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View Poll Results: What's Your Returns Behavior

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36. You may not vote on this poll
  • Reprehensible behavior. I never would do this.

    29 80.56%
  • Eh, when in Rome... I do it occassionally but not proud of it.

    2 5.56%
  • Consumers are King! I'm entitled and do so with no compunction wutsoever.

    5 13.89%
Results 1 to 35 of 35
  1. #1

    Default Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    When these threads surface: "The mailman just delivered my blind bought bottles of x and/or y and/or z... surprise to me! I don't think I like x and/or y and/or z, so I think I'll return them", I gotta say it raises my BP.

    We've all read the accounts from people working retail in the industry. Depending on the reputability of the source etc., most (if not all(?)) returns are not resold. I believe it's reasonable to assume that this behavior drives up the price of our fragrances.... Just how much, who knows?

    So how do y'all feel about it?

    To be clear, I'm not talking about returns of damaged or otherwise defective product. Rather, I'm talking about the behavior of buying bottles without sampling first and returning them because the smell simply does not agree with one's tastes.
    Simplex Sigillum Veri

  2. #2

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Agree - did sampling go out of fashion?
    Wouldn't occur to me to return something unless it was too defective to use anyway.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuNezDeBuzier View Post
    So how do y'all feel about it?

    To be clear, I'm not talking about returns of damaged or otherwise defective product. Rather, I'm talking about the behavior of buying bottles without sampling first and returning them because the smell simply does not agree with one's tastes.
    In this situation I personally think it wrong to return any bottle.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Most shop's in the UK that I know of have a policy of non returns if the fragrance has been used even just once. Other businesses just need to adopt this policy if they are having a problem with too many returns.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    The moral of the story is to sample first.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    If the company takes returns and clearly says so, then I don't see a problem, just like any other item. If the company does not wish to take returns, they should say so. However, with internet orders, most companies take returns because it is difficult to counter a customer's complaint to a credit card company if the item has been returned and signed for. In my experience, in the U.S., most retail venues take returns as long as the merchandise appears to be in the condition it was when it was purchased. Having worked in the retail (not fragrance) industry, it is easier to take a return than have security escort a screaming lowlife out of the building.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    Most shop's in the UK that I know of have a policy of non returns if the fragrance has been used even just once. Other businesses just need to adopt this policy if they are having a problem with too many returns.
    Ditto.

    But once I returned a Frederic Malle to Liberty, because what I purchased smelt remarkably different from both the tester and my memory of an old sample (this was before the restrictions came to light). Although the SA acknowledged the difference, he refused to change it as it was against store policy. Then he proceeded to bullshit me by saying he preferred the smell from the bottle that I purchased. Since then, I haven't bothered buying another fragrance from Liberty but I do make bloody good use of their testers...

  8. #8

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Wouldn't do it. Also not impressed by folks who use a shop's selection of testers as their personal wardrobe. It's all in degrees but it's bad behavior nonetheless.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    I think I'm confused, isn't refunding perfumes within that shop's policy?
    if so and if the customer genuinely doesn't like the perfume, why not return it? Assuming of course that said customer does not have reasonable access to trying before buying.

    for swap/sale:





  10. #10

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kagey View Post
    Also not impressed by folks who use a shop's selection of testers as their personal wardrobe. It's all in degrees but it's bad behavior nonetheless.
    That too.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Never had to return a fragrance but then again, even my blind buys were comparatively satisfactory. Nowadays, I try to limit my blind buys anyway and focus on the scents with at least some basic previous testing.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    I have always determined beforehand whether or not I like a fragrance enough to buy a FB, or even a decant for that matter. Sampling is the way to go.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Selfish and unacceptable!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Down under there is no such policy, unless the product is damaged or the person has a bad reaction to it. Other than that, once its opened its yours and they don't want it back.

    I could never understand why the US has such laws, is it because they are afraid people will sue if they experience a skin reaction? But then, wouldn't they take them back for that reason only? I've heard of people taking them back because they simply don't like it anymore.

    In regard to the moral compass, if the law states you can return it based on any reason, and yours is change of mind- there's nothing wrong with that. Would be handy for those who get pushed into buying by aggressive SA's and having nose fatigue from having testers pushed at you.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Ive done it at Ross dress for Less but felt like a scumbag so I wouldnt do it again.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    I don't really have a moral compass, so I could totally see myself doing that.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    If the policy clearly states returns of used items is permissible, then that's okay.

    Still, blind buying is just that--you are taking a chance you will like it or not. I rarely hate my blind buys as I do my research first. (If I dislike them, relatives get them.)

    It's like buying clothing at a store, deliberately wearing it, and the returning it. Stores permit it, but I am of the opinion it's unethical.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    I am always amazed at how in the US you can buy cosmetics and perfume use it and then just return it.

