Stores which are fussy about returns

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by leavingthistown, Jan 18, 2022.

  1. Record Seller Feller

    Record Seller Feller Active Member

    Indiana, USA
    There are both cost and copyright issues at play. Vinyl is considered software, and you usually can only exchange software like-for-like. It's kind of an antiquated concept, but if you can prove your copy is defective, the rights-holder can annul the copy without having you send it back.

    Second, and biggest, is cost. I work at a well-known online music seller. Some of our vendors (the distros and even labels/artists themselves) require us to send bad stock back, some will take our word that the item is trash, OR they will ask some kind of proof of the damage. This is NOT necessarily because they don't trust us, or that we don't trust our customers. It's because there is NO SUCH THING as free shipping. Someone is paying for it. If you can show the defect, we don't need you to send it back. And our vendor doesn't need us to send it back to them. That there saves two unnecessary shipments. And at $8-$15 per shipment (real cost), that starts to add up quickly.
  2. leavingthistown

    leavingthistown Forum Resident Thread Starter

    An update:
    Taking a video of the fault was what they wanted in the end, but when they came to authorise a replacement, i asked them if I could take a listen to it first before I sent one of them back, amazon style. I have enough experience of pressing faults to know that I might just end up with a 2nd copy that's exactly the same. They didn't want to do that and so they offered me a refund, which is fair enough.

    In the meantime, I had a second round of these cheap LPs from them with one that was unambiguously scratched across the first minute and a half of the second side and had a nasty click on it. Rather than sending both back, I thought it best to choose my battles. So i kept the mag fields record, which was very cheap and, despite the noise, more or less listenable, esp at a lower volume, and have requested a straightfwd replacement on the other one. I'm not esp bothered about their profit margins - this is a big place who need no tears shed for them and vinyl returns, tho patchy, are something that is available with some distributers - but it's not worth getting a reputation as the guy who returns stuff every five minutes.

    Of the seven records I bought from them in all, three are faulty to a degree that I'm personally not happy with (they did all however cost about £6.66 each in this case, which rather cushions the blow, but that's not usually the case). The other one is one that I already bought from somewhere else when it came out, which was heavily marked and ticky on that copy, and which I sent back already and got a CD to replace it. This new copy is a bit crackly on a couple songs. I guess that it will do but I can't think of any other industry in which product is so consistently dodgy. I don't send things back for bent corners and the like, but I am dumb enough to expect a playable record for my money.

    Much is said about how record buyers should support artists and support stores etc, and I'm a big fan of buying physical product, whatever type it may be. Very little in my experience is made of the fact that buyers get such a consistently poor deal for that tho. It does bug me that I have to return so many records for good reasons, and still end up keeping plenty that ought to have gone back.
    norliss likes this.
  3. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    I suspect it was from a third party seller. You have to be careful because I believe the default option for at least some, if not all third party items is no packaging.
  4. Derek Slazenger

    Derek Slazenger Specs, rugs & rock n roll

    That would have been dslightly more understandable, but this was definitely from Amazon themselves (UK).
  5. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    I wonder why they have that barcode sticker (unless there is no barcode on the LP)?

    Anyway, check to make sure you don't request the no packaging option, which seems to be the default option.
    Derek Slazenger likes this.
  6. FuzzyNightmares

    FuzzyNightmares Forum Resident

    Returns in this field in general seem to be trickier than they need to be. There’s obviously a lot of subjectivity around grading, value etc. but so long as a buyer isn’t doing something sketchy it shouldn’t be such a fight to accept a return and sell again.

    I was at my local shop the other day and grabbed a 60’s jazz record carrying a relatively hefty $75 price tag for this pressing, and it was in immaculate condition besides a few imperfections that he couldn’t recall if they were audible. He told me to take it home, listen to it, and if it was crap just bring it back. It was overall great, but one scratch was audible with every rotation, and just not worth the cost of admission. Brought it back, and got some serious cold shoulder when I asked to return it.

    Another recent Discogs purchase, I reached out to seller once I’d given the product a listen that there was quite a bit of surface noise on one track, and that I was giving the benefit of the doubt with some hairlines and scuffs that weren’t taken into consideration with grading his product NM, but if I couldn’t get rid of the surface noise I wouldn’t be satisfied with his grading. No response for days, today asked for a return as $140 for NM product that grades VG to VG+ isn’t gonna fly, no response still, will see how this goes.

    Feel really bad, tried and failed to get a RSD release for my wife, Portraits of Her, but decided it wasn’t worth the cost of entry at $150+ that it started flipping for when I played it on Spotify and my wife didn’t love the artists. Turns out she remembered me talking about it and ordered off Mercari for $130 for my birthday, meanwhile sealed copies are selling for $50 now. Mercari makes returns impossible without clear damage issues and didn’t have the heart to tell her she overpaid by a lot.
  7. Ken Dryden

    Ken Dryden Forum Resident

    I bought a Sunnyside CD through Bandcamp by The Todd Cochran Trio. When I listened to it, there was an obvious production error, as there was extraneous noise starting around track 12. Rather than bother Bandcamp, I contacted the label directly and was sent a replacement copy. When that one had the same defect, there have been no responses at all to my follow up email.

    This is very disappointing as Sunnyside has been known for high standards.

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