I bought an expensive bed at Ikea.
Can I just take a high quality picture of the receipt or should I save the paper one? I said Ikea, but I'm asking in general because I'd prefer to just take pics/scan my receipts then have to save hard copies
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This entirely depends on the individual store's policies.
In general, stores are not required to accept returns at all. So when they do accept returns, they can put any conditions they want on them.
In the past, the original receipt was the only record of a sale. When you returned the item, they would write on the original receipt, so that it could not be used again to return the same item. They would not accept photocopies (or digital pictures) because there was no way to validate them.
Many stores now keep a complete record of every sale in a database. Those stores don't need an original receipt. They can simply look up the number from your photo of the receipt and validate it. Once you return the item, the receipt is marked in the database so that it cannot be used for a return again.
Not every store allows this, however. You'll need to ask the stores you shop at to find out what their return policies are.