Return policies

by Finn

Do you avail yourselves of any generous refund policies? Do stores’ return policies affect your decisions about where to shop?

It looks like Nordstrom is going to tighten up one of the most generous return policies:

$2 Billion of Retail Fraud Could Be Ruining Nordstrom’s Legendary Return Policy

What stores that you shop at have the best return policies? Which have the worst?


97 thoughts on “Return policies

  1. I try my best to never order anything on Amazon that isn’t fulfilled by Amazon. If it’s an Amazon fulfilled item the return process is flawless. The two times I’ve tried to return a non-Amazon fulfilled item it’s been a nightmare.

  2. I never heard of returning used items, until a friend worked in the Men’s Fancy Clothing Dept. after college. She would get so angry at things like stained ties!

    I have about half a dozen pairs of shoes on the way to me from Nordstrom Rack right now. I plan to pick one and return the rest. I do that fairly often. Taking advantage? If they didn’t want people to do it, they’d carry everything in the store. I recently brought home a bunch of lampshades at IKEA. They were all in-store, but I wanted to try them on the arc lamp, which was sitting on a 4′ pedestal; they didn’t want to take it down, so I had to bring them home and assemble them. Arg.

  3. Nike has a good policy, especially for members (free). Also, for shoes that do not perform to your satisfaction you have 1 year from the date printed on the tongue of the shoe to return for replacement/credit (in the form of a Nike gift card. May apply to other gear except for underwear items.

    I have found Amazon easy to deal with.

    Actually, if we have our sh** together (i.e. the receipt, and we’re within the return window, we follow the specified process), most places are pretty easy to deal with.

    My peeve is e.g. I go to return something that DW bought on her card and, natch, I don’t have her card with me so the option is take the credit as store credit, fine for someplace like Barnes & Noble where we go all the time, or make a second trip with the right card. Just credit my card dammit.

  4. Rhett, want to exchange nightmare stories? I recently ordered a fairly large item (~75 lbs, box is 5’x3’x6″) online, then realized I’d ordered the wrong one. I called within half an hour of placing the order, was told the original would be canceled. My card was refunded, but both items showed up at my door. Ugh! After about a week, I got a message from someone at Wayfair telling that I’d received two items, and that one would be picked up in the next few days. Two weeks later, I called to say “get rid of it”. It was finally picked up by UPS. Whew! But then…..yesterday I stepped outside, and it was bassaaaaaack. It had been home, and was turned away. I called cust service and was told they wouldn’t charge me again, do whatever I want with it. Im trying to sell it.

  5. We return things periodically. I have returned “used” things only because they did not perform/hold up (like brand new jeans, not worn, but washed them and they came unstitched – so no tags, etc.). I also returned a backback to land’s end after the zipper broke (kids book backpack) after 1 week. The replacement is still in use some 10 years later.

  6. I shop quite a bit online but don’t like to return things. I tend to buy from the same stores so unless the item is very far off from the picture, I don’t have to return. I also read the reviews which gives me a good idea of whether to order or abandon the item.
    I like the Trunk Club concept but I think I get overwhelmed with the number of items and them being chosen by someone else, even if they are doing a good job of matching my style.
    Ironically, I hardly ever had to return Nordstrom items.

  7. “I try my best to never order anything on Amazon that isn’t fulfilled by Amazon. If it’s an Amazon fulfilled item the return process is flawless. The two times I’ve tried to return a non-Amazon fulfilled item it’s been a nightmare.”

    I TOTALLY agree. i find Amazon customer service to be abysmal on third party items too – they refuse to help at all. On their own items, they are very easy to work with, but returning is still kind of a PITA compared to the other online returns I do frequently (Zappos, Nordstrom, Boden being the main ones).

    I buy almost all of our clothes/shoes online, so I often buy multiple sizes/colors/styles and then return the ones that we don’t want. That leads me to be loyal to places with either convenient physical locations for returns or easy & free return shipping. Zappos and Boden (with most coupon codes) have free and easy return shipping. For Nordstrom and the Gap family of stores – I usually buy online and then return in the store. i used to buy from Lands End more often when there was a convenient Sears location for returns. Since the Sears store closed, I rarely order from there anymore. I order shoes from the Cole Haan website directly on occasion, but only when it’s something that I am sure that we will want to keep.

