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Buying and returning gear "on purpose"
Old 4 weeks ago
  #31
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nightchef's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
...but no, they do not want you to try out a “u87 inspired” mic and a u87, they want you to buy them.
Well, of course the buying is the ultimate goal, but some retailers realize that facilitating the trying may help them achieve the buying--not only on this particular sale but on future sales--and to that extent, this is a false dichotomy.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #32
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
What are your thoughts on someone buying gear, knowing there's at least a moderate or even strong chance they will return it?
You factor in 10-20 % returns into your costs and move on. It's called running a business.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #33
Lives for gear
I think a lot of folks here have a fundamental misunderstanding of the terms "ethical" and "sound business practices." They're not necessarily mutually exclusive, and no matter which side of the fence you're on (the consumer's or the business's) unethical practices hurt both parties. Ethics entails the "right and wrong" of our actions and whether those actions negatively, positively, or passively affect others (i.e. how does my behavior impact others around me?). If you're intentionally ordering gear knowing that you're likely going to return it retailers will eventually catch on to this practice and trend, which will be an increase in costs or no-return policies passed onto other customers.

If I were a retailer--and some already do this--I would charge a substantial restock fee, unless the item were defective or damaged in shipping. This kind of piss poor consumer entitlement puts retailers in a unfair and tight spot because they either have to lie about the product being new or they have to sell it as restock or B stock....Nothing good comes of it, except for the selfish jackass that believes him/herself entitled to take advantage of and abuse policies that were intended to make buying easy and simple for the consumer. It's just another example of a few bad apples spoiling it for everyone else.

Also, before anyone accuses me of being a corporate shill, I absolutely abhor corporate structures, culture, and a-moral practices, but I equally hate lack of personal accountability and people making crappy excuses for crappy behavior. If we want to turn our society around and stop the moral and civil breakdown we have to cut this **** out and realize that what we do and how we treat one another, including businesses, matters....

Okay, rant mode "off."....Cary on, gentlemen....
Old 4 weeks ago
  #34
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tedtan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretsch 6120 View Post
If I were a retailer--and some already do this--I would charge a substantial restock fee, unless the item were defective or damaged in shipping. This kind of piss poor consumer entitlement puts retailers in a unfair and tight spot because they either have to lie about the product being new or they have to sell it as restock or B stock....Nothing good comes of it, except for the selfish jackass that believes him/herself entitled to take advantage of and abuse policies that were intended to make buying easy and simple for the consumer. It's just another example of a few bad apples spoiling it for everyone else.
For all of this self righteousness, there are several people in this thread who have stated that the retailers willingly allowed them to test out multiple items with the full knowledge that they would return one (or more) of the items, and that this exposure to the products actually resulted in MORE sales for the retailer.

I mean, it's not like car dealers will get you to test drive a car, or even loan it to you for a few days, in order to increase the likelihood of a sale. Oh, wait...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by tedtan View Post
For all of this self righteousness, there are several people in this thread who have stated that the retailers willingly allowed them to test out multiple items with the full knowledge that they would return one (or more) of the items, and that this exposure to the products actually resulted in MORE sales for the retailer.

I mean, it's not like car dealers will get you to test drive a car, or even loan it to you for a few days, in order to increase the likelihood of a sale. Oh, wait...
Car dealerships and retail music vendors are pretty much apples and oranges for a number of reasons. A brand new vehicle depreciates significantly in value the second you drive it off the lot.That's true with some or a lot of music gear too, but not to the same extent or magnitude I've dealt with both extensively in my time on this earth and even worked as an instructor in music retail for over a decade as a side gig.

Look, if a retailer agrees up front to a transparent request to test before buying and they're willing to take that risk of damage to property, then no worries. That's clearly not what I'm addressing here, and in fact, my comments didn't call anyone out by name or point a finger directly at anyone specifically. But the comments and excuses some in this thread have made and used warrant what I stated, and I stand by it 100%. There's no self-righteousness involved, but the OP questioned the ethics of something for which I provided an appropriate response in context of prior responses.

Again, there's nothing wrong with returning gear if it's for a legitimate reason, and there's nothing wrong with a mutual agreement to shoot gear out before deciding which piece/s you want to stick with and which ones you want to return. But when people are making comments like "plus, it's free mic rental" or whatever (paraphrasing) that's not cool, and under those pretenses, it's theft because that's diminishing the true retail value of that product without the retailer's knowledge or consent, when the consumer is doing so with full knowledge and intent. That's unethical!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedtan View Post
For all of this self righteousness, there are several people in this thread who have stated that the retailers willingly allowed them to test out multiple items with the full knowledge that they would return one (or more) of the items, and that this exposure to the products actually resulted in MORE sales for the retailer.
I am one of those people who had such anecdotes.

