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pepper454 said: restocking fees sure worked well for compusa

that and along with their knowledgeable sales force and reliable rebate processing!!

I work for a major retailer... management and you see the compulsive returners etc.

I say this to customers who try to return stuff that has been used etc... #1, can we re-sell it? #2, Would you want to buy that particular (if we tried to re-sell it) item if you were a customer?

We have a generous return policy but it does state that we have the right to refuse any returns. Just be smart about it, if you think what you are doing is wrong it probably is. If the market continues downward returns will get easier though for a lot of items.

Retail is a hard business. I'm glad I'm not in it. 90% of the people are honest, and the retailer has to find a way to treat them fairly and be nice to them. But the other 10% are what happens to the profits.

What's most likely to happen, gradually, as we gradually lose our privacy to advancing technology, is that the ancient method, of only doing business with people you know, will come back, because, with no privacy, everyone will know everyone.

That's what happening already. That's what we're discussing in this thread. Just one of many steps in the gradual evolution from one kind of economy to another. From strangers doing business with each other and respecting each other's privacy, to a global small town, where you can't get away with anything, because everyone can easily find out anything they want to about anyone.

Bmr4life said: yobuttin said: There should be a restocking fee for everything over $100, simple as that. If you don't want it, don't buy it. If you buy it and find that its not to your liking, tough break, pay for the store to take it back. nuff said

I think there should be restocking fee on anything returned that the store cannot sell at 100% value. If they have to sell it as open-box, clearance, etc.. the returning customer should be forced to pay a restocking fee. If the item appears new and can be sold as such, then there should be no restocking fee.
What's worse is when you have a store use a restocking fee when returning an item, then put it on the shelf and sell it as brand new, full price even though it's very obvious that it's a returned item. (Missing manuals, dented in box, packaging tape etc.)

I am torn on this topic. On the one hand, I was applauded to hear than some people would “buy” a TV, watch a football game, then return it. Those folks should be subject to a short prison sentence with mandatory sodomy.

On the other hand, just the other day I bought quantity 2 of an item. One functioned perfectly and the other would not. The retailer gladly exchanged it. The next one did not function either. Exchanged again. Same thing would not function. I just asked for a refund, but the retailer wanted to try one more time. Last time was not a charm.

In the end, it was learned that all the non-functional units were of a newer “design” than the original unit I got that is still working fine. I’m guessing this fiasco placed me on some sort of secret “returns everything” list which is unfair in this case.

Ridolph said: yobuttin said: There should be a restocking fee for everything over $100, simple as that. If you don't want it, don't buy it. If you buy it and find that its not to your liking, tough break, pay for the store to take it back. nuff said

You are free to open a store like that. And I won't buy from it (for return or not).


It's quotes like this that infuriate me and help me realize that 95% of people on this forum have never owned a business and have no concept of profit and margins. You guys all act like these companies are out to try and rape you, when in fact I think a 60-90 day return policy is ludicrous. You have to realize that most products have a 1-2 month shelf life to be sold. When you return something for full credit, not only did the company lose that money for 60 days, they also lost their best chance of selling it.

You guys can rationalize this stuff as much as you want, but all you are doing is making things more expensive and return policies more strict. It will get to a point where EVERY retailer is scanning driver's licenses and we'll have no flexibility.

Or we'll get to a point where restocking fees for every item (which in all honesty is probably just and fair, as much as I would hate it).

I am glad WalMart wasn`t mentioned in article.

ams0129 said: My aunt knew a woman that would go into a store and swap out her old underwear for new. She would "try on" the new items in the dressing room and then put the old items in the new item box and walk out.

Being dishonest is one thing, but that's just gross.

If its the store's policy, its only right that they follow it. If they find that many consumers are abusing returns, institute a shorter time window. If its their policy to take something back if you're not satisfied, they should honor it.

I admit to taking many things back, most recently i bought a nikon point and shoot, took some pictures and realized that it did not use the standard mini usb connector, that was enough for me to take it back. Costco.

To all the people that say, if you buy it keep it. Try running a store. I personally avoid shopping at any retailer with that policy. Its hard enough to bring customers into the store. To have them get all the way to the aisle, pick up the item but leave because of a strict return policy would be death to most retail chains.

