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Builders with no return policy

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Mark Milliron, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Mark Milliron

    Mark Milliron Supporting Member

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    What are your thoughts on builders with no return policy? I recently purchased a brand new pedal on reverb that was sold directly from the builder. And like an idiot, I didn’t check the return policy. I figured, I’m buying directly from the builder, If the pedal doesn’t work out for me, I'm sure I can return it. Well, that was a stupid thought because this builder doesn’t accept returns, and of course the pedal ended up not working out. So now I’m stuck with a “new” pedal that I have to sell used. Honestly a bit pissed about it, and I know it’s my fault that I didn’t check the return policy, but seriously, how does a builder not accept any returns?

    Edit: This is the reason I would have liked to return this particular pedal

    This particular pedal was incredibly noisy with my rig. I honestly thought the pedal was faulty at first, but then I found a few threads on here with other people having the same issue with this particular pedal. They too were using a T-Rex Chameleon power supply, and they discovered that running the pedal on battery or a one spot seemed to resolve the noise issue. So I tried it with a one spot, and while the pedal wasn’t exactly quiet, it was an acceptable amount of noise/hum for a fuzz. Why the pedal is super noisy with my T-Rex is a mystery. I don’t have any major noise issues with the other pedals on my board. I did reach out to the builder and showed him the threads with other people having the same issue and he basically said “That is strange. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.” To the builders credit, he did offer to take a look at the pedal, but after I tested it with a One Spot, I decided it was unlikely the pedal would be found faulty and declined the offer to have it checked out.

    Is it the pedal? Is it my rig? Who knows! I don't have the issue with other gain pedals, and it's not overly noisy when running on a one spot. That being said, I'm not going to run the pedal with separate power to "resolve" the issue, and I'm not going to buy a new power supply for one pedal that doesn't play well on my board.

    Anyway, it didn’t make me feel any better about it when I saw that the builder offered a return to the person in the other thread having the same issue. It is what it is.

    Edit: My initial thinking that it seems crazy a builder doesn't have a return policy has changed. It was stupid to think that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  2. Lung plunger

    Lung plunger Member

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    Why should they take returns, unless it's DOA?

    Returning it 'cus you don't like it, that's all on you. I don't know of any builders, that are direct, that'll take it back for no legit reason.

    Here you go:
    https://www.pedalgenie.com
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
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  3. Mark Milliron

    Mark Milliron Supporting Member

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    Most builders do offer a return policy. If a builder decides not to offer one, they certainly have the right to. I just think it’s odd considering most do. It’s not like I can run to my local guitar center and try out any boutique pedal I want. There aren’t many things you can buy new that don’t have a return policy. It’s just the right way to run a business in my opinion, especially pedals that aren’t widely available to try out.
     
    stanshall likes this.
  4. KramerPacerCarreraGuy

    KramerPacerCarreraGuy Member

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    so you're OK with the builder selling you a "used once pedal" returned by a guy like you

    as new?

     
  5. Mark Milliron

    Mark Milliron Supporting Member

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    If it’s in new condition and fully covered by warranty, absolutely.
     
  6. coltonius

    coltonius Señor Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I suppose it depends on what you’re buying. Without context it’s hard to pick a side.

    Custom job? Absolutely, no returns makes sense.

    Custom run? Again, no returns make sense.
     
  7. drifterphase

    drifterphase Member

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    I think the economics of smaller builders are much different than large scale manufacturers. I wouldn’t expect hand made stuff to come with the same return policies of, say, Boss products.
     
  8. Mark Milliron

    Mark Milliron Supporting Member

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    To name a few builders who do accept returns:

    Wampler
    Analogman
    Walrus Audio
    JHS
    Barber
    Chase Bliss
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
  9. misa

    misa Supporting Member

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    If my job was building pedals, I'd try to not be bothered with people wanting to try/return product. Ideally, there would be a relationship with a retailer to handle that side of things (and often don't charge for shipping like the builder does to boot), but there are plenty of real small builders that don't have that setup either.

    Apart from that, they set a policy and you can choose to buy from them or not. I do see many small builders that don't accept returns, so it isn't uncommon. The flip side is that they probably run out of stock, and if the pedal is in demand, then it is a flipper's party.
     
