a 30-day return policy

cauliflower

Member
korean
Hello~

I have a problem. I thought about this over and over, but I don't have a clue. Please read below and help me!!!

They instituted a 30-day return policy. One clerk let him(the boss) know that he had just killed their Chistmas sales of pillows and bedding, because those gift items are often purchased more than a month out. The policy was instantly revoked.

What do you think a 30-day return policy is? I can't figure it out, so I can't understand rest of the sentence. Could you explain to me?
 
  • Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    Some stores will let you change your mind, and they will give you back your money.

    "A 30-day return policy" means that if you return the goods to the store within 30 days, the store will give you your money back.

    If you bring the goods back after 30 days, then it is too late.
     

    cauliflower

    Member
    korean
    I guess so.. but I can't understand the next part, because those gift items are often purchased more than a month out.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    I don't really understand it, either.

    When I buy someone a gift, I don't expect that person to take it back to the store for a refund.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The clerk knows that people buying these goods as Christmas presents normally buy them well before Christmas - more than 30 days before Christmas - more than a month out. They buy early because they know that the goods can be exchanged.

    When the store introduced a 30-day return policy (which must have been a restriction on a more generous return policy) the clerk warned that this would no longer happen - and the sales of such goods would be seriously reduced.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Unfortunately, (in my opinion), it has become quite a trend in the U.S. for people to return gifts in the days after Christmas in exchange for store credit, which they then use to purchase something they want more than the gift they were given. It goes against my upbringing to do such a thing, but it's very common.

    Many people consider it part of the "value" of a gift that it is from a store that has a return policy. In fact, the store's cash register will print out a "gift receipt" which identifies everything about the purchase except the price. The gift receipt is wrapped up with the gift in order to simplify the process of returning/exchanging the gift at the store.

    Strange to me... but very, very common. Here's a transcipt of a 2003 CNN story related to this trend and the effect of online purchases on this trend:

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0312/26/ltm.12.html

    I can see where it can be useful in some situations, but it still seems very mercenary to me.

    (off the soapbox now) A 30-day return policy would obviously kill sales at this store more than 30 days in advance of the week after Christmas, since those shoppers who value this returnability of a gift will not purchase before, say, December 1st, or will make their purchase at another store with a more liberal return policy.
     

    cauliflower

    Member
    korean
    aha... I think I'm getting the picture of this. Usually, in my country, they don't use this kind of policy. So I think I'm not used to this concept. But honestly, I think I have to admit my bad math skills, ha! (I know, it's shameful even to mention math about this!)

    Anyway, really thank you. Especially, to JamesM. Your detailed explanation really helped me.
     

    SweetMommaSue

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA/American English
    cauliflower said:
    I guess so.. but I can't understand the next part, because those gift items are often purchased more than a month out.
    Panj explained this quite nicely:
    panjandrum said:
    The clerk knows that people buying these goods as Christmas presents normally buy them well before Christmas - more than 30 days before Christmas - more than a month out. They buy early because they know that the goods can be exchanged.
    I highlighted the corresponding expressions in blue. I hope this helps to clarify the meaning for you, too. :)

    Smiles,
    Sweet Momma Sue
     
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