No Returns, No Sense

So it’s the day after Christmas, and all through the house, people are stirring…getting ready to return the presents they got yesterday that they already have, don’t want, or just plain suck.

If one of those gifts comes from Barnes & Noble, though, you may be out of luck.

The mega-bookstore accepts returns only if you’ve got a gift receipt.  No slip, no way.

No returns here -- unless you've got a gift receipt.

I’m sorry, but if I were either Mr. Barnes or Mr. Noble — with my long-time core product (actual books) sinking faster than the New York Giants did against Philadelphia — I’d welcome anything that drew customers to my store.

Think about it:  You’re selling books, not designer dresses or silver picture frames inscribed with the recipients’ initials.  You thank the returnee, give him credit — not cash — and sent him on his way.

One of 3 things happens:

  • He forgets about it.  You’ve got another book to sell — pure profit.
  • He uses part of his credit, but not all.  You still come out ahead, when you sell the book he returned.
  • He uses all his credit, then buys several more items he would never have purchased had he not set foot in the store.

But none of that happens if I — I mean, he — can’t return a book I’ve he’s already read.

Don’t try Borders, either.  They’ve got the same anti-customer, anti-profit policy.

3 responses to “No Returns, No Sense

  1. I think I read that Barnes & Noble is going to be purchased by Borders, and this return policy reflects emphasis on improving balance sheet (purchase price) & not on long term customer relations building because they’re not going to need the latter as much as they need the former to be high as possible.

  2. The Dude Abides

    I miss the chairs at B&N where you could actually sit down and read half the book before going to and getting it cheaper.

  3. B&N used to have a fairly liberal policy: If it’s resaleable, we’ll give you a credit equal to the current purchase price. Too liberal, in my opinion, as new titles in excellent condition are fungible, like an unopened bottle of Heinz ketchup. Would you expect to return to Stop and Shop what you bought at ShopRite, without proof of purchase?

    If you want to read and return, go to the library. And if your return is overdue, the fine is just 10 cents a day