Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

REI Return Ethics?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

REI Return Ethics?

Old 10-01-16, 10:49 PM
  #1  
American Euchre
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
REI Return Ethics?

I just bought a tail light from REI at a pretty sweet price: $40 for a Cygolite 150 lumens. A great value, but I find the side lighting inferior to a 30 lumens Nite Rider.

I believe REI has a 1 year return/exchange policy. I wouldn't return a used tail light after a year. However, I'm thinking about holding on to the tail light to see if I can't get a similarly nice price on a Nite Rider 150 lumens tail light. If so, I would return the cygolite and buy the Nite Rider from REI.

Arbitrarily, I'd be checking on a sale from REI through, say, Black Friday. That's a rather arbitrary, self imposed 2 month return policy. I don't know if I'd even feel comfortable using the tail light, and wouldn't return it at all if there was any noticeable damage: scratches, missing accessory. I MIGHT feel comfortable returning it if it were lightly used, but in pristine condition.

What do you think is a ethical use of the REI 1 year return policy?
American Euchre is offline  
Old 10-01-16, 11:54 PM
  #2  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,130
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1131 Post(s)
Liked 250 Times in 151 Posts
I think REI has factored in that most people don't abuse their return policy which allows them to continue to offer it. If you're unhappy with the light, return it, otherwise, I think it's poor form to use it and return it when you find a better deal.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 12:16 AM
  #3  
2702
Senior Member
 
2702's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Posts: 830

Bikes: 16 Haibike Sdruo Cross SM

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I look at it this way, if you're paycheck to paycheck than go ahead and abuse it cause you know its down to wire, every penny. But if you're doing OK in life don't do it cause its just wrong and you don't need to save every penny out there cause you can.
2702 is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 01:33 AM
  #4  
American Euchre
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think I'm just going to keep it. Too much of a PITA to drive back to the store.
American Euchre is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 06:27 AM
  #5  
rpenmanparker 
Senior Member
 
rpenmanparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 28,682

Bikes: 1990 Romic Reynolds 531 custom build, Merlin Works CR Ti custom build, super light Workswell 066 custom build

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6554 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 32 Posts
You are caught between what you have the right to do and what is right to do. Here, as so often is the case, those are not the same things. Returning the light as soon as you discover that is what you need to do for whatever reason is okay whenever that may occur. Keeping it longer purposely and returning it after that point is not.
__________________
Robert

Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
No matter where I go, here I am...
rpenmanparker is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 06:53 AM
  #6  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 34,064

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 343 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 16292 Post(s)
Liked 5,017 Times in 2,627 Posts
Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Returning the [item] as soon as you discover that is what you need to do for whatever reason is okay whenever that may occur. Keeping it longer purposely and returning it after that point is not.
rpen, makin' me agree with him and stuff.
WhyFi is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 07:06 AM
  #7  
rpenmanparker 
Senior Member
 
rpenmanparker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 28,682

Bikes: 1990 Romic Reynolds 531 custom build, Merlin Works CR Ti custom build, super light Workswell 066 custom build

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6554 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 49 Times in 32 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
rpen, makin' me agree with him and stuff.
And the end isn't even near.
__________________
Robert

Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
No matter where I go, here I am...
rpenmanparker is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 08:27 AM
  #8  
rms13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,517
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 276 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by 2702 View Post
I look at it this way, if you're paycheck to paycheck than go ahead and abuse it cause you know its down to wire, every penny. But if you're doing OK in life don't do it cause its just wrong and you don't need to save every penny out there cause you can.
Return policy is a year. If he returns it within a year it's not abusing the policy. I know someone that works at an REI and people do abuse it like returning 10 year old clothing and camping gear that's falling apart and they still take it back. If you're returning something that's still within the stated policy it's not abuse.
rms13 is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 10:47 AM
  #9  
Shuffleman
Senior Member
 
Shuffleman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,296

Bikes: Colnago CLX,GT Karakoram,Giant Revel, Kona Honk_ Tonk

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 149 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Return policy is a year. If he returns it within a year it's not abusing the policy. I know someone that works at an REI and people do abuse it like returning 10 year old clothing and camping gear that's falling apart and they still take it back. If you're returning something that's still within the stated policy it's not abuse.
Because you "can do" something does not make it right. Rpennmarker already nailed it though.
Shuffleman is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 11:07 AM
  #10  
redfooj
pluralis majestatis
 
redfooj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: you rope
Posts: 4,206

Bikes: a DuhRosa

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 537 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
only god and the internet can judge you
redfooj is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 12:47 PM
  #11  
American Euchre
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
Return policy is a year. If he returns it within a year it's not abusing the policy. I know someone that works at an REI and people do abuse it like returning 10 year old clothing and camping gear that's falling apart and they still take it back. If you're returning something that's still within the stated policy it's not abuse.
That's not abusing the policy, that's ignoring the policy. I'm assuming such customers are refused.

