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

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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 4:53 pm

I don't live near a shop and have sold/traded away 126 modules... and returned exactly one (and it was a DIY module sold as "fully tested and working" but wasn't working).

I've often wished there was something like PedalGenie for Eurorack modules -- subscription-based rental like Netflix used to be with DVDs.

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

Post by LeFreq » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:07 pm

I'd say it makes the least sense of all to do this in Eurorack... modules have the highest value retention of basically anything that is ever sold retail. This is especially true here on MW, because we all know how it is. You don't see people complain when someone sells a module at $10 less than new price. My point being that I would sell it here on the marketplace rather than burden the retailer with it. There are very few retailers selling Eurorack that aren't surviving on those razor thin margins. Just my 2 cents, of course.

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

Post by Paranormal Patroler » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:29 pm

This only applies to latest/shiniest modules. Good luck selling older designs.
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by Yes Powder » Mon Jun 07, 2021 5:34 pm

I wouldn't do it unless you're seriously disappointed with the module— and in this wonderful world of internet forums, Youtube videos, and PDF manuals freely available on company websites, there are plenty of resources available that allow you to make informed decisions on your module purchases, giving you very little reason to be seriously disappointed.
As LeFreq said, many Eurorack shops run on razor-thin margins already. Burdening them with having to restock the module which has been devalued since you opened it (and pay shipping costs if they're nice enough to do that) is worse than simply not giving them the business at all.
The few times I've found that I never quite jelled with a module, I just put it on the used marketplace.

And if you're just trying and then returning modules repeatedly thus using them as a free module rental service, then you're an asshole and deserve to have your name made public if/when they finally go under due to financial troubles. </controversial opinion>

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

Post by tumblz » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:06 pm

I did a ton of quick returns at Perfect Circuit and they ultimately made a lot more money off of me than if they had a no-returns policy. Every store sets a return policy that makes the most sense for that particular business. A bad return policy should not be blamed on customers who use the policy. Hardly anyone is using it as a rental service. But yes, people are testing out modules and I do think it should be rewarded with loyalty. For sure, every dollar I got back, I just put it right back into another module. I treated all my returns as store credit because I know they have my back if the module doesn't work out. See how that works well for everyone? Otherwise, I'm hesitant to purchase and I might go with used and then everyone loses the opportunity provided by a generous return policy. Generosity rewarded with generosity.

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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 6:21 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.
Right on.

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

Post by Peng33 » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:23 pm

tumblz wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:06 pm
I did a ton of quick returns at Perfect Circuit and they ultimately made a lot more money off of me than if they had a no-returns policy. Every store sets a return policy that makes the most sense for that particular business. A bad return policy should not be blamed on customers who use the policy. Hardly anyone is using it as a rental service. But yes, people are testing out modules and I do think it should be rewarded with loyalty. For sure, every dollar I got back, I just put it right back into another module. I treated all my returns as store credit because I know they have my back if the module doesn't work out. See how that works well for everyone? Otherwise, I'm hesitant to purchase and I might go with used and then everyone loses the opportunity provided by a generous return policy. Generosity rewarded with generosity.
I just returned my first module, and it happened to be at Perfect Circuit also. I have spent (just checked...) $1100 with them since October of last year, along with one or two devices with them via Reverb that are not accounted for on their website. I know that is not an ungodly large amount, but for a stay-at-home dad with no income to speak of, that is a considerable amount of money. I returned a $99 Dreadbox delay (forget the name of the actual module) and specified the return as store credit, because I knew it would be spent anyway, and it was...about a week and a half later on a $230 module that was a preorder.

So yeah...I do not want to return stuff willy-nilly, but that delay sounded really meh to me, and I had the 1Bit Multitap Delay from Feedback Modules in the mail on the way, and when I received it, there was zero comparison between the two. The Dreadbox just sounded muddy and...not good to my ears.
Last edited by Peng33 on Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:40 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 Nelson Baboon » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:36 pm

I personally am uncomfortable about buying something with the intention of trying it out, planning to return it if i don't like it.

