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So what happens to these power tools being shipped back to manufacture?

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Forum topic by trevor7428 posted 03-16-2016 10:29 AM 2011 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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trevor7428

149 posts in 422 days


03-16-2016 10:29 AM

So when you return a power tool from home Depot and lowes. Used or not, it seems like H.D. or lowes will just ship it back to manufacture 99% of the time. What does the manufacturer do with the used item?

Clean it off, (refurbish) put it in new wrapping and give it back to big box stores as a new item?

Or actually refurbish and sell as a refurbished item?

I ask because I purchased the rigid belt sander. Never used, so wanted to return and buy the rigid Planer that I would actually use. Well I put the untouched sander in original box that got beat up in my back yard. When I brought it to home Depot. The lady asked anything wrong with this? I said nope, never touched, but since the box was beat up she said. I’m just going to ship this back to manufacture, we can’t sell this with the box like this. Then she took a piece of the sander, threw it in the trash right in front of me and said I’ll put the reason, is its missing parts.

That got me thinking, what is the manufacturer going to do with this sander? Replace that part and give it back to home Depot as a new item in new box? But what if I did actually use it? Would they still give to H.D. to sell as new?

Then my planer comes in. Had to order online and ship to my house. Open the box. And you can tell this is a refurbished item. There is touch up paint, yes small but still noticeable and scuff marks from wood a previous owner planed.

I don’t no how I feel about this. When I pay full price for something, I want a new one, not used/ refurbished. I emailed H.D. they said I can return it and get 10% off next one for inconvenience. Is this even worth it? Technically there is nothing wrong with my current planer beside having a previous owner. I just don’t want to go threw the Hassel and get sent another refurbished planer.

So back to my original question. What are the manufacturers doing with these used power tools? Are they supposed to be selling them as new again?

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion


29 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3931 posts in 1954 days


#1 posted 03-16-2016 11:19 AM

It’s probably a little different by manufacturer, and it’s also probably anyone’s guess. But the way it’s been explained to me in the past was that they do check/inspect the tool, replace missing parts, and repair if needed/cost effective. then it’s reboxed (new box or not), marked as a refurb in a permanent way and sold at a discount with a reduced warranty. I know in one case the returns are sometimes used for spare parts….Harbor Freight. I know this because I had to get a part for my hydraulic table and they asked is a used part from a return was OK…in my case it was, and the part didn’t have to come on the slow boat from China. I suspect some stores may put returns out as new, but I doubt if any of the manufacturers do, if they did and it became public knowledge they would have a nightmare in their hands.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Tennessee

2410 posts in 1976 days


#2 posted 03-16-2016 11:25 AM

This policy seems to depend on the manufacturer. And I am not familiar with any consumer law that says they cannot do that.

Sears, for instance for years had the refurbish bin or even stores where they sold things that were returned and repaired in some service center. The items were usually heavily discounted. My first router came out of a refurbish bin at a Sears store of this type in Norfolk, VA when I was on active duty.

I think over the years, as the economy got worse, changes have been made and cost benefit analysis have been jaded more to the “repackage it” mentality. This can be seen heavily in some industries, such as televisions. The biggest returned item in February is the big screen TV. People will buy them on payments to watch the Super Bowl, with every intention of returning it for some trumped up reason the week after. Just go through a Walmart the week after a Super Bowl and you see quite a few TV’s on sale that make no sense – unless you realize they have been watched. They may or may not have boxes, since they were all made in China or Taiwan and new boxes are hard to come by.

I know when I worked for Sony, they had a rather robust repair center right in the factory in New Stanton, PA, and it repaired returned items, ran them down the part of the line that did QC, and boxed them up as new again.

I know that most of the companies I worked for would not repackage, or could not. Vemeer Tractor was a good example, since almost everything they made was worn first time in the field, whether it worked or not.

Catnapper even went as far so returned furniture from retailers that never left their floor, never sold would go to the Catnapper discount stores they maintain for returns and end of run items, or sold to retailers as used or end of run. All heavily discounted.

Obviously, HD still is willing to put used items back in new boxes and sell it as new.
And there is no list that I am aware of, (maybe there is), on policies of various companies.

