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The BoardSMITH
06-20-2012, 07:05 AM
This is my official return policy.

If a customer receives a defective board, I will pay for the return shipping both ways. However, I need proof of the defective nature through photos. A defect is an obvious crack or split that has opened up during transit or happened through no fault of the customer within the first 90 days after receipt. If the board has warped due to prolonged contact with water resulting in splits, cracks and warps, that is not a manufacturing defect.

Occasionally the heat inside a UPS trailer or the pressure of boxes piled on top will result in a crack which I will honor as a defect. Warps caused by shipping pressure will go away once the board is allowed to relax in its new surroundings. If it doesn't relax and flatten, I will replace it. Mineral stains and other natural colorations of a board are not defects. Those were placed there by a natural reaction of the tree to an insect or tapping for maple sap. Those mineral stains are visible in 30 to 50% of the maple I buy and are almost impossible to work around. (I once had a customer who demanded I throw away all the wood that contained mineral stains.)

If a board is damaged in transit, UPS will normally pay for the return but if they deny the damage claim, I will have it returned then pay to resend another board. Otherwise, I will resend once the damage claim is accepted at my expense and wait for UPS to pay for the damages.

If the customer is simply not pleased with the appearance of the board, the return shipping is on the customer. If the customer wants to return a board for appearance questions, I will refund the cost of the board once the board has been received back to the shop. I do not refund the original shipping charges.

What happens to returned boards? The few that are returned are cut up and deposited in the dumpster. Why? Would you use a cutting board that another customer had? Once the shrink wrap is broken, anything can happen and I simply can't afford to take that chance.

As an aside, the photos on the web site are there for illustrative purposes only and the boards received will be different in appearance. The wood from tree to tree can and will vary in shades and coloration. The web site photos were taken of boards that were shipped to other customers and were not taken of special boards made just for photography.

ecchef
06-20-2012, 07:56 AM
Dave,

Thank you for posting this clear & concise policy statement. I'm sure it will address many FAQ's.

Dave

CAD
06-20-2012, 08:23 AM
Dave,

Thank you for posting this clear & concise policy statement. I'm sure it will address many FAQ's.

Dave


This "clear and concise policy statement" was posted after I get shafted. Sure he will exchange at the tune of $62.85 in shipping for a $90.00 board.


Copy of my email to Mr. Smith is below:

Let me explain my problem with the board I received. If your FAQ had talked about mineral stains or I saw a picture with mineral stains...I would have requested a board with no stains. As it is...I had no idea they existed. I wanted a board like in your flyer/website. I'm sorry for this misunderstanding however I'm not happy with this board. Can it be exchanged with no extra cost to me?

mhlee
06-20-2012, 12:26 PM
David:

This just an FYI. The shrink wrap on the board that I received from you was broken at several locations when I received it. The feet of the board had punctured through the shrink wrap and the shrink wrap was also torn on the sides.

The BoardSMITH
06-20-2012, 12:33 PM
mhlee - The shrink wrap is there mainly to give the tape something to hold on to. Since the tape won't stick to the oiled board, either butchers paper or shrink wrap has to be used. Shrink wrap is easier, quicker and far cheaper than butchers paper. And I lost my source on butchers paper years ago. Also, the shrink wrap endures a lot on the trip from the shop to its final destination and I am surprised much of it lasts as long as it does.

As for the OP, I'm not going to engage in a spitting contest on the forum nor will I sling comments around. As for the policy, this has always been the policy I have followed. From now on a written returns policy will be included in every box that is shipped out.

Eamon Burke
06-20-2012, 12:34 PM
My board has scratches all over it. It looks like someone's been hacking at it with a knife.

Also, there is a spot on the side that looks like someone burned it with a hot iron.

And it smells like Mineral Oil.

