Monday, April 13, 2009

What We Have Here Is an Ethical Dilemma

As you know, I am jumping into running wallet first in the hopes that the financial commitment I have made will encourage me into sticking with it. So far, it is sincerely helping; the wife and I jogged/walked two miles on Saturday, which is quite an accomplishment when you consider that only two months ago I would have answered the question "When do you run?" with "Only when I am being chased."

Taking that into account, this last Friday, I went to the Running Store. My wife had been encouraging both of us to go for some time because there are folks at this store who will analyze how you run and how arched your foot is and will then recommend a shoe that will work best for you individually. I was very happy to go because the running shoes I had, though I purchased them larger than I normally do, were extremely narrow, which, in conjunction with my broad, broad feet, left me wanting to cut off toes like some ugly stepsister.

The people there recommended a gloriously comfortable pair of shoes, and they said I could return them any time in the next 60 days for any reason, used or not. The cost of these shoes was $130, which I knew would cause some belt-tightening, but as I am tightening my belt thanks to the diet, I figured this was a reasonable cost. I purchased them happily, and went on my merry way.

However, as I was browsing around Ebay over the last couple of days, I noticed the same pair of shoes for $70, which is pretty close to a 50% discount.

So my question to you, my handful of dear readers, is is it reasonable to return the shoes that the people at the Running Store were so nice to analyze and find for me for the monetary benefit of Ebay? Their return policy says that I can return them for any reason in the next 60 days, even if, they jokingly said, I had worn them on many, many runs through the mud.

Let me know in the comments. If it makes any difference, I bought several pair of synthetic socks from the store that I will not be returning, because, really, my shame does have some bounds, even though the socks were ~$8/pair.

7 comments:

Buttercup said...

I laughed my way through this! You are such a talented writer, AC:) Now, as to your current dilemma, they DID say you could return them for any reason...that would include finding them almost 50% cheaper somewhere else, wouldn't it? I'd probably switch them out for the cheaper ones, but my shame is fairly boundless these days! Good job on the jogging - that's so great that you & Paula can go together. Your discipline is inspiring me!

Buttercup said...

But I've been to that running store & done the analysis of your arch and the whole deal and they have such great customer service. They really spend their time & are so personable...maybe...oh, I can't decide! I'm torn!

Analyst Catalyst said...

They are really nice, and I think the guy who was helping me said that their particular location was the best selling location in the region, so I don't think one pair of returned shoes is going to kill them.

I suppose you could also look at the convenience factor: is $60 a large enough amount to go out of my way back to the store again. I think so, but others might not.

Matt and Vanessa said...

The REAL question is... based on current gas prices going up... will it cost you $60 in gas to drive ALL the way back to that store to return it?

I don't think it's an ethical dilemma at all really... unless the salesman needed the commission to pay for his daughter's braces...

:)

Matt and Vanessa said...

On second thought... return the shoes and spend the $130 on taking the wife out to Red Lobster for cheesey biscuits and finish it off with a lifetime supply of Cadbury eggs.

John said...

I have some input on this, from what may be an unexpected angle. However, I may be legally unable to post it publicly on the internet (seriously). So, I'll plan to chime in soon via another method. Stay tuned...

Analyst Catalyst said...

I see that it really is Matt and Vanessa that are posting here!

And I am curious as to John's possibly illegal suggestion.