  8. I didn’t want to go to a special dress shop for my dress for the bat mitzvah. All of my friends said to go online to all of the big department stores because the selection is better. This is true, and I’ve become very familiar with the return policies at all of the big stores. I do find that it’s really easy as long as they just scan the receipt and take the item. Most of them have free return shipping now so that’s really easy.

    I agree with Rhett about Amazon items from anyone that isn’t Amazon. It’s annoying, and I try to avoid it at all costs.

    I don’t return any clothing that is used, but I did return a loaf of bread to the supermarket last week. It was stale and I was going there anyway. I would normally never take the things me to do that, but 4$ is 4$.

  9. I don’t think I will run into issues with Nordstrom’s change in return policy because I have not been an abuser of the old policy. Like it says in the article – they can see the items that I have bought and what I have kept vs returned. I expect that they will still take back actually defective items since I have only asked them to do so rarely & most of my returns are unworn items with tags, within a week of purchase.

  10. But then…..yesterday I stepped outside, and it was bassaaaaaack.

    Terrible. I expect a flawless transaction every time butt I realize how many processes have to go right with every single order.

  11. “I don’t return any clothing that is used, but I did return a loaf of bread to the supermarket last week. It was stale and I was going there anyway. I would normally never take the things me to do that, but 4$ is 4$.”

    My latest in this category is that the bagger at our local chain put my hot dog rolls on the very bottom of a bag where they got completely smashed. I was so irate when I got home that I walked back over to the store and demanded an exchange.

    DH once brought back a bag of bananas to Costco where they were sliced through the skin by the box cutter & he didn’t notice at the store.

  12. Zappos, Amazon, Kohl’s, and Gap/Athleta are retailers I particularly like because of their easy return policies. Right now I have 3 sizes of one style of shoe from Zappos with the intent to keep only one pair. Both Zappos and Kohl’s accept returns for up to a year, which sounds crazy to me but is nice. Athleta may be the same. Often I cannot return some items to the Gap/Athleta store because they will not accept petite sizes if they don’t carry them in their stores.

  13. I often don’t go back to the store to return grocery items, but the online delivery service is very easy to deal with if I’m unhappy with an item, like sad-looking produce for example. They promptly give me a refund.

  14. What kind of nightmares have you all had with returning items that were not fulfilled by Amazon. The occasional problems I’ve had have been with Amazon-fulfilled items, but I don’t return much.

  15. Zappos encourages returns, I think, because they know you want to try on several sizes to see which one fits. That’s really the only store where I return much. I return things if they’re defective, but if they just don’t fit, I put them in a drawer and eventually give them to Goodwill.

  16. “the bagger at our local chain put my hot dog rolls on the very bottom of a bag where they got completely smashed.”

    I can gripe there too. Living in a hot place on the third floor means that groceries don’t necessarily make it into the house right away (or even on the same day). When I tell the bagger to use the insulated bag for cold items and later find juice or spinach leaves or whatever in the car, I am not happy. I’ve intervened to remind them before, been told the insulated bag was full, so they were just chucking the cold things in randomly, only to find potatos, bananas, soda, and other things that really shouldn’t be stored cold are taking up all the room in the cold bag. Arg!

    First World Problems.

  17. I have found LLBean, Costco, Sams Club, Macys, Lord and Taylor very easy to deal with on returns. Of course I usually have the receipt and I don’t usually keep things beyond a week. We need to return an air fryer to Sam’s Club after we used it – so we will see if they are as easy to deal with as before.

  18. I just had to exchange an item at Apple – wrong cord. I was way out of the 60 day window, but they exchanged it for me. I think it helped that I had bought two ipads and cases at the same time.

  19. What kind of nightmares have you all had with returning items that were not fulfilled by Amazon.

    When returning Amazon fulfilled items you just click return and they either say don’t bother we’ll just credit you the money or you print a shipping label. As soon as UPS or USPS scans the item you get your money.

    When I tried to return something not fulfilled by Amazon there was no return button to click. I had to e-mail them and they said send it back at your own expense*. So, I had to haul it to the post office and ship in back and they’d refund the money in 60-90 or some such. I never did check to see if they processed the refund.

