Shopping Discussion

Increasingly "used" and beat up returns

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  • Feb 28th, 2017 2:58 am
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Deal Fanatic
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Feb 15, 2005
6043 posts
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Increasingly "used" and beat up returns

Has anyone noticed that returns to stores are increasing used/beat up? I can't help noticing when walking by the customer service desk at any store that people have no shame in using and really beating up on a product and returning it.

Since the news story on post-Xmas returns, I've been scoping out some liquidation auctions. A lot of the merchandise is in similar beat up condition. The computers, TVs and phones are mostly grade C. Many of the phones, even the S7 edge and iPhone 7S have either google lock or are iCloud locked.

I think this is going to cause some major changes to retailers' return policies.
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24 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Oct 22, 2007
9122 posts
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London
It sounds like your looking at stuff that's already been picked over, and not virgin returns.
Deal Addict
Jan 29, 2017
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Or maybe retailers are selling more and more garbage?
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
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Burlington-Hamilton
I've noticed it. Actually I was at Costco this morning, returning 2 items in brand new condition with all seals and tags.

Another guy in line was trying to return a 3 year old item!! I'm not sure what it was, exactly, but the employee told the customer that the manager would have to be consulted due to the age of the returned item.
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Jan 16, 2015
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Cochrane, AB
rf134a wrote: Has anyone noticed that returns to stores are increasing used/beat up? I can't help noticing when walking by the customer service desk at any store that people have no shame in using and really beating up on a product and returning it.

Since the news story on post-Xmas returns, I've been scoping out some liquidation auctions. A lot of the merchandise is in similar beat up condition. The computers, TVs and phones are mostly grade C. Many of the phones, even the S7 edge and iPhone 7S have either google lock or are iCloud locked.

I think this is going to cause some major changes to retailers' return policies.
I blame this squarely on Costco and them encouraging people to abuse returns since Costco just charges the manufacturers for anything without checks.
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Jan 7, 2007
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Poormond Hill
People will see a deal online and buy it. Because they don't want to wait a couple days for it, they will go to the store and buy it. Then they return the one they bought online. Policy needs to change.
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Deal Addict
Jan 15, 2017
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A lot of people are also circumventing the minimum purchase for free shipping. The purchase extra products to qualify for free shipping and then returning the extra products to the B&M stores. In the process these products go through a lot of handling and can become damaged.
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Sep 26, 2007
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^ yep agreed
sandikosh wrote: People will see a deal online and buy it. Because they don't want to wait a couple days for it, they will go to the store and buy it. Then they return the one they bought online. Policy needs to change.
I doubt this is actually that common
and taking back brand-new, items that they can just plop back on the shelf for the next customer is the least of their problems.

meh at lax Costco returns...that's the cost of a membership entity.
like many on RFD, I'm a buy it and think later type.
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Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2012
7452 posts
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Ottawa
Often it's a result of stores caving in and accepting a return that they really shouldn't, in order to avoid a disturbance that can deter shoppers and look bad on Youtube.

Sadly, I know people whose way of getting what they want from stores is to complain and cause a scene until they get their way.
Deal Addict
Nov 11, 2016
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Halifax
I shop regularly at a surplus store in town. Almost all their merchandise has Costco labels. Some looking new and some not.

I asked them how they end up with so much Costco - they said that Costco does not put items back on the shelf.

This was amazing to me !

If someone buys something and it is returned - it goes directly into a box for the surplus dealer.

He has a contract with them and pays them " $ ? " so much per box and picks it up from them.

They said they have no idea until they open the box what the value is... what is in there.