Hermes7792
06-20-2012, 12:59 PM
Where you going to frame it and put it on your wall or Cut on it? If you wanted an art piece you got one, if you use it, it will eventually get some awesome stains and marks from use. This shouldn't be an issue, unlessyou do plan on hanging it up...

cookinstuff
06-20-2012, 01:13 PM
I understand alot of these boards look like art, but a stain? You should be oiling your board, and stain it yourself anyway. I plan on ordering a board from you David, I have alot of maple boards, they are popular from cabinet makers and such up here in Canada, but I plan on getting a massive endgrain maple from you. Your boards are simply a cut above, thank you for outlying your policy here, should result in less issues on your end. Great work as always and look forward to placing my order.

Deckhand
06-20-2012, 01:18 PM
Just so everyone is perfectly clear. I have no intentions of ever returning my board. Best investment I ever made.:D

Maluaka
06-20-2012, 01:42 PM
My board has scratches all over it. It looks like someone's been hacking at it with a knife.

Also, there is a spot on the side that looks like someone burned it with a hot iron.

And it smells like Mineral Oil.

Better start putting a poly board on top. Gotta protect your investment.

Pensacola Tiger
06-20-2012, 01:45 PM
This is a pic of my maple BoardSMITH board. I never once considered this to be a "defect", or cause for returning the board.

http://i758.photobucket.com/albums/xx226/Pensacola_Tiger/Misc%20Photos/7893b1b5.jpg

Mike Davis
06-20-2012, 01:48 PM
It is a curl in the figure....I would want the whole board to look like that :D

macmiddlebrooks
06-20-2012, 01:55 PM
It is a curl in the figure....I would want the whole board to look like that :D

True...google "wabi sabi" if you need to be soothed :).

Crothcipt
06-20-2012, 01:57 PM
I think that adds character. I'm sorry people now days think that stuff made from wood will always look the exact same. In the restaurant bus. people get mad when they order a Rib eye and it is fatty. Many times the business suffers because of the customers education.

The BoardSMITH
06-20-2012, 02:04 PM
8112

For those who asked, here is a photo of the board in question.

Crothcipt
06-20-2012, 02:12 PM
Wow over time and oil that will pop like no body's business. To bad it will be come dumpster wood.

Taz575
06-20-2012, 02:23 PM
CAD, do you have pics?? I may be interested in it!

Johnny.B.Good
06-20-2012, 02:24 PM
I believe David just posted it above.

Taz575
06-20-2012, 02:27 PM
Yeah, just saw that he posted it; I guess my page didn't refresh before I posted!

chinacats
06-20-2012, 03:12 PM
I agree, sell it here, someone will be very happy!

Chifunda
06-20-2012, 03:16 PM
It is a curl in the figure....I would want the whole board to look like that :D

Curly maple is great...until you have to plane it! :curse:

Crothcipt
06-20-2012, 03:22 PM
I agree, sell it here, someone will be very happy!
That would be against his customer policy.:goodevil::crying::bat:

Eamon Burke
06-20-2012, 05:58 PM
Better start putting a poly board on top. Gotta protect your investment.

It occurred to me one day when I was a kid that we were eating food on:
Plates, to keep the food off of the
Placemats, to keep the food off of the
Tableclotch, to keep the food off of the
Veneer Pad, to keep the food off of the
Finish, to keep the food off of the
Table, to keep the food off of the
Linoleum, to keep the food off of the
Floorboards, to keep the food off of the
Foundation, to keep the food off of the
Dirt.


At some point, you just gotta use something.


That mineral stain would look totally different if that board was saturated in oil. My board has tiny spots and streaks like that all over it. It's a piece of wood. I want it to look like wood, and I want to love it for the food I made on it.

Maluaka
06-20-2012, 06:17 PM
Forgot to put the winky on the end ;-)

My father in law has a spray in bed liner in the box of his Nissan Titan so the metal doesn't get scratched, but he then has a carpet in there so the spray in Bed liner doesn't get scuffed, but then you have to be careful not to put anything in there that would get the carpet dirty... :beatinghead:

I only borrowed the truck once. I'm still surprised he didn't make me pay a damage deposit or sign a waiver that I wouldn't drive through any puddles or fart in the seat or something.