Originally Posted by redfooj View Post
only god and the internet can judge you
Actually, I'm only concerned about REI's opinion. :-)
American Euchre is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 12:59 PM
  #12  
DaveQ24 
Senior Member
 
DaveQ24's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 831

Bikes: Enough plus 1

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 364 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
So what the OP is saying is "can I borrow it for 2 months then bring it back for a refund"?

Not trying to be judgmental OP, but you asked.

Legal, or at least within the rules - return policies are primarily contractual matters - and ethical differ.

Personally I would think it's a little tacky to use it 2 months then return it. Since the OP knows it's not what he wants it should go back ASAP.

The year return policy is great - but ethically I would say use it after the fact if a product is defective. If you just don't like something take it back right away so the merchant can reshelve it or whatever.
DaveQ24 is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 01:02 PM
  #13  
American Euchre
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The product is not exactly what I expected, but I'm keeping it. I like it well enough. It's more an issue of cygo issuing a misleading claim about side lighting than anything else.
American Euchre is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 01:24 PM
  #14  
RoadGuy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,334

Bikes: 89 Schwinn 754, 90 Trek 1100, 93 Trek 2300, 94 Trek 1400 (under construction), 94 Trek 930, 97 Trek 1400

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
REI's Return Policy since it opened was Lifetime Satisfaction Return Warranty. Less than five years ago that was changed to a One Year Right of Return, because of the ABUSE of the Return Policy.

I have personally seen numerous people who buy new camping gear in the Spring, return after heavy use during the camping season (without a legitimate complaint), and use the Refund to Ski gear for the Winter Season, only to return the Ski Gear at the end of the season and buy camping gear with the refund. Those people do the same thing every year. As a result there is very little new money bing put into the system by these people, they are using REI as a Free Loan Store. Like the Auto Parts Stores that Loan Tools for free.

This is morally wrong, regardless of whether it is legitimate as far as store policy goes. The idea behind the policy is to give value to the purchase by making sure that the consumer gets an item that he really wants. Not to load new items to individuals who have no intention of keeping the items in the first place and treat the policy as a Free Load Program.

If you have an item you bought that you don't like after trying it (and I say trying it, not using it for a whole season or a vacation), then go ahead and return and get your money back.

If you simply don't feel like paying for something, then don't buy it in the first place.

Have you tried going to some REI Scratch and Dent (Used Gear Sales)? I found them to be an excellent way to purchase gear at a reduced priced that I want to try. If I don;t like the item, I simply eBay it off, and wait and watch for something else that might work out better.

My primary 2-man backpacking tent is a 12 year old REI Half Dome 2. It's been all over the US, and Canada. I had earlier models of the same tent, and I've bought many, later model tents at REI Used Gear Sales. After trying them out and finding out that I don't like a feature or find flaw/s in the design or materials, I get rid of them.

The Used Gear Sales really work out well for me, as I get to try newer technologies without paying the high price of this season's new toys (which often end up being design or marketing failures). I have a Brunton LED candle lamp that I got at the end of the season that it was introduced at $40, and I paid $10 at a REI Used Gear Sale. If I had known how poor/low the light output was (despite the ads), I would not have paid $10 for it. In the years since then (it was discontinued that first year), the outlet camping places have been selling them brand new for $10.
RoadGuy is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 01:55 PM
  #15  
PaulRivers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 6,378
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 497 Post(s)
Liked 20 Times in 18 Posts
Originally Posted by American Euchre View Post
I think I'm just going to keep it. Too much of a PITA to drive back to the store.
The point of the return policy is that you can buy something without worrying to much that you'll get it home and use it and realize you don't like it.

It would make more sense to me if you just drove back right now, returned the light that hasn't worked well, and bought the new light. If you're thinking about ethics just buy the new light at full price. I mean they have the return policy for a reason.

I would never return something (unless it was still brand new inside it's original packaging) in order to save a few bucks, but I absolutely would return something that had worked poorly - that's why they have the return policy.
PaulRivers is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 02:10 PM
  #16  
FBinNY 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New Rochelle, NY
Posts: 35,964

Bikes: too many bikes from 1967 10s (5x2)Frejus to a Sumitomo Ti/Chorus aluminum 10s (10x2), plus one non-susp mtn bike I use as my commuter

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4362 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 26 Times in 25 Posts
I think the ethics of the situation turn largely on what's in your mind.

It's been my experience that people who are wondering about the ethics of a course of action often (usually?) do so because they already have a sense that it isn't.

If you're genuinely unhappy with then light, return at at your first convenience. If you're genuinely on the fence about keeping it, then think about it a while then decide to either keep it, with the understanding that you still may return it if it fails, or return it now.