  10. Mark Milliron

    Mark Milliron Supporting Member

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    I agree 100% but many small builders offer at least a 48 hour return period.
     
    David B likes this.
  11. Radar

    Radar Member

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    Builders should not offer return policies. Only stores should.
     
  12. Mark Milliron

    Mark Milliron Supporting Member

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    I get what you’re saying. It would suck to have to deal with people returning your pedals all the time because they didn’t like it, especially if you’re a small shop, but it’s just part of running a good business imo.
     
    misa likes this.
  13. misa

    misa Supporting Member

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    For sure. It is a balancing act.

    I know I'm hesitant to buy from small builders that don't offer returns. Even after scouring YouTube vids and forum reviews, you never quite know until you hear it in person. So those people may lose some business, but also save time and expense not dealing with the whole return process. Those that offer returns may get more sales their way, but then lose money on the return side.

    I think most of us are used to generous return policies and have come to expect it as the default, but that wasn't always the case and there are other places/cultures that operate differently.
     
  14. Hugo Da Rosa

    Hugo Da Rosa Silver Supporting Member

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    I hear you, and I often do look for things like return policies and warranties when buying direct from a manufacturer. But the fact of the matter is that in a free market economy, builders (as with any business owner) is allowed to offer goods and/or services without the option to return or warranty (so long as it's not defective). The only obligation the owner has to make in this context is that they just need to make it loud and clear that's their policy.

    I think we take for granted how spoiled we might be having been exposed to a free market economy for the entirety of our lives. Take for example this notion of the "customer is always right". This has been a motto passed along for generations and pretty much an engrained in customer service businesses. While best practice would commonly encourage business owners to exercise as much positive customer service as possible to every customer regardless of how difficult they may be, the statement of "the customer is always right" is most definitely not correct and sometimes you do need to put them in their place. Will there be repercussions? Very likely -- things like Yelp has made it so freedom of speech is exercised to its highest extent. But can an owner just as much choose to shut down a customer for being wrong as he can equally not offer a return policy? Yes.

    Not saying your sentiments are necessarily wrong. Just saying that perhaps we take these sorts of things for granted and need to consider the entire context if your question is predicated on what's truly fair.
     
  15. Mark Milliron

    Mark Milliron Supporting Member

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    Couldn’t agree more about your comment on “The customer is always right”. Some customers are 100% wrong, and need to be dealt with accordingly.
     
  16. chandra

    chandra Member

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    I can get the “No Returns” thing...but exchanges surely have to be honoured within a certain period?

    I recently bought a pedal from a builder off reverb and had an issue with the input. It was several months after I had purchased the pedal, but he gladly accepted back the product to work on and return back to me. Incredible service. Small time builder, but he’s won me over as a return/recommending client.
     
  17. hippieboy

    hippieboy Member

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    If it's not defective it's perfectly ok in my opinion to not accept returns, actually I think this should be the norm.
     
  18. Sean413

    Sean413 Member

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    Ya I think it’s silly to expect a return on a didn’t like base...
     
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  19. Mark Milliron

    Mark Milliron Supporting Member

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    So you've never returned something you didn’t like?
     
  20. webs

    webs Supporting Member

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    I think it is very strange that the "I just don't like it" return exists at all. I am surprised that a small builder (or anyone, honestly) is expected to cater to the literal whims of a consumer, to the point where they're supposed to eat the cost of a return after a mutually agreed upon transaction. If some pedal makers want to do that, that's impressive customer service, but it wouldn't be my choice and I don't think it's at all fair to expect it from anyone, certainly not from a low-margin shop selling their stuff direct on Reverb.

    If there is a fault, or if the product is not as described, of course the consumer should be protected. But I think the builder should also be protected from customers who, innocently or not, turn their livelihood into a trial/rental service. A purchase shouldn't be subject to a unilateral takesie-backsie policy - if the purchased product is delivered as agreed upon, that ought to be the end of it.

    In my opinion, returns for "I don't like it" reasons tread uncomfortably close to dishonesty. I understand that in some extreme cases it might be warranted, or offered freely by particularly permissive companies, but in my mind shopping is the evaluative process that happens before a purchase, and the seller shouldn't become responsible for the results of that process after an agreed-upon exchange is completed.
     

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