    * The item was $60 and return shipping was $20. As I understand it Amazon negotiates much lower shipping rates but when you return at your own expense, you have to pay the non-discounted rates.

  20. S&M – why don’t you just say “Thanks, I prefer to bag it myself” I love the self check because I can orchestrate the whole thing!

    What i hate about returning is places like Macys in store where you have to return the item in the department it belongs to and then you’ve got to hunt down the one lady working in bras. I hate them. I won’t buy with anyone who makes you do that whole RMS number before returning things either. Too much trouble!

  21. I don’t really return stuff. I mean, I’m trying to think of return occasions and I’m coming up with five years ago when I returned a pair of shoes that didn’t fit to Zappo, and within the last year returning a defective (arrived broken) product to Amazon.

    So, I’m actually better off shopping at places that don’t have a generous return policy because that way I’m not subsidizing dodgy returns.

    I wouldn’t think to return groceries. I just would stop shopping someplace that had quality / freshness problems.

  22. I hate doing returns, even easy returns like Zappos. It is just a PITA having to repack the item (where is that packing tape anyway?), fill out paperwork, and schlep to the UPS store. So I never do things like order several pairs with the intent of returning most of them. Certainly, if I mess up an order, I do return it, but I really try to avoid doing it

  23. even easy returns like Zappos. It is just a PITA having to repack the item (where is that packing tape anyway?), fill out paperwork, and schlep to the UPS store.

    I would guess that a significant portion of Zappos business model is based on people never quite getting around to returning the items.

  24. Moxie, that’s what I like to do. Usually is no problem at Target, but at Publix, there are no self-checkout lanes, and bagging your own is a hassle. Either it is a lengthy exchange that goes back and forth 3 or 4 times (and you might have to shoo off another bagger before you’re done) or you get forceful and a little sharp the second time around. I don’t like either of those options any better than I like limp lettuce and refrigerated bananas. I’m still learning my way around Costco, would like to do most of my shopping there.

    I don’t like mailing things back either, even if it is paid for. If I expect to have returns, I buy someplace that has a brick & morter store where I can take them.

  25. I don’t like returning to a brick n morter store either. Invariably I get stuck in a mile long line at customer service.

  26. 100% of my Zappos orders are 4+ pairs of shoes. Sometimes 10 pairs. I try them all on and then return the ones I don’t want.

    Other places I don’t mind returning – Boden (if I have free returns), Amazon with the Amazon stuff, Nordstrom.

    Places that are farther away since we moved and so I don’t get *random* stuff from them as often bc I don’t want to do the returns – Athleta, BR, LL Bean.

  27. I prefer standing in a cust service line over standing in a dressing room, trying on multiple things, planning to wear one with something at home which may or may not actually work with it, and wishing they had x in stock in my size. At Nordstroms, any register can take returns, so if the designated returns desk is busy, I go to an open register.

  28. I just got off a live chat with the Container Store. The storage boxes I received from them yesterday arrived with three damaged tops. They will send replacements “priority” and advised me to keep the damaged tops for five days in case UPS comes by as a follow up to the damage claim. Very nice service, all things considered.

    I had considered buying the storage boxes in the store, which is only a few miles away. But since I received free shipping it was much easier to forego the driving, parking, and hauling that getting them in person would have entailed. Lately I’ve been buying more staples like batteries and light bulbs online because it’s just easier. But greedy me I still hope the local businesses don’t close down.

  29. I am not sure if I have ever bought anything at Nordstroms. We have one in White Plains, but the prices made my head spin, so I don’t usually even go in. It is in this swanky mall that I only visit once or twice a year anyway. I buy most clothes online, and I shop only at a very few retailers, ones where i know the sizes and styles. Today I am wearing a wonderful gray long hooded jacket, so soft and nice, that just came from JJill yesterday. I had a 30% off coupon and I had been eyeing the jacket for a while. I know my sizes at JJill, so I almost never return anything to them.

  30. IME Nordstrom has a variety of price points on their clothing, and superb service on top of that. But yeah going to that mall once or twice a year is enough.

