When I need to buy a toilet seal, jigsaw blade or something I need to for a home improvement project, I often buy two, even though I should only need one. If there is a problem installing a toilet seal or a blade breaks, I don't have to run to the store in the middle of my project to replace it. When the project is done, I take back the extra materials. As long as they are unopened and in their original packages, the hardware store will take them back. Just be sure to save your receipt!
Saving the reciept is an important step, but it's also important to read and understand the stores return policy.
Some times it's on an item by item basis, so when you are at the counter, not only ask what the policy is, look around for the sign that explains it!
Other then that though, I've done this...heh, once I was not positive what size of something I needed so I bought one of each :D and later returned the three that ended up being the wrong size.
We bought one of those "put it together" cabinet kits, and one of the pieces was missing. Interrupted, we had to return to the store. a KMart, and one of the male clerks took the piece we needed from another box, and gave it to us. I was so happy, I emailed KMart, and the young man received a Customer Service Award for taking care of the problem in a quick efficient manner, and for taking care of us--the customer.
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