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Subject: Online Return policies rss

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Lee Fisher
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There was a recent thread about a retailer and return policies. It might be interesting to compare how different retailers handle it here.

Return policy based on purchase date

Boards and Bits
http://www.boardsandbits.com/returns.php
Quote:
We are happy to take returns of new, unopened merchandise as long as it is received by us within 14 days of purchase.


Thoughthammer
http://www.thoughthammer.com/shipping.php#return_policy
Quote:
We happily accept returns of unopened (shrink wrap must be intact) merchandise within 30 days of the purchase date.


Game Surplus
Quote:
We accept returns of items in original, shrinkwrapped condition within two weeks of purchase. (Holiday exception: Any items purchase between November 15th and December 31st may be returned up until January 20th.)


Return policy based on delivery date

Cool Stuff Inc
http://www.coolstuffinc.com/main_returnPolicy.php
Quote:
any item purchased from CoolStuffInc.com may be returned within 30 days of receipt for any reason, with the exception of CCG singles, which must be returned within 7 days


Funagain Games:
Quote:
We will accept a return for any item within 15 days of your receipt of the order. We can only accept returns on items which are in their original condition. Original condition means that the game cannot have been played and all parts must be in the same condition as when they game was received. We can refund shipping costs only if the return is a result of our error.


TimeWellSpent
Quote:
We must be notified within 15 days of receipt of your item(s) if you wish to return them.


BoardgameRevolution
Quote:
You may return an unopened game within 7 days of delivery and will receive the full amount of the game back minus the shipping cost.


Post other policies and comments (Most other retailers are blocked).
Updated with info thanks to Yoren
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Anthony
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Orignally posted this in other thread but its applicable here:

WOW...I stand corrected....I went on and did the research and apparently this return policy is present on about half the OLGS that I checked.

Similiar Policies to Boards & Bits

Funagain Games:
We will accept a return for any item within 15 days of your receipt of the order. We can only accept returns on items which are in their original condition. Original condition means that the game cannot have been played and all parts must be in the same condition as when they game was received. We can refund shipping costs only if the return is a result of our error.

ThoughtHammer
Please contact us before returning any item. We happily accept returns of unopened (shrink wrap must be intact) merchandise within 30 days of the purchase date.

Game Surplus
We accept returns of items in original, shrinkwrapped condition within two weeks of purchase. (Holiday exception: Any items purchase between November 15th and December 31st may be returned up until January 20th.)





Different than Boards and Bits

Coolstuffinc.com
At CoolStuffInc.com, we strive to make our service to you the top priority. Therefore, any item purchased from CoolStuffInc.com may be returned within 30 days of receipt for any reason, with the exception of CCG singles, which must be returned within 7 days. The following applies to all returns:

TimeWellSpent
We must be notified within 15 days of receipt of your item(s) if you wish to return them.

BoardgameRevolution
You may return an unopened game within 7days of delivery and will receive the full amount of the game back minus the shipping cost.


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Brian Thomas
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I believe Funagain Games belongs in the second category.
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Philip Hwang
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MiniatureMarket.com wrote:
Miniature Market will accept returns on all unopened products within 3 days of delivery. Please email service@miniaturemarket.com for approval before sending back merchandise. All returns are subject to a 15% restocking fee.

If a sealed product is missing parts, you will have to contact the manufacturer to correct the problem. If you need help finding the contact information for the manufacturer, you may call or email Miniature Market and we will be happy to assist you.

NobleKnight.com wrote:
Noble Knight Games will accept returns for defective items. Please e-mail nobleknight@nobleknight.com before returning any items. Note that if any part of your order is not up to your standards we will work with you to make it right!

GuruBoardGames.com wrote:
You may return new, unopened items within 60 days of delivery for a Store Credit. If there was an error on our part (you received an incorrect or defective item, etc.) we will issue a full refund. We'll also pay the return shipping costs!

