This morning ShopNBC vendor Toni Brattin, known for her self-tanner and hairpieces, posted a response to our blog about the home shopping network’s warning letter to us.
In case you didn’t read the blog, soon-to-be ShopHQ threatened to suspend our account because we were returning more than 50 percent of the items we ordered. This, despite the fact that the network, like all shopping channels, promises a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Brattin, a veteran of HSN, explained and defended ShopNBC, and presented the viewpoint of the vendors.
Here is what Brattin had to say:
Unfortunately, there are many that abuse and actually scam the service being provided. Because of the lax return policy there are many customers that take advantage and even basically use it as a way to purchase, use it, with full intentions of returning it before they even receive it…it is basically…authorized stealing!
Though this does not happen often, and may very well in some cases may not be the intent, of some customers, it is others. Most cosmetics and the such must destroyed, but the cost to manufacture is real to the vendor. If an excess is being returned from a particular customer, I guess Shop and other shopping channels review those accounts, but the truth is, someone (not the customer) is paying for these items to be manufactured none the less.
As a vendor, we have to “bill in” to the over all average cost of these goods, knowing that money will be returned to customer and nothing to the vendor. I truly feel that most customers return legitimately, and many just need an exchange, But, the truth is, some customers just do not realize the mathematics of average return rate.
It’s kinda like the person at Thanksgiving, that heaps their plate full, and then throws half of it in the trash, leaving others that got none. Most people don’t take advantage of the policy and only have their fair share of returns, but it doesn’t take a mathematician to figure out if a certain customer is always getting more than he/she ever pays for.
I know many people may not realize, but if an item has too many returns, (no matter why), Shop or other channels can and will decide not to offer that item again, simply because they can not buy airtime for an item with too high of a return. Every business has its margins…otherwise they’re out of business.
I don’t know if this helped, but hopefully seeing things from two perspectives, helps!
I love reading reading your blogs! Keep up the great work!
Toni Brattin & Co. Inc
As we said, we are typically returning jewelry, not cosmetics or products that we have nearly used up.
But we appreciate Brattin taking the time to write us.