  31. Rhett – I knew my parents friends son who went into plastics engineering in the home country. All the people of my parents generation shook their heads at this not so good branch of engineering. He got a job in L’Oreal cosmetics packaging, worked in France and moved rapidly upwards in the company. Is doing very well.

  32. “I would guess that a significant portion of Zappos business model is based on people never quite getting around to returning the items.”

    I would guess that is the case. For me, it is very little hassle. If there is a paid return label, I can take the box to my office mailroom & they will tape it up and all the carriers pick up there. It’s a large high-rise downtown office building. My favorite though is when they have the reusable bags that you can ship bag in. I keep a stash of those in my office for returns.

    When I buy things online, I try them on in my office & then return what I don’t like. It’s more of a pain for DH & DS because I have to bring it home & back to the office to ship.

    “IME Nordstrom has a variety of price points on their clothing, and superb service on top of that.”

    I agree. I don’t have the budget or desire for the really high-end stuff, but they carry plenty in my price range too.

  33. Rhett: re packaging engineering. Michigan State and RIT have majors in that. I’m sure there are others; these I know from personal experience.

  34. Until I closely looked at the dresses on Nordstrom I used to think of them as a fancy store whose prices I couldn’t afford. But after actually looking at the prices and the range of products I changed my opinion. Quite in the ball park of the stores I already went to.

  35. “Rhett – my DH has the Nordstrom brand dress shirts. Very nice and they hold up well.”

    Mine too. And the basic ones go on sale every year during the Anniversary Sale in July/August. (seasonal colors go on clearance other times as well)

  36. I often order two sizes with the intent of sending one back. I like Zappos and Amazon, Nordstrom on LLBean for their ease of ordering and returning.

    We did have a sort of bad experience with returning some Blundstornes for DH. He ordered them for some company that had some bad reviews on Amazon, but I don’t think DH focused on that because he wears a size 14 and that can be hard to find.

    The guy kept putting the process off – I’ll send a new pair, its on it way, etc. until I cancelled the order and asked for my money back. Since they weren’t from Amazon directly there was no way to initiate the refund on Amazon, it had to be done via email. Eventually DH called Amazon customer service and had a claim opened. Immediately the guy emailed me and said he’d refund the money, but asked me to cancel the claim. I ended up not replying and got the refund in a couple of days.

  37. OK, hijacking my own thread here, I woke up yesterday with a really bad chest cold. Any recommendations for good OTC remedies?

    My colds usually start with sinus congestion, which I can attack with pseudoephedrine and often limit the cold’s duration. But this one started in the chest, which is unusual for me and I don’t have any tried-and-true remedies for this.

  38. Any recommendations for good OTC remedies?

    Regular NyQuil so you can sleep. IIRC they’ve done a bunch of studies and most (all?) of the over the counter remedies don’t really work.

  39. If it’s that brutal one going around town that starts in the throat, just rest, and be prepared to miss some work.

  40. I’ll also hijack Finn’s hijack and ask if anyone knows any good personal finance blogs. I don’t need one that tells me how best to reuse my tea bags but something focused more on totebag level people.

  41. Rhett – Financial Samurai and Gen Y Finance Guy (his goal is to get to $10M) so it’s none of this living on $30K nonsense.

    Finn – make some chicken stock and start drinking a lot of it as well as OJ. The stock even helps after DD has gotten the stomach flu.

    I really only shop online. Amazon, J.Crew, Zappos, Nordstrom (Trunk Club – the returns are super easy and they send UPS to your house to pick it up) and Boden are really the only places I shop. If I return I can just get DH to bring it to the mailroom at work. I rarely return to Amazon and I have never returned groceries (although DH has if he’s bought something that’s expired). It’s just too much work and even when I go back to the grocery store I never seem to remember the item.

