Don't Waste Your Money: Annoying restocking fees may go away - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Don't Waste Your Money: Annoying restocking fees may go away

By John Matarese - bio |email

(WTOL) - One of the things consumers hate most about electronic stores are restocking fees. Those are the charges you have to pay to return something after opening the box, even if you never plugged the item in or turned it on.

These fees have been around, and angering shoppers, for about 10 years. 

But now, those annoying fees may be going away. 

In fact, many customers have been hit with the dreaded restocking fee for open electronics. 

Heather Jarrett merely opened the box for a digital video camera, but even though she never powered it up, she told me "they charged me a 15% restocking fee." 

Think 15% is small change? Think again: that can be a $100 on a TV or laptop you try to return. But that's starting to change. 

Best Buy -- stung by declining sales in 2010 -- has just done away with its 15% restocking fee for 2011. And as it is the market leader, others are watching to see what impact this has.

Who has Restocking Fees

Retailers still charging these fees on open electronics, according to store websites, include:

  • Amazon: 15%.
  • Target: 15%
  • Sears: 15%.
  • Apple: 10%
  • Radio Shack: 10%
  • HH Gregg: As high as 20%

Who Doesn't Have Them

However, you'll find no restocking fee at :

  • Walmart
  • Sam's Club
  • Costco
  • Meijer
  • Best Buy (as of January 2011)

With Best Buy removing these fees, it gets a competitive edge, especially with savvy shoppers who know they may have to return something. 

Watch John Matarese's Don't Waste Your Money reports Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WTOL 11 News at 5.

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