Every now and then, the dealnews writers encounter a second-hand T-shirt or other apparel item that's been labeled as "refurbished," usually on eBay or another resale site. And perhaps we're just too accustomed to assigning this condition to laptops and hard drives, because describing an article of clothing in this way tends to make us chuckle. But a recent feature from CNBC discusses the concept of refurbished shoes.
They've been deemed refurbished instead of plain old "used" because they've undergone "refinishing." According to CNBC, Nordstrom Rack (Nordstrom's chain of outlet stores) has begun carrying said footwear in select locations. A store representative indicated that these items are "gently worn (either tried on or accepted as returns) and then professionally cleaned, repaired, and refinished as needed to return to a 'near-pristine' condition." In many cases, the shoes have been sold alongside new merchandise.
Since these shoes are supposedly styles that were merely tried on or exchanged within Nordstrom's acceptable window for returns, they're not your local thrift store or consignment shop's scuffed and potentially odorous footwear. However, considering Nordstrom's reputation as a high-end retailer, several brand image consultants have suggested that the "refurbished" strategy is ill-advised. In the end though, it might not be an official merchandising policy at all, as CNBC suggests that select stores could be "going rogue" with the sales.
Either way, we want to know: how many of you would be willing to buy used shoes? Would you buy without blinking an eye, or would you need a sizable discount? And are you more likely to buy "new" shoes through Nordstrom as opposed to a thrift store?
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