Critical Thinking

I worked at a small retailer for many years and returns were a big issue. As much as they sold they always seemed to get back just as much. They had a restock fee because of this. So even when they lost, they still gained a little bit. It didn’t help much after you figured in the shipping costs. If they were lucky, they broke even. Probably not though.

Big retailers have to have a more lenient return policy in order to compete with one another. So they get way, way, way more returns than any small business ever would.

But I could never conceive of just how large that number would actually be until I saw it for myself. It’s simply astounding. Overwhelming. Insane. People seem to purchase items with the sole intent of then returining it. I’m sure there’s some money-making scam alive in there somewhere. There has to be.

For all the product that is selling during the holida season, I’m pretty certain more is being retruned. That’s illogical, but then, so is life.

I’m fairly certain we’ve been getting some returns that are for items we don’t carry. Which would be fine if the return were denied. But we’ve actually been given them to put back on the floor.

the entire concept of the retail store is crazy. you drive to this large garage full of stuff. you wander around gathering stuff. then you give them money to let you leave with the stuff. you take the stuff home. you realize it’s shitty stuff you don’t really want. you drive bacfk to the giant garage. you wait in line. you give them back the stuff and get your money returned to you. then you start your search all over again for the stuff which you’re wiling to permanently excchange your money. expect that stuff doesn’t exist in any of these palces. but still you keep looking, because really, what else is there to do?

i’m pretty sure that’s one of Dante’s rings of hell.

Or if it isn’t, he really dropped the ball on that.

stuff… it’s really important. we just don’t know why.


The Saga of Retail Delusion

A couple of years ago I lost my very profitable job that I held for over 12 years. I was really good at it. Everything got done quickly and acurrately for the most part. I was the only person responsible for 6 ecommerce sites and all the data and details that encompassed. There were 3-4 customer service people. 3-6 pickers and packers. But as far as actually running and maintain the websites that were solely responsible for generating the sales that kept all those other people employed, yea, it was just me. I was also responsible for some aspects of marketing and most of the SEO. Yup, a brilliant business plan indeed.

I was just thankful if lasted as long as it did. I consider myself both very lucky and a little bit clever for having managed so nicely for so long.

When I first came to work there it was a complete and utter disaster. Edge of bankruptcy.

It took a few tries, but eventually we hit upon some winning websites.

To be continued….