"Free iPod Engraving" Is Code For "You Can't Return This, Sucker"

Ever wonder why some places will engrave your electronics for free? It’s so you can’t return them. Really. That’s the reason. Returns of perfectly good, non-defective merchandise account for 95% of returns and “free engraving” is a cheap, easy way to ensure that that item won’t be coming back.

Back in May of this year, Sony told the WSJ that free engraving had recently saved them a million dollars.

So what, you ask? Well, if you’re buying the iPod or the laptop or whatever as a gift — you might want to skip the engraving unless you’re totally 100% sure that the person wants it. As in, they said to you, “Aunt Awesome and Uncle Kickass, please get me a new iPod with my name on it, pretty please???” Otherwise, you might just be causing problems for your loved one (or their parents) if they try to return or exchange the gift.

If you are currently stuck with a beautifully engraved iPod you don’t want, we’ve heard rumors that you can try to exchange it for a more expensive one. Here’s some advice from someone who claims to have done it.

Bottom line: Engraving is a cool thing for people who know they won’t have buyer’s remorse — but risky for a gift. Beware.

(Thanks, Jennifer!)
(Photo: decaf )