How I made $1350 by asking for it

Nov 1, 2010 by

Money! How’s that for a spam-alicious title huh?

Don’t worry, this isn’t a money making get rich scheme.  Its a stop wasting your money scheme.

Stop wasting your money buying cheap crap that you throw away when it inevitably breaks (because its cheap!).

I’m very guilty of this habit.  I buy cheap crap because its on sale (who doesn’t love a sale?) and then it breaks an hour/day/week later and I’m pissed and it ends up in the trash.   This is a horrible cycle that not only wastes my money on the cheap product but on the manufacturing of said product in who knows what country, with who knows what quality of materials etc and then of course sits in our landfills.

That all said, I’m trying to buy better quality products that are made by companies I want to support because of how they both make their products and stand behind them.

So here’s what happened recently and how I made all that money.

I recently had 3 products either replaced or fixed for next to nothing (a few bucks for shipping) just by asking.

First was an awesome set of Nike running headphones that stopped working.  Actually just the left ear bud stopped working, but instead of just throwing them in the trash, I decided to check with Philips (they manufacture them) and see what they could do.  After 2 minutes chatting with a support representative online they got my address and just shipped me a new pair.  Free.   That’s it.  I just asked and they were VERY cool and sent me a brand new pair.

Second was my FAVORITE pair of North Face pants.  These were the most comfortable pants ever and they were great for just wearing around or camping.  One of the zippers that connects the legs to the pants broke so I hit up the North Face website to see what I could do.  First thing I saw on the site was that all of their clothes come with a lifetime warranty.  LIFETIME WARRANTY!!  I didn’t think I could love North Face anymore.  So I threw them in a small box, and dropped them in the mail (total cost: 3 bucks).  A week or so later the pants were returned, fixed with a new zipper, and just as awesome as ever.

Third and the best of the bunch.  My company recently bought some used Aeron Chair from a company that was downsizing.  These are $1200 chairs and we got them for $100 bucks each which is a steal.  If you’ve never sat in an Aeron Chair, your missing out.  They are the best chairs ever and while ridiculously expensive, worth every penny.  We bough almost every chair they were getting rid of, and they had a couple extra chairs that were broken that they were going to throw away.  I asked if I could have one of the broken ones and they let me have it.  One thing I did know about these chairs is that they come with a 10 year warranty and this chair was on 9 and half years.  So with a few keystrokes I had the warranty dept sending me out a big box for me to put the chair in and ship back to them to fix (for free).  Fast forward to me sitting in the chair now and so damn  happy.

So I didn’t actually make all that in cold hard cash, but I have 3 amazing products I love.

So the lesson to learn here is buy quality stuff.   And before you go to throw out that item, spend 30 seconds on Google and see if you can get it fixed or replaced before just throwing it away.

Also you don’t have to pay full price for those quality items.  I bought those North Face pants at an REI used gear sale for 14 bucks.

Ben…

Got a great story of a deal you got, I’d love to hear it.  No spam please.

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  • Jason Liebrecht

    Next time you find Aeron chairs for $100 you must call me! That rocks!

  • Jason Liebrecht

    Oh! Here's another tip! Yesterday I went to REI about the rain fly for my MSR Mutha Hubba tent which I just love! The waterproof tape was delaminating this no longer waterproof. They sent it off to be repaired or replaced at no charge to me. Apparently that's part of being an REI member! So don't throw gear away you bought there. Chances are they will fix it for you!

    (I bought the tent in Feb of 2008)

  • Heath

    Great post Ben, I have to keep this in mind more often.