Still-edo
06-20-2012, 06:19 PM
If your returns look like that... I bet there is a line to buy your b-stocks.

clayton
06-20-2012, 06:20 PM
Totally. Resell the B stock with liability waiver.

Eamon Burke
06-20-2012, 06:27 PM
Dave, have you considered planing down the returns/seconds/etc, making them fully half of what they were, then selling them as cheese boards, presentation boards, etc? There can't be any food contaminants that far down into the wood, it doesn't even get light and air down there.

It'd save you some dollars(maybe recoup some shipping and materials for the replacement?), and be a cool thing people could buy.

WildBoar
06-20-2012, 06:27 PM
Ah well, this is a byproduct of producing functional 'works of art'. Even though the board will get cut into, oiled, etc. and change appearance as time goes by, you run the risk of buyers expecting something "perfect" upon arrival. I suspect if 5 boards were laid out before you for purchase, and you had a choice, most would likely pick the one that either had the least 'defects', or the one that had the coolest-looking 'defects'.

Based upon the buyer's initial reaction when the board was removed from the packaging, I believe the 'pride of ownership' that had been built up by reading so many glowing reviews of Dave's boards immediately went out the window, and the buyer felt he had been cheated somehow. It's too bad he jumped right on the forums to vent, but I doubt reading a bunch of postings from people saying 'don't worry, the board is fine' will not change his opinon that he was due a wood product that contains zero blemishes.

Johnny.B.Good
06-20-2012, 06:29 PM
Ah well, this is a byproduct of producing functional 'works of art'. Even though the board will get cut into, oiled, etc. and change appearance as time goes by, you run the risk of buyers expecting something "perfect" upon arrival. I suspect if 5 boards were laid out before you for purchase, and you had a choice, most would likely pick the one that either had the least 'defects', or the one that had the coolest-looking 'defects'.

Based upon the buyer's initial reaction when the board was removed from the packaging, I believe the 'pride of ownership' that had been built up by reading so many glowing reviews of Dave's boards immediately went out the window, and the buyer felt he had been cheated somehow. It's too bad he jumped right on the forums to vent, but I doubt reading a bunch of postings from people saying 'don't worry, the board is fine' will not change his opinon that he was due a wood product that contains zero blemishes.

Well said.

apicius9
06-20-2012, 06:33 PM
Dave, have you considered planing down the returns/seconds/etc, making them fully half of what they were, then selling them as cheese boards, presentation boards, etc? There can't be any food contaminants that far down into the wood, it doesn't even get light and air down there.

It'd save you some dollars(maybe recoup some shipping and materials for the replacement?), and be a cool thing people could buy.

+1. I can see that you want to be careful and sometimes tossing things is just the easiest solution, but I don;t see anything wrong with thoroughly sanding a board and selling it again. As for the problem itself, I guess expectations just vary. I often look at wood pieces and wonder whether something is a flaw or a 'character feature'. That's why I usually try and show snapshots of the final product before I send it out. Not sure if you do that, David, but considering the high shipping cost, it might be a good idea? Of course, that's another added work step.

Stefan

Chifunda
06-20-2012, 07:20 PM
I think "expectations" is the key word here. I know that after reading what Mr. Boar describes as "glowing reviews" of Dave's boards, I expected more than I got and I was disappointed. But I see that as my fault, not Dave's.

I have what some would regard as unreasonable standards in some areas and it's up to me to communicate what I'm looking for in a custom made product. In retrospect, I should have described what I wanted and offered to pay a premium price to achieve that end. How the hell is Dave supposed to know what I want unless I tell him? Mea culpa :dontknow:

And I'm sorry, but I don't buy the "get over it, it's going to get dinged up when you use it" argument. I know that when I finally win the Powerball and get my new Aston Martin, eventually some knuckle dragging troglodyte in a Yugo is going to park next to me and bang his car door into mine. But I don't expect my V12 Vantage to arrive with chipped paint and dents.:razz:

heldentenor
06-20-2012, 07:40 PM
Some of this community's most fascinating and recurring discussions center around exactly the various meanings of "craftsmanship" and "expectations." I have--quite seriously--considered writing an article on the social economy of how we structure our choices around those values, and what our actions in that light say about us.