    In the UK and the rest of Europe you cannot do this at all. Once you open it, that is it.

    Hence why we tested before buying. If you make a mistake you sell it, swap it or just give it away.
    DONNA

  19. #19
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    Post Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Being in Australia I can't return perfume once it's been opened. However I do buy online from the states and they accept returns. There's been a couple of times when I'm pretty sure I've received a return the online store accepted from someone else - no cellophane, grubby box and just a bit too much liquid missing.

    I don't know what the policies are elsewhere but when I worked in retail (not perfume) we tried to resell as many returns as we could. Anyway I tend to suck it up because US online store prices are so good compared to Australian store prices, and the perfume itself is unaffected.

    Even if I can, I don't return perfume that doesn't suit me.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    I only return something if there is damage to the fragrance or the bottle. If I've bought something I don't like it goes on Ebay.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    My policy has always been: once I've opened it, it's mine to use or get rid of in some other way. And since I don't want to get stuck with fragrances I don't like, I use testers, request samples, and generally avoid blind buying.

    Marshall's and TJ Maxx seem to accept returns on perfumes now, since they don't have testers and the bottles are locked in clear plastic boxes to keep people from opening and spraying them. Returns are sold as clearance items. I have not seen any fragrance that interested me at either store since they began locking up the perfumes, but if I did, I would buy it, read up on it, test it if possible at a local store and only then open the box. But if I could not find a tester, I would try it-- and would not feel badly about returning it if I disliked it.


  22. #22

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Primrose View Post
    It's like buying clothing at a store, deliberately wearing it, and the returning it. Stores permit it, but I am of the opinion it's unethical.
    I have to respectfully disagree. If an item is returned after one wear, I wouldn't consider that to be unethical but I certainly would if the item had been worn several times before being returned.

    Disregarding second thoughts, there are many variables involved when returning an item of clothing - many of which were unforeseeable at the time, such as poor stitching, poor material (e.g. the item looking like complete crap after just one wash) and other imperfections missed when first purchased. Sometimes even how you envisaged a newly purchased item working with the rest of your wardrobe can be ill-judged. It's impossible to check every possible aspect of an item of clothing before purchasing, especially when many of the changing rooms are cramped with poor lighting, deceptive mirrors and a relatively hectic atmosphere.

    Fragrances are very different, as you can sample them to your heart's content before making a purchase (provided the tester/sample is the same formulation). You can't do that with clothes and no two identical items (regardless of size and colour) are ever exactly the same.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    I am always amazed at how in the US you can buy cosmetics and perfume use it and then just return it.

    In the UK and the rest of Europe you cannot do this at all. Once you open it, that is it.

    Hence why we tested before buying. If you make a mistake you sell it, swap it or just give it away.
    It used to be like that in the States too. Just like CD's, fragrances could not be returned. Nowadays competition and bad economy have made retailers deperate. I avoid blind buys and what I buy is probably not going to be from a store. I wouldn't return a fragrance unless it's damaged.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    When I eat something in a resturant that I don't care for I have them take it back and bring me something else. What I don't do is eat half of it and then tell them I don't like it. Bottom line is that if they have a return policy and I don't care for it then I'm going to get my money back or get something that I do like. Personally I usually know what I'm buying, but I don't look down upon a consumer that might not be as educated or have the time to sample a fragrance.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    I never return anything based on not liking it. I always bite the bullet and give it away or sell it. The only bottle I returned was a bottle that didn't spray well and was leaking, which I picked up at TJ Maxx.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Quote Originally Posted by donna255 View Post
    I am always amazed at how in the US you can buy cosmetics and perfume use it and then just return it.

    In the UK and the rest of Europe you cannot do this at all. Once you open it, that is it.

    Hence why we tested before buying. If you make a mistake you sell it, swap it or just give it away.
    Yep. You know I'm glad you brought this up DuNezDuBuzier, and it's intersting to hear the variety of views on this subject.

    When I first read about someone returning a fragrance because they didn't like it, (having unwrapped it, opened it and sprayed it to discover that they didn't like it) I was really surprised!! Honestly, really surprised. It would never even occur to me to return a blind buy because I didn't like it. I would accept that I had made a mistake and the consequences would be mine. BTW I very, very rarely blind buy and If I do it would something cheap and interesting, so very low risk.

    I remain intrigued every time I hear of someone returning a fragrance because they don't like it. I had decided that it's perhaps a culture and habit thing. I thought that it may depend where you you live and what the consumer habits are there. But it is interesting that you frame this question in terms of ones moral compass.

    I once recieved a package from a Company who had mailed me the wrong fragrance. They sent me a very expensive fragrance which was almost £100 more than the one that I had ordered. Guess what........ yes. I contacted them and sent it back.

