Well, the folks we love to hate have done it again.
The LOML and I went to Home Depot, and I got my errands done before
she did, so I went to drool over the stationary power tools while I
waited. Couldn't do it. No display. Pation Furniture was there
The person at the Contractor desk said that Corporate had decided that
the tool display wasn't bringing in enough sales, so they still had
the tools, in the box, and they could show me pictures of what they
looked like, but that was it.
I suggested that I never bought things like that from pictures, and he
agreed, but said no one at the decision level wanted to hear concerns
from the front lines. I look to see big iron tools dropped from their
stores pretty soon, cause they don't sell any without working display
models. Watch for the closeouts, might be able to score a gloat or
They did this at a Home depot near me a couple a months ago. The floor
displays they had were sold at 30% off. The only had the jointer and
drill press left to sell when I got there. I already had a new jointer
just got last fall but the drill now sits in my shop...
Yeah - it's true that people who make decisions make those decisions based
on what they observe and someone "on the front lines" is always going to be
upset. But - in the world of retail, leaving hunks of iron or any other
product out on the floor, just because you or I like to drool over it
without purchasing, is quite foolish. That floor space is needed for the
things that will turn cash. Like it or not - this time of year, they are
going to turn cash with patio stuff. I'd be willing to bet that if you were
seriously looking to buy, someone would have opened up all the boxes you
wanted to see. But you weren't - and you're commenting about them providing
for the most of their customers (as indicated by the floor sales), because
like the rest of us, you just wanted to drool over the tools. For all the
bitching that goes on around here about every retailer out there, one would
think that people would find it agreeable that a major retailer would
dedicate their floor space to the products that the consumers are really
after at any given time of year.
As for never buying things from pictures - good for you. I do buy some
things just from pictures. I just bought a new spray gun just from a
picture on a web site. Didn't need to handle it or anything else, to know
what I was going to get. In your case, you weren't even going to buy, so
what's the big deal?
Sorry - this is just my personal campaign against all of the posts that
populate this forum that bitch about what the big retailers do, regardless
of how practical those decisions may really be in light of the population
they serve, or the realities of business.
I wonder how many tools Old Guy has bought online or over the phone or
mail order without ever handling or seeing them in person. Or seeing
and handling them in person from a local retailer and then purchasing
them online at a lower price. For specialty activities, like
recreational home woodworking, online/catalog/mail order/phone
purchasing probably consumes a considerable amount of the sales
revenue. I would guess almost all of the Grizzly machine owners on
this forum never saw their machines before they were delivered.
Over my many years with Delta, one of the things I used to hate to
hear from marketing is "we've just cut a deal with (fill in your
favorite big box retailer) to offer selected units in the industrial
I would be guaranteed the necessity for working overtime in a chaotic
manner to fill the units per store requirements by the contract time
since they were never part of the original forecast.
A year or two later, I could be guaranteed that I would have a large
inventory reset with units sent bact to the factory as the current set
of big box execs. figured out how dismal their inventory turns were on
the iron and their minimum ratio of turns to space couldn't be met.
During the contract, I could be guaranteed that my warranty would go
up due to the liberal big box return policy and the inability of the
machinery sales people to make sales stick. The "I'm finished with my
project, think I'll take this thing back and get my money back"
And the cycle would repeat itself as soon as the memory of the past
faded, or the big box buying execs turned over. For the
manufacturer's marketing arm, it's like candy, you just can't resist
IMHO heavy iron belongs with the local distributor. Their sales and
service personnel are generally properly trained for the task.
Hard to say, information coming back was often sketchy. Picture an
RSR (retail sales rep), usually young and fairly inexperienced who
gets to the store, has to set up any aisle displays that have been
authorized, check shelf stock,cleans stuff up, sets up a reorder,
maybe has an in store class to give, then lastly heads for the return
cage to authorize the RMA's for an equally inexperienced store clerk.
Most reasons are "alledged defective" Then rushes out because he's
got three more stores to get to today. And both these individuals are
more used to dealing in small stuff, much of which has a "destroy in
Industrial distributors and the sales people who call on them, are
more like old partners, tend to know their customers, can spot
customers who might have a history of questionable returns, can
immediately fix problems to keep returns from happening in the first
place. It's where heavy iron belongs.
You know Frank... I found that hard to believe until
I actually heard a guy bragging about bringing a shop vac
back to Sears after he had used it to clean up his garage.
I have since had people suggest to me that any "special"
tools needed for a project can be done in a similar manner.
I thought it was maybe one or two out of a thousand, but now
I believe it is a wildly popular method.
Frank Boettcher wrote:
The "I'm finished with my project, think I'll take this
thing back and get my money back" syndrome.
A 25% restocking charge, but only with a receipt would solve that
problem in a hurry; however, until the retailers figure out it has to
be done by the entire retail industry, it won't happen.
At the industrial level, returns are few and far between, almost
always with a restocking charge.
Ahhh..., the insurance fraud thing. Two thoughts...
Your neighbor got just what he deserved. I hope it was worth it for him.
Secondly, insurance companies are putting more and more people into fraud
investigations. The reason is simple. It doesn't cost them anything. Every
dime that it takes to pay these guys is less than the recovery/savings on
Eww. That kind of dishonesty never even occurred to me.
I did laugh some years ago when a friend took a worn-out BB gun back
to Wal-mart. His intention was to buy a new one, so he took the old
one with him to show the kind he wanted. When he got there a clerk
insisted that he return it. The return form asked why he was
returning it. He wrote, "wore out". They gave him a new one.
Yup, HD is closing 15 under performing stores and stopping the opening
of FIFTY stores.
At HDepot returns I stood behind a pair of losers that returned three
tree trimming saw chains.
They said their boss got them new that morning, but they were already
worn and dull. Farkers.
If I worked at the returns desk of HD and the like, I'd be fired the first
day for hitting the customer with crap like that. That is just plain fraud
and the stores and manufacturers willfully allow it with their policies.
When going to school and working part time in the early 70's I worked in the
automotive department of the old Woolco stores. Next to our department was
the Glidden paint department. Even back then paint that was being returned
for a refund had to be inspected to insure that a refund on a paint can full
of water was not being given.
On Thu, 01 May 2008 15:35:41 +0000, Pat Barber wrote:
The first I heard of it was several years ago when a guy who ran a camping
goods store told me I wouldn't believe how many tents he sold - for two
weeks! He also told me how much he added to the price of tents to allow
for that, but I forget the percentage - it was however, up in double
I can't comprehend people who have that little ethics and that much gall.
They might as well just rob the store, but that would make them liable for
criminal penalties. Hmmmmm ...
I have a friend who "borrowed" a PC saw from, I think, HD. The day he
was returning it, I asked why. He was done with it. I blew my stack.
He still has the saw, a decade later...one of the last U.S. made ones,
Around here the returns desk is populated with low paid teenage girls who
are too busy gabbing about the party last night or flirting with some
teenage boys, to do their job right. At the best of times they don't even
know what the item returned does or how it operates. All you have to say is
it doesn't work, and they will refund your money, as they couldn't determine
if you are right or wrong or cheating.
Again management does itself in.
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