As someone who owns a 2005 Honda Civic with countless dings from the above mentioned troglodytes but STILL gets pissed every time a new one appears, I don't think that there is a right answer beyond the utterly unsatisfying but true maxim that clear communication and detailed knowledge beforehand can prevent dissatisfaction down the line. Maybe I'm easy to please, but I can also say that every product I've bought from a vendor or craftsman here has made me happy and seemed to resist, in however small a way, our descent into a soulless world ruled entirely by impersonal market forces and unmitigated by either creativity or human decency. Diatribe over. I love my Boardsmith board.

tk59
06-20-2012, 08:47 PM
...clear communication and detailed knowledge beforehand can prevent dissatisfaction down the line...+1. I've been satisfied with the appearance of all five BoardSMITHs I've purchased. However, I have seen boards that I would have complained about, if I didn't know what to expect. Frankly, I think the onus is on David to make sure his customers know what they should expect. I would look at providing a picture or something prior to shipping. A lot of complaints (legitimate and otherwise) on this forum (and others) get swept under the rug because we value our craftsmen. I wouldn't hold it against the OP.

Salty dog
06-20-2012, 08:57 PM
I'd be bummed out if I got that board.

The same can be said for the granite counter tops I had installed in the restrooms. There is a big fugly wabi sabi spot right in the middle of the exposed edge. Ok, it's a natural material. Turn the damn thing around so it's against the wall!

Not the same scenario but............

Dream Burls
06-20-2012, 09:09 PM
Frankly, I think the onus is on David to make sure his customers know what they should expect.

I totally agree. His catalogue shows all these perfect boards so you naturally expect to get one just like that. When I didn't I was disappointed and communicated that to him. He explained what the irregulrities were and I was okay with it. It's all about managing expectations.

add
06-20-2012, 09:37 PM
Good thread.
Think it is a healthy and educational discussion.

Imo, the size of the artifact of the board in question + given the shipping/return policy...

= a new owner (expectations again) who should be given some pause...

SpikeC
06-20-2012, 11:02 PM
It is a piece of WOOD fer criminy sakes. Wood is not a uniform material. I guess I am just a wabi sabi kinda guy, but I don't see a problem with the board. That light colored block is problematical, though.....

GlassEye
06-21-2012, 12:21 AM
It is a piece of WOOD fer criminy sakes. Wood is not a uniform material. I guess I am just a wabi sabi kinda guy, but I don't see a problem with the board. That light colored block is problematical, though.....

I agree with you. It is made from a tree, the interior is a lot more uniform than the exterior would lead one to believe, but not perfect. I would take a returned board, would be a lot better than what I am using at home currently.

The Edge
06-21-2012, 12:29 AM
It's a natural material, and therefor no one should be surprised if it has a little character that comes with it. If I received that board, I may have questioned it's looks, but after a little while staring at it, I think I would have just appreciated it that much more. The question isn't about right or wrong for either the buyer or seller, but comes down to managing expectations. I think the idea of sending a pic before shipping is genius. It would save money in the long run, and any objections or questions would be able to be resolved before too large of a commitment was made. Right now, as it stands, we have a customer that doesn't feel like he was given proper service, and a maker who doesn't feel appreciated. No one is getting what they want at this point. The best anyone can do from this is live and learn, and now it's time to hug it out.

El Pescador
06-21-2012, 12:45 AM
After reading all the posts I feel like both are at fault. Dave should have a disclamer about wood being a natural product and you should expect mineral streaks, color variations , small knots, etc.

