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Author Topic: Would you return this?
Lyrhawn
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Okay, so recently I bought NCIS Season 2 from Best Buy for $48. I then found it on Amazon for $42. Generally everything is cheaper on Amazon than on Best Buy, it's almost a rule of nature.

Well after I took it back, I bought an arm band and sport earphones for jogging with my MP3 player. Later, maybe just for fun, I looked up my earbuds on Amazon. They were $9.00, and I paid $15.99 at Best Buy. I used them earlier today and they aren't stellar, but I can hear the music and they stay on my ears mostly, and don't hurt my ears THAT bad. I already took one thing back to save six dollars, why not take one back to save seven?

Would you take it back for six or seven dollars? How much would the savings have to be to take it back?

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Dragon
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First off, I think you should start looking on Amazon BEFORE you buy stuf...

Personally, I wouldn't take it back for only six or seven dollars. Mainly because I'm lazy. Aso it's a little less than that, because Amazon is going to charge you for shipping, and you have to wait for the earphones to be delivered when you could have been using them all that time if you kept the ones from Best Buy.

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Strider
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honestly, I never return something after I've bought it for any reason other than defect. If I find the same thing cheaper somewhere else after, it's my own fault for not doing better research, or for being impatient and buying it right away instead of waiting.

Not to say I think you're morally wrong for doing it. Or maybe it is morally wrong, but not ethically wrong? Or ethically wrong but not morally wrong? What the heck is the difference between those two anyway? Ethics seems 'bigger' in a sense.

off to wikipedia...

edit - as to the actual decision. like Dragon said , there's a trade off. Do you have amazon prime so you get free shipping? And then how long will shipping take and is the time without it worth the $7?

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Lyrhawn
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99% of the time I DO check Amazon before I go to Best Buy. I only got the DVD because I had a gift card I was using to get something else and I was already there. And I always buy enough items to get it over $25 so the shipping is always free.

I don't have a problem with returning an item when I find it cheaper elsewhere. It's Best Buy's fault for not having competitive pricing, and for not doing price matching, otherwise I'd shop there a lot more often.

The only bonus I got is that I have them a week earlier than I would have, had I gone to Amazon and waited for them to be delivered. At this point, I probably won't take them back, as I really don't want to wait that week, but I was considering it, and now I'm curious as to what the rest of you would do.

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pH
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The hour it would take to get to and from Best Buy makes it not worth the $7 saved for me.

Actually, there is very little that would make it worth my while to deal with returns.

-pH

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Lyrhawn
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I just checked my armband, and that's $8 dollars cheaper, so let's say it's $15 dollars. And let's say it takes only 15 minutes to get to Best Buy.
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pH
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Even then...too much effort.

Of course, in my current state, I'm having trouble convincing myself to drive 5 minutes to go get food.

-pH

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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GO BACK. That's a good bargain. Also, consider how much time it takes to actually earn those $15.
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Lyrhawn
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For me, about an hour and 20 minutes.
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Strider
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I think the question can only be answered knowing how much $8 means to you. I have friends who would make the trade for less than $5, and others who wouldn't waste their time for anything less than $20.

For me, I personally would put $10 around the range where it would be worth it, $5 as not worth it, and anything in between a gray area of how I feel at the given moment.

edit - those figures actually don't take into account the time i'd have to wait for the new product to get to me. Which would significantly raise the amount of money I'd have to save, with what the product "is" being a factor also, as well as the overall worth of the product. $20 from a $500 product would register with me less than $20 on a $40 product, just out of principle.

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Frisco
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I won't return something once I've opened and/or used it.

I try not to return much else short of bad or duplicate gifts, though. The man-hours wasted taking and reshelving my return are pretty negligible, but exist nonetheless. Same moral reason I don't litter or leave messes behind me.

There's not much I would return for $7, either. But I'm lazy, too. [Razz]

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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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quote:
Originally posted by Frisco:
The man-hours wasted taking and reshelving my return are pretty negligible, but exist nonetheless.

They get paid to do that. [Dont Know]
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ladyday
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You stuck them in your ears *wrinkles nose* now they have cooties.

So yeah, I don't think you should return them any more than I think you should wear a swimsuit once and return it. I'd venture a guess and say one of the reasons it costs more to buy these things in store is because they accept returns that they can't resell. You shouldn't contribute to that imo.

