I bought a couple items of clothing recently from a major catalog house, and I wasn’t too pleased with the items. The shorts, although marketed to adult males, were so baggy that they seemed designed for what, in new York City, they call “yutes”. The shirt was of a fairly poor quality material. I did wear, and of course wash, them a couple times, thinking they might improve. When they didn’t I returned them to the seller. I felt bad doing so – after all, they couldn’t re-sell worn and washed clothing, but I wasn’t satisfied with them.
Then it occurred to me that the seller should welcome these returns (and the comments I provided as to why I was returning them). Returns such as these act as a QC check on their materials, styling, and market research. I was actually doing them more of a favor by returning them for a full refund than I would have by simply keeping them.
The lesson: feedback (even product returns) is not an expense — it is invaluable information. Are you paying attention to all the feedback you are getting (including the expensive, inconvenient, feedback that you really don’t want to hear)?