If I was a buyer and wanted a board that looked just like one in the catalog, I'd ask "Does mine look like the picture?" Caveat Emptor...

mano
06-21-2012, 04:54 AM
It is a piece of WOOD fer criminy sakes. Wood is not a uniform material.

We live in a country where billions of tomatoes and pieces of fruit are pretty damn uniform, eggs all look the same and customers expect their shipped product to look like the picture. Not the same exact board as in the picture but...you know what I mean.

It takes a certain amount of education to have people accept heirloom tomatoes, eggs from real farm raised chickens and wabi sabi from artisan made products. I can see why the OP saw that one block of wood as a defect.

The BoardSMITH
06-21-2012, 07:00 AM
I sincerely appreciate all the comments posted here. Realizing I can't make everyone happy helps to keep me grounded and keeps the ego in check.

I have had several offers to buy the returns I receive, which amounts to only one to three a year. For safety concerns, I will continue to cut them up and dispose of them in the dumpster.

Along with returns, I have boards that never see the light outside of the shop due to a flaw which has surfaced during sanding making it unsellable in any form or fashion. Currently I have started the production of 16 - 16 x 22 maple boards and 10 - 12 x 18 maple boards. Of those 26, I expect 5 or more to either be cut down to smaller sizes or discarded entirely. When processing the raw stock for those boards, about 25% was pulled out due to defects that were unseen until they went though either the jointer or planer. With rough sawn stock defects are tough to see except for knots which stand out like sore thumbs. Each year I make about 700 boards more or less and easily I have 100 others which can't make the cut due to problems/defects.

The suggestion to send an approval photo prior to shipping could be a logistical nightmare. When I ship boards on Fridays, normally UPS backs up to the door and takes 15 to 25 boxes. If I have to wait for approval before shipping, a board could wait for weeks until an approval is received due to some of the email addresses I receive from customers are their disposable addresses and aren't checked regularly. Good idea though.

Again, I realize I can't satisfy everyone 100%, that is a dream. What I can do is make each and every board the best I can and make each one as useful and long lasting as I can. If someone has a problem, I will try to work with them to make it a win-win for both but sometimes that won't happen so we resort to returns. Hence, the policy, stated above and now in writing to be included within each and every box that will be shipped from today on.

Thanks to everyone for their participation, suggestions and comments. They are all appreciated.

Salty dog
06-21-2012, 07:34 AM
You know what they say about being in business................If it weren't for the employees, customers and vendors it would be great!

macmiddlebrooks
06-21-2012, 10:31 AM
You know what they say about being in business................If it weren't for the employees, customers and vendors it would be great!

LMFAO!

brainsausage
06-21-2012, 11:27 AM
You know what they say about being in business................If it weren't for the employees, customers and vendors it would be great!

:D

SpikeC
06-21-2012, 03:59 PM
One last thing- I just looked closely at my board and it has some mineral staining. I forgot about it because after a couple of oilings with mineral oil and a coat of board butter and some time the stain is almost invisible. What these boards look like when you get them is not anything like what they look like after they live a little!
It is too bad that the person who was dissatisfied did not have a chance to see his board mature.

WildBoar
06-21-2012, 04:56 PM
Got mineral stains on both of our bigger boards, too. 100% agree they 'tone down' after some oilings, waxings and board use. None are as big as the one that sparked this thread, but multiple blocks in both boards do have the stains.

A few dozen people have seen our boards up-close, and no one has mentioned the stains. But many of asked where the boards came from, and how they could get one.

ecchef
06-21-2012, 09:01 PM
Thank you to everybody participating in this thread for keeping it sane & objective. :ggodjob:

Namaxy
06-22-2012, 09:57 AM
I'm still waiting for my board...so I think you all should stop distracting Dave :nunchucks:

Dave - when it arrives I promise to like it!!

