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December 17, 2019


Personally, I only buy invariant commodities online.
Anything configurable (clothes etc) I buy locally where I can try the stuff on.
Return rate almost zero.

Stu--I certainly understand your approach to getting clothing that fits.

Back in the old days (1960s-1970s), I could find clothing, in Wichita. In the 1980s, when I wore suits to work, I was fortunate enough to live in Albuquerque where there was a wonderful shop that carried tailored clothes for women. Returning to Kansas in 1990, and within a couple of years finding suits and heels did not work very well for climbing into/onto/through airplanes, I failed to find a brick and mortar store that carried tailored styles that I wanted to wear.

I've ordered from Lands' End for many years - starting with tropical weight slacks, cotton dress shirts, and cashmere sweater vests and cardigans. The fit and quality were always right. In retirement, Lands' End still offers some tailored styles; but, the fit and quality are no longer what they once were. Too, I no longer can return items to the local Sears store, as previously was an option. The Sears store in Wichita (actually, there were two) closed several years ago. My old shopping habits die hard.

I think I am getting credit where credit is not due (but my memory sux, so maybe somewhere we did have some sort of conversation on that).I once worked for a clothing retailer in the early 80's. Returns were just put back on the racks as long as they had tags on them. I don't think we took anything back that didn't have tags. Some companies will send untagged returned clothing to 3rd world areas, or to Goodwill or to discount outlets that sell "slightly defective" items. I imagine just the handling is fairly expensive in the scheme of things though.

I buy "refurb" electronics, such as computers, laptops and cell phones on a semi-regular basis. I only get those as the latest release, which obviously someone got new and for whatever reason returned it basically unused. Since I only buy those from well respected companies (or their authorized resellers) I am quite sure that these go thru a robust vetting and testing, which of course costs lots of money.

I rarely buy clothing or shoes online. When I do, it is because I found something that fits well. I just got some more work pants online because I bought some last month from a physical store that I really liked. I do buy quite a bit of other stuff online, but rarely have to return - and that is because the description did not fit the product shipped (floor mats for my Explorer - yeah, they sent me mats for a small car).

Bogie--I didn't know about your retail clothing experience (or don't remember, at least). It was your Brookstone days of which I was thinking. Like you, I've purchased my last two laptops as refurbished equipment. They were very, very reasonably priced and did come from a reputable dealer.

Ah yes, Brookstone. I had completely forgotten about that :)

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