Returns (I guess a sorta PSA?)

There are a few things I’m wildly passionate about – kinda pet peevy things that have bugged me forever.

One is people not putting their effing shopping carts back at Harris Teeter, which I’ve mentioned before.  It’s kind of a trigger for me.  Like I wrote into the local paper about it.

The second is returns.  Or why I can’t stand the abuse of return policies.

And I think I’m sort of sensitive to this having worked pretty extensively in retail.  We have a really really generous return policy, and unfortunately. what that means is that sometimes folks really abuse the policy, and use it as an opportunity to use us a a closet.  Which totally blows for us (the retailer) because we don’t always get credit on things returned to us so we take an L.  Some of that stuff is built into the prices.  Some of it isn’t, and it drives prices up.  Not a fun place to be.

So yesterday, a person in a group I’m a part of on mentioned that they got a notice from Amazon because as a runner, they’d been ordering shoes, and sending them back, due to some issues with some foot pain and whatnot.  Which I get, but also, I understand completely where Amazon is coming from.

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Now, Amazon isn’t super transparent about what the magic number is that will get you one of those fun notices, but it seems like by communicating early and asking if everything is okay with your account, they’re sending the message that they get it, but you can’t treat them like a personal shopper.

Which I totally get. I have, we all have, been in a spot where you have to return something because it’s just not working, defective, or not what you thought it was, but when you’re staring at 4, 5, 10 returns in the span of a month, you really need to question if there’s another way you need to start going about purchases.

So I know places like Amazon, Lululemon, and REI cracking down on their return policies is so annoying, but super necessary.  And if you find yourself starting to become a chronic returner of an item, or a category of item, it may be time to switch up the game plan.

Onto happier things!

What are your favorite places with the BEST customer service?

I continue to be impressed by Amazon – I broke my Kindle, and they really were apologetic, and asked what they could do to help me fix it.  I totally ended up buying another because they were so nice to me.

FitBit – I lost the band on the Flex Twice – ended up spending MORE money because of how awesome they were to work with.

Lululemon – I checked in with one of their educators to find some good maternity stuff, and because they know their products so well, they were able to give me immediate word on what would work throughout the pregnancy.  I will spend some money there for sure!

New shoes are important! #runchat

Runner’s world published this staggering number last week that runners who rotate shoes (and I am the queen of the rotation because of my job),. reduce their chance of injury by 39% That’s incredible!

For someone who doesn’t work in running retail, there may be a few factors keeping you from buying new shoes, or buying more to rotate (the best way to get some bang for your buck).

  • “My shoes aren’t even worn out!” I hear this all the time.  And then you ask the customer when they last replaced the shoe.  They’ll swear it was three months ago.  But when you look back in the records, it’s over a year ago.  The official number is this.  Shoes get about 350 miles on them.  Minimalist shoes get even less, about 250.  Shoes naturally start to break down after about a year, so even if the shoe was just sitting in your closet, the shoe has lost some juice.
  • I only wear my shoes to go to the store”.  This logic blows my mind.  If you wear your shoes every day for a year and a half to do your errands, your shopping, your trips to the post office, and your trips to the Y, what do you think is happening to them?  You don’t have to be running marathons to wear your shoes out.
  • Shoes cost too much.”  A good shoe is gonna start at about $110.  And depending on the amount of cushioning, they can climb to $175.  Yes, it’s an investment, but you’re protecting your body from the earth.  Why would you want to pay $60?
  • “I don’t have time to get shoes.”  Take the time to get fitted one good pair.  If you like it, stick with that shoe for a while, at least until the update.  That should give you 9 months to a year of not having to try on shoes and wait on a fitting.

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And even though I’m the person who knows this stuff, it occurred to me at some point a few weeks ago that Austin’s shoes might have been worn out.  He’d been complaining that his IT band was hurting when we ran, so I told him to jump on my foam roller.  And thenI looked down at his feet and realized he was wearing the same Brooks Glycerins I’d gotten him at some point last summer.  We’d been either running or in the gym an average of 5-6 days a week since then, and if that wasn’t enough evidence, the, *ahem* fragrance from the shoes should have given it away.  The shoes had aged out right under my nose (hee hee).

So for about three weekends I badgered him to come down to the store.  He was too busy.  He was eating a sandwich.  He was asleep on the couch.  He couldn’t make it because someone on his fantasy football team was benched.  All sorts of excuses to not take off his shoes.  Finally, finally, on a rainy day last weekend, I cornered him in my kitchen.

“Let’s go right now.  What are you doing right now.”

He agreed, only after he ate a sandwich.  And off to the store we went.  After trying a few things on (the Glycerin had updated and felt a little funny to him), he settled on the Saucony Ride 6, and on a test run later, he reported zero IT band pain.  Win.