-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com

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cebfish

129 posts in 2149 days


#3 posted 03-16-2016 11:30 AM

I bought a jig saw at Lowes. When I opened the box the saw had writing on it. When I returned it and talked to manager he did not give a hoot about it. The box had been restrapped at the store. I will not buy another power tool at Lowes

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8239 posts in 2890 days


#4 posted 03-16-2016 02:11 PM

I have heard, don’t know if it’s true or not, that new tools sold at the BORGs (including the blue ones) are specifically manufactured for sale in those stores. If so, are they of lesser quality so as to meet a specific price point?
Don’t know about that, either. But, to be a little safer, I only buy from online places with which I’ve already had good luck. OR, from one of the mom and pop woodworking stores that handle new and refurbished tools.
There are exceptions. I did buy HD’s Rigid oscillating belt/drum sander and have had no complaints.
Another exception: Most of my wrenches, sockets and screwdrivers are from Sears. Also, no complaints

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

423 posts in 586 days


#5 posted 03-16-2016 02:16 PM

The big guys (e.g. Dewalt) use a few outfits to test/repair/sell their stuff. Tool King used to be one, can’t remember the name of the big one doing it now. Have very good luck with refurbished stuff because they seem to be better than factory QC. The big box stores all seem to have their own areas for such stuff…I steer clear.

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TechTeacher04

325 posts in 993 days


#6 posted 03-16-2016 02:33 PM

I have purchased several tools that were refurbished at a huge discount. They usually come in Brown boxes and there is an R stamped in the serial number plate identifying the fact that is is refurbished. 12” Dewalt Chop saw and Dewalt compressor. If it comes in a new box at full price it better be new.

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JayT

4772 posts in 1672 days


#7 posted 03-16-2016 02:49 PM

It s probably a little different by manufacturer, and it s also probably anyone s guess. But the way it s been explained to me in the past was that they do check/inspect the tool, replace missing parts, and repair if needed/cost effective. then it s reboxed (new box or not), marked as a refurb in a permanent way and sold at a discount with a reduced warranty.

- Fred Hargis

This is what happens with the major manufacturers (DeWalt, Milwaukee, etc.) Their dealers then have the opportunity to buy refurb tools at a lower cost and resell accordingly. As a tool buyer, I’ve been able to take advantage of these offers many times and give a customer a perfectly working tool at a discounted price.

In a lot of cases, these tools are what we refer to as “big box rentals”. Customer needs a tool to use once, so instead of doing the right thing and renting it, they go the store, buy one and then return it for full price and get to use it for nothing. The store then sends it back to the manufacturer, who goes through it, tests it and finds nothing wrong, but then has to sell at a discount. The “customer” in this case gets off paying nothing and the retailer and manufacturer are out time, expense and labor dollars. (Sorry, it’s a sore point.)

Anywho, with refurb tools, you may get the one that was used once or you may get one that was used a little harder and had a legitimate problem. The nice part is that even the reduced warranty will cover enough to make sure the tool works correctly—if it’s going to break, it’ll ususally happen pretty soon. For things like pneumatics, they are so simple to repair, that a refurb can be a good money saving proposition.

If you find a name brand tool in the store listed as new when it obviously isn’t, that is on the store or their warehouse. Could be an inadvertent error or not, but it’s not the manufacturer putting a used tool in a new box. For the manufacturers, the repair facilities are not in the same location as the distribution centers, so that kind of error would be almost impossible.

Have very good luck with refurbished stuff because they seem to be better than factory QC.

- teejk02

In most cases, this is true. The new tools get a very perfunctory test to make sure they work by an assembler. Refurbs get a much more extensive test by a repair tech to ensure they are functioning correctly in every aspect.

-- "Good judgement is the result of experience. A lot of experience is the result of poor judgement."

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DirtyMike

450 posts in 363 days


#8 posted 03-16-2016 03:46 PM

I have seen many used tools at HD sold as new. I was told that if the tool wasn’t defective and the box was in good shape they will tape it up and put it back on the shelf. after I returned my wife’s band saw for being used i wrote used on the boxed with a sharpie. That is the good and bad about big box stores, you can buy a flooring nailer do a job with it and return it for any reason. Always open the box and inspect the tool before leaving the store.

View Gart's profile

Gart

16 posts in 878 days


#9 posted 03-16-2016 05:51 PM

Not that I am 100% positive but many items from “orange” (or WM) get shipped out to an auction house that sells returns by the pallet.

Here in D/FW, one has to be careful when considering buying items off of Craigslist. One of the auction houses for “orange” goods is located here in the Metroplex. Many of these items are listed as “new, took out of box for photos”. Really? You think I’m going to believe that? However if you know what you’re looking at and the possible problems associated, you may be able to get something serviceable for a decent price if you work at it.

Was considering a Ridgid 4512 that was posted and asked the lister: “Is this a returned item from somebody that you’re selling? I don’t want to experience the same problems somebody else has?” Answer: “Yes, it is a returned item.” End of me considering ads that are “new”.

Not sure about other store policies or if this is something that is more local/regional.

Gart

View ste6168's profile

ste6168

250 posts in 633 days


#10 posted 03-16-2016 06:15 PM



Not that I am 100% positive but many items from “orange” (or WM) get shipped out to an auction house that sells returns by the pallet.