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Lyrhawn
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I thought they were just insane greedy markups.
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Strider
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after some research it appears I think you're ethically wrong but not morally wrong. [Smile]
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cmc
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Ethic is a set of morals? I might not be right but that's how I remember it...
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Frisco
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quote:
They get paid to do that.
Well, yeah...but if they don't have to spent time catering to me because I bought something on impulse, they can be doing something worthwhile.

I also return my shopping cart to the proper place, despite the fact that they pay someone to do that, too. I'm just weird.

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ladyday
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Well there's ethically wrong, morally wrong, and 'just icky'. Returning used earphones is 'just icky' regardless of what else it falls under.
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Strider
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I like returning my shopping cart. I ride it from my car to the return station, and if i'm in a good mood(which I usually am after riding the cart) then push off it so it sails right into the back cart in the queue.

Though I think it's worth noting that I return the cart usually out of a sense of cleaning up after myself(as well as not inconveniencing other people by leaving shopping carts in parking spots) which doesn't really relate to Lyrhawn's situation.

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
For me, about an hour and 20 minutes.

Edit: I also have trouble returning defective things, unless they were expensive. I waited too long to be able to return a $20 keyboard that doesn't work because every time I thought about it, I remembered that I was going to have to drive ALL the way out there, wait in line, probably get distracted by something (Best Buy is a giant cave of temptation), finally get out of the store, and drive ALL the way back. And I was too tired and too busy. I kept thinking I'd have an excuse to go out there at some point...but unfortunately, it didn't happen before the whole return policy time ended.

-pH

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andi330
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Any product that has to go in a body part, or is something like underwear or swimsuits, should not be returned to the store after being used unless they are defective. Not because there's anything ethically or morally wrong with it, but because it's just gross. Those earbuds have been in your ears, and if you return them, the store will reshelve them and some unsuspecting person may put them in their ears. Or, the store may not be able to sell them. I refuse to purchase anything that goes in my ears or otherwise fits my above comments if the package has any appearance of having been previously opened.
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MidnightBlue
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I almost never return anything. The only thing I can remember returning at all recently was a laptop sleeve I ordered online (from Best Buy). They sent me a size smaller than I ordered, so it wouldn't fit. I returned it to the store, but they didn't have any in stock, so I ended up reordering it online.
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Primal Curve
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quote:
Originally posted by Frisco:
quote:
They get paid to do that.
Well, yeah...but if they don't have to spent time catering to me because I bought something on impulse, they can be doing something worthwhile.

I also return my shopping cart to the proper place, despite the fact that they pay someone to do that, too. I'm just weird.

Considering the fact that any given retail outlet is littered with attempts to get you to purchase on impulse, I hardly think it necessary to give them slack for what they are trying to force on you at any given moment.

As to the topic at hand. The whole buy/return mentality is something of a bone of contention between my wife and myself. She is an abuser of the system. She constantly buys things and then returns them later. She'll buy things even if she's not sure she wants them.

It's something she picked up from her mother, and it's hard to convey to them just how much of a waste of time and energy all of their buying and returning is. I can't seem to explain opportunity cost or the high price of putting lots of miles on a car adequately.

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Dagonee
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Many stores will revoke return privileges for someone who returns too many items too soon, and I've heard Best Buy is one of them. Take that hassle into account before you do it.
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ElJay
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Count me on the side that says you shouldn't return earbuds after you've used them. If they didn't work, fine. Just because they're cheaper somewhere else? You should have done the research first. You've opened them and put them in your ears, returning them now is the equivalent of ordering a steak at a restaurant, taking a bite, and then sending it back and saying you won't pay because you decided you wanted to go someplace else for seafood instead. It's rude and totally unacceptable. Return policies are there so if something doesn't fit, doesn't work, or was an unwanted gift you can return it and they can sell it to someone else. Returning something they can't resell, at least not at full price, is abusing the system and raises prices for everyone.
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rivka
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I agree that returning used earbuds is squicky. In fact, absent defects, I am against returning opened items.

So why not order the replacement ones, and return THEM to the first store?

While that sort of hassle is not usually worth my time, I have done it on occasion. Have to be for a lot more than $10, though.

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Dagonee
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They can often detect that - the model numbers for some parts are retailer-specific. I have no idea if this is the case for earbuds, but there's at least some risk involved.
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rivka
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Ok. I've never had a problem, but I've only done it very rarely.
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aspectre
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You tore off the packaging. You stuck it in your ears.
Do you return used toilet paper if you find a better price elsewhere?