BoardGameHaus.com wrote:
Please see our Terms & Conditions for complete details regarding our return policy.
BoardGameHaus.com Terms & Conditions wrote:
Blah blah blah... (Nothing about returns)

TrollAndToad.com wrote:
We allow returns on all products purchased on our website, to be returned within 30 days, except as follows:

Any product may be returned within 30 days of the shipment date for a full refund as long as it is returned in the same condition as it was received. You must fill out a return authorization form, and return the item within 7 days of its arrival.
If an order is returned to us, due to our failure to put an accurate address, because we have instructed you to refuse this order, because we have shipped the wrong items, or because we asked the shipping company to return the order, then our company is entirely responsible for the shipping charges, both to and from you, the buyer. Otherwise, the shipping costs, both to and from, are your responsibility and any charges billed to us will, in turn, be charged to you.
The refund will be issued within 3-7 business days of the return of the product.
If the product is received back in altered condition (e.g. a sealed board game opened, a booster pack opened, a crease on a near-mint roleplaying book etc.), then it will be treated as a sale to us of a used item, not as a return, and your credit will depend on what we would normally pay for that used product (if any).
If you have purchased a factory sealed item that is missing pieces, parts, instructions, etc., please let us know and we will contact the manufacturer to obtain replacement pieces.

GatePlay.com wrote:
We will accept new, unopened (still in plastic shrink wrap) merchandise for a full credit refund within 30 days of your purchase date. Before you send an item back, please contact us to let us know the contents of your package, and the carrier in which you are shipping with. Unless you received the item due to a mistake on our part, you will be responsible for the cost of return shipping. If the fault was ours, please contact us for options before sending the item back. To serve everyone's best interest we will try to find the most economical solution. Email us when you are ready to return an item.

TimeWellSpentGames.com wrote:
Time Well Spent will accept return of items if they are unaltered and in the same condition you received them. We must be notified within 15 days of receipt of your item(s) if you wish to return them. If the need to return an item is due to a Time Well Spent error, we will cover the return shipping costs. If the need to return an item is not due to a Time Well Spent error, we request that shipping costs be covered by the customer.

SuperHeroGameLand.com wrote:
All purchases are eligible for return for up to ten days from receipt of purchase.
Please contact customer service for further information on returning an item. Thank you.

FairPlayGames.com wrote:
Our return policy is that if you send us a game back, we'll refund 100% of the game cost if it is un-opened.. If it is opened but in excellent condition, then we will refund 75% of the game cost. Please contact us before returning any games so we can expect them.
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Paul Harmon
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Thanks for this.
Ive never yet returned a game and may never but all things being equal (just in case) I will go with a company with the most customer friendly policies.
Thank you CoolstuffInc.
Dont get me Wrong Ive checked out Boards and Bits NUMEROUS times and Ive seen some great prices/deal etc its absolutely a company worth checking out but like I said IF all things are equal Customer friendly policies will always get my business...Just in case

Especially since my wife is always trying to buy me things I already own
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Marc B.
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Our (Get Your Fun On) is 30 days from purchase but that's because we dont do pre-orders anymore due to frustration over estimated release dates and prices.
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Tao Wong
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Our (Starlit Citadel's) is 14 days after receipt of order. So; not ship date but delivery date (when the order is trackable).
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UA Darth
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This all has been informative.

Never needed to use it, but you never know.
 
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One Armed Bandit
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Warehouse 23: Delivery date
"Returns will be accepted within 2 weeks of package arrival. While extended returns may be accepted, they must be considered on a case-by-case basis, and approved by W23 staff."

Toys for Thought: Purchase Date (I assume)
"We will gladly accept returns for 60 days after the date on your invoice (Span of 60 days is defined as being from date of customer's invoice to date on return shipping label)"

Hill's Wholesale Gaming: Delivery Date, BUT only allows returns for damaged or incorrect shipments, and no returns for USPS period.
"We will also not be held accountable for packages damaged or lost via the US Postal system (USPS).
Items which arrive damaged after shipping via a UPS Service may be returned within 15 days after item receipt.
Upon recieving the damaged item, we will happily refund the total value of the items ordered as well as shipping costs both to and from us. At the customers descretion, we may instead replace and reship the products ordered.
If the items shipped to your address do not match your order, they may be returned at our expense for a full refund of your order, or at the customers descretion, may be returned in exchange for the contents of your actual order."
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Chuckhazard
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Something else to be aware of with returns: if you return an item and it takes your order total below the free shipping threshold, you may be charged shipping for the original order, in addition to restocking fees and paying shipping to return the item. There is an OLGS I no longer use due to this.
 
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Isaac Finkelstein
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Why shouldn't you be charged shipping if you drop below the threshhold?
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Chuckhazard
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Bimm wrote:
Why shouldn't you be charged shipping if you drop below the threshhold?


To keep my business.
 
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JonnyRotten
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chuckhazard wrote:
Bimm wrote:
Why shouldn't you be charged shipping if you drop below the threshhold?


