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Ron Reid
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Hello:

I recently purchased an item from a magic dealer; the item arrived in the mail, and I was dissappointed to see the quality was extremely poor. The item wasn't defective - just so poorly made, I would be embarassed to use it in my show.

I asked for a refund, and the dealer said they'd allow me to return it for credit toward future merchandise.

Is that fair? What do you think? BTW...I spend a a fair amount of money with this dealer - maybe a thousand dollars or so per year.

Ron
JackScratch
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Caveat Emptor

I wouldn't do business with that dealer anymore.
Ray Haining
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What kind of item are we talking about here?
Ron Reid
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Hi Ray:

It was a large display silk - it was made in India. If I had known it was an Indian made product, I never would have ordered it. It wasn't a real expensive item - about $40.00. Still, I hate to give my money away.

Ron
Jay Are
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Usually if you have a good working relationship with the dealer on a personal level this wouldn't have been a problem. My guy Brent smith at http://www.vanishingrabbit.com has been in this business for quite some time, if I am interested in something that he doesn't feel is worth it he will tell me....
xxx
Vandy Grift
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Milwaukee
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I don't think taking the item back in exchange for store credit is unfair practice. I understand that it's not always what we as customers want. But I think it is a legitimate policy.

It's always good to find out a sellers policy regarding returned merchandise prior to purchase. If you don't like their policy, you can always look elsewhere. And if you inquired in advance,(as I'm sure Ron will do from now on) you won't be surprised if the situation arises.
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
JackScratch
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Carrying an inferior product is not a quality I look for in my retailers. If it's a fluke I want them to go to bat for me. In return for such nobility, they recieve my patronage. That's my version of fair. Business is a deal, it's give and take. In return for having me as a customer, I expect certain treatment. There is no law requiring it, it's just the cost of doing business with me. If a retailer treats me right, I will make a nice supliment for their income. The choice is up to them.
Vandy Grift
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Well, that's very typical of the mindset of many customers. Inferior quality is relative and what may please one person dosen't please another. Most dealers try to keep a variety of different quality products at different price levels to be better able to service a wide range of customers.

It's a lot different when you look at it from the dealers point of view.

I would say "Look, you bought a product, on-line(which is practically sight unseen). I did everything on my end to get you the product (I brought the product in, stored it,advertised it on my site,processed the order when you placed it and sent it out to you). I didn't make this product, and by your own admission the product is not defective, it simply is not what you expected. Now I will gladly take the item back, and give you a credit to spend on anything else you want (and if you don't like that you can return it for another credit). But I've done work here, and I don't think it's exactly "fair" for you ask for your money back and leave me standing here with my **** in my hand while you take your money down the street. Am I entitled to nothing for what I've done. Fair is fair."

Also,

"If the cost of doing business with you is that I might get jerked around and in the end have done all this work and wind up with no sale at all...Well, then yes, please take your business elsewhere."

Vandy
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
JackScratch
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Perhaps I wasn't clear. He seems to feel it was an unfair and/or avoidable deal. I am assuming that he has taken much of that into consideration. If the Retailer feels the customer wants to much and the custome feels the retailer provides to little then everyone wins by the customer taking his business elsewhere. That is, of course, unless the customer finds similar treatment with every other retailer, in which case he may either not do business at all, or start a more customer friendly business of that type and rake in the dough. Many business bank on exceptional customer service, and many customers would rather pay a little exrtra for good service and products.
Vandy Grift
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Absloutely. Ron apparently has a working relationship with this dealer. He says that he spends 1000 dollars a year with him.

Ron probably thinks "Hey I spend a grand a year with this guy, what's the big deal about giving me my cash back."

The Dealer is probably thinking "Hey I took the stupid silk back, he's going to be placing another order soon, because he buys stuff here all the time. What's the big deal about just putting the money towards a future order and save me the trouble of dealing with a refund."