    If I bought a fragrance which was damaged, or if I was confident that there was something wrong with it, I would return it.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trebor View Post
    I have to respectfully disagree. If an item is returned after one wear, I wouldn't consider that to be unethical but I certainly would if the item had been worn several times before being returned.

    Disregarding second thoughts, there are many variables involved when returning an item of clothing - many of which were unforeseeable at the time, such as poor stitching, poor material (e.g. the item looking like complete crap after just one wash) and other imperfections missed when first purchased. Sometimes even how you envisaged a newly purchased item working with the rest of your wardrobe can be ill-judged. It's impossible to check every possible aspect of an item of clothing before purchasing, especially when many of the changing rooms are cramped with poor lighting, deceptive mirrors and a relatively hectic atmosphere.

    Fragrances are very different, as you can sample them to your heart's content before making a purchase (provided the tester/sample is the same formulation). You can't do that with clothes and no two identical items (regardless of size and colour) are ever exactly the same.

    Trebor, I agree with you that clothing that is poorly made when only worn a few times should be returned. Poor workmanship can show after one wearing.

    I am speaking of the "deliberate" use and then return of a item. It's like cheating, IMO. You are not even paying to rent the item.

    Many stores, for this reason, do not allow the return of specialty clothing (evening gowns, evening suits, etc.) because cheapskates then "buy" the dresses, wear them for one evening, with the intention of returning the item. I know of people who have done this.

    As for fragrances, it it important to sample before buying.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    You can return everything everywhere in the U.S. now. Hell, Costco once refunded my in-laws $4000 for a tv after they had used it for 2 years. (They didn't intend to do this; apparently it broke.)

    Having worked in retail and now owning a retail store, I'll just say, times are tough all over, and competition is fierce. I specifically shop for makeup at the stores that allow returns (Sephora and Ulta.) I remember that one of the big department stores (Nordstrom's, maybe?) used to give cash back for unreceipted returns. The SA said that women would come in on their lunch break, return some eye pencils, and use it to buy lunch. Seriously.

    Big stores just write this off as cost of doing business. It is in Sephora's interest to allow you to return fragrances, because you will be more likely to buy, and they bank on the fact that many people are too lazy to make returns. Plus, they can just turn them into testers. If they were losing money on it, they wouldn't do it. Small/independent stores cannot afford to do this, obviously.

    As for raising prices for all, I think that is unlikely; plus, there's nothing you can do about it. You have your moral code, and that is good, but you're not going to bring down the cost of fragrance. You gotta do what you can live with.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    This --->>>
    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    The moral of the story is to sample first.
    I never blind buy and if i do, i'll stick with it than return, it was my fault to begin with, so I will not and don't see myself returning just bcoz a return policy exists...

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    No moral dilemma at all if the retailer policy allows returns for any reason, as some do. Then, the returned item becomes the store's problem, not a problem for the buyer who is simply taking advantage of allowed store policy.
    Last edited by kbe; 30th April 2013 at 05:23 PM.
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  31. #31
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    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Most likely with big retailers like mentioned above, these returns most likely go back to a central DC for return to the manufacturer or distributor as defective return. I highly doubt they are kept at store level to be used as testers. With computerization and inventory control systems, it would be a nightmare to keep track of returns being used as testers.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Exploiting a store's return policy to sample a fragrance for free doesn't seem to be a morally defensible move to me. The fact that the return policy doesn't explicitly prohibit it doesn't mean you should go round taking advantage. At least that's the direction MY moral compass points at...

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    never. that's like biting off a big mac then saying you wanted a double quarter pounder. get my drift

  34. #34

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    Exploiting a store's return policy to sample a fragrance for free doesn't seem to be a morally defensible move to me. The fact that the return policy doesn't explicitly prohibit it doesn't mean you should go round taking advantage. At least that's the direction MY moral compass points at...
    This.

    "Oh I'm entitled to try anything and everything and if I don't like it well that's not MY fault. Why should I have to suffer? First you make me suffer because it's not immediately available to me to try at my leisure, and then you make me suffer the anxiety of a blind buy, and then I suffer because I don't like it. It's not fair. You need to fix it!"

    That kind of ****ing entitelment mentality makes me sick.
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  35. #35

    Default Re: Returns -- Which way does your moral compass point?

    If the source made a special point of "Just try it! You can return it!" I wouldn't see a big moral issue - I would assume that they did the research and that they're taking the bet that the increased sales will make the cost of returns worth it. For example, there's that recent paint commercial that goes out of its way to assure you that if you don't like the color that you chose, they'll give you another color. If they're going to make an IMO silly policy like that, I'm not going to feel bad if I take advantage of it.

    But if it's more a matter of the source having such good customer service that they're not comfortable refusing a return, so that I'm essentialy bullying them into accepting the return, then, yes, that would be wrong of me.

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