In my mind, you're trying to game the system, and I suspect that you agree, which is why you asked in the first place.
__________________
FB
Chain-L site

An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

“Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

“One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.
FBinNY is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 03:07 PM
  #17  
t595
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 177
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 2 Posts
If you have to come to the 41 to ask an ethics question, well I think that you already know the answer
t595 is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 03:28 PM
  #18  
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 4,267

Bikes: Giant Defy, Trek 1.7c, BMC GF02, Fuji Tahoe, Scott Sub 35

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Liked 429 Times in 215 Posts
Originally Posted by American Euchre View Post
Too much of a PITA to drive back to the store.
You could ride your bike you know....
znomit is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 03:33 PM
  #19  
rms13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,517
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 276 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by American Euchre View Post
That's not abusing the policy, that's ignoring the policy. I'm assuming such customers are refused.



Actually, I'm only concerned about REI's opinion. :-)
REI policy is make all customers happy especially if they are members. Most people who bring something that old back are members and they usually give them store credit. The official policy is 100% satisfaction. If you are not happy within a year you have right to return it. It's not 1 year if it breaks or defective, its 100% satisfaction. And returns get resold at the used gear sales which is one of the biggest perks for members.
rms13 is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 05:30 PM
  #20  
ltxi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,719
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 258 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by 2702 View Post
I look at it this way, if you're paycheck to paycheck than go ahead and abuse it cause you know its down to wire, every penny. But if you're doing OK in life don't do it cause its just wrong and you don't need to save every penny out there cause you can.
Oh hell, that there is just rationalization to explain away doing what you view as wrong not being wrong.
ltxi is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 09:27 PM
  #21  
American Euchre
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
REI policy is make all customers happy especially if they are members. Most people who bring something that old back are members and they usually give them store credit. The official policy is 100% satisfaction. If you are not happy within a year you have right to return it. It's not 1 year if it breaks or defective, its 100% satisfaction. And returns get resold at the used gear sales which is one of the biggest perks for members.
It's hard to believe they still take stuff past a year even after changing their policy. Even if it's only for store credit, how can they flip stuff that's badly worn?

Anyway, I went on a ride with the cygolite and it is awesome. All reservations gone. I have to find a simple fix to prop up the light clipped to my saddle bag, but it shouldn't be a huge problem.
American Euchre is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 09:40 PM
  #22  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 6,825

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3568 Post(s)
Liked 746 Times in 507 Posts
Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
REI policy is make all customers happy especially if they are members. Most people who bring something that old back are members and they usually give them store credit. The official policy is 100% satisfaction. If you are not happy within a year you have right to return it. It's not 1 year if it breaks or defective, its 100% satisfaction. And returns get resold at the used gear sales which is one of the biggest perks for members.
And everyone has to realize that REI's policy is nothing more than marketing, founded by some business sense probably established by some quants who also develop actuarial tables for insurance companies. Their policy doesn't derive out of some form of beneficent altruism.
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 11:09 PM
  #23  
American Euchre
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 569
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
And everyone has to realize that REI's policy is nothing more than marketing, founded by some business sense probably established by some quants who also develop actuarial tables for insurance companies. Their policy doesn't derive out of some form of beneficent altruism.
I wonder how commonplace a 100% satisfaction guarantee is for retailers internationally?
American Euchre is offline  
Old 10-02-16, 11:16 PM
  #24  
thenewjs
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 62
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I spent about $160 at REI during their last sale. I bought a cycling bib, gloves and bike stand. I'm ready to return all three. The gloves were by Pearl Izumi, they are already sun bleached and give make my hands numb. I I purchased another brand and I no longer have the pain. They will most deff get those back. The bike stand is cool just bulky for my small DC studio. I bought a air pump that had detachable bike stand that would allow for minor repairs. Im not so sure about the bib, I'm still testing those.
thenewjs is offline  
Old 10-03-16, 01:09 AM
  #25  
FIVE ONE SIX
SpIn SpIn SuGaR!
 
FIVE ONE SIX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
i don't think the OP is abusing the return policy at all, because the OP didn't get the light there with the intention of using it for as long as he was allowed and then return it, he tried it and wasn't happy with it and is going to return it if and/or when he finds one he is happy with...

someone that is abusing the return policy would go into the store and buy the same light with the intention of not keeping it, use it for say 11 and a half months, and then return it. more times than not that same person would rinse and repeat the process, so they'll most likely get another light and repeat the process cause they know they can get away with it. completely different than the OP. after 21+ years of retail management experience, i've seen a LOT of situations like that, the worst one being when i was a SM at PACSUN (who has since filed chapter 11) i had a kid literally take the sneakers off his feet and put them on the counter and said he wanted to return them...
FIVE ONE SIX is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.