Home Depot customer tries to return $472 Christmas tree. Store says it’s already been returned

@hilizgoldstein/TikTok Ken Wolter/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘This has to be an inside job’: Home Depot customer tries to return $472 Christmas tree. Store says it’s already been returned

'Sounds like an employee is reprinting receipts.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Dec 8, 2023   Updated on Dec 8, 2023, 8:03 am CST

A user on TikTok has sparked discussion after alleging she tried to return an artificial Christmas tree to Home Depot—only to be told that the tree had already been returned.

In a series of videos, TikTok user ​​Liz Goldstein (@hilizgoldstein) recounts the whole experience, starting with her partner buying the tree. 

When her partner brought the $472 tree home, Goldstein realized that he had purchased the wrong tree, so the couple decided to return it. After her partner arrived at Home Depot, he had the company print off a receipt using the card he used to make the purchase. However, once he attempted to use this receipt to return the tree, something strange happened.

“They told him he could not return the tree because the tree was already returned,” Goldstein says. At this point, the tree was still in their possession, though she says Home Depot was able to locate a receipt showing that it had already been returned for cash.

@hilizgoldstein #southflorida #fortlauderdalebeach #theif #christmas #homedepot #police #fyp ♬ original sound – Liz Goldstein

Goldstein decided to go to the store herself to resolve the issue. Once the Loss Prevention officer looked at the cameras and spoke with his manager, he told Goldstein that he could refund her with store credit, she says.

Goldstein countered that she would like the refund either in cash or refunded to the original card. What Goldstein is suggesting is Home Depot’s standard refund policy, per their website: “Returns for purchases with valid proof of purchase will be refunded to the original form or payment…unless noted in our Exceptions.”

After showing them her ID and a photo of her partner’s ID, she says she was still not given a refund. This eventually led to an argument in which Goldstein asked to see the security camera footage of the tree being returned. She was allegedly told she could only get that footage if she called the police—and so, she called the police.

The police were unable to resolve the issue and, according to Goldstein, even threatened to arrest her. Home Depot, she says, banned her from all locations for three years. She still has the tree and has not been given a refund.

In an update video, Goldstein notes that Home Depot has responded to her video, but she still has not been contacted to resolve the issue.

@hilizgoldstein Replying to @The Home Depot #fortlauderdale #homedepot #christmastree #theifs ♬ original sound – Liz Goldstein

In this video, she speculates on the possibility of someone fraudulently processing a return for the tree, and then pocketing the money. This possibility is one that many in the comments also mentioned.

“Sounds like an employee is reprinting receipts,” said a user. “I used to work in retail and had an employee do that and pocketed the cash of the returns.”

“They are returning trees that aren’t really being returned and cashing mfs out!! Inside job and it’s crooked as F***,” declared another.

“How could you have returned it if you still have the tree??” asked a third. “Like don’t they get that? I’m so confused??”

Many encouraged Goldstein to escalate the issue.

“Dispute the charge with your bank,” stated a commenter.

“OMG PLEASE escalate this,” wrote a second.

The Daily Dot reached out to Home Depot and Goldstein via email.

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*First Published: Dec 8, 2023, 8:02 am CST