To keep my business.


The margin on board games is already so thin, to lose any more on giving you even more free shipping would probably be less of a return than keeping your prestigious business. Especially if you tend to want to return games.

They paid the shipping for you, based on the fact that you met a requirement. You no longer meet their requirement for free shipping, so based on the total, you should have paid shipping. If you exchanged the game for a game of equal value, I imagine you would have been OK.

I imagine it is to stop the following from happening:
1 - order huge game X and small game Y and small game Z to get free shipping.
2 - return game Y and Z for money back.
3 - ???
4 - Profit!

I think any return policy is fine. I've been burnt on return policies before from both local stores and online stores. So I tend to try to find out the return policy before buying. But any policy they have is fine with me, as long as I know so I can comply.

The X days from purchase only dings you if you combine your order with a pre-order so it doesn't ship right away. This is a very nice service that some OLGSs offer. If you take advantage of it, then it's your decision. They shouldn't have to back peddle on a policy to cover you.

I can't say enough good things about Boards and Bits. I don't know how many customers I've driven their way because of their excellent customer service, fast shipping, and low prices. I think all the positives FAR outweigh the one tiny negative. And it's not even a negative. If I get a game I already have as a gift, then I either regift it, or trade it.

 
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Chris
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I had mixed emotions about that (now-closed) thread (why do they close threads so quickly ... ah, I lament) ...

On one hand, I saw the point that the policy SHOULD be set up to be from the date of shipping -- it makes almost no sense (to me) that a return policy could be null and void before the recipient receives the package.

Conversely, I see the value of asking for GCs only for gifts, especially if you don't keep gamelists up-to-date (or b/c the gift-givers aren't familiar enough with the tools to track such things).

However, I breathed a sigh of relief, when it was revealed that the return policy only pertained to elective returns (not shipper errors or damages) -- for a while I was thinking, "OK, so I preorder Game A and also add Game B, but the sender ships A and C, and I'm stuck because the policy has already expired?" - but that was eliminated quickly.

So, for me, it's a non-starter. It doesn't increase the odds I'll order from any single store; nor does it deter me from B&B. I've ordered from Tom before, I almost certainly will continue to do so.

I *am* surprised he didn't simply say, "okay, I'll change the policy" -- my impression of him had been such that he would have just done that, especially if it's something that comes up only 3-4 times a year. But I can't pretend to know his business. I *can* say that I think the lengthy exchange didn't help his cause, however; nor did the over-zealous defender .. but, I suspect Tom will be okay, in the long run. No doubt, however, some won't shop there any longer (not only because of the policy, but also due to the protracted discussion and vehement defense).

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Lemur wrote:
I had mixed emotions about that (now-closed) thread (why do they close threads so quickly ... ah, I lament) ...

On one hand, I saw the point that the policy SHOULD be set up to be from the date of shipping -- it makes almost no sense (to me) that a return policy could be null and void before the recipient receives the package.

Conversely, I see the value of asking for GCs only for gifts, especially if you don't keep gamelists up-to-date (or b/c the gift-givers aren't familiar enough with the tools to track such things).

However, I breathed a sigh of relief, when it was revealed that the return policy only pertained to elective returns (not shipper errors or damages) -- for a while I was thinking, "OK, so I preorder Game A and also add Game B, but the sender ships A and C, and I'm stuck because the policy has already expired?" - but that was eliminated quickly.

So, for me, it's a non-starter. It doesn't increase the odds I'll order from any single store; nor does it deter me from B&B. I've ordered from Tom before, I almost certainly will continue to do so.

I *am* surprised he didn't simply say, "okay, I'll change the policy" -- my impression of him had been such that he would have just done that, especially if it's something that comes up only 3-4 times a year. But I can't pretend to know his business. I *can* say that I think the lengthy exchange didn't help his cause, however; nor did the over-zealous defender .. but, I suspect Tom will be okay, in the long run. No doubt, however, some won't shop there any longer (not only because of the policy, but also due to the protracted discussion and vehement defense).

Hi Chris,

Just one question: what should I change it to? And how long before someone doesn't read *that* policy and is unhappy with it and we have the same situation?

My feeling is that it doesn't matter what I make it, someone will be unhappy. Unfortunately this time it was a non-gamer with a temper that started the ball rolling.

Add to that the few people that were not B&B customers anyway, threatening to not shop at B&B "anymore", and it appears worse than it is.

