Shopping Discussion

Do you avoid retailers that do not offer refunds?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 28th, 2011 11:39 am
Jan 7, 2011
372 posts

Do you avoid retailers that do not offer refunds?

Unfortunately many people abuse retailers return policies, so it seems that some no longer offer refunds.

Is this a wise choice for the retailer?

Personally, if I see a sign that says, "Exchanges Only", I go shop somewhere else.

How about you?
34 replies
Deal Expert
Jan 7, 2002
20727 posts
Waterloo, ON
I prefer to buy things that I know I want. As a result I rarely return things that aren't defective. So no, I don't go out of the way to avoid retailers who don't do refunds, especially if their price is significantly lower than retailers who do.

The one exception is online retailers where I can't see the product before I buy it. But even then, if I can I'll look at the product in a B&M before buying it online. That too isn't always possible, e.g. buying from LL Bean in the US.
veni, vidi, Visa
Jul 27, 2005
22 posts
I only buy big things after I've researched them like crazy. If the store has a no return policy then I'll check to see if there is an exchange policy (ie. DOA item for same item). No exchange policy, no sale.
I really don't care if a store has no return or exchange policies for small impulse buy items under $20.

When it comes to online stuff, I'll usually only purchase something where I can return the item to a B&M store. That way there is no hassle with shipping.

When it comes to the wife's shopping, all my rules go out the door.> :( :facepalm:
Sr. Member
User avatar
Nov 29, 2007
839 posts
Victoria BC
Don't really care; exchange/store credit is good enough for me so long as the other aspects are there (price, service, etc.)
Sr. Member
User avatar
Oct 26, 2010
915 posts
Although "no refund" policy does have some effect on my choice of shopping/purchase, it also depends on the price of the item.

I mean, if it's a dollarstore or small purchase (<$10), then the policy wouldn't affect much of my decision.

As for items that I intend to buy but have some doubt in its effectiveness/usefulness/quality, I'd buy it from a store that allows refund, or at least exchange.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 1, 2010
5235 posts
No return policy is fine with me if they offer store credit or an exchange. Chances are I'll buy from them again so it's not a waste. What I don't like is the restocking fee, I try to avoid those stores.
Uh, yeah, I'd like to speak to a Mr. Tabooger, first name Ollie.
Deal Addict
Nov 23, 2003
1845 posts
It will depend on the price of the item. If I can buy it cheaper froma store with no returns, I might buy it there considering all other things being equal.

If the price is the same for both, definitely with returns.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Jan 4, 2011
100 posts
It depends a lot on the item being purchased, and on how confident I am that it will do what I want.

If it's a low-cost, low-risk item, then I'll probably buy it from just about anyone, regardless of their policies or lack thereof - even Canadian Tire or The Bargain Shop.

If I'm sure I want the product, but am worried it might be DOA, I'll likely still go to a store without a refund policy (as long as they will do an exchange or store credit). Even though the law in Ontario says they have to refund on a DOA, some stores (like C.T.) try to convince you that you have to follow their illegal "the manufacturer's warranty applies" policy. It's just not worth the hassle to try and force their compliance. I've had bad experiences at FS, too.

For an item that I'm not sure is going to live up to my expectations, I will only buy it at a store with a lenient refund policy, and whom I trust will adhere to said policies. I've had good luck with Wal-Mart, SDM, HD, and Rona. They get my business. C.T. is out of the question.

When I'm not sure of how many of a small hardware item I will need, or the right size, I sometime go to the lenient stores and get a few extras, or in different sizes, knowing I can return the rest when the job is over. That's helped me get tasks or repairs done after just one trip, and deal with returns after the fact. Sometimes, I just keep the extras as spares.

<--- Aiming to be "Thanked" on 10% of my posts. Please Help!
Jr. Member
User avatar
Dec 30, 2006
174 posts
I generally do avoid them, but it definitely depends on the price of the item as well.
I think TigerDirect falls into this category with certain items.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
5134 posts
To me it's about service. I equate stores that don't offer refunds (or have strict return policies relative to that type of store) to being worse in terms of service, like they're the kind of store where if you're not giving them money they don't want to waste time on you. I don't often return things, but I'd much rather pay a little more and deal with a store that stands behind their product, rather than the kind of store that will tell you to either deal with the manufacturer or pay a restocking fee if anything goes wrong. I don't believe that a store with an excessively strict return policy will deal with you in good faith if you have an issue or concern. Kind of like those closeout overstock merchants that won't take something back the second after you buy it, assuming the bad attitude cashier will even pay attention to you... that's how I view stores that make it difficult to return something.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Dec 11, 2005
19192 posts
I do not *avoid* stores that don't offer refunds, but if an identical item is being sold in two places for very similar prices, and one has refunds and the other does not, obviously I will get it at the place that offers refunds.
To be nobody but yourself - in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. -- E. E. Cummings
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
14186 posts
depends on the item and price

if there is no chance that I will return the item
-> buy at any store that is most convenient

if price is the same
-> buy from place with best return policy

if price is not the same
&& one store has a better return policy
--> try to PM at the store with the best return policy

if store does not have return policy
-> make sure it can be exchanged if defective or not fitting
-> do enough research to make sure I won't regret buying it (and accept that I might be stuck with it)

Usually I like to buy from a place that has the best PM and return policy. That's why I buy many electronics items at Costco or FS/BB, because they have no hassle return policies and/or PM policy
RFD is not just about saving money, it's about the thrill of the hunt and getting the stuff I want without paying full price like Joe Shmoe did.
This applies to everyday items as well as high end items that I don't really need.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 1, 2007
2005 posts
Nah only poor ppl use and abuse refunds. If something don't work or I don't like it I just trash it. My time is too valuable.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Feb 19, 2011
125 posts
Depends on the cost of the item and whether I will get much use out of it. If it's a dollar store item (i.e. pens) then I don't really care too much for it- it's expected, you pay what you get for sometimes; unless out of 20 pens, only 1 worked then I will go wth and never shop there again for that item. Generally, I tend to shop at stores that has the refund policy over the exchange/store credit policy only. As for online shopping- you weigh the item and their policy. Big purchases (PMP, computers, tv, clothes, etc.)- prefer to shop in person unless it's not offered here. Custom Rapes are so painful at times~ And I don't want to waste my time lining up with 3723729 people, only with 2 people working slowly at the counter at customer service for a refund...
User avatar
Feb 26, 2009
436 posts
Tabooger wrote: What I don't like is the restocking fee, I try to avoid those stores.

Aren't restocking fees illegal in Canada?

There are some stores out there that bait you in with a '30 day exchange policy' but tell you to get lost if the item you buy is defective. Or they'll tell you a small fee is required for a replacement. That's what happened to me at Computer Liquidators in London. - Bought a hard drive and not even a month later it poops the bed. No problem I think, I'll have them exchange it for me. What they ended up telling me when I returned it was I needed to pay a $25 fee in order to get a new unit, otherwise I'm on the hook for returning it to IBM. I really didn't have much of a choice at that point, it was the only hard drive I had and I couldn't wait two months to get a replacement, so I paid it, despite knowing that I was getting ripped off.

After that, I vowed never to go back to that junk store again, and I couldn't be happier. - I'd rather pay a higher price at a reputable store or even Best Buy instead of getting hosed like I did at Computer Liquidators.


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