Tristan
06-24-2012, 10:25 PM
I think that this thread is actually great. My only addition is that we shouldn't make the OP on any craftsman's forum (sorry it is David's in this case) feel like he is wrong unless he was totally out of line to begin with. As a close knit community, we often try not to besmirch the reputations of many vendors and craftsmen that many on the forum hold up in high regard. It must be hard as it is writing anything negative in that setting. Being asked to get over it by everyone else as a response, doesn't always make a great deal of sense.

As an aside, I doubt David should photograph every board he sends out the door. If it is visually flawless, there is likely no issue. If there was a flaw, then a photo would/could save some time. At least he can recoup the time it cost to take that photo and send it on, by selling the board on to a more understanding customer, or he can sell it on as a second at a slight discount (we know a lot of people on this forum who are glad to get a deal, for what is only an aesthetic blemish), and all that work wouldn't have to go to the dumpster.

My 2 cents.

SpikeC
06-24-2012, 10:42 PM
I just have trouble considering variations in coloration of wood as flaws.

sachem allison
06-25-2012, 01:48 AM
couldn't you just write a note on your website stating that you "use the highest quality natural wood products that mother nature can provide to make your boards, as a result of using a natural product and the nature of a handmade piece there maybe some natural variances in color, grain and possible mineral staining that in no way adversely affects the board and adds to the over all character and visual appeal of a handmade artisinal product. Since all boards are individually handmade and not mass produced in a factory, no two boards will look exactly the same. You will be receiving a unique, one of a kind handmade heirloom. All photographs are representations only, if you would like a more uniform , flawless and mass produce board, this is not the product for you. Thank you and have a nice day."

SpikeC
06-25-2012, 01:13 PM
Do you think that people will be able to actually read all of that?

JohnyChai
06-25-2012, 03:00 PM
couldn't you just write a note on your website stating that you "use the highest quality natural wood products that mother nature can provide to make your boards, as a result of using a natural product and the nature of a handmade piece there maybe some natural variances in color, grain and possible mineral staining that in no way adversely affects the board and adds to the over all character and visual appeal of a handmade artisinal product. Since all boards are individually handmade and not mass produced in a factory, no two boards will look exactly the same. You will be receiving a unique, one of a kind handmade heirloom. All photographs are representations only, if you would like a more uniform , flawless and mass produce board, this is not the product for you. Thank you and have a nice day."


+1

devsung
06-26-2012, 12:44 AM
I think there have been a lot of good points made in this thread and the topic of perceived 'defects' in a product made from natural materials such as wood is very subjective. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to convince a customer that their disappointment is unwarranted because the visual blemish is "naturally occurring." This difficulty is only made worse by the fact that the photos on David's website and the photos posted on KKF by many happy Boardsmith owners typically depict maple boards nearly free of significant mineral stains.

I too am a satisfied Boardsmith owner, having purchased (2) 14x20's in Maple and Mahogany. I received the 14x20 Maple first and was honestly taken aback by the mineral stains. In scouring the internet and KKF for pics when initially researching, I never once saw one of David's boards with so many 'natural discolorations' - therefore my expectation was that I was going to receive a relatively consistent board like all the other thrilled maple board owners had posted. I know some people like the organic look of discolorations - to each his own.

After a few e-mails back and forth with David and a phone call where he gladly took the time to explain how mineral stains form and the difficulty in identifying them prior to assembly and finishing, I felt more comfortable that they were in no way structural defects. The problem remained that I was still not thrilled with the aesthetics as I had ordered the board as a gift. While David was perfectly willing to work with me on a return or exchange, the hefty cost of shipping simply can not be ignored. The Mahogany board showed up the next day and it was an absolutely stunning piece with no stains. I then made the hard decision (selfishly) to gift the Mahogany board instead and keep the maple for myself. Needless to say, I love using the board and all lathered up in board butter it is still an impressive piece. And as I told David, now I have an excuse to buy another Mahogany board!

