Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

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Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by FletchNYC » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:01 pm

Just curious about proper etiquette regarding purchasing modules from retailers, and then requesting a return. If the store has a thirty day return policy, is it frowned upon to try the module out for a couple weeks, and then if you’re not crazy about it, to return it? There’s usually a restocking fee, plus they charge you for the shipping costs, so I would think it’s ok, but wanted to ask others.

Edit: I should clarify that I’ve never returned a module before. I’m currently using a module that I’ve decided I would like to return, and I’m unsure if it would be proper to do so, or not.
Last edited by FletchNYC on Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by luketeaford » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:11 pm

I would say it's ok and it seems to me like it's a pretty good deal-- these usually become the "demo" units right? I typically buy secondhand modules anyway so it wouldn't bother me.

That said, if you buy a module and don't like it, reselling it yourself is probably easier and slightly more profitable (though with greater risk if no one else wants it)?

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by jingo » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:12 pm

Just dance in their shoes... Would you be happy to handle such behaviour if you have to earn your living this way? I don't think so.

I know it's hard to decide which module to buy, but most modules are really excellently covered on YouTube. And also there is a big used market where you can sell most module with a little loss or read trying fee...

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by oldenjon » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:14 pm

It's fine IMO. One of the most overlooked things in eurorack is how expensive the modules are in relation to other hardware. You can easily drop $200 on a dual VCA that is comparable to a small fraction of the circuitry inside an analog poly synth that costs $1-2k total. Eurorack modules are big investments, and generally aren't available to sample at your local guitar center or similar. I actually think return policies should be a bit more generous.
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by northerntao » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:18 pm

I consider this bad etiquette. Unless there is a mistake with the order, or the module is defective, I wouldn’t consider returning it.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by drxcm » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:19 pm

Bad etiquette for sure. Do your research first!

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by starthief » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:19 pm

Some shops will keep track of how frequently people return stuff, and will consider you a "problem customer" if you do it too much. The point of restocking fees is to discourage that, as well as cover the extra work they have to do as a result.

So I would say: don't feel too bad if you have to return something every once in a while, but if you're using this specifically as a method to try things out or to "rent" items fully intending to return them after a few days, that's kind of scummy.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by oldenjon » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:22 pm

drxcm wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:19 pm
Bad etiquette for sure. Do your research first!
Research often just means word of mouth and jumping on hype trains. Being able to demo a module is extremely valuable in that process, and most people aren't located near shops.
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by Phitar » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:26 pm

I've never done it but if the seller's return policy allows a no restrictions return then hell, why not? Your purchase. Not happy for whatever reason; send it back and get something that provides pleasure. :miley:
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by ignatius » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:29 pm

as a dealer it's a pain in the ass and gets expensive if it happens often. the margins on modules are thin especially when everyone wants 10% off all the time and free shipping. returned modules get sold as "open box" at a reduced price. consider that stores are already buying 1 module of many things that will be in a demo system if they have a store front.

if at all possible you should demo modules in person to make up your mind. if not then watch all the videos and try to make an informed decision.

that being said.. generally.. within a certain time period, a shop will accept a return if the buyer pays for the shipping.. this of course varies by store and they all have their own policies.

a shop would rather keep a loyal customer than lose one over the occasional return so will do what it takes to keep customers satisfied.

also, most experiences i've had w/shops come down to the store generally and genuinely wanting the customer to go away happy w/the thing they purchased as that's just good for everyone.

at modular8 we've loaned demo gear to regular customers we know/trust to try out at home to see if they like it so they can be sure before they buy something.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by Orange » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:32 pm

Like luketeaford mentions, why not reselling it yourself? Or trade with another wiggler?
That said, I don't see any problems when retailers make it possible to try and return a product AND the retailers are transparent about this when they resell the product.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by B0bcat » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:36 pm

Online retailer return policies compensate for the fact that not everybody lives close to a physical store, and that they can potentially operate at lower cost / outcompete physical stores. BUT it’s usually best for everybody to resell yourself at a slight loss
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by BlinkyLights » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:40 pm

Definitely not cool.

It costs everyone.

Stop doing that.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by levelhead3 » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:41 pm

jingo wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:12 pm
Just dance in their shoes... Would you be happy to handle such behaviour if you have to earn your living this way? I don't think so.
this. retail is not rental, so unless a store has explicitly stated they have a "try-before-you-buy" return policy it's not a sustainable practice for them.

returns cannot be sold as new, so the discounted "open-box" reselling price eats in to what is already not a large wholesale markup.

of course most stores want their customers to be happy, and they'll do what they can to make that happen. but they also want to stay in business, so help them help you.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by DCDanno » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:43 pm

starthief wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:19 pm
Some shops will keep track of how frequently people return stuff, and will consider you a "problem customer" if you do it too much. The point of restocking fees is to discourage that, as well as cover the extra work they have to do as a result.

So I would say: don't feel too bad if you have to return something every once in a while, but if you're using this specifically as a method to try things out or to "rent" items fully intending to return them after a few days, that's kind of scummy.
This.

Sure, after doing your research or whatever, at some point you might buy a module you don't get on with. If the shop has a return policy with restocking fee, return it and pay the fee. Or sell it as Jingo said. However, making a habit of this is bad form, and could (should?) get your name on a list. If a shop has a generous return policy and you buy a module or several with the intent to return some or most? That's not cool. What's that saying, if it's bad for the bee, it's bad for the hive? Something like that. Bee cool.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by makesilence » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:48 pm

I wonder what a high percentage of returns would be, in the eyes of a retailer. 5%? 10%? Or is it more based on cost of modules you return than number of returns?

