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by Don

An article over at C-Net discusses the fact that many on-line retailers have strict return policies. It says that Best Buy for example has a restocking fee. That appears to be true for some items:

Restocking Fee
A 15% restocking fee will be charged on opened notebook computers, projectors, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, GPS/navigation and in-car video systems. A 25% restocking fee will be charged on special order products, including appliances. These fees apply unless the item is defective or damaged, you receive the wrong item, or the fee is prohibited by law.

But the fact is that if you open it, they cannot sell it as new. If it isn’t broken, then every consumer coming after you will share in the cost of your return because the store will take a hit. Note that the fee does not apply if something is wrong with the item or you received the wrong item. They also offer extended return dates, but note that digital cameras and some other items have to be returned by January 8th. I guess the real message is don’t open it when you receive something until you are sure it is the one that you want! The fee only applies to opened merchandise at this retailer.

2 Responses to “Restocking Fees …”

  1. g-man Says:

    This is a gross oversimplication of the problem. For example, I bought a $900 automotive GPS device from Circuit City ten days ago. The device tells me to turn the *wrong way* down one-way roads, or to make a right turn onto a road that can only be reached by driving through a ditch and across twenty feet of grass. The device simply doesn’t perform as advertised, however to return it (since it technically “works”), Circuit City insists I pay a 15% restocking fee.

    Consumers shouldn’t have to do the manufacturer’s testing for them, and nor should they be required to pay for the privelige of returning an improperly tested product.

    [Yes I would definately consider that “broken” and not subject to the restocking fee. I was unhappy when I went to Best Buy over the holidays. They started my transaction then excused themselves to take a lengthy call while I am standing at the counter. I asked them to please place the call on hold and complete my transaction. The response (from the Manager no less) was that if I were on the phone I would want the courtesy of having them finish the call … well excuse me, but I am standing in front of you purchasing something and what courtesy was I shown? I first emailed and then called to voice my satisfaction, NOT. The rebate process was also not all that smooth. They will “internally investigate” but offer me nothing to compensate me for my time or inconvenience — said the guy from India who handled my call. I told him that his department cannot in fairness be called the customer satisfaction department as they do nothing to satisfy the customer. I am ready to skip over Best Buy for my future purchases. I can get treated like a stranger by far off businesses too and it would have cost less according to I chose to pay almost $60 more to someone with a local operation because I wanted to have someone to go see when I needed them and support my local economy. I may not make that mistake next time.

    In your case, stick to your guns. Don’t give up on that transaction because it isn’t fair. That would be my advice to you. Don]

  2. Marie R.Fischer Says:

    Garmin nuvi 260W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator

    After reading many reviews I purchased the Garmin nuvi 260W from Amazon. Really, Amazon is hard to beat. Sorry, I had to get that out of my system.

    I wanted a basic GPS to give me accurate and dependable directions without having to pay for all the extra bells and whistles. It does just that, and more.

    I live in Florida and received my Garmin nuvi 260W three days after I ordered it. It came with the 2009 software and maps for North America, which required no upgrades or updates.

    The first thing I did, though it was not required, was download customized POI’s from a site recommended by Garmin.

    I’m very pleased with the screen brightness and color and effectively reduced the brightness down to 30% for longer battery life. The voice is a pretty cool feature and it’s what makes this GPS well worth the price. I’m impressed with the directions and the accuracy of the turns, which are right on!

    I’ve read that some people wanted more information in the owners manual, but this unit is so simple and easy to use, most won’t even need the instructions. The touch screen feature works beautifully and is one of the reasons this unit is so easy to navigate.

    Many reviews encourage the reader to use the security locking feature that requires a code to unlock the GPS, in case it is stolen. I agree, because the only way the thief can unlock the GPS is by sending it to Garmin and he won’t get it back if the owner registered it.

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