Prepurchase information search may be viewed as an expense and/or an experience. The authors argue that theory is unclear in explaining the effect of each form of search on a consumer's ultimate product return intentions. Alternative hypotheses are developed in relation to core theory that predict inconsistent effects of search upon both product satisfaction and return intentions. Results ultimately suggest that a consumer's investment in search that is viewed as an expense weakens satisfaction with a product, while prompting return intentions. Conversely, search viewed as an experience heightens satisfaction and diminishes return intentions. Theoretical and managerial implications of the results are discussed.