Here in D/FW, one has to be careful when considering buying items off of Craigslist. One of the auction houses for “orange” goods is located here in the Metroplex. Many of these items are listed as “new, took out of box for photos”. Really? You think I m going to believe that? However if you know what you re looking at and the possible problems associated, you may be able to get something serviceable for a decent price if you work at it.

Was considering a Ridgid 4512 that was posted and asked the lister: “Is this a returned item from somebody that you re selling? I don t want to experience the same problems somebody else has?” Answer: “Yes, it is a returned item.” End of me considering ads that are “new”.

Not sure about other store policies or if this is something that is more local/regional.

Gart

- Gart

But how do you know the first person had problems? More often than not, just as the superbowl example above, people buy things they can’t afford for that one time use they needed, then take advantage of the return policy, and send it back. Nothing wrong with it, they just don’t need it anymore, and when they do, they will turn around and do the same thing next time.

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7479 posts in 1468 days


#11 posted 03-16-2016 06:24 PM

I worked in the tool rental dept for almost 8 years at one of the big orange box stores, and I can assure you they no longer send their returns “back to the manufacturer”. All of the stores are now serviced by the closest store that has tool rental in it. The tools are sent “store to store” to the tool rental store. Then the techs diagnose the problem and they have to order any replacement parts needed. The lady that took the piece out and threw it away would have gotten fired if she was caught doing that, because when the tool rental repair store orders the replacement piece, the store that owns the tool pays for the repair.

When the parts come in the tool is repaired and returned to the original store to be sold as “refurbished”. They are SUPPOSED to engrave “Refurbished” on the repaired tool and sell it at a discount.

And yes, we saw PLENTY of tools that had obviously been used for a job and then returned with absolutely NO repairs needed. But since the customer said “The tool didn’t perform as it should have” the store takes it back.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Gart's profile

Gart

16 posts in 878 days


#12 posted 03-16-2016 07:08 PM


But how do you know the first person had problems? More often than not, just as the superbowl example above, people buy things they can t afford for that one time use they needed, then take advantage of the return policy, and send it back. Nothing wrong with it, they just don t need it anymore, and when they do, they will turn around and do the same thing next time.

- ste6168

I have more faith in my fellowman that they aren’t abusing the privilege of the return policy. I’m more apt to believe things get returned due to a problem than someone who uses/returns.

View jonlruss's profile

jonlruss

97 posts in 574 days


#13 posted 03-16-2016 07:39 PM



Not that I am 100% positive but many items from “orange” (or WM) get shipped out to an auction house that sells returns by the pallet.

Here in D/FW, one has to be careful when considering buying items off of Craigslist. One of the auction houses for “orange” goods is located here in the Metroplex. Many of these items are listed as “new, took out of box for photos”. Really? You think I m going to believe that? However if you know what you re looking at and the possible problems associated, you may be able to get something serviceable for a decent price if you work at it.

Was considering a Ridgid 4512 that was posted and asked the lister: “Is this a returned item from somebody that you re selling? I don t want to experience the same problems somebody else has?” Answer: “Yes, it is a returned item.” End of me considering ads that are “new”.

Not sure about other store policies or if this is something that is more local/regional.

Gart

- Gart

Gart’s right on the money as far as DFW craigslist, etc. It pays to check the seller’s other items. If there’s lots of Ridgid and Ryobi you can bet your bottom dollar they bought a pallet of orange BORG returns. I can’t speak to whether or not they’re crap because it’s a risk I haven’t been willing to take.

View trevor7428's profile

trevor7428

149 posts in 422 days


#14 posted 03-18-2016 07:12 AM



When the parts come in the tool is repaired and returned to the original store to be sold as “refurbished”. They are SUPPOSED to engrave “Refurbished” on the repaired tool and sell it at a discount.

- JoeinGa

Any ideas why the rigid planer I bought online at full retail price had signs of previous use and repair and no refurbished engraving to be seen. Or does H.D. online not follow that policy?

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

View JoeinGa's profile

JoeinGa

7479 posts in 1468 days


#15 posted 03-18-2016 02:39 PM


When the parts come in the tool is repaired and returned to the original store to be sold as “refurbished”. They are SUPPOSED to engrave “Refurbished” on the repaired tool and sell it at a discount.

- JoeinGa

Any ideas why the rigid planer I bought online at full retail price had signs of previous use and repair and no refurbished engraving to be seen. Or does H.D. online not follow that policy?

- trevor7428

Sorry Trevor, I’ve been gone from there for several years, and I never dealt with the “Online” side of the business.

My guess is somebody bought it, used it for their job, packed it back in the box so you couldn’t tell it was ever opened, and returned it as new. If the packaging looks unopened, most stores will just return the item back to stock, and the problem is found when the next guy buys it. We used to see that a LOT in my store.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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