It boils down to what I said: if you feel the return policy is that important to you, then you should shop where you feel comfortable. Otherwise, it shouldn't be an issue.

Tom
Boards & Bits
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Lee Fisher
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Guys please don't revive the B&B specific discussion here.
Thanks.
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Chris
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BoardsAndBits wrote:
Lemur wrote:
I had mixed emotions about that (now-closed) thread (why do they close threads so quickly ... ah, I lament) ...

On one hand, I saw the point that the policy SHOULD be set up to be from the date of shipping -- it makes almost no sense (to me) that a return policy could be null and void before the recipient receives the package.

Conversely, I see the value of asking for GCs only for gifts, especially if you don't keep gamelists up-to-date (or b/c the gift-givers aren't familiar enough with the tools to track such things).

However, I breathed a sigh of relief, when it was revealed that the return policy only pertained to elective returns (not shipper errors or damages) -- for a while I was thinking, "OK, so I preorder Game A and also add Game B, but the sender ships A and C, and I'm stuck because the policy has already expired?" - but that was eliminated quickly.

So, for me, it's a non-starter. It doesn't increase the odds I'll order from any single store; nor does it deter me from B&B. I've ordered from Tom before, I almost certainly will continue to do so.

I *am* surprised he didn't simply say, "okay, I'll change the policy" -- my impression of him had been such that he would have just done that, especially if it's something that comes up only 3-4 times a year. But I can't pretend to know his business. I *can* say that I think the lengthy exchange didn't help his cause, however; nor did the over-zealous defender .. but, I suspect Tom will be okay, in the long run. No doubt, however, some won't shop there any longer (not only because of the policy, but also due to the protracted discussion and vehement defense).

Hi Chris,

Just one question: what should I change it to? And how long before someone doesn't read *that* policy and is unhappy with it and we have the same situation?

My feeling is that it doesn't matter what I make it, someone will be unhappy. Unfortunately this time it was a non-gamer with a temper that started the ball rolling.

Add to that the few people that were not B&B customers anyway, threatening to not shop at B&B "anymore", and it appears worse than it is.

It boils down to what I said: if you feel the return policy is that important to you, then you should shop where you feel comfortable. Otherwise, it shouldn't be an issue.

Tom
Boards & Bits




I sympathize with you, Tom - and I don't have an answer.You're absolutely right, that there's no way to make everyone happy.

And, a temper is certainly the surest way to ensure there's no happy ending. I can't say I've never lost my temper (who hasn't), but I also know - most of the time - I'm not going to get what I want (the exception is stuff like cable companies, that are vying for your pennies, and neither wants to lose even one customer).

I wasn't suggesting you *should* have changed your policy, though -- just that my impression of you, thus far, would have led me to assume you would've ... if that makes any sense.
 
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CHAPEL
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Thanks for gathering all that information. It is definitely something I've overlooked, only because it's a situation that I haven't had to exercise. But it is good to be aware at which vendors would be more receptive with their exchanges if such scenario's were to arise. Usually, most vendors are great, until that one time that they aren't so great. It's the one time that will get you in the end, and sour your whole experience..
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Personally my biggest concern about ordering from a company that's return policy started ticking down from the order date would be that some companies can be really slow to ship even in stock items sometimes taking a week or more. That said I've never had to return anything I've bought online except damaged items.


On a somewhat off topic note, the company I work for has a return policy that's extreme in the other direction (my company is in no way related to boardgames). We except returns for credit only but we have no time limit. As long as the return is in new condition we'll take it even after 20 or more years. Yes, we've gotten 20 year old returns before...
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cormor321 wrote:
Personally my biggest concern about ordering from a company that's return policy started ticking down from the order date would be that some companies can be really slow to ship even in stock items sometimes taking a week or more. That said I've never had to return anything I've bought online except damaged items.


On a somewhat off topic note, the company I work for has a return policy that's extreme in the other direction (my company is in no way related to boardgames). We except returns for credit only but we have no time limit. As long as the return is in new condition we'll take it even after 20 or more years. Yes, we've gotten 20 year old returns before...

We usually get orders shipped in 1 business day or less for in-stock items.

I'm open to suggestions for my return policy. Any ideas? The problem is obviously the pre-orders. Without them, 14 days would not be an issue.

Tom
Boards & Bits

Edit: Removed comment about what I thought was said but wasn't.
 
