New HD policy

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They want it because the stores offer it. If someone offers "service", someone will want to take advantage of it.***(towards the bottom) If no store offered it anymore, people would get used to that, but one store started, years ago, because they found they could make more money that way, even allowing for the cost of taking things back. If HD really changes it's policy, it will cost them, especially if Lowes, Menaards, etc. don't change theirs, although it still might be worth it. It's more likely they'll warn specific customers that a new policy applies to them for 6 months or a year or so.
Closely related: Did you know that [the famous department store I can never remember the name of which started in Philadephia but had a branch in DC**] was the first place in America to have fixed prices for things. Around 1876 iirc. Prior to that. and their policy catching on elsewhere, people dickered about everything they bought.
**I googled. John Wanamakers. Famous in the east and among people who dress well. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wanamaker's *** (towards the bottom)

That's outrageous and I won't do that. If a buyer can tell something's been used, he'll pass on it and get one that's never been used. The used one can sit in stock forever. Or he'll want a discount, justifiably.
More below.

All the rules so far are fair, though I can certainly see how someone could sort of get trapped by no refunds on gift cards. Of course I've solved the problem by not giving gift cards, even the ones that don't expire!! Once for my mother and her husband I was going to give them a gift certificate for an unusal ethnic restaurant near them. Fortunately they didn't offer gift certificates (which is pretty stupid. They shoudl have made one up when I called and asked) So I gave my folks a 50 dollar bill taped to a piece of paper saying where they shoudl spend it. Years went by, they never went, and the restaurant went out of business. The gift certificate would have been worthless, but the money I gave them was fine.

