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I need to keep a purchase receipt for several years to ensure the extended warranty on my purchase. How should I store the receipt to make sure it lasts that long? I definitely need a physical receipt, so relying only on a digital copy (or a physical photocopy) is not an option.

It's printed on a thermal paper of some sort. They tend to go black or fade over time. I can can clarify which type if there are further checks I can do with no special equipment.

  • There are two types of thermal printing. One uses a thermal ink ribbon which does not fade after the printing. The other uses BPA and will blacken when exposed to heat. Which one do you have? – Stan Apr 12 '18 at 18:30
  • Please specify why a physical or digital copy of the receipt is not acceptable. I can find no evidence for refusal of bona fide duplicate copies of such materials for extended warranties. Is this a personal preference? – Stan Apr 12 '18 at 18:35
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Personally, I recommend to picture the receipt and store it digitally. Alternatively, you can scan it and reprint it on a regular paper.

If you insist on preserving the original receipt, you can extend the life-time of a thermal paper by storing it in a cool and dark place. Also, make sure that the receipt isn't kept under pressure, since it would also accelerate the chemical processes within it that will turn it blank again.

If your receipt is already worn out you can try and apply gentle heating to it in order to improve its contrast.

There is more relevant info here:

  • Relying on a digital or photo-copy is not an option for me; added that to my original question to clarify. – yurkennis Mar 4 '18 at 4:42
  • What temperature range is implied by "cool place"? +5ºC in a fridge? -18ºC in a freezer? – yurkennis Mar 4 '18 at 13:33
  • @yurkennis You don't need to "rely" on a copy IF the copy has the original thermal paper receipt attached. It is the best of both worlds. Use the clear copy to establish the details and the original receipt to comply with the proof-of-purchase requirements. You can reinforce the credibility of the copy by having a bank teller stamp the back of the copy to verify the original date of the copy. NB. A bank teller stamp is considered a legal signature by most every jurisdiction on the planet. Store the two documents together carefully for the duration of your extended warranty. – Stan Mar 6 '18 at 20:57
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To protect flimsy paper, you could typically laminate it, but that wouldn't work with thermal paper since lamination is hot. The alternative, which I often use, is to get clear, wide packing tape, and attach strips across the whole surface, front and back. This forms a clear plastic layer over the whole thing. Obviously there is no heat involved, so the thermal aspect of the ink shouldn't be affected. However, I can't comment on whether the tape's adhesive will have any reaction with the paper's ink. I can only say I've never had that issue myself.

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