I bought a sled for Elli 2 years ago. Although she had just turned 2 I thought that we could go out sledding and it would be a fun diversion. I was wrong. It turns out that 2 year olds aren't much fun to take sledding by yourself as they can't climb the hill or in fact do anything at all in their bulky snowsuits so you end up carrying an unhappy toddler under one arm and a sled under the other while trying to get up the hill. It is good for getting a serious workout but not much good for fun. This year though things are going a lot better. Elli is actually able and willing to climb the hill by herself and often will pull the sled up too. It is an amazing change to go from carting everything myself to just standing around watching her go.
Unfortunately over the intervening 2 years I left the sled sitting on our balcony. The sun and weather slowly beat it down such that it broke under pretty normal usage in early January. The front handle smashed, cracks were spreading across the bottom and it was clear it was not long for this world. That sled took a final run into the recycling bin and we went off to find a new one. This was harder than it would seem since our first stop, Toys R Us, was totally out of sleds. I was pretty surprised that they would simply give up on selling sleds halfway through the winter, but that seems to be the way it is. I went to Canadian Tire and found they had 3 kinds of sleds remaining, and only a few of each: Snow Racers (above), baby sleighs and Marvel Superheroes boogeyboard type sleds. I decided to buy the Marvel sled despite some misgivings about the quality of the product and took it out on the hill. After just two times out the bottom of the sled had peeled 1/4 off and it was clear the rest would go almost immediately. I had tossed out the receipt for the sled and was cursing myself for a fool since now I would have to go and buy another.
Canadian Tire, on the other hand, was better than I had thought. I brought in the broken sled with no receipt and they, without any hesitation, told me to go ahead and pick out another sled and they would apply the full value of the old one towards the new purchase. I had figured they would just tell me to sod off without any documentation but we went ahead and picked out a new sled (a much better one, at 50% off instead of regular price no less), paid the difference and took off. The new sled does not have the hideous engineering flaws the old one had and is unbelievably fast, so much so that I have to brake for the whole run if I want to avoid flying into trees or buildings a fair distance from the end of the hill.
I guess I underestimated people. Obviously if everyone was running around trying to rip big companies off they would have to be very stringent about receipts and paperwork and such but clearly the majority of people simply don't try to cheat. It probably has to do with the sum involved since $33 isn't really enough to be worth a scam but I bet people mostly only try to return things that they legitimately bought at the store and which really broke. I often end up telling people that the average person is really quite helpful and almost never dangerous when stranger kidnapping come up for whatever reason but I think it goes further than that. Most people just don't commit real crimes, even small ones.