  42. It’s coming down to the wire on my new car. My options are:

    Pay cash and get a $2250 rebate: Total amount $28,525.59
    0% financing and a $1K rebate, 72 months: $29,808


  43. I have been getting “amazing” bargains at Nordstroms, Saks and Neiman Marcus since I started this dress hunt process. I didn’t know exactly what color or style I was looking for, but I started to look and order in early Jan. All of these stores and Lord and Taylor, and Bloomingdales have sales on top of the sales. With one exception at Saks – everything was returnable even when some of the dresses were almost 80% off. I think I found my dress, and it was originally $600, and I paid $82 at Saks. I found two other dresses at Bloomingdales to wear to other kids bat mitzvah parties. Same thing…$500 dresses that I bought for $75 each, and they can be returned for up to a year. I barely ever have to buy these types of clothes, so I honestly never knew that all of the department stores have such a deep selection online, AND that their sale stuff can contain some real bargains with generous return policies.

    Our big party is a few months away, and the only thing that I have been able to save money on is my dress. This party is the biggest waste of money, and I am really glad that I only have one kid.

  44. 0% financing and a $1K rebate, 72 months: $29,808

    Inflation is creeping up so I’d say that’s by the far the best plan.

  45. “This party is the biggest waste of money, and I am really glad that I only have one kid.”

    Once in a life time and all that. So do your hosting duties and then enjoy the party to the max. Is there dancing for the adults ? If so dance up a storm.

  46. RMS, do you have to pay tax on the pre-rebate cost? If the tax is on the after-rebate cost, I’d probably pay cash.

    What did you decided to do with your existing car?

  47. Louise, yes. It’s a crazy, loud kids dance party with a DJ, but there will be dancing for adults too.

  48. HM, I think that’s what it is. DS got something last week, probably that same bug, but caught it early and stayed home from school on Friday and was OK by Monnday. DD got it earlier this week and had to stay home a couple of days.

    I guess I’m pretty well aligned with others here. I took Nyquil last night, which did help me sleep, and have been eating a lot of chicken soup. That’s also what I was giving the kids.

    I really need to make sure to be able to control my coughing. DS’ tuxedo event is tonight, and I don’t want to disrupt the performances with my coughing. I have a couple of bags of cough drops that I will take with me.

  49. I’ve had very few problems with third-party sellers on Amazon, but when there are, the A-Z guarantee always handles it eventually. I don’t like how long Amazon makes you wait to file the claim – I know they want to give the seller a chance to resolve it, but when you’ve emailed them three times with no response (and all e-mails go through Amazon so they can see that) they should give you the refund without making you wait another two weeks.

  50. What did you decided to do with your existing car?

    Trade it in.

    Thanks for giving me things to think about when I’m crunching the numbers.

  51. Finn, my favorite meds for coughs are Delsym DM and Mucinex D. Ymmv

    Tell the young man to break a leg!

  52. Finn, I hope you feel better soon. You might want to take a decongestant, or the Robitussin DM that DD mentioned about an hour before the performance begins. The cough drops and water bottle will help if you feel a big coughing spell about to start during the show.

  53. Lauren, I’ve never even considered looking at Saks. That deal is impressive–I thought I was doing well to get a $69 Lands End nightgown for $20 + free shipping. You beat me by a country mile!

  54. I’m caught in the spam filter.

    I agree re light bulbs & batteries, have been frustrated recently by being pushed to buy things online, because they weren’t available in stores.

  55. Finn, it sounds like you may have a different one if people are on the mend after a few days. I hope so, for your sake!

  56. Rocky,
    The imputed interest rate for the 0% down deal is 1.46%. The advantage is you get to keep your cash, and in fact, invest it if you want, in laddered brokered CDs or bonds and come out ahead. So I’d take the 0% and the $1000 rebate. You can pay the thing off any time you want. But other than wanting to be done with the payments why pay earlier at 0%?

  57. “I’ve been buying more staples like batteries and light bulbs online because it’s just easier.”

    How often do you need to buy light bulbs? The CFLs we us last a long time, and we’ve yet to have to replace any LED bulbs we’ve installed.

  58. RMS. Pre retirement when cash flow is not an issue and AGI is high, financing or not it is a toss up. Post retirement I always pay cash a) to minimize the monthly nut and b) stay below various tax rate threshholds. Are you getting a red one?

  59. We don’t use CFL or LED light bulbs afaik, but I think we should try them. DH has his preferences and I just go along with what he likes. I guess the light they emit is the same as the old incandescent types?

    Finn — how did the performance (and your cough) go? Hope you’re able to rest this weekend.

