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Returning Trad Gear

Original Post
S T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

I work at a gear shop and had a kid come in the other day to return a full trad rack. Our store policy (like most gear shops) will not take any climbing equipment back even if the tags are still on it. Understandably he was upset and said that this was not stated when he purchased the items. I told him that we have signs in our climbing area saying we don't take returns on the hard equipment and our policy is the same online. Suggested he sell it on here and then he left in a huff. Thought that was the end of it.
Today my boss got a call from his mother (he is a young adult military man) complaining that we would not take her son's gear back. Needless to say we are not taking it back, but we all got a good laugh at the shop...

MojoMonkey · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 66

Hopefully somebody at least explained the reasoning behind the policy, with liability on life safety equipment and that the store would then be eating the cost since they cannot re-sell it. There is a chance he may be more understanding once he thinks that through, versus just hearing "no - you should have read the sign". It isn't your responsibility to do so, but may be more productive.

caughtinside · · Oakland CA · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,450

I think that's the policy most places.  Except REI of course.  You can take your brand new, tags still on it gear back to REI... but they won't resell it.  

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

He's in the military and had his mom call for him? Oy vey!

Roots · · Wherever I am · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 20

^standard policy. Good thing your boss stood his ground...got a call from his mommy? LOL

REI will take it back, but they destroy it. 

S T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
MojoMonkey wrote: Hopefully somebody at least explained the reasoning behind the policy, with liability on life safety equipment and that the store would then be eating the cost since they cannot re-sell it. There is a chance he may be more understanding once he thinks that through, versus just hearing "no - you should have read the sign". It isn't your responsibility to do so, but may be more productive.

We are told to explain at checkout that our policy for climbing equipment is nonrefundable. Generally most of the employees give an explanation as to why as well. 

S T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Tradiban wrote: If the tags are on it and it's obviously unused, why not take it back? Don't know if something was spilled on the webbing?

We can not resell the equipment even if the tags were still on it. Our store policy for life saving or weight bearing equipment is there are no returns. Our concern is how they stored it. Spilled something on the webbing, uv damage, etc....we can't take their word. 

S T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Tradiban wrote: Who says you can't resell it?

Our boss. Gotta follow the rules. 

S T · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Tradiban wrote:

Okay. What is the boss's reason? I don't see any reason why you can't resell unused tagged gear that is returned.

His concern is about how the customer stored it. In this case the guy bought the rack more than a month ago, so who knows where he stored it. UV damage, near chemicals, we just don't know and can't take his word. We would feel pretty bad if we sold a piece of equipment that was previously returned and then something bad happened and they got hurt or worse because of said equipment. 

Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Beta Bunny wrote:

His concern is about how the customer stored it. In this case the guy bought the rack more than a month ago, so who knows where he stored it. UV damage, near chemicals, we just don't know and can't take his word. We would feel pretty bad if we sold a piece of equipment that was previously returned and then something bad happened and they got hurt or worse because of said equipment. 

And then his mom sues the store for $20M for pain and suffering and adds $30M in punitive damages. 

Sure, the suit goes nowhere - after the store spends $100K in legal fees defending itself.
Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 300

Retailers will tell you that they cut all slings and cables/wires, then ship back to manufacturer for refurbishing.

Malcolm Daly · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 380
Jim Turner wrote: Retailers will tell you that they cut all slings and cables/wires, then ship back to manufacturer for refurbishing.

What retailer told  you that?

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,540
Beta Bunny wrote:

We can not resell the equipment even if the tags were still on it. Our store policy for life saving or weight bearing equipment is there are no returns. Our concern is how they stored it. Spilled something on the webbing, uv damage, etc....we can't take their word. 

Meh, kind of an extreme policy, maybe for slings it makes sense, but it's pretty easy to make a good judgement call on these things. 

The likelihood of it being damaged is extremely low. UV wouldn't do anything in a month and you would be able to see UV damage anyway. 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Tradiban wrote:

Meh, kind of an extreme policy, maybe for slings it makes sense, but it's pretty easy to make a good judgement call on these things. 

The likelihood of it being damaged is extremely low. UV wouldn't do anything in a month and you would be able to see UV damage anyway. 

When you open your own gear shop, you can make your own return policies! I look forward to your liberal and generous policies. 

Fehim Hasecic · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 170
FrankPS wrote: He's in the military and had his mom call for him? Oy vey!

That’s understandable, she probably paid for the rack 

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,540
FrankPS wrote:

When you open your own gear shop, you can make your own return policies! I look forward to your liberal and generous policies. 

Jokes on you Frank cuz I did have my own shop and I had the same return policy but often made exceptions based on my excellent judgment skills.

Bossman can make customers do a headstand for a return but that doesn't make it right. Sometimes the boss has to use their brain to ensure excellent customer service.

John Byrnes · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 622
Tradiban wrote: If the tags are on it and it's obviously unused, why not take it back?

I buy a bottle of Tylenol, sneak some poison into it, and then return it.   Ring any bells?

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,540

Wait a sec guys, we haven't shit on Private Pyle enough yet!

Bill Lawry · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,696

Personally, I do not want to buy gear advertised as new at full price that some other patron stored or maybe used for who knows where / how for a month.

Now booty that did not cost me a dime? That I am willing to make a judgment call. At least for that I know I alone “own the call”.

Katia M · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0
Bryan Gilmore · · FLG, AZ · Joined Nov 2005 · Points: 1,225
Roots wrote
REI will take it back, but they destroy it. 

I knew a guy that "destroyed" lots of gear from the REI he worked at. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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