Matthew Ansaldo Taylor was found guilty of falsifying customer details on 12 receipts at the Wickes store in Liverpool.
South Sefton Magistrates heard how Mr Taylor, a supervisor at Wickes, would find an item that had been sold in store and input a cash refund using a false name. He would then adjust the stock levels of the item.
Managers at the store became suspicious when they could not find the items that had been refunded.
When Mr Taylor was questioned about the refunds, he gave his boss a description of one of the customers, but the matching customer could not be found on CCTV.
Mr Taylor gave an explanation of why this was and said the customer came in through the exit rather than the entrance and claimed they would have probably used a receipt that had blown away in the wind.
Mr Taylor said he had needed the money for Christmas and pleaded guilty to the fraud.
He added that he had been completely stupid and had no real defence for his actions.
He was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work, plus costs.