Originally Posted by JimWilson
Good point; people too frequently believe they aren't paying for shipping when nothing could be further from the truth (which is, in large part, why I'm including it as well). I often here that mentioned as an advantage for products that offer 'free' return shipping, as though the company is going to eat it. Some - like SVS and PSA for example - probably have such low return rates they can afford to gamble because they're unlikely to get more then a handful of stuff back (and I would guess that's primarily from those who are doing a bit window shopping). In the end though the consumer pays for shipping; somehow, someway. Be it ID or B&M, it's inevitable.
Yes indeed. However, when I purchased my SVS SB13-Ultra and PSA XS30 subwoofers (about 3 years ago) neither company had free return shipping. SVS added that perk while I was on my trial period. PSA ran a summer special the following year that included free return shipping on all but their most massive subs (which they decided was a wise move and kept this policy). Neither company raised prices, so in essence, free return shipping was actually free in those cases.
As you indicated, the returns that both SVS and PSA do get are obviously not significant enough to hurt their bottom line, so they kept the same pricing. While people are correct that shipping free to the customer has already been built into their pricing structure, return shipping may or may not have already been factored in, depending upon the company.
Hsu’s policy has not changed over the years (at least the years that I’ve looked at the company), and is rather unique nowadays. But even adding shipping costs, their prices are extremely competitive. I consider them a bargain (as do you). It’s only when one returns their sub (for whatever reason), that their shipping policy effects the consumer.
Any time a consumer can test out a sub in their home and have no fear of the high cost to return that sub, it’s better for the consumer. It’s also better for the company, because they are getting much higher sales because of this "no hassle free trial period" policy. Kind of a win-win.
Each company must determine what is right for them in this highly competitive market. Five-year warranties were NOT the norm. Competing companies that had one- and two-year warranties have now up their warranties to two, three and even five years. Isn’t competition wonderful?
(my more than 2-cent reply)…