I believe the death of compusa was most directly attributed to their restocking fee.
that said, many of the retailers flourishing today have a liberal return policy. (Costco, REI, WalMart, Target) You cant have your cake and eat it too.

I think costco has the right idea on electronics returns. People were abusing it a bit much, so they set a time limit.

I also think department stores that place tags in very conspicuous areas also have the right idea.

As for home depot. I cant imagine people wardrobing at home depot. Buy and return ceiling fans?, doors knob and locks?, trees? bathtubs?.
I know that they have very tight policy on their tools, if it looks used, you cant return it.
If i bought 15 cases of tiles for a project and used 10, the other 5 are going back. No question about that, if they have a problem with that, i'll take my money to Lowes.



Set policies you can live with and balance the costs & benefits.

atlanticfisherman said: Some wardrobers take it further, bragging about their exploits. Numerous bloggers have featured posts about the generous return policy at Costco, which previously allowed anything but computers to be returned for a full refund, no questions asked. Some shoppers have told of their feats of returning TVs two years later, and using the money to upgrade to newer models.

But last year, evidently tired of getting stuck with the bill, Costco tightened its return policy, limiting returns to 90 days for TVs, computers, cameras, and other electronics.


The famous FWers, SDers, and other similar shoppers who "borrowed" large HDTVs and electronics and freely returned items to buy the latest models are mentioned in the article.


And hosed the liberal return policies for the rest of us who actually buy products to keep.

kgotze said: my dad got on Home Depot's frequent-return list... basically when he works on a project he gets a bunch of spare parts he might need... and then just returns what he doesn't need/use next trip.... I actually had to return a big ticket item for him (it was already outside of the return time frame, but HD extends curtosies to non-listed customers)

Interesting, for a place that has a sign in every aisle that says something along the lines of: "be sure and buy enough, we always take the extras back." Here, they DID change to a 60 or 90 day return policy, but I have never ever had them say a word about the returns I have taken back, and have done many of them.

Mickie3 said: kgotze said: my dad got on Home Depot's frequent-return list... basically when he works on a project he gets a bunch of spare parts he might need... and then just returns what he doesn't need/use next trip.... I actually had to return a big ticket item for him (it was already outside of the return time frame, but HD extends curtosies to non-listed customers)

Interesting, for a place that has a sign in every aisle that says something along the lines of: "be sure and buy enough, we always take the extras back." Here, they DID change to a 60 or 90 day return policy, but I have never ever had them say a word about the returns I have taken back, and have done many of them.


Usually returns without receipts are the red flag.

I might be showing my age but I remember in the late 60's it was 7 days with a receipt for a refund, after 7 days you own it. No returns, no exchanges and no in store credits after 7 days. If the product was electronics and it broke after 7 days you have to deal with the manufacturer for repairs or warranty if the retailer didn't want to deal with it.

GLAT said: I work for a major retailer... management and you see the compulsive returners etc.

I say this to customers who try to return stuff that has been used etc... #1, can we re-sell it? #2, Would you want to buy that particular (if we tried to re-sell it) item if you were a customer?

We have a generous return policy but it does state that we have the right to refuse any returns. Just be smart about it, if you think what you are doing is wrong it probably is. If the market continues downward returns will get easier though for a lot of items.


I'm willing to accept this as long as you're willing to accept me opening a "sealed" package before purchasing. I don't know how many times I've seen packages that have been double sealed, and the CSR acts offended when I want to make sure the contents are inside. When we get a grumpy CSR like this, we ask 1 question...#1 - if this is a return, and you saw the double tape, would you open to verify the contents? If so, then you know why we need to open it.

What I would do is shop Meijers, Kroger, Kmart, etc and grab about 50 different items that are priced and then scan them at the "price checker" located on the store's poles. And if the item is overpriced then I would take it to the check out and pay for those items that will over-charge me for that product then go to customer service and ask for the 10 times the overcharge BONUS for items that were overcharged by the store, Then I would return them back to the store as I really never wanted that product to begin with!

Did you know that if a merchant/store refuses to pay you the BONUS (10 times the overcharge fee) then you can take them to small claims court for the minimum of $250.00 per item overcharged plus court costs - Federal Law.

Person A buys a DVD recorder to dub VHS tapes to DVD and then returns the DVD recorder.