It's kind of a gray area since most stores, to be competitive, have a return policy, but on the other hand yeah - it's a pain for them, and I like to save returns for what i consider legit issues.

But yeah - I returned one expensive item once because I thought it was pretty terrible. It was with a dealer that I had done a huge amount of business with, so I think that we were both ok with it. And then I returned one other expensive item to him because, well, the lit on the item wasn't correct. It didn't do what the site and the manufacturer implied it would do. and then one or 2 items over the years that just didn't work....

maybe i'm just uncomfortable with planning to just try something out. If I were planning to do that, I'd probably make it clear to the manufacturer first and see if they are ok with it.

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

Post by exper » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:43 pm

Bad etiquette IMO. Either buy it (you can often get stuff for 10% off anyway), try it and resell if you don't like it, or find a used one to try. Otherwise, do your research fully. Check forums, videos, etc. The only time I've returned something was because it was broken...
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by Yes Powder » Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:51 pm

tumblz wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:06 pm
I did a ton of quick returns at Perfect Circuit and they ultimately made a lot more money off of me than if they had a no-returns policy. Every store sets a return policy that makes the most sense for that particular business. A bad return policy should not be blamed on customers who use the policy. Hardly anyone is using it as a rental service. But yes, people are testing out modules and I do think it should be rewarded with loyalty. For sure, every dollar I got back, I just put it right back into another module. I treated all my returns as store credit because I know they have my back if the module doesn't work out. See how that works well for everyone? Otherwise, I'm hesitant to purchase and I might go with used and then everyone loses the opportunity provided by a generous return policy. Generosity rewarded with generosity.
Perfect Circuit is in a somewhat different boat, being a major national retailer of not just Eurorack, but fixed-architecture synths/drum machines, MIDI controllers, effect pedals, hifi, DJ equipment, stage-lighting, studio gear, and vinyl. They're a bigger outfit, and therefore take less of a financial hit if someone decides to take repeated advantage of their "generous" return policy than, say, Control in Brooklyn, or Midwest Modular in Minneapolis would.
I still think it's bad form, and any actual need for it can be minimized by doing proper research on the gear you wish to buy.

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

Post by EATyourGUITAR » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:11 pm

I returned a module to perfect circuit because doepfer released a smaller modern version of the same exact module around the same time I purchased the module. I would obviously much prefer the 4HP version over the 8HP version. perfect circuit was very easy to work with. they make you wait 2 weeks before they pay you. they can see what I bought. they know I keep most of what I buy. I would not recommend buying modules with the intention of returning modules but I understand if you accidentally made a mistake in doing research.
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by tdel » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:28 pm

No, with reasonable limitations it's not bad form and you shouldn't feel bad about it. Shops have the right to set their own return policies on non-defective items and you have every right to utilize them.

It's one thing to haphazardly order a bunch of stuff without any prior research or any considered idea of how you'll like it, using a shop's return policies as a substitute for due diligence, but plainly that is not your situation since you bothered to even contemplate this question. Sometimes stuff just doesn't work or click as anticipated.

Example: I bought a R*S stereo mixer a few months ago from Perfect Circuit, but found that the VCA response just didn't work as anticipated; so after carefully researching alternatives and determining that the Frap QSC would likely suit me better, I went ahead and bought one from them too and did a direct comparison at home before returning the R*S. I don't feel the least bad about it since I was able to buy my alternate module directly from them -- also I spent probably >$2k there in the month prior while building out this new case. Had I not done all that recent business or been able to get my desired replacement from them, I might have just resold the module, but under these circumstances I don't see how it's a big deal. I'll happily use them as my go-to retailer in the future out of appreciation for their helpful return policy.

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

Post by lavalamps » Mon Jun 07, 2021 7:43 pm

The really large places won't even financially notice it. Like Thomann and Sweetwater. Feels like a sliding scale as company size shrinks. Avoiding it may help smaller shops so if you want to encourage smaller shops to exists you would hold off.

It goes both ways though. Perfect Circuit once understandable sent me the wrong module (Tain vs Tahn). Buyers are going to occasionally purchase the "wrong module" too.

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

Post by Gringo Starr » Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:01 pm

FletchNYC wrote:
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.
I don't like the idea of returning modules or anything for that matter. I never have returned module but if I bought something that was on the expensive side and it turned out to be a massive disappointment then I might. I bought the Rainmaker used but had I bought it new I would've drop-kicked that thing back over the counter.

I say return the module if you're horribly disappointed with it but not to make a habit of it. If it's a module on the cheaper side maybe consider trading it or selling it yourself and save making a return for a more expensive module that severely disappoints you. Just a thought.
Last edited by Gringo Starr on Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:47 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 FletchNYC » Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:13 pm

Yes Powder wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:51 pm
tumblz wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:06 pm
I did a ton of quick returns at Perfect Circuit and they ultimately made a lot more money off of me than if they had a no-returns policy. Every store sets a return policy that makes the most sense for that particular business. A bad return policy should not be blamed on customers who use the policy. Hardly anyone is using it as a rental service. But yes, people are testing out modules and I do think it should be rewarded with loyalty. For sure, every dollar I got back, I just put it right back into another module. I treated all my returns as store credit because I know they have my back if the module doesn't work out. See how that works well for everyone? Otherwise, I'm hesitant to purchase and I might go with used and then everyone loses the opportunity provided by a generous return policy. Generosity rewarded with generosity.
Perfect Circuit is in a somewhat different boat, being a major national retailer of not just Eurorack, but fixed-architecture synths/drum machines, MIDI controllers, effect pedals, hifi, DJ equipment, stage-lighting, studio gear, and vinyl. They're a bigger outfit, and therefore take less of a financial hit if someone decides to take repeated advantage of their "generous" return policy than, say, Control in Brooklyn, or Midwest Modular in Minneapolis would.
I still think it's bad form, and any actual need for it can be minimized by doing proper research on the gear you wish to buy.
I may have worded the title of this thread poorly, but for the record, I wasn’t actually talking about buying modules without the intention of keeping them. It was supposed to be about buying a module, realizing it’s not the right module for what your trying to achieve, and then wanting to return it. I do thorough research before buying a module, and would never buy anything related to modular without feeling 95% certain I would want to keep it.

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

Post by virtualpt » Mon Jun 07, 2021 8:21 pm

Talk to the retailer. Ultimately, it doesn't really matter what people think here, it is how the retailer feels about that is important. I generally buy from one or two retailers & have developed very good personal relationships with them. They have been happy for me to return some things that I just didn't get on with. Equally I have been happy to accept modules that have been returned by other customers. They have benefitted from thousands of pounds worth of business from me & I have benefitted from the great relationship with them. One retailer that I used in the past was very snotty when I returned something (it had a seriously loud noise floor), legally within the 14 day window (actually the next day). They have never had any business from me since.

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

Post by tumblz » Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:39 pm

If it's such a big deal for the stores, they should do what many stores do and charge a restocking fee. Simple. Then no one has to tie themselves up in ethical knots. Either customers abuse the policy or not. If they do... discontinue the return policy. If they don't... then it's all good! Any store that can't set practical policies is probably dealing with bigger issues than a few customers returning modules.

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

Post by cinnatoastg » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:26 pm

I’ve been told by multiple retailers that it’s not a huge deal as long as it’s not abused. In fact, it’s been offered to me as an option when I was on the fence about a module. Obviously that’s not everyone though. As a former music tech salesman, I would 100% use that technique as well while selling.

If you have a relationship with the retailer there is probably some good will there. Just don’t be a dick.

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

Post by chai baba » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:49 pm

I gave back a module once and got fully refunded. I just didn`t liked the sound and couldn`t find the joy in using it. It was like new and didn`t show any signs of use. And trying it out in your setup at home is something different than merely watching videos. Although videos can cover really a lot. But if I can`t go to a musicshop, because of covid, or because it is a huge seller like musicstore or thomann and quite far away from my place, then i think it is ok to give it back. They don`t have accessible showrooms for me and personel you can directly ask, not just on the phone. So this makes a big difference for me. I wouldn`t consider it with smaller shops, unless i feel, that it is still like new and i don`t want to sell it with a loss on the 2nd hand market. But usually i think a lot about getting a specific module and i mostly don`t keep that backdoor in my mind, that easily helps me giving it back. If the module looks obviously used after a week and you still like to give it back, there should be some cost burdened onto the buyer.

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

Post by hypnoz » Tue Jun 08, 2021 1:57 pm

If your intent is to demo it, then it’s unethical. You bought it, you can go resell it on reverb or wherever if you don’t like it. Why should the seller have to incur a cost for your indecision? Especially given the amount of information available online about modules.

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

Post by Morim » Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:18 pm

I have returned a module once, but I asked the shop before if I could try it out. The module was a power conditioner, which could have helped, but didn't. And power issues are sometimes a bit of voodoo, so it was worth a try...

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

Post by Dogma » Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:29 pm

When I did mixing I always used to wonder at how lucky those in the states where that they could test gear and send it back if they didn’t like it, blew my mind…
Bad etiquette? Depends I guess, with mic pres, compressors and eqs and stuff it isn’t for sure..sweetwater do this I believe as do nearly every other pro stocker
Never even thought about it with any pursuit as in Australia the market is just to small in pro audio - there’s really one dude that imports practically everything and I haven’t ever seen him do it… monopolies eh? :)
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Re: Is It Bad Form To Try Out A Module, And Then Return It?

Post by DallasKnight » Tue Jun 08, 2021 3:49 pm

tumblz wrote:
Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:06 pm
I did a ton of quick returns at Perfect Circuit and they ultimately made a lot more money off of me than if they had a no-returns policy. Every store sets a return policy that makes the most sense for that particular business. A bad return policy should not be blamed on customers who use the policy. Hardly anyone is using it as a rental service. But yes, people are testing out modules and I do think it should be rewarded with loyalty. For sure, every dollar I got back, I just put it right back into another module. I treated all my returns as store credit because I know they have my back if the module doesn't work out. See how that works well for everyone? Otherwise, I'm hesitant to purchase and I might go with used and then everyone loses the opportunity provided by a generous return policy. Generosity rewarded with generosity.
But in many cases an e-commerce store can lose more money in the return of the initial purchase than the profit made on the purchase of a different item so you may not actually be helping the business as much as you think unless youre buying lots of modules for every one you return

I usually buy used anyway but I have decided I didn't want 2 new purchases I past, with both I sold on used for a small loss, I think this is the decent thing to do, if there's enough information provided online to give a clear indication of what the module does then it's your fault not the retailers, ofcourse if the module does not work or sound as advertised then this is irrelevant

As a small retailer in a different industry I can say that the easy return culture being promoted by some bigger companies, often does not help small retailers, ofcourse returns from time to time are essential and should be freely accessible to customers, but there are lots of new young shoppers out there who will buy without researching, thinking or even reading descriptions safe in the knowledge that they can just return without loss, this needs to be discouraged. Retailers do raise prices to compensate for high returns

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

Post by OutstandingBill » Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:20 pm

I'm developing an LFO. The idea originally was to build it as a guitar tremolo pedal, but somebody recently opened a door I had never looked through before. That's when I first saw the world of modular synthesis. My plan is to offer a generous returns policy because I know how important trying stuff out can be, and online sales are the only way for a one man band like mine. I got the return policy idea after a really good experience buying a valve amp online from Artist Guitars.

It's really heartening to hear how much thought everybody is putting into returns, how it affects all concerned, etc.

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

Post by pekbro » Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:58 pm

I never met a module I didn't like. Some took me some time to get on with, but honestly nothing I've
wanted to return because I didn't like it. I'm pretty spot on when anticipating what I am going to enjoy
using, and that's the end of it. I think so long as you are reasonably sure you are not going to return it
because it's a bad fit for you for whatever reason, returns are fine.

Buying something just to demo without really caring if it works or not, is pretty unfair to the vendor imo.
Go down to the store and check something out if you can do that, definitely you would be better off than
someone like me who does not have that option.

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