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David Sant
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"Returns can be made for any reason within 90 days of date of purchase or 14 days from date of shipping, whichever comes first."

I don't know how far in advance the typical pre-order is made, but it seems like a policy like this would cover all but the most extreme cases. This will allow someone who holds an item to ship with a pre-order to still return it (within 14 days of shipping), but sets a limit (90 days) to prevent the "2nd edition" issue.
 
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Dave Peters
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For what little it's worth...

Because of the cost of shipping (at least as compared to the value of the items), I've never been inclined to return anything to a OLGS. The only time I've ever been tempted to return an object bought online is when the object is (profoundly) defective: typically electronic goods that arrive DoA. Since the games I buy from Boards & Bits arrive in lovely condition, I've never had any cause for complaint.
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BoardsAndBits wrote:
cormor321 wrote:
Personally my biggest concern about ordering from a company that's return policy started ticking down from the order date would be that some companies can be really slow to ship even in stock items sometimes taking a week or more. That said I've never had to return anything I've bought online except damaged items.


On a somewhat off topic note, the company I work for has a return policy that's extreme in the other direction (my company is in no way related to boardgames). We except returns for credit only but we have no time limit. As long as the return is in new condition we'll take it even after 20 or more years. Yes, we've gotten 20 year old returns before...

We usually get orders shipped in 1 business day or less for in-stock items.

I'm open to suggestions for my return policy. Any ideas? The problem is obviously the pre-orders. Without them, 14 days would not be an issue.

Tom
Boards & Bits

Edit: Removed comment about what I thought was said but wasn't.


Certainly not referring to your company as being one that takes forever to ship in stock items.

In your case the policy is alright though it might make me hesitate to preorder from you. One thing you mentioned in the other thread is that you would never make an exception to the policy because it would be unfair to other customers. I think customer's service should be dealt with case by case and you shouldn't worry about being unfair in making occasional exceptions where it makes sense to.
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cormor321 wrote:
BoardsAndBits wrote:
cormor321 wrote:
Personally my biggest concern about ordering from a company that's return policy started ticking down from the order date would be that some companies can be really slow to ship even in stock items sometimes taking a week or more. That said I've never had to return anything I've bought online except damaged items.


On a somewhat off topic note, the company I work for has a return policy that's extreme in the other direction (my company is in no way related to boardgames). We except returns for credit only but we have no time limit. As long as the return is in new condition we'll take it even after 20 or more years. Yes, we've gotten 20 year old returns before...

We usually get orders shipped in 1 business day or less for in-stock items.

I'm open to suggestions for my return policy. Any ideas? The problem is obviously the pre-orders. Without them, 14 days would not be an issue.

Tom
Boards & Bits

Edit: Removed comment about what I thought was said but wasn't.


Certainly not referring to your company as being one that takes forever to ship in stock items.

In your case the policy is alright though it might make me hesitate to preorder from you. One thing you mentioned in the other thread is that you would never make an exception to the policy because it would be unfair to other customers. I think customer's service should be dealt with case by case and you shouldn't worry about being unfair in making occasional exceptions where it makes sense to.

What I was trying to say was that I could not have an exception predetermined for every possible case that could arise (in this case a "gift" exception.

I have worked with people to resolve issues when necessary. And I believe if Chad's dad had taken the time to discuss the issue, we would have arrived at a satisfactory conclusion.

That said, if I have a policy that everyone seems to be following, what reason do I have to make an exception?

Tom
Boards & Bits
 
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James Cowling
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I've never had to return an item that I've bought online. But given that I've spent about $3500 in the last 12 months with online game retailers, it's probably inevitable.

I would expect a supplier to take a return from me at any point, even if that meant that I never got around to opening the shrink wrap for a number of months. Why? Because I expect reasonably accommodating customer service, and I'm not particularly concerned that one transaction might cost the vendor a couple of bucks -- it should be accounted for when budgeting for shrinkage and other loss.

I've got over 20 years of customer service experience, primarily in management, in retail, events and (currently) attractions. You shouldn't be telling clients "no" just because it isn't immediately profitable to do otherwise. Be accommodating, and focus on long-term retention.

In any case. $3500 in the last twelve months online ($1900 with CSI alone), and about the same with my FLG shops. You can bet that none of next year's spending will be with any shop that has a return policy I disagree with, and especially will not be with any shop that seems to take such pride in such policies.

And while we're here: one of the key tenets of social marketing? Know when to shut the **** up.
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