  60. CoC, IMO CFLs totally suck. The light is really bad, which is the main problem. They can’t be dimmed. They don’t always come in right away, which I find real annoying. And disposal is a big issue.

    LEDs are much better, but the different brands all light a little differently. I found you need to try a bunch of different ones to see which you Iike the best. The other thing that’s nice is because they are so low wattage, you can get brighter bulbs.

  61. I’ve never really been bothered by the light of CFLs. They remind me of my grandparents’ homes, which were lit by circline fluorescent bulbs that always flickered when turned on, and had that bit of flicker when they were on. Most CFLs greatly reduced both types of flicker.

    When we remodeled our kitchen, we considered LED lights, but they were really expensive, so we went with CFLs for our recessed lights. DW didn’t like that they took a while to come up to full brightness, a tradeoff for increased bulb lifetime. But about a year later, Costco had some LED bulbs for about $5 each (vs. >$30 each when we were making decisions for the remodel), so we replaced them, and DW loves them. They come up to full brightness virtually instantly, and give a color of light she likes.

    CoC, I suggest looking into LEDs. They’re getting a lot less expensive, and if you’re still using incandescents, you’re spending a lot more on energy than you would with LEDs, and possibly more in bulbs, not to mention the hassle factor of replacing bulbs. Federal regs also mean it will be harder to get replacement incandescents in the future.

    BTW, DD, CFLs have come a long way too. The CFLs we first had in our kitchen were dimmable, but had the slow turn-on tradeoff because the spiral bulbs are in reflective housings. But the plain spiral bulbs we have do come on almost instantly, and some are dimmable. They last a lot longer than incandescents (some that I installed about 20 years ago when we first moved in are still going strong), and are available in different color temperatures. When they do fail, I take them to Home Depot for recycling.

    That said, I don’t see buying any more CFLs. As we use up the bulbs we have, I’ll probably replace them with LEDs. The new fixtures we bought for our bathroom remodels don’t even have separate bulbs; the LEDs are integrated into the fixtures, which probably helps reduce the overall manufacturing costs.

  62. CoC, thanks for asking. DS looked quite resplendent in his tailcoat, and he also realized that he could reuse it for his prom, after the mom of one of the female soloists told us that her dress is also going to be her prom dress. The other male soloist also wore a tailcoat, and he did a great job of pushing his tails behind him as he sat on the piano bench.

    DS’ performance went well, and I felt pretty well through the entire concert, although by the time we got home, I felt pretty wiped out. This morning I was still pretty wiped out, and I’m only feeling better now after a bowl of hot chicken soup.

    A lot of people who don’t normally come out to my kids’ violin/viola performances showed up, e.g., my and DW’s sibs, DS’ favorite cousin, most of DS’ close friends (who weren’t already there because they’re in the orchestra), the parents of some of DS’ friends, and even some of DS’ teachers, which was pretty gratifying.

  63. DS looked quite resplendent in his tailcoat

    This is when I wish we could post pictures without endangering privacy. I’d love to see HM’s son in his tux, too.

  64. Congrats Finn and to your DS too ! I wish I was there too !

    And this is a good idea.. that I will keep in mind for DD.
    “one of the female soloists told us that her dress is also going to be her prom dress”.

  65. Thanks everyone for the well wishes.

    Any photo enthusiasts out there? DD has shown an interest and, IMO, some talent in photography. I’ve gotten her a couple basic point and shoot cameras, which she’s pretty much outgrown, and she’s been using DW’s more advanced point and shoot camera recently, but is apparently running up against the limitations of that camera.

    So it seems the next step up would be a DSLR. I’ve used this as an exercise in value shopping for her, and she’s been able to find what appears to be a pretty good deal on a refurbished camera/lens kit that comes with a basic 18-55mm zoom lens.

    I always check Costco before making purchases like this, as their prices and return policy are hard to beat if they happen to have a model that you like. Their DSLR kits come with two lenses, a basic lens around 18-55mm, and a telephoto zoom around 70-300mm. I’m wondering how useful the bigger zoom would be; it seems that buying a kit with 2 lenses from Costco is less expensive than buying a kit with a single lens, then adding the zoom later. They also have what appears to be a very good deal on a older version of a Nikon model that’s higher than their starter model.

