Return policies vary from none to infinity, making this subject confusing at times. Of course, there are usually restrictions put on unlimited returns, however there is another side to the debate. I recently was at large national price club store after the holidays and witnessed a lady returning a Christmas tree. Wow I thought, is there something defective with the Christmas tree or was she just taking advantage of the store’s no questions asked return policy. As a shopper and club member of that store, I thought who pays for that? The simple answer is…we do. These companies historically know what percentage of their business will be returned and factor it into their pricing.
I realize that a “no questions asked return policy” takes the risk away from the consumer buying at stores with that policy. I have no problem with stores taking back defective products or even companies that take back products consumers that suffering from “buyer’s remorse” within a reasonable amount of time. I do think that most consumers do not abuse overly liberal return policies. Again, my problem from a consumer’s point of view is that these liberal policies are factored into the prices I pay at for the products I buy at those stores. Quite frankly, I do not want to support the abuse of the system by “serial returners”. If you have ever been in the retail sales business, you are familiar that there are consumers who abuse the system. We all knew who these consumers were and usually just chalked it up to the price of doing business.
As with warranties previously discussed, the word for return policies should be reasonable. When I say reasonable, I mean reasonable for both parties. As it applies to the mattress business it is important to note that returned mattresses cannot be resold unless those products are properly sanitized, tagged as used and then sold by third party companies with full disclosure to consumers who are aware they are purchasing a mattress that has already been in someone’s home. However, we within the industry know the “dirty little secret” that many of our unscrupulous mattress retail brethren violate disclosing selling these products as “used” and mislead consumers into thinking they are new. The old saying applies here “if the price is too good to be true” it probably is.