I guess that's something a lot of people wnat to use once and then return. :(

They want to think about it, don't want to come back, want to see if it will work, are afraid they'll sell out and they have to keep coming back until it's finally in stock again, Etc.
***Enlightened retailing
Wanamaker first thought of how he would run a store on new principles when, as a youth, a merchant refused his request to exchange a purchase. A practicing Christian, he chose not to advertise on Sundays. His faith also informed other business decisions, many of which were innovative and before their time. Before he opened his Grand Depot for retail business, he let evangelist Dwight L. Moody use its facilities as a meeting place, while Wanamaker provided 300 ushers from his store personnel. His retail advertisementsthe first to be copyrighted beginning in 1874were factual, and promises made in them were kept. Word of this increased Wanamaker's business and John Wanamaker never lost the public's trust while he pioneered truth in American advertising.
Wanamaker guaranteed the quality of his merchandise in print, allowed his customers to return purchases for a cash refund and offered the first restaurant to be located inside a department store. Wanamaker's also innovated the price tag, because John Wanamaker believed if everyone was equal before God, then everyone should be equal before price. All of these concepts were seen as innovations in American retailing at the time.
His employees were to be treated respectfully by management (including not being scolded in public), and John Wanamaker & Company offered its employees access to the John Wanamaker Commercial Institute, as well as free medical care, recreational facilities, profit sharing plans, and pensionslong before these types of benefits were considered standard in corporate employment. The famous logo
Innovation and "firsts" marked Wanamaker's. The store was the first department store with electrical illumination (1878), first store with a telephone (1879), and the first store to install pneumatic tubes to transport cash and documents (1880).
Wanamaker's commissioned a Philadelphia/New Jersey artist, George Washington Nicholson (1832-1912), to paint a large landscape mural, "The Old Homestead," which was finished in March 1892. The 7x14-foot mural was still owned by Wanamaker's in 1950, but its location is currently unknown.
In 1910, Wanamaker replaced his famous Grand Depot in stages, and constructed a brand-new, purpose-built structure on the same site in Center City Philadelphia. The new store, lavishly built in the Florentine style with granite walls by Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham, had 12 floors (9 for retail), numerous galleries and two lower levels totaling nearly two-million square feet. The palatial emporium featured the Wanamaker Organ, the former St. Louis World's Fair pipe organ, at the time one of the world's largest organs. The organ was installed in the store's marble-clad central atrium known as the Grand Court. Another item from the St. Louis Fair in the Grand Court is the large bronze eagle, which quickly became the symbol of the store and a favorite meeting place for shoppers. The store was dedicated by President William Howard Taft on December 30, 1911.
Despite its size, the organ was deemed insufficient to fill the Grand Court with its music. Wanamaker's responded by assembling its own staff of organ builders and expanding the organ several times over a period of years. The organ still stands in place in the store today, and is the largest operational pipe organ in the world, with some 28,000 pipes. It is famed for the delicate, orchestra-like beauty of its tone as well as its incredible power. News of the Titanic's sinking was transmitted to Wanamaker's wireless station in New York City, and given to anxious crowds waiting outsideyet another first for an American retail store. Public Christmas Caroling in the store's Grand Court began in 1918.
Other innovations included employing buyers to travel overseas to Europe each year for the latest fashions, the first White sale (1878) and other themed sales such as the February "Opportunity Sales" to keep prices as low as possible while keeping volume high. The store also broadcast its organ concerts on the Wanamaker-owned radio station WOO-AM beginning in 1922. Under the leadership of James Bayard Woodford, Wanamaker's opened piano stores in Philadelphia and New York that did a huge business with an innovative fixed-price system of sales. Salons in period decor were used to sell the higher-price items. Wanamaker also tried selling small organs built by the Austin Organ Company for a time.
The famous advertising axiom "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half" is credited to John Wanamaker.
Although disputed in some circles, John Wanamaker is credited as the first to coin the "Retailer's Rule""The customer is always right."
--Of course some people seem to think this is literally true, when it's only a policy of some stores, which even they suspend when the customer makes ridiculous demands.
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I disagree - I always buy a little more than I need for a project or multiple sizes so that I can see which fits best on the job. This saves me making multiple trips (I already seem to go to HD about once a day as it is). I once asked the regular guy at the returns desk and he said they ENCOURAGE customers to err on the side of buying too much and returning it. After all, it makes for more sales for them. And if it is in resellable condition, they are only out the extra labor for returns & reshelving while at the same time increasing customer satisfaction and maximizing purchases.
In fact, even though I can often get better quality and cheaper pricing at some of the pro supply houses that I have an account with, I often will go to Home Depot because I can browse the shelves and return the excess. The pro supply houses frown on too many returns and I don't want to look to "lay" to them ;)
Also, I end up going to HD over Lowes even though the local Lowes is bigger and has a nicer atmosphere specifically because HD has an easy return policy without a receipt as long as you have your credit card.
So, as someone who spends several thousand dollars a year at HD, I would say that there flexible return policy is a good investment for them in customer satisfaction and increased purchases.
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It would make a catchy line on your advertising. "Inferior material, but a nice selection of it"
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re: "they ENCOURAGE customers to err on the side of buying too much and returning it. After all, it makes for more sales for them"
What kind of accounting process do they use where returns don't offset sales?
If they sell a million bucks worth of wood in a week and $500K worth gets returned, do their records still show $1MM in sales?
I want a job like that, especially if it's commissioned!
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On Thu, 8 Oct 2009 09:59:54 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Maybe his example of, so to speak, buying an extra box or two of ceramic tile, wasn't the best one, but it makes more sales, because people buy things they aren't sure they want, and usually decide to keep what they've bought. Even if it's not usually, even if it's only a quarter of the time, that's still more stuff they've bought and kept.

At least at some companies, salemen lose their commission for things that are returned, but if the policy causes greater total non-returned purchases, they are ahead of the game.
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Exactly. I don't think I've ever returned something to a contractor's supply store, because afaik, they don't want it back. Maybe I misjudge them, but I get this impression somewhere.

