It’s fishing season at your local sporting goods store and we are all primed. Everyone has been hearing about all the new goodies coming from the manufacturers and is excited to get the new season kicked off. I thought I’d take a few minutes to educate everyone on the proper mechanics of diving headlong into the myriad of tackle, lures, and gear.
It’s been a long off-season for those of us in the northern states and we all want to get back to fishing as soon as possible with some of the new products, and more of the tried and true. I want to pass along some return policy tips to y’all as an employee of a large sporting goods retailer. As you buy all this new stuff you need to remember to retain receipts and packaging just in case you have a need to return any of those items. Most retailers have policies that require the aforementioned to be able to have a smooth return transaction. Make note of all return policies and time lines of the retailer you buy those products from as well. In general, you will see windows for returns in the 30 to 90 day range. It is common to have things returned that either just did not live up to expectations or did not fill a need that was in mind when purchased.
Superior customer service is the goal of every retail store no matter what goods they sell. Be aware that this is a two-way street. If you walk in with your receipt, original packaging, and within the allotted time for returns, you will sail through the process of getting your refund. You will see a big smile from the associate as well. If you do not have all of those prerequisites you should expect to have delays. Don’t be a schmuck to the associate or cashier when they follow procedures such as calling for a manager or tell you they can only give you an in-store credit. It’s your fault, not theirs.
Now to tackle the negative stuff. Don’t walk in with an obviously abused product and wonder why you are being treated like a criminal. Get it through your head now that it is actually criminal activity as you are trying to rip off the store just as if you were shoplifting. Be it known that every person that pulls this type of thing is on camera and I can tell you that there is a database that many large retailers share that has the pictures and stats on those individuals. There are law enforcement task forces in most of the larger cities specifically targeting this type of criminal activity.
Last and definitely not least, if you have an actual gripe about the product you are returning, retailers will bend over backwards to provide superior customer service so that you walk out the door satisfied. They want you to return time and time again. Always be truthful about “why” you are returning an item. Let them know if it just isn’t what you need, or if it’s broken.