Sour Shopping (First posted December-29-2006 at 02:59 am)
Sour Shopping (First posted December-29-2006 at 02:59 am)

(More Slow days at work so I got plenty of time to rant...)

I ordered some clothes form a small but well known bicycle retailer, well actually my wife did, based on my Christmas List. I went to this retailer website to get information on the product and found a long useful description of the item I was interested in and decided that was what I wanted. The item came and I open it on Christmas Day, tried it on and immediately noticed it did not fit well. The size was correct but the cut of the item did not fit my body. Packed the thing on its plastic bag and got it ready for returning it.

Since there was no return information on the invoice I went back to the website and got a nasty surprise "XX% restocking fee on all returns", what the f*&k! This is clothing we are talking here, you have to try it to know it will fit and if it does not you need to return it and get ALL your money back (minus shipping of course) On closer examination of the invoice I saw a "Handling fee" of some dollars, again what the f*#k! Why charge your ONLINE clients a handling fee? Why not just add that to actual price of each item, that way I know how much I am really paying for stuff. Needles to say the whole thing left a realy bad taste on my mouth. Will probably never order again from that particular retailer.

If you have a website with or without a shopping cart (ie,. Just a catalog of products where I call in to place the order) you are supposed to pass the saving on to the consumers so they can benefit form doing all or part of the shopping online and you from low cost per transaction/sale. Most successful online retailers provide decent return policies and for the most part no hidden fees. That is one of the very important reasons I buy from them. I am willing to take my business to smaller operations but they need to compete at the same level, in policies and charges, with the larger retailers, no room for sentimental crap here. To me is not just a matter of helping the smaller guy, it is a matter of helping ME and then THEM, so MR/MRS SMALL ONLINE RETAILER GET A GRIP AND THROW YOUR CLIENTS SOME LOVE. Hell with "need to help the little guy" when the little guy does not love me! Nashbar/Performace, REI, and similars here I come again!

BTW, I gave up on most  Brick-&-Mortar bicycle/sports shops as they tend to love their own egos more than my business. They can take their attitude and ...

Which brings me to this: I will try to maintain a list of places where I have or may order stuff from with a description of their return policies and shipping hidden fees (if any). Will see who comes up on top, I know there are some small guys who compete at the same level with the big retailers so it is not imposible to do. This table assumes no special order items.

Retailer / Website Restocking Fee Shipping / Handling Fee Days to return
http://www.aebike.com 15% No (but somewhat high shipping rates) 30 days of purchase
http://www.batteryspace.com 20% No (But very unclear policy) 20 days from Return Authorization (very unclear policy)
http://www.biketoolsetc.com DOES NOT SHOW RETURN POLICY! No (But need to confirm) DOES NOT SHOW RETURN POLICY!
http://www.bikeworld.com No No 30 days of purchase
http://www.cambriabike.com 15% restocking fee may be applied No No specific timeframe given "you may return it for replacement, exchange, or refund"
http://www.coloradocyclist.com No Stupid "Please Call Policy" 30 days of purchase
http://www.excelsports.com No No (but high shipping rates) 30 days of purchase
http://www.jensonusa.com No No (But need to confirm) 30-day from the date of invoice
http://www.nashbar.com No No Not Stated (In my experience EXTREMELY flexible)
http://www.performancebike.com No No Not Stated (In my experience EXTREMELY flexible)
http://www.peterwhitecycles.com 10% $5 on USPS orders 7
http://www.pricepoint.com No No 30-day from the date of invoice
http://www.rei.com No No Not Stated (In my experience EXTREMELY flexible)
http://www.sheldonbrown.com No "Small service charge" "Within a reasonable period of time, as long as it is still in new condition"
http://www.universalcycles.com No No (But need to confirm) 30 days of purchase
http://www.wallbike.com No $1 in some cases 30 days of purchase

 

I wrote this days ago but decided to set it up for "auto-publish" in the future. Most likely I'll be riding when this rant becomes available

(First posted December-29-2006 at 02:59 am)

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