Cheap, Frugal, Brilliant, or Evil?

Women returns dead Xmas tree to Costco for a refund. Well, she didn't break the law, save for maybe some natural law. Maybe at thanksgiving she returned a half eaten turkey a month later saying it was rotten. What some people will do for money. Gotta love Costco's return policy, though, and hope that not many people line up behind this person.

I vote cheap, and self-entitled if not evil.

Costco has a great return policy, which has gotten 'less great' over the years because of blatant abuse of a great policy. Too many folks using the return policy to do annual upgrades of TVs and computing devices put the end to the policy for those items.

My thoughts as well. "Normal" people would not even entertain doing what this person did, but it appears the number of normal people has decreased some. I know of people, for example, who have purchased a camping tent and hiking boots knowing in advance they were going to use them once and then return them for a refund. If a person purchased something in good faith with no intention of returning the item, but fell on hard times and was really desperate for money to meet basic needs(food,etc.), maybe then such behavior could be justified. But that's a situation which is rare.

Greed manifested as cheap leading to the unethical but within the letter of the rules.

Not uncommon. In fact, it's how some pursue the American dream. Indeed, it's a normal mindset for some of the very rich.

I've a friend of 40+ years who worked his way up to a fabulous income & his wife also had a good income, they own several properties (none are rentals) and have been known to buy 2 new cars (not cheap ones either) at once by paying in full with a check.

And how do they spend their days off from work ??
Think they go out for a nice brunch or something ?!?
They return cans & bottles, and since they have ALL their receipts going back for decades, neatly filed, and have bought from stores like BB&B with an endless return policy - they return & exchange stuff that has failed or worn out.

Do I agree with their choices ?? Not really or entirely.
To me, having a fabulous income would mean having the freedom to go and have nice, leisurely meals without having to cook or clean up, and doing things to make sure and gather all possible happiness & good memories.

As to the returning stuff so much - if the bigger corps want to have very open rules for doing that, and folks stay within those rules - then it only falls into the realm of integrity, as in with the rotten turkey or stuff that is used up & broken then returned which stinks of a LACK of integrity, but that is a personal choice which the individual must live with - if they care to.

Very personally:
I have at times returned lightly used kitchen appliances that lasted very short times.
To my values - if the corpies want to make stuff that is really krappy, they NEED to get it back - and appliances should last YEARS, not weeks or a month IMO.

In my youth it was common for toasters and refrigerators to become hand me downs from relatives to the younger family members - who then had them in service for many years to come.

In recent decades one can go buy a toaster, get it home and have it fail in weeks - or even not work decently right out of the box.

I am not OK with this 'new' way of making such low quality throwaway junk.

I return items that are exceedingly poorly designed as well. Besides not wasting my money, I agree that retailer and manufacturer need to hear that they're selling junk.
And I've made use of longer warranty periods to return items that don't last as long as they should, too.

I generally agree that product quality has fallen, sometimes drastically so. It is, in my opinion, a flaw of a market-based economy with broken feedback loops. There are exceptions: in my youth, a car making it to 100K was considered fortunate (with some exceptions, like ET's Saab). Now, I consider that mark barely broken in.

So you think Costco takes the hit. When you return? Nope. It is the seller. Even if you have a 1 year policy for manufacturing defects. Stuff that comes back could be in a fire

If Costco wants to be easy on returns. It should not be on the backs of the seller.

I'm at one with E_Z and KentE on returning shoddy products, and fortunately many of the online and brick & mortar companies have very fair return policies, which I think is particularly important for online purchases where one buys items sight unseen(except for maybe a picture) or buys clothing that might not fit properly. Amazon, and some other companies, now make it extremely easy to return items for free, which, in the long run, helps its sales. Also, the online reviews of items on many sites has, for the most part, become a great check and balance tool for both consumers and sellers. It's nice to see companies on these review forums addressing the problems people have had with their products, which is ,in my opinion, sound business practice. But, yes, quality of products is a big concern, for it seems that certain inferior products are sold just to make a one time killing, so to speak, with no concern for long term repeat business.

Some people remain frugal no matter how wealthy:

Interesting to consider:

Way back when I was a kid it was possible to compare the old Checker Cabs with their complete opposites - the Pintos, Chevettes (a bit later) and the earliest Japanese imports.

Those old cabs took anything anybody threw at them and many remain on the roads to this day, whereas nowadays only determined collectors have any of the opposites mentioned above.

Many of the earliest Japanese imports would only make it to 50k miles with weekly and even daily repairs - and usually before then their engines started smoking, blowing & leaking lubricants copiously.
(I worked at a foreign autoparts shop while in school & those parts out-sold all else...)

The 100k measure for the rest was a brilliant bit of social engineering on the parts of whomever came up with it initially - maybe the automakers ??

Get enough salesmen to repeat endlessly how 100k miles is a great deal from your car, and soon enough it has spread into an accepted enculturation - by and by it is no longer even questioned like 'the sky is blue'.

During the very same time period there were also European cars aplenty which easily lasted many multiples of that mythical 100k miles - and in one example a very determined man (AFAIK) still has such a one with over a million miles on it.

Consider this for a moment if you will:
A salesperson whose route covers from Boston to Nashville, Tennessee - roughly 1000 miles each way with plenty of stop & go driving in the process.
50 round trips - maybe one each week - amounting to a year perhaps - means ~100k miles.
So - a new car is planned to be used up EACH year of doing that ?!?

Our world is too car-centered as it is and has been, but:
Too many possible improvements & innovations to make the same old stuff better have been buried, bypassed or just ignored.

Hybrids are NOT great in most situations & I know for certain that such as Uber drivers have come to despise their extreme repair costs; EVs minus better storage have just not come along yet - if they ever even will...

But this world desperately needs such wanton wastage as the LHD & its close cousins, right ?!?

Bear in mind that with people like Buffett and many others, being frugal is a byproduct of the focus they apply because they're too busy doing something they enjoy.

In Buffet's case, he enjoys investing so much, he doesn't have time for the complications of most material things. So outwardly he is frugal but that is not what his goal is. In fact, his choice of using private jets is the good example because that is clearly not frugal but rather an investment decision. He characterized it as his only indulgence but I'm sure there are many other things he does in a non frugal manner. Indeed, the fact that he has simple tastes in car (singular on purpose!), beverages, meals, are also preferences and decisions on how to spend one's time, rather than borne out of some financial constraint that requires him to be frugal. Many would actually consider a cherry coke can a day excessive.

"Bear in mind that with people like Buffett and many others, being frugal is a byproduct of the focus they apply because they're too busy doing something they enjoy."

***This might explain a survey I heard about several years ago that looked at the investments of some of the more prominent economic thinkers in the US. The survey discovered that some of these economists had most of their money in savings accounts or money market funds, rather than in other more risky investments. One might infer a few things from this, such as the difficulty of predicting the stock market or that these people just enjoyed studying and writing about economics, and had little concern about making money from their activities.

The Christmas season doesn't end for many on the 25th.

Many Christians traditionally take down decorations on the 12th day at Epiphany.

Having said that in my opinion when you buy cut flowers and trees you buy them with the knowledge they will expire shortly and are responsible for keeping them alive yourself. Perhaps the store should put a best before date on them like other perishables.