Stores weigh paying you not to bring back unwanted items (1 Viewer)

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Yeah it’s true. Don’t like your item or is something wrong with it? Major retailers are considering giving your money back and telling you to keep it.

recent weeks, some of the biggest store chains, including Target (TGT), Walmart,(WMT) Gap (GPS), American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) and others have reported in their latest earnings calls that they have too much inventory of stuff ranging from workout clothes, spring-time jackets and hoodies to garden furniture and bulky kids' toys. It's costing them tons of money to store it.
Now add on to that glut another category of product that stores have to deal with: returns.
So instead of piling returned merchandise onto this growing inventory heap, stores are considering just handing customers their money back and letting them hang onto the stuff they don't want
 

bonnjer

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Ummmm, isn't there another word for this? Like, um, stealing?
 
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More American waste...great!

Target actually did this for a children's clothing order I made a while back....weirded me out when I was told that I didn't have to actually return it.
 
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I have requested return/refund on some items and was suggested that I donate them. And I did.

This might illustrate the actual cost of some of the things we buy, right?
 

zeetes

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several pc component companies, microsoft, asus, supermicro, etc., used to do this. holy moly was this ever abused.
 

BarBar

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A few years ago my buddy in Denver wanted to do a crawfish boil for his birthday.

So I ordered him all the kit he would need for the party from amazon. It was a couple hundred bucks or so as I recall.

Anyway the order showed up a few days before the party. All good.

2 days later a duplicate order showed up. I checked my bank and I was only charged once. So I contact Amazon and told them the issue. They said to process a return to send back the second set. So I did it.....and they refunded the money from the first one. I contacted them again and never heard back.

So we got the whole kit for free. Not a small cheap item and they just didn't care. It's probably more expensive for them to deal with this kind of stuff than it is just to eat the cost.
 

mjcouvi

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Not new, Amazon does it regularly. I ended up getting a free electric lawnmower (value around $400) because of just accidents on Amazon's part. I wasn't looking for a free lawnmower, it just happened. If you're a regular customer of some giant business and something goes wrong on 1 out of 500 orders, and you bring it to their attention, it can make more sense to just resolve it by saying "fuhgetabouttit".

A new customer trying to get something free? There are plenty of data points to prevent this from being a problem. Maybe you'll get those folks who figure out..."oh well I paid for this much stuff, now I can lie to get something for free" but that would be exceedingly rare.
 

mjcouvi

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Not new, Amazon does it regularly. I ended up getting a free electric lawnmower (value around $400) because of just accidents on Amazon's part. I wasn't looking for a free lawnmower, it just happened. If you're a regular customer of some giant business and something goes wrong on 1 out of 500 orders, and you bring it to their attention, it can make more sense to just resolve it by saying "fuhgetabouttit".

A new customer trying to get something free? There are plenty of data points to prevent this from being a problem. Maybe you'll get those folks who figure out..."oh well I paid for this much stuff, now I can lie to get something for free" but that would be exceedingly rare.

I'll add that a person in another country made this decision in less than 30 seconds over messaging in a chat window on my browser. That's efficient. There is little doubt it would have been more expensive for them for me to return that mower, give me the money back, send me a new mower quickly, be sure the mower is fixed and working properly before reselling it, repackaging it if necessary. That's a lot of expensive labor just to return my mower.
 

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How is it stealing if the store tells you to keep it?
It's one thing if you try to return the item and the store tells you to keep it / gives your money back. You weren't going into it with the intention of keeping it and having your money. I can guarantee you that there will be those people who will abuse this, as others have mentioned in the thread. They'll quickly learn the system and take advantage by going in knowing they'll get their money back and keep the item(s). That's theft, in my opinion.
 

mjcouvi

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It's one thing if you try to return the item and the store tells you to keep it / gives your money back. You weren't going into it with the intention of keeping it and having your money. I can guarantee you that there will be those people who will abuse this, as others have mentioned in the thread. They'll quickly learn the system and take advantage by going in knowing they'll get their money back and keep the item(s). That's theft, in my opinion.

And no one is arguing that's not theft.

The tools these companies have, from the perspective of data on who you are and how you behave online, I think most of those who criticize this are underestimating the idea that the companies who do this already probably know if you're likely to be a bad actor and they will avoid you. It wouldn't be a blanket policy it would be based on YOUR data.

Something like "oh lets let people keep the stuff they want to return" isn't a decision taken on lightly. If they're doing it, it's not for lack of trying to calculate the net impact.
 
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MLU

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It's one thing if you try to return the item and the store tells you to keep it / gives your money back. You weren't going into it with the intention of keeping it and having your money. I can guarantee you that there will be those people who will abuse this, as others have mentioned in the thread. They'll quickly learn the system and take advantage by going in knowing they'll get their money back and keep the item(s). That's theft, in my opinion.
That's not theft. The business voluntarily returned the money and advised them to keep the product. It's not theft because a consumer thought they could buy something and still get refunded. There's no guarantee that they'll get to keep the item. Now, is it ethical? Maybe you can make the argument but that's between you and whatever morality you subscribe to.

Theft is corporations that make billions of dollars and still get subsidies from consumers in the form of taxes that we pay...
 
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I'll add that a person in another country made this decision in less than 30 seconds over messaging in a chat window on my browser. That's efficient. There is little doubt it would have been more expensive for them for me to return that mower, give me the money back, send me a new mower quickly, be sure the mower is fixed and working properly before reselling it, repackaging it if necessary. That's a lot of expensive labor just to return my mower.
I saw a tv news report / segment that backs up what you are saying. The current high cost of fuel and the strain on labor resources make some companies feel that it is more costly to receive your return....so...just keep it.
 

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