    On one had, DD has a history of taking interest in things and then losing interest (e.g., softball), so I don’t want to commit a whole lot of money at this point, and the single lens kit makes more sense, especially if the bigger zoom isn’t something she’d use a lot. I can see where it could really be a pain to carry around two lenses and have to swap, and that something like a single lens around 18-200mm might be a better solution.

    OTOH, if the bigger zoom is something photo buffs tend to use on a regular basis, then it’d make sense to jump on the Costco deal.

    BTW, so far her photos are mostly of nature and strangers, so I’m not sure how much a big zoom would be used for those. She’s not shown a big interest in things like action shots, e.g., sports, or posed people.

    Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated.

  66. This doesn’t directly address your question, Finn, but a couple of years ago I took a photography class at the local community college. The advice from the instructor was to shop at local camera stores, because they often have good deals on traded-in lenses and last-year’s cameras, and so on. True camera buffs have lots of cameras and upgrade a lot, and they trade their old stuff in. Also, camera store guys are really good sources of help and information.

  67. Finn, we got DS a DSLR for his birthday last fall and it came with a zoom lens. I think it makes a big difference in his use of it because there’s a lot more he can do with it. I would take the Costco deal.

  68. Coc – Lauren is right in that the end of season sales are going on at the higher end department stores. That Cat sweater will be heavily discounted at the end of spring.

  69. RMS – seems to me that Uber is still in start up mode where organizational issues are concerned. It seems to me that it is still developing as an organization in its functions including HR.
    I once interviewed with in its infancy. The interview process was choactic with managers just pulled in without any notice to interview me, no prior notice to them. They read my resume as I was sitting in front of them. It was weird having that experience at a job search company. I didn’t get either an acceptance or rejection. One just moves on.

  70. Louise, the interesting question to me is whether Uber is unique in this regard, or if these issues are more widespread. I do remember when Uber was just barely starting up that the founders were having really obnoxiously sexist conversations with reporters and seemed pretty clueless.

  71. I spent a long time deciding between a Nikon and a Canon when I was looking to upgrade to a DSLR. I spoke to a lot of people, and Nikon lovers were Nikon lovers. Canon people loved Canon. I concluded that the quality was very similar at this entry level. I went with Canon because all of our point and shoots are Canon so I was familiar with the controls and software. I got the 60D with one lens. 18 to 55. The reason that I didn’t get the larger zoom was that I had a large zoom when I took photography in HS. I had the AE-1 and got the zoom for graduation. If she really gets into photography, she willlwant a longer zoom, but I agree with others that you will be able to buy one used unless you want to treat her to the kit with both lenses.

    If she gets bored, you or your wife should use the camera. The quality is so much better than point and shoots.

  72. @RMS – I think Uber has a very “bro-y” corporate culture for lack of a better word. I remember some of the early interviews too & stories about the parties and things like that. It sounded like a place I would never want to work.

  73. Ivy, I think “bro-y” is probably the best word for it.

    Louise, they’re all having sales now.

    Finn, I don’t see why you’d say nature photography wouldn’t benefit from a zoom, unless she’s doing landscapes. Wild animals are the most skittish subjects there are–much better to use a zoom lens (or a fixed close-up lens) so they don’t freeze or, even worse, run away. For me, that’s an olio lens on my iPhone, but if you think having the gear will motivate her to continue, then great. I assume she is doing research into not so much price as specific pieces of equipment, what they can do, and which fit her interests. Buying used requires even more such research, of course. (Some would even require an essay with proper citations and arguments for and against whatever she’s asking for.) You might consider having her do a class like the one Rocky mentioned. I did one my junior year of hs–one night a week at the community college, maybe a couple hrs each night–and benefitted from it. In thinking about what lenses to get, you could consider a wide-angle zoom and a telephoto zoom, with some overlap. That will cover what a fixed lens could do and give her more flexibility.

  74. Finn, that sounds like a fun recital. I would just get your daughter a phone and let her use the camera.

  75. RMS, regarding the leather jacket story, over 23 years after my first engineering internship, I have never once received a piece of promotional attire for a woman. All polos/jackets/sweatshirts are ordered in men’s sizes.

Comments are closed.