get a copy of a receipt if you still have the original copy. If you've lost the original receipt, you will have to contact the place where you made your purchase or, possibly, your credit card company. You should keep in mind that some stores and businesses might not accept receipts or a statement from your credit card company if you plan to use the receipt for returning items.

The best way to obtain a receipt if you lost the original copy is to return to the place of purchase. Some stores can look up a previous purchase and print a new receipt for you if you used a credit card, debit card or personal check. If the only reason you need a copy of a receipt is to return items, some stores will let you return the items without the original receipt, but you might have to accept the current sale price or a store gift card to do so. If you need an extra receipt for the purpose of a rebate, many stores can print additional receipts at the time of purchase or later if you still have the original receipt. If the store is unable to help you and you used a credit card or check, you may be able to contact your bank or credit card provider for proof of purchase.

If you have the original receipt and just need a copy of a receipt for your personal records, you can probably scan the receipt using a flatbed scanner or by using a copying machine. There are also special devices available that can scan receipts and place them in a database along with your previous purchases. An advantage of copying a receipt electronically is that you will have to worry less about losing the paper copy or having it damaged in some way. You can also store the electronic copy in many places for safekeeping.

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Discussion Comments
By bluedolphin — On Dec 16, 2014

@bear78-- Why don't you just use a receipt book with carbon paper?

These are blank receipt sheets that you can fill out yourself. Each receipt has carbon paper covered by another sheet underneath. So when you fill out the receipt, it gets copied on the bottom. I'm sure you've seen these before. Most checkbooks are in the same format. This way, you don't have to do anything extra. You give the original to the persona and the copy is with you in the booklet. This is what my landlord uses too.

I'm sure that this will be much better and also easier than taking pictures. If you do need to take a picture of the receipt by the time you get a receipt book, make sure it has the time-stamp on it or it may appear forged.

By bear78 — On Dec 16, 2014

I lease a room in my apartment and give a hand-written receipt for the rent. What's the easiest way to keep a copy of the receipt for my own records? I don't have a copy machine or scanner at home. Can I possibly take a picture of the receipt and maintain it digitally? Will this work in case an issue arises in the future?

By ZipLine — On Dec 15, 2014

When submitting receipts as official documentation with an application, a xerox copy might not be acceptable. Unless of course one is planning to keep the copy and mail in the original. It's always apparent that a receipt has been copied with a photocopier and some places may not see these as valid receipts. It's always best to check directly with the people who will process the application. Sometimes, one does have to give up the original receipt. Keeping a copy for one's own records will probably work in this situation.

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