But to be fair, it should be clearly pointed out that this was a 'boutique' dealer selling really high-end gear with a market composed largely of professionals. And I had in my possession at any one time two of the units in question for comparison.

And most importantly, the specific terms of the arrangement were discussed beforehand with the vendor.

Some of the scenarios proposed here are things like someone ordering ten microphones and sending back nine of them! And apparently, with no heads up to the dealer. Obviously there is a line somewhere, and rather than each person deciding for himself where it is, the best way to set it would be with written policies and honest discussions upfront.

For me personally, a reasonable re-stocking fee is still more comforting than the prospect of being "stuck" with an inappropriate unit and forced to sell it myself on eBay or Reverb.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
I am one of those people who had such anecdotes.

But to be fair, it should be clearly pointed out that this was a 'boutique' dealer selling really high-end gear with a market composed largely of professionals. And I had in my possession at any one time two of the units in question for comparison.

And most importantly, the specific terms of the arrangement were discussed beforehand with the vendor.

Some of the scenarios proposed here are things like someone ordering ten microphones and sending back nine of them! And apparently, with no heads up to the dealer. Obviously there is a line somewhere, and rather than each person deciding for himself where it is, the best way to set it would be with written policies and honest discussions upfront.

For me personally, a reasonable re-stocking fee is still more comforting than the prospect of being "stuck" with an inappropriate unit and forced to sell it myself on eBay or Reverb.
But we're talking about two different things. There's nothing wrong with returning gear that you realize after the fact isn't what you thought it was--be it because of poor or false advertisement or it just doesn't fit your immediate needs for whatever reason. That's understandable, and it happens. However, the notion that I'm going to plop down 10k in boutique LDCs on my Visa for a shootout without the retailer's upfront understanding of this plan, just so I can return 9k of them later, is wrong. The OP's subject line indicated the intent to buy and return the gear "on purpose,"which is a completely different scenario than you're describing....And yes, I've bought gear on a gamble--not knowing whether I really wanted it or not. In those cases I was up front with the sales person and asked about the return policy. A lot of times you don't know if you need that piece of gear in your life until you try it....just forked out $650 this weekend on another guitar (Gretsch Double Jet) I've been eyeing for months....was ready to pull the trigger at Sweetwater when I found a local vendor with one in stock with the specs and color I wanted....drove down to the store and instantly fell in love....had to have it in my life....didn't wake up Sunday morning planning that either....just kind of happens that way...
Old 4 weeks ago
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretsch 6120 View Post
A brand new vehicle depreciates significantly in value the second you drive it off the lot.That's true with some or a lot of music gear too, but not to the same extent or magnitude
It could be even worse. You could be buying JBL Everests new for 75 K-80 K and I've seen mint examples not moving at 25 K: https://www.hifishark.com/search?q=jbl+everest+dd
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretsch 6120 View Post
The OP's subject line indicated the intent to buy and return the gear "on purpose,"which is a completely different scenario than you're describing....
No it's not. As you and I and several others have stated, it's about the specifics of the situation.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretsch 6120 View Post
But we're talking about two different things. There's nothing wrong with returning gear that you realize after the fact isn't what you thought it was--be it because of poor or false advertisement or it just doesn't fit your immediate needs for whatever reason. That's understandable, and it happens. However, the notion that I'm going to plop down 10k in boutique LDCs on my Visa for a shootout without the retailer's upfront understanding of this plan, just so I can return 9k of them later, is wrong....
The OP's subject line indicated the intent to buy and return the gear "on purpose,"which is a completely different scenario than you're describing..
you quoted my full post, but apparently you did not read all of it.