This store has no electronic items though... mainly just clothing, boxed and canned food and dishes, pans etc.. .
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Deal Expert
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Dec 19, 2001
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Fernando Poo
Gotten some "new" items from vendors that look the same way.
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Jan 31, 2006
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skeet50 wrote: A lot of people are also circumventing the minimum purchase for free shipping. The purchase extra products to qualify for free shipping and then returning the extra products to the B&M stores. In the process these products go through a lot of handling and can become damaged.
This is the usual advise here in RFD when there is a hot deal but need a filler to avail of the free shipping. Am I right?
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Feb 12, 2002
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Have you seen the amount of crap at on the crappy tire clearance tables/shelves?? 80% trash
at lot of it seems like it may be dispay items as they have no packaging but others are clearly used stuff.
But here's a funny story about my recent experience with ct return item.
Last month i bought a new CCM hockey helmet/mask combo at ct for one of my kids who was starting skating lessons. It was brand new, still with tags and plastic films all over the helmet but the box was in pretty poor shape (rips and creases). It was the last one in the size i needed.
Shortly after, a friend of ours gave us thier son's bauer helmet which was outgrown, so I no longer needed the CT helmet. I got around to returning it a couple of weeks ago and I told the staff at the retun counter that the box was bought in that condition but the product was inspected and still in unused condition with the tags and plastics still attached. No issues with refunding it. I bought it on sale for $54 (regular price was $65 I think).
Last week, i go back to the store and I see the exact helmet I returned on the clearance table ( I recognized the beat up box) for $35, with the helmet itself still in unused condition as I returned it. I ended up re-buying it as the one our friend gave us would probably be too small next year anyway (it's a "kiddie" model that does not have adjustable sizing to make it bigger). The CCM can be adjusted as my kid's head grows.
So I guess the condition of the box deemed it unaccepable to put back on the regular shelf even though thats where I originally bought it from. Well, another $18 saved for me :)
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2008
3031 posts
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North York
I saw a great one a few days ago at Best Buy. A guy was returning a clearly re-plastic wrapped copy of Final Fantasy 15. He was asking for $80 store credit. His receipt was from late November and he got the game in a bundle, aka free with system purchase.

He was yelling at the CSR who said they can't take opened video games back. The manager eventually came and offered the guy $31.

I actually stepped in and told the idiot that this week, finally fantasy 15 trades in for $40, so he should do that, which he did.

Not sure why I helped him...mostly to stop him from yelling at everyone
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
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Vancouver, BC
sandikosh wrote: People will see a deal online and buy it. Because they don't want to wait a couple days for it, they will go to the store and buy it. Then they return the one they bought online. Policy needs to change.
I don't have so much of an issue with that as long as the item is the same and in new condition (after all, if it's the same product, as a retailer, you can't tell whether it was purchased from you or not without a receipt). What I don't understand is people beating the crap out of something and then claiming it didn't work from the beginning for a refund. I used to work in retail in a previous life and some consumers believed that a warranty included abuse.
Deal Expert
Jan 27, 2006
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Vancouver, BC
Cjohnson202 wrote: Not sure why I helped him...mostly to stop him from yelling at everyone
As humans, we generally can't prevent ourselves from helping those who are in a bad spot - not the guy yelling in this case but the CSR. That guy was just an idiot.
Deal Guru
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Mar 14, 2005
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City of Vancouver
sandikosh wrote: People will see a deal online and buy it. Because they don't want to wait a couple days for it, they will go to the store and buy it. Then they return the one they bought online. Policy needs to change.
What?!?! This is horrible! It is a waste of money for the retailer, plus it is bad for the environment!!!!
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Deal Fanatic
Aug 29, 2006
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Cause unlike most other stores, Costco doesn't own the stock they sell, they are the middle man between a shopper and the manufacturer only.
rdiamond1 wrote: I shop regularly at a surplus store in town. Almost all their merchandise has Costco labels. Some looking new and some not.

I asked them how they end up with so much Costco - they said that Costco does not put items back on the shelf.

This was amazing to me !

If someone buys something and it is returned - it goes directly into a box for the surplus dealer.

He has a contract with them and pays them " $ ? " so much per box and picks it up from them.

They said they have no idea until they open the box what the value is... what is in there.

This store has no electronic items though... mainly just clothing, boxed and canned food and dishes, pans etc.. .
The Devil made me buy it - RFD. :twisted:
Banned
Sep 22, 2009
691 posts
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Toronto
Buying extra items for filler is not illegal so the morality police should chill. How about only buying an item that is being sold as a loss-leader? Should that be outlawed?

Smart shoppers shouldn't be penalized because some people feel offended.

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