Sunday, August 16, 2009

╠ Unsustainable Advantage ╣

One thing that I've been thinking about a bit lately is refund policies. A lot of companies have them and it's usually along the lines of 7-14 days after purchase you can still get your money back. Some businesses offers are clearly better than others. My question about this though is how much should you advertise this? As refund policies are generally a cost and if everyone took it up you'd be out of business.

The example I would like to use is EB Games. What they do is offer a 7 Day money back if you finish the game that quick you can bring it back. can rent the game for a week for free. Dodgy? Perhaps. But these are the holes that exist in refund policies.

Normally with loss leaders they are stock items that you can simply run out of. But policies are forever. I've wondered why EB Games haven't taken their policy and tried to make something of it. 'The 7 Day Game Challenge!' Finish a game in seven days and return it to receive a full refund.

The reason I believe it hasn't happened is the loopholes that have to exist in these policies...if you start encouraging people based on this reasoning then all of a sudden EBGames becomes a free rental store.

Refund policies are definitely a confusing one. Just what is the right amount to advertise them? I think it's a flaw with the policy rather than the marketing, but at the moment I just believe there are too many getaway free refund policies. Yes it adds security, but when you can't advertise it right for fear of having it turn on you is that really worth it?

1 comment:

Jono Sumner said...

From my experience, refund policies are becoming more and more strict. Up until about a year ago, if you had purchased or were given an item such as a sunbeam kettle and you wanted to exchange/return it for whatever reason. As long as it was in a 'resaleable' condition we would return it without a receipt. Thus you could purchase an item from K-Mart and return it to Target etc. Now, unless the item is Target branded, you need a reciept to get a refund/exchange.
This might not seem like a big change, but I was speaking to another staff member and about 15 years go Target would give people straight cash refunds for items that we didn't even stock!
Times have changed...