(Columbia) Dec. 19, 2002 - If you still need to pick up a few gifts, there's a store in Columbia that sells electronics at discount prices called Return Buy. Return Buy project manger Brain Muckle actually contacted WIS and pitched the story that their stores area a great place to buy holiday gifts.
WIS sent a producer to the Return Buy outlet and she found TV's, DVD's, VCR's, cameras, and all sorts of electronics, even small appliances.
Muckle says most merchandise are name brand products at discount prices of an average of 60% off retail. How can they sell so low? Return Buy sells returns. When items are returned at other stores, they could end up at the store for re-sale. Muckle promises all of the merchandise in his store is 100% ready for gift giving, so we decided to find out.
A wrist blood pressure monitor is $120 at retail, but cost just 50 bucks at Return Buy, but does it work? WIS asked nurse Kathy Robinson to take the blood pressure of WIS staffer Katie Paxton, first with her equipment, then with the monitor from Return Buy. It wasn't the same reading, but Kathy says for a store bought monitor, it was pretty close.
Shopper John Rabon says he's bought four items in the last two weeks, "Great prices in here, looks like name brand stuff too."
Muckle explains returns to Return Buy, "Our return policy is 30 days at the store, but we take care of each and every customer." You should be aware the return policy was quoted at 30 days, but the receipt WIS was given actually reads returns within 10 days of purchase. Store employees say even though the receipt says 10 days, they give you 30 days. You might consider getting a manager to put that policy in writing before you leave the store.
WIS bought a DVD/VCR and, not including the TV, it cost $120. WIS found it retail in a store, one of the major electronic stores, for about $200. WIS also bought a massager which retails for about $100, but at Return Buy it was only $15.
You can get bargains, but make sure all of the equipment has all of the parts. A computer monitor WIS purchased did not have the battery cover. Some products do have warranties, but make sure you get it in writing before you leave the store.