Person B buys a DVD recorder but loathes the PQ and returns the DVD recorder.

Person C buys a DVD recorder & needs $ for whatever emergency arose & returns the DVD recorder.

How does the store tell the difference between these returns? Why should they?

A is the only unethical return.

h0mi said: Person A buys a DVD recorder to dub VHS tapes to DVD and then returns the DVD recorder.

Person B buys a DVD recorder but loathes the PQ and returns the DVD recorder.

Person C buys a DVD recorder & needs $ for whatever emergency arose & returns the DVD recorder.

How does the store tell the difference between these returns? Why should they?

A is the only unethical return.


Off-tangent. I would argue C is wrong too. People shouldn't be buying outside their means. For references, go check out www.cnnfn.com every morning. Pay close attention to the falling DOW and over-written headlines.

h0mi said: Person A buys a DVD recorder to dub VHS tapes to DVD and then returns the DVD recorder.

Person B buys a DVD recorder but loathes the PQ and returns the DVD recorder.

Person C buys a DVD recorder & needs $ for whatever emergency arose & returns the DVD recorder.

How does the store tell the difference between these returns? Why should they?

A is the only unethical return.


The store cannot tell the difference for the reasons for returning.

Why should they? The original purpose of a return policy was to signal to the consumer that the goods being sold are of good quality and the seller is willing back this up by taking them back. From there it evolved into we want you to be satisfied with your purchase. In your example above only person B seems dissatisfied with their purchase (I am not sure what PQ means), while the other two are satisfied. So it would be the most cost effective to accept B's return and reject A and C. A and C are satisfied with the product and rather than returning it they should resell it.

I knew guys back at school(wardrobing is a classic college thing now, sadly) who would "buy" a big tv or videogame system then play it on the weekend. Return it on Monday. Then the next roommate would do the same thing. They just kept rotating thru all the people in the house, with different stores. They were able to have just about anything they wanted but it was for the weekend only.

Sadly, these kind of people ruin a good return policy (like Costco,etc) for the rest of us. I think people who wardrobe constantly should be blacklisted or possibly fined for theft.

It's one thing to change your mind about a purchase, that's fine with me. But to knowingly purchase an item you know you will use and then return it, that's just wrong. I had a girlfriend who worked at WalMart to make extra coin for school. People would buy camping gear on Thursday or Friday, then return it the following week...everything had been used. They even left dirt on the tent, they didn't even bother pretending it wasn't used.

It will get to the point that everyone will have to pay a restocking fee and have very limited timeframe to return items at every major retailer. Retailers will be forced to this because there will always be people who "deserve" nice things without paying for them.

Unfortunately, retailers can also take advantage of the new restocking fees and hard-nosed return policies to add to their bottomline.

Either way, the average consumer who doesn't "borrow" or "wardrobe" things will eventually get stuck with the bill.

I worked in a camera shop in the late 70's and the return policy was simple, 14 days for store credit. We actually had very few returns for other than defective items. Businesses need to make a profit to stay in business and "shrinkage" (shoplifting, employee theft) and merchandise markdowns (open returns, excess merchandise,etc...) are real profit killers. Customers aren't always right but stores should make return policies clear and understandable and customers should read the policies and ask questions if they don't understand the rules. I was at the customer service counter at Wal-Mart and a woman wanted to return an open DVD with receipt saying she didn't like the movie. I can't believe someone would have the chutzpah to do that anywhere. The Wal-Mart employee courteously explained to the customer that they did not accept returns of open DVD or games. The woman was livid that they wouldn't refund her money.

Another angle to consider..

Say you buy a TV for $1000 and return it 30 days later. That is 30 Days that the retailer had your money and earned interest on it.. almost like floating them a loan.

jcb193 said: h0mi said: Person A buys a DVD recorder to dub VHS tapes to DVD and then returns the DVD recorder.

Person B buys a DVD recorder but loathes the PQ and returns the DVD recorder.

Person C buys a DVD recorder & needs $ for whatever emergency arose & returns the DVD recorder.

How does the store tell the difference between these returns? Why should they?

A is the only unethical return.


Off-tangent. I would argue C is wrong too. People shouldn't be buying outside their means. For references, go check out www.cnnfn.com every morning. Pay close attention to the falling DOW and over-written headlines.


