Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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They break it? I'll take it!

broken stuff for the broke
  (+13, -4)(+13, -4)
(+13, -4)
  [vote for,

Many stores, especially department stores, end up having to dispose of a large amount of damaged goods.

Merchandise is all too often ruined by clumsy shoppers, or worse yet clumsy shippers.

Large stores can't enforce the oft-heard expression "you break it, you buy it", or do not have such a policy. What I propose is a company that sells only damaged goods. The merchandise of course does not have to be functional—items many would consider useless can be used for display purposes (for example, many real estate agents use props for "staging" of properties for sale), or fixed by those savvy enough.

All in all, stores would save money, and a decent niche of people would save money too. And of course, the company would markup the products enough to make good money.

Spacecoyote, Nov 04 2007

pretty close? http://en.wikipedia...iki/Dumpster_diving
[the dog's breakfast, Nov 04 2007]

Ocean State http://www.oceansta.../about/default.aspx
[xandram, Nov 04 2007]

scroll down to *returns* http://www.jdcloseouts.com/info.html
states *slightly damaged, missing a piece, etc* [xandram, Nov 05 2007]

Marden's Surplus and Salvage http://www.mardenssurplus.com/
Maine's version of exactly what you describe [Capt Skinny, Jan 18 2008]


       Around here we have Big Lots, Ocean State Job Lot and some other chains that sell *not so perfect* stuff. Sometimes the packaging is messed up, or it's a second, so they charge less. There used to be a chain of stores called "Railroad Salvage" which sold things exactly as you describe. Things that fell off trucks or damaged in shipping, whatever. So, a relatively good idea that is somewhat baked.
xandram, Nov 04 2007

       Yep. And, sometimes you can damage goods, demand a price reduction and fix it later. Plus, the "you break it, you buy it" idea is nice to abuse when you can't usually buy an item (it's reserved, for example). Just use the above technique, and you'll be fine.
Shadow Phoenix, Nov 04 2007

       [-] This is close to a "let's all", shirley?   

       Many stores already sell "shop soiled", "ex-demo" or "slightly damaged" items at knock-down prices. Similar items turn up in discount stores - as well as at car boot sales. There are plenty of places that sell "seconds" also.   

       I suspect that the manufacturers in general are wary of letting damaged goods onto the market. Mr. Panasonic would prefer to sell only tip-top TVs, and they accept returns of damaged goods from retailers, for a substantial fraction of the wholesale price.
MaxwellBuchanan, Nov 04 2007

       Obliterate the branding, then.   

       BTW, I never said "lets all buy damaged goods". Also Big Lots is not even close. They sell stuff that doesn't look that damaged, and works properly.
Spacecoyote, Nov 05 2007

       haha, then you have never shopped at one of our Big Lots. There are hidden, broken items in with all those *close-outs*. They will allow one to return the item though, as they are not sold as *broken*.
As an example, I bought a small, solar lantern this spring. When I got it home and unpacked it, it was all rusty, had spiders living in it and did not work. They did accept the return and I got a working one.
see link for jdcloseouts; maybe you'll consider that one closer to your idea.
xandram, Nov 05 2007

       [+] I bunned this even though the potential for abuse is great. Sometimes people buy merchandise, return it, and then wait for it to end up on the clearance table so they can buy it again at a cheaper price. I think the same would apply here where people would purposely break stuff in the store so they could come back and buy it when the price went down. One way to prevent this problem would be to ship these items to other store locations in other states. Chain based stores could do this very cheaply and easily because the exchange of merchandise passes through a central warehouse.
Jscotty, Nov 05 2007

       We have Hudson's and Dirt Cheap. Both do exactly this.
nomocrow, Nov 06 2007

       Sharper Image tried this years ago. They used to have a weekly auction of returned and damaged goods. Turned out so many people bought stuff at the auctions that the store (in my town at least!) closed.
Steamboat, Jan 15 2008

       I'd buy some broken stuff. Not all of it, but I can fix some stuff. [+]   

       People would abuse it a lot. i wouldn't, but some people would, I know that. [-]   

       No vote for me.
TahuNuva, Jan 16 2008

       You may have something here.   

       The first item ever sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer. When eBay founder Pierre Omidyar contacted the winning bidder and asked if he understood the laser pointer was broken, the bidder replied, "Yes, I collect broken laser pointers." I imagine it was then that Omidyar heard destiny's call.
Ander, Jan 17 2008

       I can see this being fine for disposable items but, for instance electronics, this could cause major issues for companies. Let's say you get a broken notebook computer. The manufacturer would still have to warranty it and repair it - at their cost. So, companies would come out the loser even though a shopper, stocker, or delivery guy broke the thing in the first place. (This is my first annotation on anyone's idea. I've been a lurker. Just wanted to offer a different perspective and I'm not voting on this.)
Sometimer, Jan 17 2008

       Well when the manufacturer sees that your receipt is from "Damaged Goods Warehouse" they won't honor the warranty.   

       Also, I already said that branding (and I guess also warranty cards too) would be obliterated, so as not to tarnish the reputation of the manufacturer.
Spacecoyote, Jan 18 2008


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