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Flaming Toad on a Stick
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
You tore off the packaging. You stuck it in your ears.
Do you return used toilet paper if you find a better price elsewhere?

Yes. Don't you?
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camus
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Do you return used toilet paper if you find a better price elsewhere?

How else will you know whether it's defective or not?
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The Pixiest
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I don't usually return things... unless they came from Fry's...
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
is the equivalent of ordering a steak at a restaurant, taking a bite, and then sending it back and saying you won't pay because you decided you wanted to go someplace else for seafood instead.
You might be surprised just how often something like that can happen on a daily basis.

In any case, I've decided not to take them back. It's my punishment for making a rash purchasing decision, so I'll eat the $15 and just not shop at Best Buy anymore (probably). Personally I think they'd do better to do price matching, as I would shop there a LOT more often, but it's their choice.

I am curious though, as to whether or not returns really do raise the price of items for everyone else.

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Strider
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I've heard that before, though I can't vouch for the truth of it. But that they do figure returns into the price of the product.
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Icarus
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I think Best Buy generally has good prices, but I guess it depends on what you buy. I think they're a great place to buy major appliances, like refrigerators.
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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quote:
Originally posted by camus:
quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Do you return used toilet paper if you find a better price elsewhere?

How else will you know whether it's defective or not?
[ROFL] [ROFL]


I would assume my ears are cleaner than my anus.

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Lyrhawn
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Ah, generally all I buy there are DVDs and CDs, maybe the occassional electronic device or computer game.

Amazon, (anecdotally), probably is always five or six dollars cheaper on average for most any season of tv you could buy. CDs are a buck or two cheaper, even computer games are five or six dollars cheaper. Electronics can be anywhere from a little more expensive to $50 cheaper. The MP3 player I bought was almost $70 cheaper on Amazon than Best Buy.

I've yet to buy anything major, like an appliance, but I think if I did, I'd check out Best Buy first before going elsewhere. When it comes to that, I'd probably trust the price, but it also tends to come with great service, and you can actually play with the model on the floor, something you can't do online.

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ElJay
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
is the equivalent of ordering a steak at a restaurant, taking a bite, and then sending it back and saying you won't pay because you decided you wanted to go someplace else for seafood instead.
You might be surprised just how often something like that can happen on a daily basis.
Not at all, actually, I've worked in restaurants before. That's why I made the comparison. . . I thought it was rude and wrong there, and I think it would be rude and wrong here. Just 'cause it happens often doesn't mean it's right.


quote:
I am curious though, as to whether or not returns really do raise the price of items for everyone else.
Over a period of time, absolutely. In the short term, of course not. Returns are factored in to operating expenses. Most companies have a certain profit margin they expect to make. If operating expenses as a whole go up, and that profit margin isn't met for a period of time, then yeah, prices are going to go up. It might be because of increased returns that can't be sent back to the manufacturer, (returns for reasons other than defects) it might be because of increased fuel costs, or a million other things. If other expenses are going down and returns are going up and it ends up as a net reduction in operating expenses, then no I'm not saying prices are going to go up just because of returns. But it's ridiculous to think frivolous returns on product that can't be resold isn't a factor.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Just 'cause it happens often doesn't mean it's right.
I don't believe anyone made that argument.
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ElJay
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*shrug* Didn't say you did.
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Tante Shvester
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quote:
Originally posted by Strider:
I like returning my shopping cart.

Will they take it back without a receipt?
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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Ah, generally all I buy there are DVDs and CDs, maybe the occassional electronic device or computer game.

Amazon, (anecdotally), probably is always five or six dollars cheaper on average for most any season of tv you could buy. CDs are a buck or two cheaper, even computer games are five or six dollars cheaper. Electronics can be anywhere from a little more expensive to $50 cheaper. The MP3 player I bought was almost $70 cheaper on Amazon than Best Buy.

I've yet to buy anything major, like an appliance, but I think if I did, I'd check out Best Buy first before going elsewhere. When it comes to that, I'd probably trust the price, but it also tends to come with great service, and you can actually play with the model on the floor, something you can't do online.

I know that everybody says those extended service/warranty plans are a waste of money, but I want to know how "everybody" manages to not fold, spindle, or mutilate anything, ever. And how "everybody" has the money to pay for repairs and service after a year but is opposed to shelling out a little extra money at purchase.

Then again, I got the "I can pour beer on my computer and throw it out a window and Best Buy has to give me a new one" plan for my laptop. I dropped a laptop once, and I was all kinds of glad for the replacement option.