Credit card companies shouldn't be marketing cards with high interest rates to anyone breathing to make money either. There is more than one glove per a set. a consumer should make above a certain income in order to qualify and they need to check that the excess net assets are there. If they don't want to lose money by people impulse buying, quit doling out the cards.

You give credit to the peasant, don't fuss when the peasant doesn't pay. I personally think that in order to get credit the item being purchased needs to be of high value only(house, car, ect). That way a person can only buy stuff if they have the cash on hand and therefore don't live above their means. I only buy items after I have saved for them. If we all did this the credit sharks would disappear.

h0mi said:

How does the store tell the difference between these returns? Why should they?



I'm not sure about those cases, but it is confirmed you cannot return something for spite.

BigBoyMichigan said: What I would do is shop Meijers, Kroger, Kmart, etc and grab about 50 different items that are priced and then scan them at the "price checker" located on the store's poles. And if the item is overpriced then I would take it to the check out and pay for those items that will over-charge me for that product then go to customer service and ask for the 10 times the overcharge BONUS for items that were overcharged by the store, Then I would return them back to the store as I really never wanted that product to begin with!

Did you know that if a merchant/store refuses to pay you the BONUS (10 times the overcharge fee) then you can take them to small claims court for the minimum of $250.00 per item overcharged plus court costs - Federal Law.


I never heard of such a "bonus", is it specific to those stores or is this state specific?
Also, can you provide a link to this Federal law?

SQ40 said: Another angle to consider..

Say you buy a TV for $1000 and return it 30 days later. That is 30 Days that the retailer had your money and earned interest on it.. almost like floating them a loan.


What do you think costs more?
1.) The interest gained for that month: $2.50 to $6.00
2.) The clerk's time who processes the return, the time spent to make the purchase, the loss of the chance to sell another one, the cost of "reselling" the used TV at 10-20% off, and incorrect inventory cycles.


hmmmmmm. Sorry, I don't think 30 days of interest is valid.

FrugalFreak said: jcb193 said: h0mi said: Person A buys a DVD recorder to dub VHS tapes to DVD and then returns the DVD recorder.

Person B buys a DVD recorder but loathes the PQ and returns the DVD recorder.

Person C buys a DVD recorder & needs $ for whatever emergency arose & returns the DVD recorder.

How does the store tell the difference between these returns? Why should they?

A is the only unethical return.


Off-tangent. I would argue C is wrong too. People shouldn't be buying outside their means. For references, go check out www.cnnfn.com every morning. Pay close attention to the falling DOW and over-written headlines.


Credit card companies shouldn't be marketing cards with high interest rates to anyone breathing to make money either. There is more than one glove per a set. a consumer should make above a certain income in order to qualify and they need to check that the excess net assets are there. If they don't want to lose money by people impulse buying, quit doling out the cards.

You give credit to the peasant, don't fuss when the peasant doesn't pay. I personally think that in order to get credit the item being purchased needs to be of high value only(house, car, ect). That way a person can only buy stuff if they have the cash on hand and therefore don't live above their means. I only buy items after I have saved for them. If we all did this the credit sharks would disappear.


Great in theory, especially if you live in a third world country, but unfortunately in the USA our entire economy is based on over-spending and hoping you make it back later. If they dropped the credt markets, The Great Depression would be a vacation. That said, that is why 20 years ago only truly rich people were driving Benz's, Coach purses, and half million dollar houses. Nowadays, my unemployed brother has those things......

LOOPHOLE said: BigBoyMichigan said: Did you know that if a merchant/store refuses to pay you the BONUS (10 times the overcharge fee) then you can take them to small claims court for the minimum of $250.00 per item overcharged plus court costs - Federal Law.

I never heard of such a "bonus", is it specific to those stores or is this state specific?
Also, can you provide a link to this Federal law?