I'm sure Ron will work it out with the guy. But he was just asking our opinions about such a policy. And I stand by my original opinion that exchange of non-defective goods for store credit is fair. I believe that.
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
JackScratch
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I don't see most of that info anywhere in this thread.
Vandy Grift
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Here is what I see. Ron bought something and decided he didn't like it. (it's not defective, he just dosen't like it.) He wants a cash return, the dealer is offering credit. Ron asks if we think that is fair. I believe it is. You, apparently don't. That's the info as I see it.
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
JackScratch
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I think it is fair, but that he has recourse at his disposal. I also see the actual circumstance differently as well. What it seemed to me was that the product was not defective, but of a substandard quality. I like my magic shops to kind of watch out for me here. Moraly, neither the shop, nor he have any obligations. Ultimately he needs to decide if the goods outweigh the bads. That is entirely up to him.
Vandy Grift
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You say you see the actual circumstances differently "What it seemed to me was that the product was not defective, but of a substandard quality." Yes, that's what it seems to everybody. That is exactly what Ron said, "The item wasn't defective - just so poorly made, I would be embarassed to use it in my show."

Being of a lower quality than expected is not the same as being defective and may or may not be treated as such when it comes to returns. Depending on the vendor.

Yes of course he has recourse. He knows his recourse. Ron is simply asking what others think about the policy. Of course the decision is up to him. You have said you wouldn't deal with the vendor again. Good, we got it. You are on record now.
I am also on record and have said why I believe as I do. Will there be anything else?
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Bill Nuvo
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My parents retail store (car parts) had a sign stating "refunds a privelige, not a right." Most stores have this policy where you can exchange the item. Happens a lot at Christmas. This is why you do research before you buy and also why I often prefer brick and morter stores over online. Even most online stores have email or phone #s where you can ask questions.

So the lesson learned. Even when you are dealing with someone you deal a lot with, they are not you and cannot guess you don't want anything made in india. So, use the money to buy something else and make a more informed decision.

The fact that they are willing to exchange when the item is not defective is great. Most places won't.
Ray Haining
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Ron, you are right: $40 is $40, not to be lightly thrown away.

I've gone into this on this forum before. Magic dealers seem to be in a class by themselves. This is because of their "once you learn the secret you're stuck with it" policy. They extend this to other products they sell, as well, whether there is a secret or not, and we as consumers have basically gone along with it.

They seem to have let up a bit on this policy, but most (if not all) will only extend you credit, not refund your money.

Most reputable retailers will refund your money if you are dissatisified with the product you bought. This is just good business practice.

And, mrbilldentertainer, not to impugn your parents, but when it comes to cars, where do you think the term "wheeler dealer" came from?
Bill Nuvo
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No offense taken Ray (you could have said worse and I wouldn't care). My parents store actually went under because he didn't follow his own policy. People will take advantage of you, even "friends" and people you deal with all the time. And since you can't always pick out the good people in the bunch, it is not a good business practice to offer refunds for products that are just not liked. Of course you still inform the retailer of the inferiority of the product.

In this case with the silk, you keep it but use it in another context. Example you get a better made silk with the same colours and then you can use the crappy one to do a cut and restored or burnt and restored silk.

This of course is only my opinion. But as another point, when I go out to a restaurant and don't enjoy a meal or whatever, I don't rant and holler (as it were) and demand my money back. I just don't eat there again. It is like somebody not liking your show and demanding money back even though you did all that work already. Your show may not be for everybody. They should pay you and never hire you again. Why give a refund and still not be hired every again by them? How would you handle someone asking for a refund after the business/work had been done, and really nothing wrong, it just wasn't what they expected...maybe they were expecting David Copperfield?
Ray Haining
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Mrbilldentertainer, God! that a hard name to type right!

I agree about not soliciting businesses where you feel the service or products are not up to snuff.

It just seems that magic dealers are particularly unscrupulous when it comes to pawning off worthless junk to a gullible buying (magic) public.
Marvello
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I think it is very fair.
Never criticize someone else until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you do criticize them, you will be a mile away from them and you will have their shoes.
Bill Nuvo
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Ray, you can just refer to me as Mr Bill if you want. hee hee. Thanks that was funny.

There does seem to be a lot of junk out there. This is why I love the Café. I can do a search on a trick I am interested in and find out reviews before I waste my money. A good example recently was Mental Hit (a cd/song metalism effect). It sounded great from the ad and could fit in well with my SPINUVO show since I use a lot of music. Even though the trick is okay, there are obvious spelling problem in the great looking cd booklet insert which then makes it look crappy. I went to a brick and morter shop that had it in stock and ask if I could see it opened and explained what I had been told. They were glad to open and find out for themselves. Sure enough there were the obvious spelling mistakes. How can you show a trick that has Beatles spelled Beatels. It just doesn't look good.
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