Boardsmith boards are beautifully-crafted and a joy to use. David is perfectly reasonable in his return policy but I would suggest (as others have) identifying boards with less-than-perfect aesthetics and labeling them as such and/or selling them at a slight discount to hopefully avoid some of these customer service headaches.

http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/1209/mapleboard.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/840/mapleboard.jpg/)

Chifunda
06-26-2012, 08:55 AM
Well said. :doublethumbsup:

Tristan
06-27-2012, 01:11 AM
http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/1209/mapleboard.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/840/mapleboard.jpg/)

See, if I received that, it would have been a defect to me. On the grounds that I can't believe that a blemish free board, and this one, would sell at the same price. Especially if placed side by side in a retail store. And if they were placed side by side, Iimagine that customers would keep buying the blemish free ones and skipping over this one at the same price.

Buying online and sight unseen means you trust the retailer/craftsman to make that call for you.

Hence I also agree, that if a particular board turns out this way, a quick photo and explanation before the event is way better than after. No bad taste in anyone's mouth then.

ptolemy
06-28-2012, 06:58 AM
Very interesting thread. I think it's great one to stick so a potential customer can peruse and educate him/herself. I am not where I stand and that's not because of anything.

1. I think we all agree that Dave's boards are some of the best we have ever used.
2. With that comes to cost, which we all understand and accept since it is some of the best custom made product and we mostly need 1-2 of them (compare to knives and many other expensive hobbies we have).

BUT

I think, having spent so much $, customer, especially one who does not know any better, has to know ahead of time what he/she is getting. One of the bigger issues would be family, who likely even more ignorant that customer him/herself. Try to explain a $200 investigatory which looks like this. Even if they accept verbally, he/she will always have doubts. That's where cognitive dissonance comes into play (buyers remorse). We all had that feeling of disgust and disappointment, which often makes one to stop using the product entirely.

Who is right? There is really no right and wrong answer. Dave is right, many people don't have to have a up to date communication, so if he sends a picture, it may sit there for a week waiting for a reply and then if person sees 1 blemish they may ask him to redo it.

Customer also should expect something and this thread is an example to what can happen. I suspect we have seen some of the worst examples here and on lighter woods they are way more pronounced than on darker.

Many of us would also agree (put me #1 in line) that returns or detects should be sold as is for clearance prices. If Dave were to explain what happened, show pictures and give his honest assessment, I think all those boards would easily sell.

sachem allison
06-29-2012, 12:41 AM
Do you think that people will be able to actually read all of that?

no, people are lazy, but your ass is covered.

Duckfat
07-05-2012, 10:45 AM
http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/1209/mapleboard.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/840/mapleboard.jpg/)

I would not be a happy camper if I received a board like that and paid full price. Boards like this should be sold as seconds IMO. I can't imagine any one being pleased with that even if there is some CYA clause on a web site. My concern would be that those areas might fail pre-maturly. IIR there was an in depth report done by the US forestry service on mineral stains in Maple all being caused by some sort of fungus or damage to the timber. That should be easy to find with a quick Google search.
OTOH I think stains like Penacola Tiger posted on page 2 are minor and don't warrant any concern. Several defects down the center of the board are a real bummer IMO.

Dave

99Limited
07-05-2012, 11:43 AM
Maybe what David should do is raised his prices to cover the extra time it takes to cull out the blocks with any stains. Take all the stained maple and cherry blocks and bag them up to be used for BBQ smoking wood and sell that for a big profit.

I was watching an episode of Good Eats and AB had a big cutting board that looked like every single block had a big mineral stain. When the whole board looks like that, it looks kind of cool.

sharpmaker
07-10-2012, 05:40 AM
This is my official return policy.

If a customer receives a defective board, I will pay for the return shipping both ways. However, I need proof of the defective nature through photos. A defect is an obvious crack or split that has opened up during transit or happened through no fault of the customer within the first 90 days after receipt. If the board has warped due to prolonged contact with water resulting in splits, cracks and warps, that is not a manufacturing defect.