I knew about the 10x part, but not the $250 part. And as far as I know, that's Michigan specific. I even found a reference to it on the FTC website and it explicitly mentions michigan:
http://www.ftc.gov/reports/scanner1/scanners.shtm
Michigan has adopted a law requiring retailers to pay consumers who are overcharged 10 times the difference in price, with a minimum recovery of $1 and a maximum of $5. The Office of the Attorney General of Michigan has conducted extensive educational efforts to bring these rights to consumers' attention and reports that it has distributed approximately 100,000 item pricing bill of rights handouts on bounties. This is its most popular consumer piece. The Attorney General believes that the bounty system encourages retailers to maintain pricing accuracy.(24)
...
The law also provides that, if a bounty is not offered to the consumer, the consumer can sue the store for the amount of the overcharge or $250, whichever is larger, and $300 in attorney's fees. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 445.360-360a (West 1996). This law has been in effect since March 25, 1985.


I've never had a store refuse it. Some of the chain stores even go beyond the requirements, giving you the max of $5 no matter what the amount (by law, a 10 cent overscan would only require they give you $1). Also, buying multiples wouldn't help. They are required to refund the difference for every item but only the bonus for 1 of each identical item.

jcb193 said: FrugalFreak said: jcb193 said: h0mi said: Person A buys a DVD recorder to dub VHS tapes to DVD and then returns the DVD recorder.

Person B buys a DVD recorder but loathes the PQ and returns the DVD recorder.

Person C buys a DVD recorder & needs $ for whatever emergency arose & returns the DVD recorder.

How does the store tell the difference between these returns? Why should they?

A is the only unethical return.


Off-tangent. I would argue C is wrong too. People shouldn't be buying outside their means. For references, go check out www.cnnfn.com every morning. Pay close attention to the falling DOW and over-written headlines.


Credit card companies shouldn't be marketing cards with high interest rates to anyone breathing to make money either. There is more than one glove per a set. a consumer should make above a certain income in order to qualify and they need to check that the excess net assets are there. If they don't want to lose money by people impulse buying, quit doling out the cards.

You give credit to the peasant, don't fuss when the peasant doesn't pay. I personally think that in order to get credit the item being purchased needs to be of high value only(house, car, ect). That way a person can only buy stuff if they have the cash on hand and therefore don't live above their means. I only buy items after I have saved for them. If we all did this the credit sharks would disappear.


Great in theory, especially if you live in a third world country, but unfortunately in the USA our entire economy is based on over-spending and hoping you make it back later. If they dropped the credt markets, The Great Depression would be a vacation. That said, that is why 20 years ago only truly rich people were driving Benz's, Coach purses, and half million dollar houses. Nowadays, my unemployed brother has those things......


yea but when you go bankrupt, we the taxpayers pay for it, so your version is STILL broken! just because something IS doesn't mean it is right and can't be changed. the credit industry and stock market is one of reasons gas prices have gotten so high, people tied oil to stock market giving oil companies an easy and convient scapegoat.

I don't have a beamer and I can still breath materialism is out of hand!!!!!!

jcb193 said: SQ40 said: Another angle to consider..

Say you buy a TV for $1000 and return it 30 days later. That is 30 Days that the retailer had your money and earned interest on it.. almost like floating them a loan.


What do you think costs more?
1.) The interest gained for that month: $2.50 to $6.00
2.) The clerk's time who processes the return, the time spent to make the purchase, the loss of the chance to sell another one, the cost of "reselling" the used TV at 10-20% off, and incorrect inventory cycles.


hmmmmmm. Sorry, I don't think 30 days of interest is valid.


**What about when an item is defective? And I have to spend 30-40 minutes in traffic going to the store, 30-40 minutes back in traffic. Oh, did I mention that I spent my time picking up the defective item, setting it up, etc. Hmmmm. Who's paying me for the many hours I've lost? No one, that's always on the back of the consumer. Of course that's the chance you take when buying any item. ALL store items are ridiculously overpriced...especially when they're all made for pennies on the dollar. Consumers need any advantage.
So, when you take $6 and multiply it by 1,000,000 customers that have defective merchandise....it sounds pretty significant now. How about customers that have purchased defective merchandise and can't return items within the return time frame for whatever reason? So now the customer keeps the defective item in hopes of recouping it somehow.......Hmmm. Now the fat cats not only have your interest, they have your $ for the keeping.

I think the guy who is scanning things just to catch mistakes needs to get a life, while it is technically alright, it is "poor form" I wouldn't be against someone scanning things to find unticketed/further reduced clearance merchandise, because you at least plan on buying it. I was at 6th Ave Electronics to buy a HDTV, and I heard somewhere that you can't return HDTV's so I asked the sales guy about it and he said I had 30 days, OTHERWISE i would have opened it and inspected carefully right in the store.It's a trade off for stores having a generous return policy is the increased sales worth the fraud/abuse? I personally tend to NOT return items unless they are defective, and THE BEST "store" I have found is Amazon, I have received a few items from them in poor condition, and NEVER have anything but PERFECT CSR service(Even the Indian ones) they cross ship me replacements/ Price match their reductions and do right by me when they make a mistake AAA+

goku2 said: returning an item, then put it on the shelf and sell it as brand new, full price even though it's very obvious that it's a returned item. (Missing manuals, dented in box, packaging tape etc.)

How about a toilet seat with the short-and-curlys included?

Bmr4life said: fonzinator said: Interesting read OP, thanks for posting.

My thoughts are that return policies will only continue tighten over time due to abuse. One thing the article didn't mention was people who buy items, place them for sale in online auctions and then return the unsold merchandise for a full refund. IMO, people who do this or who wardrobe have simply convinced themselves that their actions are okay, when in fact, they are wrong. Retailers are not renters. They exist to sell products, not let a consumer borrow them when you have zero intention of keeping the item.

The article also suggests that celebrities participate in wardrobing by wearing jewelry/clothing to big events that are not theirs. From my understanding, jewelry/clothing designers loan their pieces to celebs to promote their designs. This is FAR different from the article's comparison of "Joe Consumer" borrowing an item from a retailer and then returning it for a full refund.


You're lost. Returning a Brand New Item for the same amount you paid within the return limitations is 100% ethical and legal.

The article is not suggesting that celeb's do this. It is saying that regular people see celeb's getting loaned outfits and want to do the same, but in a non-ethical way since the company isn't knowingly loaning them the outfit, jewelry, etc.


Agreed 100%. If you buy $500 of toys and decide you aren't going to give them for gifts 2-months later, there is NOTHING unethical or illegal about returning the items when they are new and unopened. The big problem is the idiots who buy items and use them to "impress" someone with no intention of keeping the item. That is flat-out wrong and retailers should crack down on this activity because it costs the true consumer who buys with intent of keeping merchandise.

kgotze said: my dad got on Home Depot's frequent-return list... basically when he works on a project he gets a bunch of spare parts he might need... and then just returns what he doesn't need/use next trip.... I actually had to return a big ticket item for him (it was already outside of the return time frame, but HD extends curtosies to non-listed customers)

This happens to alot of small contractors- the solution is to buy from one of the few remaining lumber yards where the service is FIVE star ***** the prices will come down for "good" customers, and they will have in stock what you need rather than the products from producers who will pay the most for shelf space. I am also constantly on and off Home Depot sh--t list and for it I just try to shop less and less there, they can keep their cheap chinese soon to rust grills sold by stupid teenage dropout clerks.

Maybe we should all try to buy less and less and just fix, repair and mend what we currently have rather than throwing away so much anyways. Isn't that the habit loose return polices were trying to break anyways by getting us to buy more rather than taking a risk on something new that in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s could never be returned?

zukemania said: **What about when an item is defective? And I have to spend 30-40 minutes in traffic going to the store, 30-40 minutes back in traffic. Oh, did I mention that I spent my time picking up the defective item, setting it up, etc. Hmmmm. Who's paying me for the many hours I've lost? No one, that's always on the back of the consumer.

I'm not sure I get your point. A business is run for profit. Hopefully your life isn't.

zukemania said: jcb193 said: SQ40 said: Another angle to consider..

Say you buy a TV for $1000 and return it 30 days later. That is 30 Days that the retailer had your money and earned interest on it.. almost like floating them a loan.


What do you think costs more?
1.) The interest gained for that month: $2.50 to $6.00
2.) The clerk's time who processes the return, the time spent to make the purchase, the loss of the chance to sell another one, the cost of "reselling" the used TV at 10-20% off, and incorrect inventory cycles.


hmmmmmm. Sorry, I don't think 30 days of interest is valid.


**What about when an item is defective? And I have to spend 30-40 minutes in traffic going to the store, 30-40 minutes back in traffic. Oh, did I mention that I spent my time picking up the defective item, setting it up, etc. Hmmmm. Who's paying me for the many hours I've lost? No one, that's always on the back of the consumer. Of course that's the chance you take when buying any item. ALL store items are ridiculously overpriced...especially when they're all made for pennies on the dollar. Consumers need any advantage.
So, when you take $6 and multiply it by 1,000,000 customers that have defective merchandise....it sounds pretty significant now. How about customers that have purchased defective merchandise and can't return items within the return time frame for whatever reason? So now the customer keeps the defective item in hopes of recouping it somehow.......Hmmm. Now the fat cats not only have your interest, they have your $ for the keeping.


Your arguments are pretty weak.

First, have you read the manual for any thing you've bought lately? It will explicitly state to CONTACT THE MANUFACTURE if it is defective. NOT to take it back to the store.

Second, almost everything comes with at least a 1 year warranty. If the customer is so lazy that they don't get their broken item fixed within a year, that's their fault.

Third, your time is worth nothing compared to revenue lost to someone wardrobing. Most stores instantly mark those returned items 10-50% off because they are obviously used. Also, you chose to drive when traffic was bad. Do you complain to your boss about your drive to work? Do you ask them to pay you for that? Traffic is traffic, deal with it. If the store is 30-40 mins away without traffic, its your fault for chosing to buy from a store so far away. They didn't force you do drive so far.

Fourth, probably half of those 1,000,000 customers with a defective item are lying. Just using that for the reason to return when they really just changed their mind and want their money back. The money lost to discounting the returned items eats up the little bit of interest the store could have made.

Fifth, stop trying to make yourself feel alright about stealing from the store. It is unethical and you need to stop.

7string said: Bmr4life said: fonzinator said: Interesting read OP, thanks for posting.

My thoughts are that return policies will only continue tighten over time due to abuse. One thing the article didn't mention was people who buy items, place them for sale in online auctions and then return the unsold merchandise for a full refund. IMO, people who do this or who wardrobe have simply convinced themselves that their actions are okay, when in fact, they are wrong. Retailers are not renters. They exist to sell products, not let a consumer borrow them when you have zero intention of keeping the item.

The article also suggests that celebrities participate in wardrobing by wearing jewelry/clothing to big events that are not theirs. From my understanding, jewelry/clothing designers loan their pieces to celebs to promote their designs. This is FAR different from the article's comparison of "Joe Consumer" borrowing an item from a retailer and then returning it for a full refund.


You're lost. Returning a Brand New Item for the same amount you paid within the return limitations is 100% ethical and legal.

The article is not suggesting that celeb's do this. It is saying that regular people see celeb's getting loaned outfits and want to do the same, but in a non-ethical way since the company isn't knowingly loaning them the outfit, jewelry, etc.


Agreed 100%. If you buy $500 of toys and decide you aren't going to give them for gifts 2-months later, there is NOTHING unethical or illegal about returning the items when they are new and unopened. The big problem is the idiots who buy items and use them to "impress" someone with no intention of keeping the item. That is flat-out wrong and retailers should crack down on this activity because it costs the true consumer who buys with intent of keeping merchandise.


In today's unethical world, I'm surprised placing like Rent-A-Center can even stay in business.

StarNova said: I knew guys back at school(wardrobing is a classic college thing now, sadly) who would "buy" a big tv or videogame system then play it on the weekend. Return it on Monday. Then the next roommate would do the same thing. They just kept rotating thru all the people in the house, with different stores. They were able to have just about anything they wanted but it was for the weekend only.

Sadly, these kind of people ruin a good return policy (like Costco,etc) for the rest of us. I think people who wardrobe constantly should be blacklisted or possibly fined for theft.

It's one thing to change your mind about a purchase, that's fine with me. But to knowingly purchase an item you know you will use and then return it, that's just wrong. I had a girlfriend who worked at WalMart to make extra coin for school. People would buy camping gear on Thursday or Friday, then return it the following week...everything had been used. They even left dirt on the tent, they didn't even bother pretending it wasn't used.

It will get to the point that everyone will have to pay a restocking fee and have very limited timeframe to return items at every major retailer. Retailers will be forced to this because there will always be people who "deserve" nice things without paying for them.

