Will be interesting to see what happens if BB (and other similar stores) do indeed disappear from the landscape. I'm curious as to how the manufacturers would handle distribution; would we be doomed to a world of Target and Walmart AV purchasing? Not every wants to (or can) order online - especially bigger ticket items. That will likely become less relevant over time, but still - I think there will always be a subset of people who absolutely need to see and touch something before they purchase it. I suspect that we might still have the mom/pop type places that can order anything you want, but their return policies aren't going to be like the big guys in most cases (most of the ones around me buy through a sort of co-op). Factory direct? If you have a problem with BB, good luck dealing with LGSonySonicSung
Honestly, I always assumed that the "return-a-palooza" would have to end at some point. Margins get thinner all the time, and the economy isn't exactly gang busters at this point. Returns cost somebody money somewhere, shipping rates are up in most cases, and someone has data that indicates chronic behavior for some customers. I'm NOT
defending this new policy; it's definitely short sighted in it's implementation
based on what I've read here. That being said, I can't say I'm shocked by it either. You read enough posts here that say "I went through (insert-number-higher-than-one) sets before I got one that was 'just right'...". This isn't porridge - at some point LGSonySonicSung pushes back on their end to the retailer.
Then again, I suspect most of us aren't the "optimal target demographic". BB Corporate likes to sell big TV's to the average suburban Joe that walks in and says "Mmmmmm....... big.......". Joe takes it home, plugs it in, and never touches anything but the "ON" button for the next 5 years. The guys on the floor at my BB like it when I come in because they don't have to sell me anything or answer questions. The accountants in Minnesota would probably be happier if I didn't exist.
I worry most about the ripple effect. At what pint does Amazon decide that since BB did it, they can do it as well? E-tailers might be good about returns, but I suspect they don't like them any more than the brick and mortar stores do.
May you live in interesting times...