-pH

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Lyrhawn
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My mom got a repair plan for her dryer, and the motor broke a year later and needed to be replaced. That paid for the warranty right there.
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fugu13
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pH: its not about whether or not people do it, its about expected value.

To weigh the value of one of those warranties, the basic equations are as follows:

probability something happens * cost of repairing, or at worst replacing, the item

vs

probability nothing happens * cost of the warranty

If the first is bigger, buy the warranty. If the second is bigger, don't.

However, because the store would be unlikely to make money if it weren't true, the second is almost always bigger.

There are complications, of course.

If you're the sort who will always reclaim the warranty and doesn't mind the hassle, it might be more worth it. Stores expect a certain percentage of damage under warranty to not be claimed.

If your time is expensive, paying some more money for a no-hassle repair at a local place might actually be 'cheaper' than the warranty repair (this will also depend on how much hassle the warranty service is; best buy warranties, for instance, tend to be a lot of hassle).

Then there's that the event might happen while still under the manufacturer's warranty, in which case the extended warranty is less worthwhile (depending on the length of the basic warranty).

Of course, not everything is covered by extended warranties, so that needs to be taken into account.

Those who go the route of replacement will almost always end up with a better item for some product areas (computers, say), making warranties less beneficial.

The biggest factor, though, is if the item has disproportionate value to you in comparison with its cost. If having your computer unrepaired is an absolute disaster, then the extended warranty is more likely worthwhile. In my case, I have multiple computers, and most of my important data is distributed (and frequently in places not on any of those computers as well). Additionally, I'm able to fix many simple problems myself, or find someone who can do it cheaply. An extended warranty isn't worth it at all, except possibly for a particularly expensive laptop (which I'm unlikely to buy in the first place).

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vonk
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quote:
Personally I think [Best Buy]'d do better to do price matching, as I would shop there a LOT more often, but it's their choice.
I don't know if it's really their choice. Best Buy has much more over head costs than Amazon, with property costs and taxes, more employees, shipping to and from the store and manufacturer, insurance for absolutely everything, utilities and more that I can't think of off the top of my head.

Also, similar to what ElJay said about the returns effecting price, Best Buy has to deal with a large amount of loss prevention and this definitely effects prices.

It cost more at the store for a lot of different reasons, most of them legitamite.

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pH
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fugu, I've never found Best Buy warranties to be much of a hassle at all. [Dont Know]

And I can almost guarantee that if I buy a computer, within three years it will either suffer physical damage or get a virus or something. I wonder what the secret is to...not destroying electronics within three years...
[Blushing]

-pH

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sarahdipity
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Most stores won't do price matching with Amazon. For one thing they're forced to have a physical location that is in a shopping area. This is an extra cost. Amazon just has warehouses and a web interface. This means that businesses with physical locations often have to have more employees as well as a location.

This is another reason you sometimes see that web deals are different than what you can get in the store from the same retailer.

I think about shopping online and in person as two different spheres of shopping. I can often get things online that I can't get in person. I have to wait for the mail. And I can't really easily ask questions if I have any (rare). I rarely buy books from anywhere but the internet now. But when I do I'm not shocked that the price is lower on amazon. I paid to get the book right now, and to be able to flip through it and read as much as I wanted before buying.

[edit dang just a little too slow vonk beat me to it]

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Carrie
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quote:
Originally posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion:
quote:
Originally posted by camus:
quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Do you return used toilet paper if you find a better price elsewhere?

How else will you know whether it's defective or not?
[ROFL] [ROFL]


I would assume my ears are cleaner than my anus.

That's one heck of an assumption... [Wink]
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camus
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quote:
Originally posted by Altáriël of Dorthonion:
quote:
Originally posted by camus:
quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
Do you return used toilet paper if you find a better price elsewhere?

How else will you know whether it's defective or not?
[ROFL] [ROFL]


I would assume my ears are cleaner than my anus.

Which is why we use toilet paper (assuming it's not defective). New toilet paper slogan: "Makes your anus as clean as your ears. GUARANTEED or your money back!!!"
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vonk
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quote:
Which is why we use toilet paper (assuming it's not defective). New toilet paper slogan: "Makes your anus as clean as your ears. GUARANTEED or your money back!!!"
Man, and I thought watching cartoon bears squating behind a tree was awkward to watch! [ROFL]
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