Kohl’s starting to re-sale customer returned items

Introduction

I was picking up a vacuum from Kohl’s that I had used in-store pickup this past weekend.  This specific vacuum is rarely stocked in stores, and so I was at first pleasantly surprised that I had an in-store pickup option.

 

Process

I went to customer service, and the CSR was new and wasn’t sure how to do an in-store pickup.  The CSR next to her showed her how, which involved speaking into a headset for someone to go retrieve the item.  It wasn’t as efficient as say Best Buy or Home Depot where they place the items already in the back of the counter (maybe your store is different.)  Anyhow, when the person brought the item to the desk, I noticed a ripped open UPS pouch on the box.  Instantly, I had a bad feeling about this.  I knew I was going to have to return the vacuum.  Anyway, I still went through the motion of the pickup.

 

Customer Return

I started to walk away from the CSR desk, but I wanted to look at the vacuum one last time.  Sure enough, I see a UPS label to a customer with their name and address on the side of the box.  I immediately turned around and returned the item.  I asked if there was another one in stock that they could swap me out, but sure enough, it was the only one in stock.  The senior CSR didn’t try to explain why they are selling me a customer return, but I didn’t probe further.  I just got my money back from the item.

 

Is this a new change?

My coworker who is also a frequent Kohl’s shopper has told me that some of the items he has received in the mail lately have had the boxes opened.  I think it’s due to Omnichannel because stores are now shipping out orders, and if stores are re-selling customer returns, then of course you’re going to get a customer return in the mail.  Look, I’m all for Kohl’s trying to increase profitability, but if you’re going to re-sell a customer’s return, you had better mark it down like Best Buy and Fry’s.  This also explains why we are seeing so many poorly packaged products in the mail from Kohl’s now.

 

Conclusion

So what do we do?  I’m slowly weening myself off of Kohl’s these days.  I have to return half of my orders due to shipment damage or the item was used.  Some items no longer qualify for coupons.  They’ve added shipping surcharges to certain items.   They don’t stock certain items at all anymore.

I’m sure you guys have gotten the damaged boxes lately, but have you gotten a used customer return in the mail?

  • Michael

    It’s funny what retailers and even some second-hand stores price ‘gently used’ items. If I need new, I’ll pay that price; but if something used is priced/displayed at new it feels like I’m being lied to and makes me feel quite a bit less likely to continue to shop at retailer. Discounts for used items are par for the course. I have started to notice second hand furniture stores that are pricing their wares at like 80-90% of retail with noticeable issues. I’ll take my money and buy new at that price then.

    Not sure who buys used if they expected new or are close to new pricing at these places, are people okay with that?

    • Miles per Day

      No one ever should. I’m okay with Amazon Warehouse deals because I know what I’m getting, but if I buy NEW, I expect NEW.

  • Douglas

    Same thing happened to me a few months ago. Was exchanging a damaged shipment. Went there a week or two later for something else and noticed my exchanged one sitting out on the floor.

    • Miles per Day

      Just rolling my eyes… I went to exchange a damaged item and they wanted to give me an in-store customer return. It’s the lesser of 2 evils. I decided to just return it outright. Guess that store now has 2 non-new items.

  • Ken

    Yeah, this has been going on for some time now. I usually get items without any packaging at all thrown into a poly bag and shipped that way. Stores are getting rid of their customer returns by shipping them out to online buyers. It’s a despicable business practice, and Kohl’s is going to lose a lot of customers by doing this. I will usually bring in a poly bag full of crap and dump it onto the returns counter. Next time I’m asking for the store manager to give me a GC for the full value of everything that was damaged instead of fighting for KC and trying to figure out how much they actually owe me.. I’m getting tired of this game they keep playing. What’s your email?

    • Miles per Day

      I’ve told CS once how I didn’t like their new shipping practices. They said the best way is to fill out the customer complaint form and that goes to corporate. If you bitch to the store manager, you’re relying on him to bitch to the regional director and on up the chain. Either route is better than us not speaking up though. Email is vinh@milesperday.com

  • Benjamin Murphy

    I thought you got banned by kohls. How did you get off the ban list?

    • Miles per Day

      Shoot me an email; don’t want to say it publicly.