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Returning music

>You're absolutely right in saying that record stores need to provide
>consumers with a way of being able to hear things before they buy them. 
>(How many other examples can you think of where a person is expected to
>buy something without trying it out first, which they cannot return if
>they don't like it?!) And if I were dealing with an indie shop that
>stocked a lot of releases I was interested in, which also offered
>Blockbuster-style (or better) listening stations, I would likely be more
>inclined to justify an extra expense (though not in the $16.99 - and - up
>range).  As a matter of fact, I buy from indies at least as often as 
>from a major chain.

What backward burgs are y'all living in?  No return policy?  Shee-yit....
Anyway, I used to work in an indie CD store in Austin, Texas, and we had 
two CD listening stations and a turntable where you could listen to 
anything before buying it and return anything within 10 days for credit 
with a receipt.  We had a posted policy explaining that we weren't a 
library, and that if we though you were abusing the return/listening 
policy, we'd just show you the door.  
It wasn't a problem with most things, but a few years back the majors 
started a "zero-defects/no returns" policy, where they wouldn't take 
returns on stuff that had been opened.  In the old days stores would wink 
and say "These were defective!" and the label would wink back and go 
"That's okay!  We're robbing the musicians blind anyway!" and take the 
crap back.  This makes it difficult to return opened stuff which someone 
just didn't like.  Since we also sold used CD's, we'd just mark it at the 
used price ($9.99 versus $13.99 new) and eat it.  It happened rarely 
enough that it was worth getting people to try things (people are lazy 
about returns) to offset the new returns.  Being a small store, we didn't 
buy that much stuff directly from the majors, so it wasn't a big factor, 
but for the large chains, it might be more of a problem.  However, I know 
that Tower has a return policy, and if they can do it, it would seem that 
Blockbuster can.  

Travis Hartnett