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Tue Dec 26, 2017, 12:40 PM

There's a good chance your holiday returns will end up in a landfill

Each year, I rail against the commercialism of Christmas. The first time I did was when Bush was asked what we could do to help troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, wars I was against anyway. Bush answered basically that we should keep spending, being consumers, buying things.

Sadly, because of our 'patriotic duty' to consume, every year at this time...WE SPEND MONEY WE DON'T HAVE ON SHIT WE DON'T NEED.

Now, we find out the returns mostly end up in landfills.

Here's the link. I don't have too much more to say because I've been disgusted about this for a long time. But it's sick. Surely in this society we stand for something besides flamboyant consumption?

http://money.cnn.com/2017/12/26/news/retail-returns-landfill/index.html

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Reply There's a good chance your holiday returns will end up in a landfill (Original post)
PatrickforO Dec 2017 OP
gratuitous Dec 2017 #1
cbdo2007 Dec 2017 #2
Victor_c3 Dec 2017 #17
Sen. Walter Sobchak Dec 2017 #3
Hassin Bin Sober Dec 2017 #10
eppur_se_muova Dec 2017 #12
Sen. Walter Sobchak Dec 2017 #14
Sen. Walter Sobchak Dec 2017 #13
crazycatlady Dec 2017 #4
Hassin Bin Sober Dec 2017 #18
crazycatlady Dec 2017 #19
pnwmom Dec 2017 #5
Skittles Dec 2017 #6
csziggy Dec 2017 #7
Grammy23 Dec 2017 #8
zeusdogmom Dec 2017 #9
Texasgal Dec 2017 #11
MineralMan Dec 2017 #15
mercuryblues Dec 2017 #16
brooklynite Dec 2017 #20

Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 02:38 PM

1. Mindless consumerism is the American way

It also provides an easy and convenient entry point for people around the world to hate Americans. Which means that if we stop our mindless consumerism, the terrorists win. We have no choice.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 03:38 PM

2. It is all a loss write off for them...

So they don't have enough to pay as much profits. Ever wonder why something has an MSRP of $49.99 yet no store in town has it for more than $30?? $49.99 is the write off amount when they don't sell or they get returned. It is all a shell game for the brilliant criminals who figure it out.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 10:04 PM

17. Interesting....

It makes me think about Kohl’s and their list prices and ridiculous discounts (and other retailers as well)

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 06:32 PM

3. Dealing with the logistics of returns and unsold merchandise used to be my job

 

Incredibly little of what is destroyed could have been sold or even given away.

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Response to Sen. Walter Sobchak (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 09:53 PM

10. Last year we were finishing out a customer's bathroom.

Either we lost the mounting screws (likely) or the mounting screws for this Kohler medicine mirror cabinet weren't in the box.

No problem, I figured I would call Koehler and have them send screws. They put me on hold for a few minutes and came back to tell me they didn't have screws but would email me a voucher for an entirely new mirror from the big box store.

They said keep the old one. So it's mounted in my bathroom.

They basically tossed a $300 dollar vanity over a few cents in screws.

We just had a replacent toilet tank sent from Duravit. The original had a chip. They didn't want the old one back. I'm pulling the guts for the client to use when the original inevitably needs replacement.

It appears the shipping is more than what they can recoup.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 11:23 PM

12. Our neighbor had that happen with a computer.

They sent her a replacement, and said they would send her a letter on how to return the original. They never did. The "defective" original sat around for months, until she couldn't even remember what was in that box and opened it up to check. Since I've repaired/upgraded a few computers, she gave it to me, not knowing what was wrong with it, and it seems to work just fine. Will become my mom's next upgrade.

I've ordered refurbs online, and yes, shipping is comparable to purchase price, and probably much more than vendor's cost.

Interesting variation: sell a very heavy, known defective product, with the terms of purchase including "buyer pays return shipping". Anvils* from Russia are the textbook example.









*actually known as ASOs (Anvil-Shaped Objects) which resemble anvils in no other respect.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #12)

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 08:16 PM

14. We used to have a mountain of bad Viewsonic monitors at work

 

Because we had something like forty of the damn things they wanted to make special arrangements to retrieve them rather than just having us send them back by UPS. After six months of hounding them they told us they would reimburse us for having them recycled.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #10)

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 08:14 PM

13. Shipping heavy items individually is extremely expensive

 

Most of our returned, distressed or unsold furniture ended up at Habitat for Humanity and the Mormon affiliated equivalent. Unopened flat packs was really the only thing manufacturers took back.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 07:13 PM

4. I used to work the returns desk at a big box

We had no time limit for returns and would take anything back. Anything that was 'damaged' (minor or major) was sent back on the trucks and who knows what happened to them. I'm sure some was landfilled (used underwear that was not washed-- eww).

