Returns of meat products at Growlies


Neal:
Hey, everybody. It's Neal from Growlies. Today, I'm going to talk to you about a sensitive topic, returns, and why you get some of the pushback that you get from us when you try to return boxes of meat.

A couple of things. Firstly, we don't do a cash back return. As a small store, when we do returns we do in-store credit as returns, because when you've given us our money, we then used that money or reinvested that money in order to purchase new goods and we just don't have the cash flow that'll allow us to just give money back. The only time that we do do that is when your dog has passed away. Your dog has passed away we will give you cashback. We don't really have the wherewithal to do that. Otherwise, it's returns for in-store credit.

If you choose not to use that product anymore, we have other products, treats, toys- well, they're not a lot of toys, yogurts, treats whatever. You still have a pet, you can still pick up something. It's all good, it's not hard.

The other thing is, the thing that happened today to me was somebody brought back half a 25-pound box and asked for a return. A couple of things about that. One is if the manufacturer has a really good return policy, we'll honor their return policy which is some of them are black and white, you want to return do a return. Most of them are not. Most of them respect the animal in the box enough to ask a few questions.

Even with the guys who are black and white, they'll just accept any returns, they still want a reason, they still want to know why you're returning this box of a meat. You still have to give us a reason, it's not hard. For the most part, most of our guys are fairly small and they want to work with you on returns. They have questions and procedures that they'd like you to follow when you're returning a box of meat. Part of that is just honoring the animal that's in the box. An animal gave its life for that product and let's not just throw it out, come on, let's respect those animals too. That's fair. A lot of them will ask that you contact them.

Many of our smaller guys will ask that you contact them and we'll still manage the return but there's that extra step where you have to contact the manufacturer and have a little bit of a dialogue with them so they can understand how they can do better whether or not they made any mistakes and ultimately, help you to honor the animal in the box.

Those are the two scenarios we see where you're purchasing one of the smaller providers, they're going to want to hear from you, they'll need to you talk to their audience and you're going to be upset when we tell you that. It happens every time because we're humans and we don't want the extra step and we've been trained by Walmart and Costco to just manage the return. Unfortunately, we're not that kind of business or fortunately, we're not that kind of business. You may need to contact a manufacturer to get a return authorized with us.

Well, the other thing we do is, we watch out for serial returners, people who return lots and lots and lots of goods because ultimately, they're not doing good business. They're not doing fair business. We will always do good and fair business to the best of our ability but what we will do if we see that you're returning and returning and returning, we'll ask you not to come here anymore. Why? Because you're being unfair. We're a small local business, we're trying to keep people employed and happy, we're trying to bring in good and healthy opportunities for our community and in no way are we looking for people who are being disingenuous in regards to how they run their business with us.

I know that sounds hardcore, I don't like being in this position but after 13 years, let me tell you, we've had to fire a few customers to say you can no longer return goods to us. You've had too many returns, it's unfair to us, it's unfair to the animals in the boxes, it's an unfair way to do business and you need to go back to Costco. I know that that's harsh but it's also the reality.

For the most part, most of our returns are fine, most of the packaged goods is fine, it's always the meat that's the problem, it's always the frozen meat products. When we have returns on those products, we really do want to honor the animals that are in those boxes. We really do want to do right by your own pet, we really do want to make sure that you have an opportunity to use the products that you purchased. Some of our manufacturers insist that you talk to them before a return is authorized and I know none of you want to hear that as an answer, not a one of you. I've been through this enough times.

What do I do recommend? Try it again. Put it in the freezer for a week try it again. What they don't like on Tuesday they might like again on Wednesday of the next week. If they're holding up for something better, mix it with something better. If you bought a variety box and it's turkey and a beef and a pork or something along those lines and they love the beef and the pork but they don't need to eat the turkey, mix them. What's wrong with that people? It's not hard just mix the beef with the turkey they'll love it. If they're holding out for something like a treat, well put the treat on top. Use it as a topper, give them a little bit of what they're looking for.

I happen to be in the lucky position where I don't have picky dogs, I have hungry dogs. These goat milks and these bone broths and the yogurt and the cheese like these things, use them as attractants, make the meal more attractive. For instance, turkey is one of the returns we get a lot. The reason is because its a boring meat. It's so boring we use cranberry sauce and gravy to make it palatable when we have it at our holiday meals. Use a little cranberry and gravy. By that, I mean a little goat milk, a little cheese, a little crumble, a little something to amp it up a little bit because it's a fairly boring meat. Give it some seasoning, it's not hard, it's a boring.

What else is there? You have to work with the manufacturer often especially with the smaller manufacturers, they need to hear from their customer. Guys like Carnivora want to hear from you, guys like Mega will often want to hear from you. The local guys Just Raw, Buddies, Pet Lovers' Choice. I don't know that Pet Lover's Choice gets money returns at all, that's amazing. That's these guys. I mean 'Island made', you think that that small little company isn't somebody who you need to talk to, to authorize a return? Like Mega, you're buying a box, it's a 70 bucks, 60 bucks, 120 bucks. Carnivora 140 bucks. I can't afford to just return those goods and throw them out, I just can't.

That's one of the reasons you have to work with them but the others, they actually want to hear from you, they need to hear from their customer, they need to hear how to do better or they need to hear what you're seeing as compared to other products and why you didn't like theirs. We're trying to be fair, we're trying to do fair business. We do returns all the time. I think it's unfair to the animal in the box sometimes in the attitudes that some people take.

Somebody came to me today doing a return of 12 pounds of a 25-pound box and I see he goes, "Well, you could resell it." No. I could, I shouldn't because I didn't care for the product, I didn't handle the product once it left my store, it's not safe for me to sell. Don't assume I can sell used meat, that's not what I do. We're here, we're curating goods in a healthy and reasonable fashion in a professional way. There's no way I'm going to sell your 12 pounds of returned meat that I don't know what happened to it as soon as it left my store. Let's be a little reasonable here people.

This is one of those videos where you're all going hate me and I apologize. I'm not even going to try to sell you something because well, you're angry with me by this point in the video. I'm going to call it there, I'm going to say that we try to be reasonable, we're doing our best.

If you have questions, we'll do our best to answer them and it's not always black and white because life isn't. There are all sorts of shades of gray and while some of our manufacturers like the American guys have great return policies, most of them need to hear from you. We'll manage the return with them but they want to hear. Like Pets Go Raw they want to hear from you. They should, they're a small company they should hear from their customer.

Thank you very much I appreciate your patience and time with us and I hope you're all having a lovely weekend. Cheers, bye.