You know, my wife described this same thing to me tonight at some other store. It came about unintentionally, where she purchased pants on sale which she decided she didn't like. She received store credit for the non-sale's price when she returned them. I'm going to bet that the thought is that someone might purchase something, say pants, that don't fit. Since the sales are limited time, they're returned after the sale for another pair that will fit. Now, suppose the pants are out of stock. If they didn't offer store credit sufficient to cover the cost of the pants when the were in stock again (at full price) most people would opt-out and get the money back and shop around for another pair of pants from another store. They don't count on people gaming the system. Buying $1000 suits for $600, returning them after the sale for $1000 credit, which is then parleyed into a swell pair of cordovan boots. (But there's no savings, since the boots too might have been 40% off at the same time).