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #4)

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 10:26 PM

18. Must not have been Home Depot.

They put everything back on the shelf.

A couple years ago I was looking through all their tubs to find one that wasn't scratched. We must have opened 15 boxes.

I finally gave up and called the plumbing supply house -- which I should have done in the first place. The guy at the plumbing supply house said he used to be a manager at HD and said their policy was to keep putting it back till it goes away.

Another time I was buying a Kohler sink. I opened the box and found a big scratch. I had to get one of the guys to get another one from the racks up high. He went to put the scratched one back so I told him not to because it was scratched. He just looked at me like 'whatever', put the scratched sink back, and walked away.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 10:45 PM

19. Kohl's

We'd get worn clothes back 'damaged' all the time.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 07:39 PM

5. The article doesn't support the headline, though it might be true for used or damaged returns.

But items in a condition to be resold are resold, often at deep discounts.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 08:25 PM

6. I only ever give what I know someone asked for / needs

always

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 08:36 PM

7. We no longer give presents pretty much

My family stopped in 2001 after Bush told the country to go shopping. My husband's family has had gift exchanges for years - one gift per adult. Last year they started a "Dirty Santa" exchange - anonymous gifts with an elaborate exchange protocol. We took things that have been in our house for years. We came home with a sun catcher thing that we hung on the porch and a large electric griddle. If we don't use the griddle we will re-gift it.

The children in the families used to get books. This year they got gift cards to a book store, one card for each mother so she can help them select their books.

The other adults I give presents to got gift cards to restaurants. No fuss, no waste.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 08:56 PM

8. We gradually stopped the massive gift exchange over the years.

At some point we drew names. Children drew children. Grown ups drew grown ups. So if a couple brought two gifts, they left with two. And we generally had a dollar limit to keep things even. But still there were hardships for some and a wide economic range between some family members. So while some could easily buy the gifts, it was very hard for others. Plus, just figuring out WHAT to give every year was a pain in the patootie.

So we eliminated the adults and only had kids exchange gifts. That worked for a while. Once you graduated high school you were out of the pool. LOL Then even that sort of faded away as there were fewer kids and the whole family didn’t all come together any more.

So now we don’t do gifts, not even for my husband’s mother and her husband. They need nothing. Oddly enough, this year we bought her a poinsettia plant. Then on a whim, my husband ordered two nice, fluffy throws for them. Then he had second thoughts so he bought each of them nice, Ozark Trail cups that keep cold drinks cold for a very long time and hot drinks hot. So as we were about to give out their gifts, my mother in law’s husband began to loudly complain because someone else had given him a nice, fleece lined jacket with a hood. He was quite rude about it and refused to even say thank you. It was awkward, to say the least. Plus, we found out his brother had given them “nice, fluffy throws” the day before. Which he rolled his eyes and wondered aloud why they gave those to them. So we quietly kept the blankets in the car and gave them just the travel mugs, which puzzled both of them. And even though the poinsettia was sitting in the middle of the table, it seemed to elude my mother in law where it came from and who it was for, even though my husband told her when we walked in!!

On the way home, we vowed never to buy them anything ever again. A nice card will suffice since my MIL keeps cards for decades. LOL.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 09:20 PM

9. My adult kids and I did not exchange gifts this year

Small gifts for the grandchild to unwrap. Santa filled the stocking with a small toy, new spider-man underwear, toothbrush, etc. Mom and Dad put one present for the child under the tree. He also had one from my daughter and one from me. Perfectly happpy. Money we normally spent on gifts went in his college fund. Now granted he is a preschooler and pretty easy to please. But I think this year has set the tone for the future.

It was SO easy getting ready for the holidays. Some baking, some traveling to the kids. Lots of time together hanging out going to the zoo, playing outside, Christmas eve church, getting together with other relatives, etc.

I didn't realize how stressful gift giving was until we stopped doing it.

I highly recommend it.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Tue Dec 26, 2017, 09:56 PM

11. Our gift giving consists

of needs not wants anymore.

IE: I bought my mom a new mailbox because a tree fell on hers and made it hard for her to open it. She's elderly and doesn't have much hand dexterity anymore.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 09:34 PM

15. My wife's family gives gift cards.

Amazon gift cards. I buy my clothes with them. Shoes, too. Always on sale. I haven't paid for any clothing items for years. It's a great idea, I think.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 09:50 PM

16. I told my kids that

throughout the year I will add things to my "buy later" Amazon account. When they want to buy me something, buy there and delete it out. I also promised I would not look at it from Nov on, so they can surprise me.

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Response to PatrickforO (Original post)

Wed Dec 27, 2017, 10:51 PM

20. ...says the person typing his diatribe on a computer that the "consumer industry" provided...

...perhaps your complaint should be addressed to people who buy gifts that people don't actually want. I don't know about you, but all my gifts were welcomed.

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