B&H selling used as new? Bottom line..

Started Jan 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Teila Day
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B&H selling used as new? Bottom line..
Jan 26, 2013

I just encountered a locked thread?  Ahhh that's right... the forums now have police (moderators), and I take it that the other thread got locked due to people getting unreasonable.  sigh...  how I'll miss the freedom of speech, thought, and exchange of ideas around here...

... and the name calling, assumptions, inaccurate statements and...  hmm.. ok, maybe I won't miss it as much as I thought as first blush.  My judgement is still out on 'forum moderation', but I am most confident the mods will do what they can to make the experience in here a more progressive and friendly one.  


We've (our shop) ordered tens of thousands of dollars of gear from them and two things are clear in my experience dealing with the company.

1.  Yes, used or "returned" gear is quite obviously re-sold as new by B&H.  I don't think B&H is being dishonest at heart; Selling "returns" is just how the system works although I wish the system didn't allow for it quite the way it does.

Unfortunately people do order an item knowing that they are going to return it.  They use it, scuff or bend it; subsequently return it, and you order a new item and get that scuffed, dented, scratch, bent, missing paperwork, etc.. "returned" item instead and are totally let down and... "upset" (I'm using nice words). because you did not receive a *new* item like you ordered and reasonably expected.  Yes.  I agree 100% that the current system is broke, sad, and could be easily fixed.

I too have received items that had to be returned due to obviously being used and or simply broken.

2.  *However*... The reality is that B&H is fantastic x 10!  That store has come through for us when other stores were content to operate as if they were in the year 1978.  Ridiculous!  Small orders, large orders, rush orders... The satisfaction that we've gotten from B&H far outweighs any negative aspect of the company in our eyes.  Sure, everyone at B&H isn't as knowledgeable as you might want them to be, but have you tried to get technical answers from the "Geek Squad" or camera department at Best Buy? ... exactly my point.

Here's the bottom line.  Yes, there are times when you receive used, but in my experience sending it back to B&H and getting a fine replacement has been a very easy task!  Someone rings the company, they in turn send a return label via email, print and affix label to box, UPS picks up box (or you send it yourself) and you get a replacement pretty quick.  Usually just like clock-work.  I have no complaints.

Solution?  I think a hefty restocking fee should be in order in most cases!  ... and I do mean hefty!  If you order a D800... and complain of the file size, yellow tinge, etc.. then that's your problem in my opinion because there are ample ways to find out about a product before you buy these days!  I'd like to see a 25% restocking fee at all of the great online shops (B&H, Cameta, Adorama...)!  That will force, or at least compel, most people to do their homework before they order a product like any good buyer does in the first place.

*obviously* case-by-case basis would be in affect as well.  I would not charge someone 25% restocking fee when in the last 6 months they've purchased a: 800mm f/5.6 lens,  400 f/2.8 lens, $700 hand held light meter, $25000 worth of power packs...  and over the last 3 years they've only returned items that were obviously damaged or distinctively used;   That person has a "history".

Until you have a "history"... 25%!  ... unless you're returning the item to purchase something 3x the cost of the original order.  Something like that.  

I don't keep up with much of the whining on the fora, but from what Henryp has mentioned about B&H, such has been my experience with the company.  A company that's simply a pleasure to do business with.  The whole 'used-new' thing is just part of the world we live in.  Thankfully, B&H makes it too easy to rectify those relatively rare times when we get a product that isn't to our most reasonable expectations.

Best in photography to everyone!

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Nikon D800
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