B&H selling returned products: Question for Mr. Henry Posner

Started Jan 26, 2013 | Discussions thread
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,810
Re: FTC's position on the matter (2006)
In reply to Slider44, Jan 30, 2013

Slider44 wrote:

Do you know of any camera that has the ability to confirm it has been turned on? So, how does this requirement affect JUST B&H Photo?

It affects any retailer who wants to resell used+returned equipment as new.

The footnote for this paragraph clarifies this as "internal chips or clocks with the ability to indicate whether a product has been turned on; and tamper-evident tape, seals, or labels affixed to AC plugs, connectors, or battery compartments"

Many of the returned used products B&H has been found to resell as new do not include these proposed mechanisms in their design or packaging (which btw is likely not an accident), and so according to Henry B&H takes a "nuanced" approach for determining whether the product is used.

OK. Now you are making accusations. You are claiming that B&H Photo is selling USED items as NEW above. I have underlined that accusation. You had better have proof of that accusation, because that comment is potentially libel. Then you go so far as to even state this is potentially "not an accident", which insinuates intentional deception. Is that what you are saying???

​By Henry's own admission B&H sells returned equipment as new. He implies they endeavor to only resell equipment they think is unused, but if you perform a google search (like this) you'll find they've fallen short of that goal many times. Whether such instances were inadvertent failures of their "nuanced" return evaluation process or instead due to a more aggressive policy of reselling returned equipment irrespective of use is for individual readers/consumers to evaluate the evidence and decide. But the fact remains that they've sold used equipment as new.

Nuanced ain't going to cut it. The FTC's position was very clear on their distinction between returned products that have never been used (and verifiably so) "inspected but not used" vs products that have been used but still "seem" new, a position which includes their disallowing retailers to modify ("refurbish") the product to look like new. Henry's "nuanced" approach would be reasonably classified as non-verifiable.

That statement was based on SONY's ability to prove the item was turned on with those built in mechanisms. If you want to contact all camera manufacturers to build in those same mechanisms into cameras, then I am sure Henry Posner would be happy to tell you his job would be much easier to determine usage.

I highly doubt it. As I indicated, I don't believe the absence of tamper-proof (or "tamper-evident") packaging by camera manufacturers is accidental. An innocent explanation for this might be that it allows for prospective consumers to evaluate equipment in the store before buying, as is a customary practice in many camera stores. A more cynical explanation would be manufacturers do this to facilitate vendors who wish to adopt more liberal reselling practices.

As far as repackaging is concerned. I doubt you find to many retailers that have the capability of B&H Photo to repackage returns.

Finally, AS YOUR ATTACHED LETTER CLEARLY INDICATES, NEW means NEW. If the item is NEW, (unused) the item can be resold as NEW. I honestly have no idea what your agenda truly is, but you are barking up the wrong tree, especially in dealing with a retailer that has a 93% approval rating.

If a retailer can't definitively establish that a returned item is new then how can it be sold as new?

As for my agenda, I created this FTC subthread to provide some relevant precedence to the matter. I listed the facts of the FTC's position, which you agreed I stated accurately, then I proffered my opinion in a section marked "My opnion". For full disclosure, I personally can recall two items I purchased from B&H that were clearly used even though they were sold as new. I've also had public conversations with Henry about B&H's practices on these forums before, and I've asked him several times directly to disclose what B&H's position is on reselling returned items as new, which he elected not to answer. In fact his responses to this thread are his most forthright on the matter that I can recall reading. Lastly, I still purchase equipment from B&H.

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