Its a cheque made out to yours truly for $18.08, the difference between the price I paid Lee Valley Tools last June for two diamond stones and the price those same stones will sell for this year. The refund is in accordance with Lee Valley's "Price Reduction Guideline". I had no idea Lee Valley Tools had such a guideline.
I searched their site for that guideline, but couldn't find anything. I then did a Google search for it, but nothing came up except a bunch of hits for postings in other blogs that have already written about this same surprise cheque.
I then sent off an email to the company asking for directions to the guideline, or a copy of the guideline. This is what came back...
"There are many factors that determine our price reduction guidelines,
unfortunately these are not published."
Now I could be a cynic about this so called "price reduction guideline" as this is the first time I have ever received anything even closely resembling something like this in the 32 years I have been dealing with this company. In fact, about 8 or 9 years ago I commented to one of the salesman that, due to the amount of money I had spent with this company over the years, I shouldn't have had to pay $5 and change for one of their caps . That comment got me a smile, but no discount and certainly no price reduction guideline cheque. (I should have bought one back then because they are almost 10 bucks now)
So yes, I'm being a bit cynical about this because the question that arises is, "Why now?"
After a little thought, I answered that question myself and my cynicism dissolved very quickly. The answer is very simple.
The economy on both sides of the border sucks. Sales for Lee Valley, like any other business during this past fiscal period, have to be down. What better way to initiate additional sales then to send a cheque to most of your long-standing, loyal customers under the guise of being a straight-shooting company? Talk about a brilliant promotion. It is subtle, a boost to customer relations, and if any Lee Valley customer is considering buying a new tool or two, where do you think they will be cashing in that cheque? You got it. Lee Valley Tools.
Just bloody brilliant!
Of course, I could be wrong. The guideline could be a long-standing policy of Lee Valley's and this could be the first time in 32 years an item I have purchased from them has fallen in price the following year. It is possible, isn't it? (take two minutes out here to stop giggling)
Either way, I'm off to Lee Valley this weekend to get that Auriou 300mm Cabinetmakers Rasp I have been dreaming about for the past couple of months. As of this morning, the price of that rasp just dropped below a hundred bucks.