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by drxcm » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:50 pm

oldenjon wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:22 pm
drxcm wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:19 pm
Bad etiquette for sure. Do your research first!
Research often just means word of mouth and jumping on hype trains. Being able to demo a module is extremely valuable in that process, and most people aren't located near shops.
I get that. Believe me. I still think it is bad form.

Where I live there are no shops in the country that have eurorack for demonstrations!
There are often plenty of youtube vids and of course manuals available too.
I can get a very good idea from online resources whether a module will work for me or not.

Thousands of hp later. i’ve never returned anything other than faulty modules
Last edited by drxcm on Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by oldenjon » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:50 pm

B0bcat wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:36 pm
Online retailer return policies compensate for the fact that not everybody lives close to a physical store, and that they can potentially operate at lower cost / outcompete physical stores. BUT it’s usually best for everybody to resell yourself at a slight loss
I think this is generally true. But I also think the anti-return sentiment, policies that discourage returns, and the notion that modules can be sold on the used market probably hurts smaller / lesser-known manufacturers. People are less willing to take a chance on these manufacturers if they're not certain they'll be able to resell or return their modules if dissatisfied. So everyone ends up buying Make Noise, Intellijel, Mutable, etc.
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by FletchNYC » Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:51 pm

BlinkyLights wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:40 pm
Definitely not cool.

It costs everyone.

Stop doing that.
I’ve actually never done this. I’m just asking the question, because I currently have a module I would like to return, but I feel bad about it, so I wanted make this thread and ask if it would be improper.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by rocknrolla » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:11 pm

FletchNYC wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:51 pm
BlinkyLights wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 3:40 pm
Definitely not cool.

It costs everyone.

Stop doing that.
I’ve actually never done this. I’m just asking the question, because I currently have a module I would like to return, but I feel bad about it, so I wanted make this thread and ask if it would be improper.
It's fine, just return it, that's what return policy is for. The bad thing would be to buy modules solely for trying them out and returning. But every once in a while it's not a problem.

Also modules are easiest thing ever to try out, repack and return without any signs of damage/wear for both module itself and packaging so I doubt there is much loss for the shop.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:22 pm

Big retailers? ... sure, returns are no problem as long as you're not one that abuses that policy. Big retailers offer no questions asked returns to be utilized ... if it weren't ok it wouldn't be offered.

Returning stuff to small one/two person businesses that build custom or build to order units? Nope. As in "no test drives" so to speak. Now, I'm talking about buying something custom that you've ordered or was built to specs you spelled out, knowing full well it's a one off unit ... etc .. (you get the picture).
Last edited by Rex Coil 7 on Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by Plumbstone » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:24 pm

I've never bought a module with the intention of returning it but there have been a few which, dispite doing loads of research, were totally underwhelming once they were in the rack so back they went. In the UK there is a statutory return window of 14 days when buying from any online retailer as you don't have the option of trying a product out so I'm sure most UK retailers must factor it in to their margins. Obviously not cool to do it on purpose though.

On the other hand when I was in the market for a new soundcard and couldn't make my mind up, the guy in the shop suggested I buy all three and return the two I didn't want. As I knew two were going back I was incredibly careful how I opened and handled them, I used my own cables and downloadded manuals so all the plastic bags were intact for instance. It worked out great and was really useful to be able to try them out in my setup rather than just on demo in a shop.

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by Rex Coil 7 » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:27 pm

Plumbstone wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:24 pm
I've never bought a module with the intention of returning it but there have been a few which, dispite doing loads of research, were totally underwhelming once they were in the rack so back they went. In the UK there is a statutory return window of 14 days when buying from any online retailer as you don't have the option of trying a product out so I'm sure most UK retailers must factor it in to their margins. Obviously not cool to do it on purpose though.

On the other hand when I was in the market for a new soundcard and couldn't make my mind up, the guy in the shop suggested I buy all three and return the two I didn't want. As I knew two were going back I was incredibly careful how I opened and handled them, I used my own cables and downloadded manuals so all the plastic bags were intact for instance. It worked out great and was really useful to be able to try them out in my setup rather than just on demo in a shop.
Yea, see that was offered to you by the seller ... so no problem with following through with their own suggestions. And you made a good example of a conscientious customer by showing some respect for the seller in taking care with the packing. Good on ya!
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by LunaticSound » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:37 pm

I don't know, how different the situation is in different countries, but from the really big shops in Germany I have also been actively encouraged (as in, it was their idea, not mine) to use the 30 day trial period. So there shouldn't be a problem.

If it's a medium sized shop like Schneiders, I would definitely not do it on purpose, but still feel ok to return a module if it sucks. Never did, though, I want more modules, not less, and they are all amazing :D

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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by Raindeer » Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:43 pm

rocknrolla wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 4:11 pm
It's fine, just return it, that's what return policy is for. The bad thing would be to buy modules solely for trying them out and returning. But every once in a while it's not a problem.
Exactly. It’s your original intentions that are important here. Buying a bunch of modules and figuring you can just return the ones you don’t like is one thing. It is totally different from a one-off realization that what you un-boxed and patched is not what you were expecting.

Forget the return policies though (except insofar as they make what you need to do possible). Just try to be reasonable.

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