And LOwe's doesn't have the same poliicy. I though they did.
HD here doesn't require a credit card. If you have no receipt, they note your drivers license number, I assume to keep track conceivably if someone is returning too much stuff he bought, but more likely if one person is shoplifting and returning for cash. I can certainly see that. But I return two or three things, maybe 30 dollars worth a year without a receipt and they say nothing. I don't think the cashier or anyone thinks I've stolen anything, and I haven't. (although once I may have unintentionally returned something from Lowes at HD. A few things have the same wrapper and bar code.)

Absolutely.
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On Tue, 06 Oct 2009 10:12:06 -0700, Red wrote:

Interesting. Is that just for a pure refund, or also applies for a store credit / return when also buying something of equal or more value? Does it apply to faulty items, or just ones bought by mistake?
I've just checked my latest HD receipt from last Sunday and there's no refund value stated - just says there's a 90 day return policy and that HD has the right to limit/deny returns. Maybe it's not in all stores yet, or they're trying it out at a few stores to see how the public take it...
cheers
Jules
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I think thats pretty normal... The local lumber yard here does the same thing... Imagine a couple of 2x4 studs sitting out all summer long before finally warping to the point of no return and then being brought back for full price.. Whats HD or any lumber yard to do with them?
and what are you doing buying wood at HD anyway? A lumberyard will have better stock, more knowledgeable people, and get you out the door for a fair price.
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Zephyr wrote:

All the 2x4's I've purchased at my local HD come pre-warped. No need to stack them outdoors at the building site until they get just the right twist...
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On Tue, 06 Oct 2009 15:41:40 -0400, Steve Stone wrote:

I've not had a problem with the treated stuff, TBH. The untreated's a bit of a nightmare though, half of what they have in the stack is junk - but then I suppose at least they let you sort through it to get the good ones. I think if I was buying untreated in any quantity I would just go to a proper lumber yard.
cheers
Jules
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september.org:

Why would they accept a return on products after "all summer long" ?? AFAIK,most stores have a 30 day return policy.
and wood should fall into a special category.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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On Tue, 6 Oct 2009 12:18:41 -0700 (PDT), Zephyr

No, not even while charging a 10% restocking fee.

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Red wrote:

I also noticed a deterioration in HD service. Someone recently said it's the only store where clerks run and hide from you ;)
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Frank wrote:

One of the HDs here does the opposite - you can't get out of the store without a dozen clueless "associates" trying to "help" you.
Whatever happened to asking for help when you need it, otherwise expecting to be left alone?
Jon
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My typical trips into the store average 3 or 4 MIHU contacts. Many of the workers look like retirement age, and actually know their trade.
--
Christopher A. Young
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On Tue, 6 Oct 2009 20:54:19 -0400, "Stormin Mormon"

The closest HD to my home seems to be staffed by folks who know their stuff, and act as if they own the place. If they spot you scanning shelves, they stop and ask if they can help you find something. If you turn them down, they don't hover, but wait somewhere down the isle in case you change your mind. I have often been literally chased across the parking lot by employees who insist on helping me load stuff on the roof of my SUV.
I never have to go looking for assistance, they come looking for me.
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wrote:

Pretty much the same at the Homedepot I go to......I have found the guy in the plumbing dept especially helpfull to me several times....Being open when I need something is one of the best things I like about HD....
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On Wed, 07 Oct 2009 06:43:21 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Wow. I"m not complaining about the ones here, but they aren't like that. Where are you? Which store?
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wrote:

Connecticut. I've been to other HD's in Connecticut and they weren't all like this, although none have been exactly bad. I'm guessing that the manager of the store who does the hiring and makes decisions about how things should be done makes all the difference. They apparently got a great manager for this store. There is a lot of variation in HD's. They all individually select the product mix that seems best for their local customers. Stores also become better stocked as they age. They start out with half empty shelves, and gradually build inventory and selection as they make money to support it.
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Frank wrote:

Been in a Kragen's auto store lately? Two vapor trails to the back room.
--Winston
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I\'m still waiting for another sublime, transcendent flash of adequacy.

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