Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Threshold for Item Returns

catching up on some old posts on the 'draft' backburner:

back in late January i found myself in need of making some sports equipment repairs to my goaltender's chest protector.

the chest protector is essentially three individual pieces, two heavily padded arms and one high-density-foam-filled chest area, made as one functioning whole by the use of laces tying the arms to the chest area.

as weakest links in the places of highest motion-generated stress go, these laces are worn down over the course of many games by my save-related arm gyrations until one day you're making a stick save and you realize that your right arm padding has become segregated from the rest of your otherwise whole and impenetrable armor.

being a resourceful man i drove myself to the nearest Academy less than a mile away to pick up some replacement laces. as per usual with most of my repair parts shopping, though, i prevented the selection process through my own internal deliberations from being as simple as it could have been for someone else.

sidling up to the shoelace display, i reviewed the candidates on their merits and eventually whittled down to two options: a pair of thick black cotton sport laces and a pair of square-shaped leather hiking boot laces.

after that point, however, the ability to pick a clear winner proved difficult.

the hiking boot laces were a little thin but they were leather so they might last a while. would they, though, hold a tight and lasting knot?

the sport laces were made of a less durable material but surely the knot that could be secured with them would be second to none!

in the end i made the call to buy both of them as the additional cost to buy the second, possibly unneeded, pair was negligible.

tests of the laces at home on the chest protector proved the sport laces as the appropriate choice and earned them the right to become a component of the goaltending equipment arsenal.

thinking back, i believe i had no intention of returning the unused laces to Academy; they would surely be used for some other miscellaneous application (tying a small box closed or some such thing) and even if they went unused the dollar value sunk into them did not exceed the value of the use of my car's gasoline and my time.

somehow, though, on a day not long after the original purchase i found myself at the Academy with hiking boot laces and receipt in hand and walked out of the store with my refunded monies of one dollar and sixty-one cents.

my reasons for going back against my original conviction to leave sleeping boot laces lie are still unknown today but it got me thinking and you could ask yourself as well..

What minimum value would it take to motivate you to transport an unneeded consumer good back to a nearby (in the general area) store to convert it back into freely transferable, government-backed currency?

my spoken beliefs may say otherwise, but apparently my actions tell me my personal answer is $1.61