I addressed the "9 out of 10 mics" scenario in my post. I also expressed my opinion that it was not the same and that I did not approve. Here is the relevant section:

Quote:
Originally Posted by me, just now
Some of the scenarios proposed here are things like someone ordering ten microphones and sending back nine of them! And apparently, with no heads up to the dealer. Obviously there is a line somewhere, and rather than each person deciding for himself where it is, the best way to set it would be with written policies and honest discussions upfront.
we are not in disagreement on this point.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
Lives for gear
 

does anyone care about environmental aspects? and who comes up for the minor loss in value of returned gear?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #42
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tedtan's Avatar
 

I will address your comments out of order, so let me first say that I agree with you here:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretsch 6120 View Post
But when people are making comments like "plus, it's free mic rental" or whatever (paraphrasing) that's not cool, and under those pretenses, it's theft because that's diminishing the true retail value of that product without the retailer's knowledge or consent, when the consumer is doing so with full knowledge and intent. That's unethical!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretsch 6120 View Post
There's no self-righteousness involved, but the OP questioned the ethics of something for which I provided an appropriate response in context of prior responses.
I apologize if that wasn't your intent as I do not want to mis-characterize your intent, but it did come across that way when I read it in print. Maybe if we were speaking in person it would have been more clear.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gretsch 6120 View Post
Car dealerships and retail music vendors are pretty much apples and oranges for a number of reasons. A brand new vehicle depreciates significantly in value the second you drive it off the lot.That's true with some or a lot of music gear too, but not to the same extent or magnitude I've dealt with both extensively in my time on this earth and even worked as an instructor in music retail for over a decade as a side gig.
My only point was that putting asses in seats sells cars, putting singers in front of mics sells mics, putting engineers in front of preamps sell preamps, etc.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #43
Lives for gear
 
Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 

Many years ago we had a local music store that had no problem at all taking returns up to two weeks after purchase if it was like new. They would encourage you to buy it and try it out. I'm certain more people kept stuff than returned it, which is why they embraced the practice. The few folks who got a "free rental" were a drop in the bucket, and the store guys didn't care at all.

It rapidly became the most popular store in town and is still standing 20+ years later. I'm not sure if they have the same policy because I moved almost 20 years ago and I'm pretty sure all the guys who ran the store back then are long gone.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #44
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
does anyone care about environmental aspects?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #45
Lives for gear
 

amazon anyone? ever noticed how much is getting shipped around these days? with online shopping, this has vastly increased within the last ca. 10 years...

yes, i'm quite serious about environmental aspects and for this reason alone, i find it silly to order tons of stuff, pick the item you like but return the majority of other gear!
Old 4 weeks ago
  #46
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
does anyone care about environmental aspects? and who comes up for the minor loss in value of returned gear?

My guess is that for the most part, online ordering has a bigger carbon footprint than your traditional brick and mortar store. But then again, if you want something the store does not have 'in stock', it has to get shipped there and you have to drive back to the store another day to get it. And "the truck" going to supply the store may not always be loaded full. Whereas every UPS truck is pretty much full.

Shipping back 9 mics is probably not 9 times worse than shipping one, though, as the trip has an impact all its own, independent of the weight. Even shipping an empty box has a footprint.

As for the loss in value, I always assumed that's what a "restocking fee" is for.

Some 'college student' in the back room has to re-shrinkwrap the package or whatever. I know I have gotten "new" stuff that the shrink wrapping was kind of obviously a 'store' thing and not a 'factory' thing; either because of how it was done or because it did not 'match' with the rest of the packaging. I never cared as long as my warranty was good and there were no dents or scratches.

Perhaps the re-stocking fee not only pays the salary of the college student but some of it goes into a fund to to cover the loss when some gear gets degraded to B-stock.

Or the calculation may be done on a more abstract level - lose a certain amount of money over time in exchange for "good will" and "happy customers".
Old 4 weeks ago
  #47
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i find it silly to order tons of stuff, pick the item you like but return the majority of other gear!
We've been down this road multiple times now with being a question of degree and other specifics; I doubt you'll find many who disagree. But a lack of other ways to otherwise try out gear, which generally is not exactly a cheap thing to buy, only encourages such behavior. Not condoning it per se, just pointing it out.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #48
Lives for gear
 

"i want (to check out) this gear now but i'm in the middle of nowhere so i'm gonna get this sent to me" - i cannot support this behaviour and do not pratice it for environmental reasons.

touring is another aspect of our industry which is having its set of issues in this regard - i'm no saint here...

btw: a student once was trying to get the ecological footprint of one of my studios: pretty much impossible but checking out the electricity bills over a couple of years alone was quite revealing (if not shocking)...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #49
Lives for gear
 
Snorktop's Avatar
 

If you build up a good relationship with the dealers, most don't mind you trying gear and returning it. I do it all the time. They know I won't abuse it and take pains to return it in perfect condition. If not, I buy it.
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