I always say, "People buy from people they like." And here's a true story...
Earlier this summer, I made a spur-of-the-moment, impulse $500 purchase at one of my LHS's. (We've probably ALL done this at one time or another.) Took the product home, and for a variety of reasons that I don't need to go into here... the locomotive remained unopened, completely sealed for a few months.
Today, I finally got around to visiting the store again... with plans to buy the newly delivered Lionel Pennsy M1A coal set along with a bunch of matching GLa hoppers and another N5b caboose. A sizable purchase for sure. Well not only did I get a fair price on all the new stuff (i.e., no game-playing by upping the prices closer to inflated MSRP's once items hit the street -- a practice which is becoming increasingly more common these days), I also received credit for my purchase earlier this summer which I returned with its receipt.
Now THAT's good customer service. Good will at its best -- not to mention a PERFECT example of how a LHS can set itself apart from online dealers who only lead with rock-bottom pricing and would most likely never entertain a return like this.
For inquiring minds, the store is Nicholas Smith Trains here in southeastern PA. In the 1980's and 1990's, I lived about 15 minutes from the store, and I can't tell you how many evenings I'd stop in for hours (on my way back home from Philly's airport). These days I don't live as close, so I only get there a few times a year.
Chris and Joey are stand-up guys, and they always have a nice inventory. So plan your visits accordingly!