As this is written it is early morning on December the 26th and shops and stores all over the country are open early to help their customers deal with items that are not working, don’t fit, are the wrong color, aren’t wanted or don’t work with the expected or planned tech item.
Will your future shopping hinge on how a given store handles your returns?
Over the past few years stores have been tightening how they accept returns. In the past some stores would take back items (that they carried) even when purchased elsewhere. That free wheeling type of return has all but disappeared.
Electronics are a different story altogether. Many stores have very short return windows for electronics or tech items in general. In some cases you have just seven days to do a return. In some cases software returns are not even offered. If items have been opened or packaging has been lost or damaged returns can carry a hefty restocking charge.
Clothing and shoes are still some of the items where stores offer exchanges or returns due to color, size or style that isn’t what the recipient needed or wanted. Stores realize that if this wasn’t the case shoppers might not buy them at all.
While size is always an issue (since manufacturers can’t seem to agree on what sizes mean) the new craze of “Gift Cards Fit All” has replaced the “One Size Fits All” gift buy.
Numbers of $30 Billion in Gift Card sales show the popularity of what many feel is the perfect gift. Some folks, however, feel that using a gift card is a bit of a cop-out. The act of choosing a gift is part of the holiday shopping mystic. The time spent shows a certain caring that needs to go into choosing the perfect gift.
In general a gift card (especially the credit card types) is an item that will not have to be returned or exchanged. They do cover a whole ranges of “giving” worries. No problem with compatibility, size or color.
Store owners hope that the returns will lead to even more sales. After all the most basic need is met, the potential customer is already in their store and in many cases has ready cash or credit that they can or must spend in the store.
This shopping year has had many challenges, a short shopping season, a weak economy and customers holding out for the very best possible price. Store profits were affect by these factors. The trend of online shopping is affecting the brick and mortar only shops.
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