Occasionally the heat inside a UPS trailer or the pressure of boxes piled on top will result in a crack which I will honor as a defect. Warps caused by shipping pressure will go away once the board is allowed to relax in its new surroundings. If it doesn't relax and flatten, I will replace it. Mineral stains and other natural colorations of a board are not defects. Those were placed there by a natural reaction of the tree to an insect or tapping for maple sap. Those mineral stains are visible in 30 to 50% of the maple I buy and are almost impossible to work around. (I once had a customer who demanded I throw away all the wood that contained mineral stains.)

If a board is damaged in transit, UPS will normally pay for the return but if they deny the damage claim, I will have it returned then pay to resend another board. Otherwise, I will resend once the damage claim is accepted at my expense and wait for UPS to pay for the damages.

If the customer is simply not pleased with the appearance of the board, the return shipping is on the customer. If the customer wants to return a board for appearance questions, I will refund the cost of the board once the board has been received back to the shop. I do not refund the original shipping charges.

What happens to returned boards? The few that are returned are cut up and deposited in the dumpster. Why? Would you use a cutting board that another customer had? Once the shrink wrap is broken, anything can happen and I simply can't afford to take that chance.

As an aside, the photos on the web site are there for illustrative purposes only and the boards received will be different in appearance. The wood from tree to tree can and will vary in shades and coloration. The web site photos were taken of boards that were shipped to other customers and were not taken of special boards made just for photography.

David, to keep everybody happy and in consideration of the people advising to "manage expectations," you might want to include a prominent website notice for people re: natural discolorations, etc. Maybe charge an extra fee to have a "no mineral stains" guarantee if it means enough to someone to avoid them. Just a suggestion that may please everyone because a) those who don't care get a price break and b) those who do care pay a premium. The people saying "tough" should consider that some people buy boards not only to cook with, but to show off to friends and family or to give as gifts. It's kind of self-centered to think that your standards apply to everybody else.

Also, instead of cutting up and disposing the boards, it might be neat to keep some around to do experiments on. What experiments that may result I don't know.. maybe people here can come up with ideas. Porosity tests, comparison tests oiled vs unoiled, etc. I don't know. Seems a waste to just toss them, is all I'm saying.

I speak as someone who owns a genuine BoardSMITH board with a few blemishes who was nevertheless pleased with purchase.

The BoardSMITH
07-12-2012, 07:07 AM
Later this summer or early in the fall, my web site will undergo a major face lift after almost 8 years. I will be adding a returns policy page, as suggested here, alter the FAQ's somewhat, and offer a "Standard" and "Premium" version of the maple boards, also as suggested here. The "Standard" may include some mineral staining where the "Premium" version will not. Adding the returns policy and offering the two versions has been discussed with web site designers for several weeks prior to the discussion that appeared here.

Thanks to all for the suggestions and offers to buy the returned/stained boards. Maybe I will list some of those later here and on Facebook.

mainaman
07-12-2012, 12:31 PM
This "clear and concise policy statement" was posted after I get shafted. Sure he will exchange at the tune of $62.85 in shipping for a $90.00 board.


Copy of my email to Mr. Smith is below:

Let me explain my problem with the board I received. If your FAQ had talked about mineral stains or I saw a picture with mineral stains...I would have requested a board with no stains. As it is...I had no idea they existed. I wanted a board like in your flyer/website. I'm sorry for this misunderstanding however I'm not happy with this board. Can it be exchanged with no extra cost to me? I personally do not understand your reasoning. IMO perfect boards can be obtained at Walmart, they are made of plastic or glass , take your pic.

Everyone that stated that some of the mineral stains would be a a problem to them they were on their boards, should get in to woodworking a little bit to get an idea what a natural material is and what to expect from it.

echerub
07-12-2012, 01:47 PM
A lot of folks have never worked with wood and therefore expect something different from those who have that experience.

VoodooMajik
07-12-2012, 03:24 PM
Discount for a board made of only stained pieces? :doublethumbsup: