return policies http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8092/all en-US 7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/grocery_store_employee_000018778379.jpg" alt="Man discovering retailers with the best customer service" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The idea of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-times-spending-more-will-save-you-money">spending more on quality items</a> that will stand the test of time is a very smart aspect of frugal living. After all, nobody likes replacement or repair costs that can easily be avoided. This idea carries over to retailers as well. Here are seven such retailers that offer such great customer service, that a possible higher upfront cost will easily pay for itself over the lifetime of the product.</p> <h2>1. Zappos</h2> <p>For years, the customer service team at Zappos.com has been leading the way in terms of putting the customer first. If you're not familiar with their website, they sell popular shoes, handbags, and apparel. While their prices may not always be the cheapest, their amazing customer service is what keeps shoppers coming back time and time again.</p> <p>Let's start with their 365-day return policy. If you order something from them, not only will you get free shipping, but you can return items for free for an entire year. Items must usually be in new condition, so feel free to order several sizes or colors, try them on at home, and mail back the ones you don't want at no charge. Also, if you have a problem with your shoes after you've worn them for a while, they've even been known to overnight a replacement pair and refund the entire cost to the customer as well.</p> <h2>2. Nordstrom</h2> <p>Similar to Zappos, Nordstrom also offers free shipping and returns on all orders via their website. The free returns aspect essentially makes shopping on their site risk-free as you can order whatever size and color you want and simply return the items you don't need at no cost to you. But what makes their return policy truly amazing is there's no time limit and returned items can typically be worn. When pressed on this issue, a Nordstrom live-chat operator told me, &quot;From time to time we cannot accommodate a return but we definitely do our best to take care of you and stand behind what we sell, so we completely understand.&quot; So it's safe to assume that as long as the item doesn't show excessive wear, they'll typically take it back with no questions asked.</p> <h2>3. Amazon</h2> <p>In recent years, Amazon has clearly stepped up their customer service game and created many loyal shoppers in the process. Whether it's their seven-day price protection policy on purchases fulfilled by Amazon directly, or a $5 credit to your Prime account if items don't get delivered in two business days, they always strive to put the customer first. Also, many Amazon shoppers aren't aware that they'll overnight a replacement item if yours gets delivered in non-working or damaged condition. In many cases, typically when the items has a value less than $30, they won't even ask you to send back the damaged item as they realize it's an inconvenience.</p> <h2>4. Apple Store</h2> <p>In the tech industry, Apple has taken customer service to a whole new level. What other company has a specific part of their retail location set up to do nothing but help customers with problems they might be having with their products? This is exactly what the Apple &quot;Genius Bar&quot; does and it has created millions of loyal users over the past 15 years.</p> <p>Whether it's with help operating a new device, or help troubleshooting a major problem with your Apple product, the Genius Bar is a great (and free) place to start. They also have the reputation of replacing products on the spot if they can't fix a problem, even if it's beyond the warranty period. Also, by having so many retail locations across the country, it's fairly easy to walk into one today and walk out with your problem solved.</p> <h2>5. Kroger Grocery</h2> <p>Kroger understands that there role in the community goes way beyond selling grocery items. This was best exemplified recently when&nbsp;<a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/why-people-love-kroger-2015-3">after a devastating hurricane</a>, when they were the only grocery store to open their doors the following day, even while mopping standing water out of the aisles. It also doesn't hurt that they pay their employees $14 per hour, on average, well above the industry standard. With that hourly wage, they're able to find and retain employees who are willing to go the extra mile for their customers.</p> <h2>6. L.L. Bean</h2> <p>Do you own an old pair of L.L.Bean boots or clothing item? If you do, you're probably keenly aware of just how much effort they put into creating quality items that stand the test of time. So much effort that they actually stand behind their items with a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.llbean.com/customerService/aboutLLBean/guarantee.html">Lifetime Guarantee</a>. Amazingly, they don't even require a receipt to get a refund or store credit. This level of customer service stems from their founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, who once said that he didn't consider a sale complete &quot;until goods are worn out and the customer still satisfied.&quot;</p> <h2>7. Whole Foods</h2> <p>Whole Foods does a nice job of empowering their employees to make a customer's experience excellent. In the process, they create loyal customers for life. For example, a Forbes columnist recently&nbsp;<a href="https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140317191929-8019905-whole-hearted-approach-to-customer-service-at-whole-foods">documented her experience</a> with a broken cash register at Whole Foods, and subsequent delay in checking out. Not only did the supervisor on shift apologize profusely for the delay, but ended up giving her $50 worth of groceries for free.</p> <p>While some would say that such a gift hurts the bottom-line, it can be argued instead that such a gift has a value way beyond the $50. She now hollers from the mountaintops about the amazing customer service she received &mdash; word-of-mouth advertising that is incredibly powerful and very difficult to put a price tag on. None of that would have happened if Whole Foods didn't empower their employees to exceed customer's expectations.</p> <p><em>Would you be willing to pay more upfront in exchange for strong customer service?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kyle-james">Kyle James</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-awesome-art-of-getting-great-deals-online">The Awesome Art of Getting Great Deals Online</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-youre-being-a-terrible-customer">8 Ways You&#039;re Being a Terrible Customer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-avoid-sneaky-online-price-changes">6 Ways to Avoid Sneaky Online Price Changes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-time-for-summer-shopping-in-europe">Best Time For Summer Shopping In Europe!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping Amazon clothes customer service groceries retail return policies Tue, 05 Apr 2016 09:30:32 +0000 Kyle James 1682550 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Deal With Unwanted Gifts http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-deal-with-unwanted-gifts <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-deal-with-unwanted-gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4214258173_7c4f9c9fe5_z.jpg" alt="opening gifts" title="opening gifts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone has received at least one horrible or laughably useless gift. But what should you do if you receive a gift that you don't want or can't use? Here are seven ways to deal with gifts that don't meet your needs. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wise-bread-gift-guide-gifts-that-save-money">Wise Bread Gift Guide:&nbsp;Gifts That Save You&nbsp;Money</a>)</p> <h2>1. Refuse</h2> <p>OK, this is really more of a pre-emption, and it's a tricky option, but a valuable one. If you have the opportunity to politely turn down an unwanted gift before receiving it, then you can stave off the hassle of finding a new home for it later. If your giver is an understanding type, you can simply describe how you are trying hard not to acquire new stuff in your home. Make sure to express appreciation for the gift (or at least, the thought behind it!).</p> <h2>2. Return</h2> <p>If your giver was kind enough to provide a gift receipt, then you don&rsquo;t have to do much explaining. Just take the gift back to the store and return it or exchange it for something that you want or need. You can even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-can-you-do-with-unwanted-gift-cards">return or cash out most major gift cards</a>.</p> <h2>3. Regift</h2> <p>Some gifts are useful specifically because you have the option to give it to someone else. Perhaps that skull-shaped vase isn&rsquo;t really your cup of tea, but you know a person with more eclectic tastes that would love it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/regifting-a-simple-how-to-guide">Regifting can be tricky</a> &mdash; if both the person who gave you the gift and the person you are regifting it to happen to know one another, then honesty is probably the best policy. Explain to your giver that you know someone who would be incredibly jealous of the gift and ask if it would be OK to regift it.</p> <h2>4. Resell</h2> <p>If the gift is of any monetary value and you can sell it without your gift-giver finding out, then by all means, earn some cold, hard cash on eBay or craigslist. Check out this article on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craigslist-vs-ebay-where-to-sell-10-common-items">where to sell common household items</a>. You can even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-groupon-coupons">sell Groupon coupons</a>.</p> <h2>5. Repurpose</h2> <p>So skinny jeans are in, but your aunt thought you&rsquo;d like a pair of extremely flared jeans. If you can&rsquo;t return them (and can&rsquo;t bear to wear them), <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twenty-five-things-to-do-with-old-jeans">alter the jeans</a>. People still wear jean shorts in the summer, don&rsquo;t they?</p> <h2>6. Refinish</h2> <p>Sometimes, a gift just needs a new coat of paint to make the grade. Chairs can be recovered, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repaint-your-old-furniture-for-a-budget-d-cor-update">furniture refinished</a>, clothing dyed, posters reframed, and brass chandeliers spray painted a brilliant shade of pink and hung in a funky bedroom or dining room. If you&rsquo;ve received a well-used (or simply ugly) gift that has good bones (and you&rsquo;re feeling a bit crafty) consider finding ways to shine it up and use it before getting rid of it.</p> <h2>7. Recycle</h2> <p>Donating unwanted things to Goodwill or any charity of your choice is a win-win. Non-profit organizations are able to fund their operations, and you get a tax deduction for charitable donations. If the unwanted gift is incredibly unique, make sure to donate it to an organization where the giver won&rsquo;t see it!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-deal-with-unwanted-gifts">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/soy-milk-tofu-and-veggie-burgers-for-pennies-anyone">Soy Milk, Tofu, and Veggie Burgers for pennies, anyone?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living Lifestyle Style regifting return policies unwanted gifts Fri, 21 Dec 2012 11:24:31 +0000 Andrea Karim 959574 at http://www.wisebread.com Impulse Shopping: A Controllable Handicap http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/impulse shopping.JPG" alt="marked woman" title="marked woman" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="373" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>A good friend and former client of mine was always cheerfully depressed in our regular financial review meetings. Inevitably at each consultation she had either made no headway on her debt repayments, or even worse had dug herself a little bit deeper into the red.</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Her weakness: impulse shopping. All too often she found herself in a store searching for a black skirt for work, and walking out with a red shirt, blue skirt, three scarves, and two pairs of jeans - but no black skirt. Then off to the next store looking for a coffee table, walking out with bags upon bags of other items she &quot;needed&quot; but didn&#39;t actually need. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>To her, the <em>need</em> was to walk out of a store with bags in her hands. Even if she didn&#39;t find what she wanted, there was some part of her that was satiated from an afternoon spent shopping if she could return home with all sorts of new loot in her possession. You could say her eyes were bigger than her pocketbook. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Guilty Spending</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Inevitably, she would feel terrible about her purchases within a week. But by that time she had ripped all the tags off, used or worn the items, and made them part of her life such that even though they were constant reminders of her inability to afford them, she couldn&#39;t let go of them. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>And in this way my friend passed many debt-ridden years of her life: living amongst rooms upon rooms of &quot;stuff&quot; she didn&#39;t need and couldn&#39;t afford in order to have the satisfaction of a day spent shopping and buying. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><strong>Impulse shoppers:</strong> if this is a tune you know well, you are not alone! There is indeed something strangely satisfying about carrying all those beautiful paper bags out of the store, taking your loot home, and finding a place for that perfect ornament, pair of shoes, or kitchen utensil. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>But if your pocketbook doesn&#39;t agree, there is a solution, which my friend discovered and has been using successfully for years. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Two Day Rule</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Feeling satisfied with the day&#39;s purchases, my friend will carefully set her shopping bags in a corner of her home and <strong>not touch them for two days</strong>. This is a hard and fast rule, not to be broken. As much as she needs what is in those bags, she cannot even look in them for two days. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>After the two days are up, she allows herself to pull the items out of the bags, but <strong>not to take any tags off</strong>. She lays them out for a third day to admire her wares and to truly decide if she needs the items she bought. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>Return Policies</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>The other trick to this scheme is that my friend only buys items from stores with a cash refund policy. Reason being, after the three day trial period, she inevitably returns most of the items she bought on impulse. A few prized possessions might make it through this rigorous process, but if they survive the trial period, she is happy to keep them and absorb the financial consequences of doing so. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><em>I am in no way advocating a shopping spree with subsequent returns of the items purchased as a financial plan or solid financial advice!</em> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>But I will say that my friend managed to dig herself out of a mile-high pile of retail debt by recognizing her weakness for impulse shopping, and using this disciplined approach for managing it in the best way she could. Just like yo-yo diets, using extremes (like stopping something cold turkey) to manage a problem is rarely a viable long-term solution; creativity and a little discipline can be much more effective, and possibly even fun. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/impulse-shopping-a-controllable-handicap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-simple-ways-to-stop-impulse-buying">9 Simple Ways to Stop Impulse Buying</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-shopping-for-savers-6-ways-to-avoid-their-tricky-traps">Supermarket Shopping for Savers: 6 Ways to Avoid Their Tricky Traps</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off">Why Spending a Little More on a Brand Name can Pay Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-effectively-complain-to-the-manager">How to Effectively Complain to the Manager</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping impulse shopping refunds return policies Tue, 01 Jan 2008 00:48:49 +0000 Nora Dunn 1571 at http://www.wisebread.com Why Spending a Little More on a Brand Name can Pay Off http://www.wisebread.com/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/warranty.JPG" alt="waranty" title="warranty" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText">I have always been a fan of buying the less expensive generic version of whatever it is I am in the market for. Running shoes, clothing, electronics, prescription drugs, you name it. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And in many cases, the generic version is just as good and saves a ton of money. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">There are a few cases that I have discovered, though, in which it pays to spend a little more at the outset. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I owned a pair of brand name running shoes that had a great little feature which was an alternative to laces, and I was loved them. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">However after a few months, the lace-alternative mechanism stopped working, and the shoes were rendered all but useless. Since the shoes were well used by that point though, I didn&#39;t even consider the fact that it could be covered under warranty. A friend who was visiting and worked in an athletic shop asked me how I liked the shoes. Needless to say I gave him a piece of mind about the company and their crappy shoes!</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;Well, just return them,&quot; he said. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;I&#39;ve moved all over the country. I&#39;m thousands of miles away from the store I went to, and I don&#39;t have a receipt anyway,&quot; I replied hopelessly. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&quot;That&#39;s okay,&quot; he said. &quot;Just take them into our store. We carry that brand, so we can ship the shoes back to the carrier for you, and they&#39;ll replace them for free. You&#39;ll just have to pay for the shipping since you didn&#39;t buy them at my store originally.&quot; </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Done! A month later, I was wearing the brand new, next-generation of the shoe for the paltry $12 in shipping. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">I&#39;m pretty sure the generic brand version of those shoes wouldn&#39;t have held to that level of service. In fact, I might have gone through two to three pairs of the same shoes in the time it took me to wear in the brand name shoes I still own. And when I calculate the cost at the end of the day, I actually saved money with the brand name shoes. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">That experience opened the doors for me to a world of brand name warranties. You don&#39;t always need to fill out a silly card or register by internet a lot of the time; you simply need to own the product. If it fails, you take it to a store that carries it and politely explain your problem and ask if there is a way they can help you. Alternately, circumvent the store entirely and go straight to the manufacturer. Again for the cost of shipping, you&#39;re likely to end up with a brand new replacement. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Most warranties specify that they will only cover manufacturer&#39;s defects, which is reasonable. But if you look hard you can even find a few items the manufacturer claims are indestructible, for which even wear &amp; tear is covered. And even if the warranty policy states manufacturer defects only, I would challenge you to spend the small amount of time required to see if you can get a replacement anyway. If it can save you the cost of replacing that item, it`s worth at least asking. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">Here are just a few brand names I&#39;ve had experience with that will honour returns and replace damaged (and even just plain worn) goods: </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.rmwilliams.com.au/home.asp?pageid=2E6B299F55B297E8" target="_blank">R.M. Williams</a> - The Australian boot company. If any part of the boot wears for any reason, they will repair or replace the item.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://oakley.com/" target="_blank">Oakley</a> - For sunglasses. Friends of mine have had luck with getting broken frames replaced without question. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.tilley.com/guarantee.asp" target="_blank">Tilley</a> - Specializes in upscale travel wear, and their real specialty is the Tilley Hat - indestructible. So if any of their items wear, just return them. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.thenorthface.com/na/contact-us.html#warranty" target="_blank">North Face</a> - This is the company that replaced my running shoes. Not only that, but a friend of mine had a North Face jacket with a lifetime warranty, and I`ve read stories about others who have received brand new next-generation jackets (to the tune of $500 or more) for the cost of shipping. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><a href="http://www.arcteryx.com/iframe/warranty.aspx" target="_blank">Arcteryx</a> - Another outdoor gear outfitter, with extremely high quality (and high cost) items. I don`t personally have any Arcteryx swag, but others who own it say the warranty is honourable. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">And for Canadians, items purchased at <a href="http://www.mec.ca/splash.jsp" target="_blank">Mountain Equipment Co-op</a> (they ship internationally by the way) are almost always returnable. I have returned punctured water bladders, ripped pants, and defective watches without as much as a blink of an eye from customer service. I don&#39;t even need a receipt, since they have my purchasing history in their computer.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">All this is not to say I am a brand name junkie. I couldn&#39;t care less about designer labels, and you&#39;ll never catch me carrying a $500 (or even $100) designer purse. I choose my brands carefully, based on functionality, price, and customer service.</p> <p class="MsoPlainText">So if you are debating whether or not that brand name item will truly last longer than the generic alternative, consider the warranties available. You may get a lifetime of use out of the initially more expensive item if you play your cards right. </p> <p class="MsoPlainText">&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-spending-a-little-more-on-a-brand-name-can-pay-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. 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