Paperless receipts coming soon?

By Sue Perry on April 14, 2011 12:01:00 am

Paperless Something new is happening at the checkout counter. Along with the option of paper or plastic bags, you might be asked, "paper or paperless?"

I was shopping at Anthropologie the other day, and when it came time to get the receipt, the young woman at the checkout asked if I wanted my receipt e-mailed to me. I had never been asked that before, so when I questioned if this was something new, she said yes, that it was for customer convenience, and ensured that you wouldn't misplace the receipt if you had to bring something back. I opted for the paper receipt right there until I had a chance to think about it some more.

According to the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), more retailers are going paperless—or at least trying it out, including The Apple Store, Nordstroms, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and some Whole Foods stores.

It certainly has its up sides:

• It’s a space saver. My wallet is bulging with receipts, because that's where I like to stash them. And as it turned out, I did end up taking my purchase back. And guess what? I had a hard time digging up that little white slip of paper, amid all the others in my collection.

• It’s eco-friendlier. Paperless receipts are also greener, and I'm all for saving trees.

On the other hand, do I want one more place to have my e-mail address? I'm already bombarded with e-tailing  offers as it is—most I erase without even opening. So what's worse, a cluttered wallet or a cluttered inbox? Let me know what you think? Right now, I'm sticking with paper. 

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Sue Perry

Sue Perry

Posted at 12:01:00 AM in
Consumer protection | Featured | Green products | Shopping | Sue Perry

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06:51:26 AM on Thu Apr 14 2011

I keep all of our accounts on the computer, entering receipts into Quicken and cross-checking against our bank, so I would love this. Especially as my husband often forgets to give me receipts to enter.

I filter all e-tailing e-mails into their own folder, anyway, so that my main inbox is not cluttered with junk. That way, I can skim them when they come in and then delete them in one fell swoop.


11:12:22 PM on Sat Apr 16 2011

why not just put a memory chip in your visa card and let them save it directly to your card?


11:03:06 AM on Sat Apr 23 2011

I have a separate e-mail account that I use when I purchase goods online or that I supply when I sign up for a new rewards card. I would be interested in having my receipts e-mailed to me, especially since that wouldn't clog up my primary, personal e-mail account.


10:56:07 PM on Sat Apr 23 2011

Apple stores have been doing for a while now.


12:59:39 AM on Mon Jun 20 2011

And what if they forget to e-mail the receipt, or mess up the e-mail address and it goes somewhere else?

Mike Pierce

11:38:08 PM on Thu Jul 14 2011

I've dealt with a similar situation as Laura for a long time. Wallet bulging from collected receipts to nter into my register later... Forgotten receipts by my wife or myself. all with the desire to enter each one so that I can track my spending closely and easily reconcile my account. I've thought about the smart chip idea, but being in the technology industry, I can imagine the costs to retailers and card brands to manufacturer the cards and POS software is likely the reason this hasn't happened. I certainly don't want my email box filling up with receipts (I hardly use email as it is), but better than my wallet.

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