Unfortunately, retailers can also take advantage of the new restocking fees and hard-nosed return policies to add to their bottomline.

Either way, the average consumer who doesn't "borrow" or "wardrobe" things will eventually get stuck with the bill.


I worked in WalMart mgmt for two years and could tell you all stories that would have you dying with laughter, such as:

a) Lady tries to return 1/2 used dog flea spray because dog died (denied)
b) People returing half-eaten bag of chips and empty soda bottles because they are stale (return for MFG credit)
c) Customers buying tires and returning when half worn becuase the ride is ROUGH, and then complaining about pro-rating
d) The infamous weekend campers buying new tents, campstoves, and sleeping bags in May and returning in September (happened all the time)
e) Buying chainsaw to cut down tree in yard and returning due to 'running rough' (took return)
f) Buying Playstation and car broke down next week so returning to get money to fix car (not a rental shop) (told to take a hike)
g) People retuning Craftsman tools being certain they were bought at WalMart (complete with Sears price sticker) (we gave him back the $$ after an argument)
h) Gross stories like the fat woman who bought and soiled underwear but they didn't fit right (denied)

The best was the customer who bought a riding lawn mower and started it up without oil (but remembered the gasoline), blew up the engine, and wanted a new one. (traded out)

That "bonus" is in Michigan only.

However many retailers have nationwide policies which pertain to price overcharges. You may have to argue with a store manager or corporate office to get the guarantee. Most stores have this policy posted.

Wal Mart, Staples, Kmart, : $3 discount, if item is under $3, item is free.
Sears: $5 off or under $5 item free
Albertsons, Safeway, Rite Aid: item free if price overcharge takes place

In CA, even more retailers have these policies.

zukemania said: jcb193 said: SQ40 said: Another angle to consider..

Say you buy a TV for $1000 and return it 30 days later. That is 30 Days that the retailer had your money and earned interest on it.. almost like floating them a loan.


What do you think costs more?
1.) The interest gained for that month: $2.50 to $6.00
2.) The clerk's time who processes the return, the time spent to make the purchase, the loss of the chance to sell another one, the cost of "reselling" the used TV at 10-20% off, and incorrect inventory cycles.


hmmmmmm. Sorry, I don't think 30 days of interest is valid.


**What about when an item is defective? And I have to spend 30-40 minutes in traffic going to the store, 30-40 minutes back in traffic. Oh, did I mention that I spent my time picking up the defective item, setting it up, etc. Hmmmm. Who's paying me for the many hours I've lost? No one, that's always on the back of the consumer. Of course that's the chance you take when buying any item. ALL store items are ridiculously overpriced...especially when they're all made for pennies on the dollar. Consumers need any advantage.
So, when you take $6 and multiply it by 1,000,000 customers that have defective merchandise....it sounds pretty significant now. How about customers that have purchased defective merchandise and can't return items within the return time frame for whatever reason? So now the customer keeps the defective item in hopes of recouping it somehow.......Hmmm. Now the fat cats not only have your interest, they have your $ for the keeping.


I don't think this is a very articulate argument for two reasons:
1.) How far you have to travel is irrelevent. If the store wasn't providing a service (selling the TV), where are you going to get one.
2.) Who in the world was EVER arguing that defective merchandise shouldn't be allowed to return.

Oh yeah, and your little math excercise about $1,000,000 multiplied by $6 is something? First of all it's not (Best Buy revenue in Dec was $7bil), second, you took a gross exaggeration in stating the million defects.

When did anyone say that defective merchandise shouldn't be allowed to be returned. The problem is that companies don't spend the time to check if the merchandise is actually defective or not.

Kingofthenet said: I think the guy who is scanning things just to catch mistakes needs to get a life, while it is technically alright, it is "poor form" I wouldn't be against someone scanning things to find unticketed/further reduced clearance merchandise, because you at least plan on buying it.

Several years ago this was a Hot Topic. One of the news shows went from retailer to retailer buying items that were on sale and showing that the items rang up at a normal price. These were not isolated mistakes but intentional ones, the stores were trying to overcharge consumers. I disagree that this is poor form. 1) For every consumer that catches the mistake probably 10 don't. 2) If enough people do this then the stores will be careful with their prices.



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