Liberal Return Policies vs. "has my camera been used?": A way to Solve This

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Eamon Hickey
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,103
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more noodginess on facts
In reply to ne beginner, 2 months ago

I'm not arguing against your basic point. I think there is a real issue here worth thinking about and maybe even changing some general practices. That said ...

ne beginner wrote:

If I'm a retailer, and I want to offer my customers the opportunity to try things in the store, then that is a decision I am making in order to attract customers, and\or maintain customer loyalty. Should that be free? Or should I absorb the cost, and responsibility, in some way for making that decision?

Of course you know this, but unless the retailer is a charity, they cannot absorb any costs. You, as the customer, will -- nay, must -- pay those costs, right down to the paper clips they waste and the donuts they buy for their weekly staff meetings. It's just a question of which customers pay and in what form. And this is not even remotely the only issue where the question of how do you fairly apportion costs to consumers comes into play.

Should I have demo units? Many manufactures provide demo units, or demo allowances, which allow a retailer to sell demo units at a discount.

It's pretty rare in the camera industry for manufacturers to provide discounted demo units. In my several decades of direct knowledge of the industry, I remember seeing it only with medium format manufacturers who were trying to make a dent in Hasselblad's dominance.

I'm not arguing against these liberal policies, or in-store demo's. Not at all.

My point is that these tactics are a retail's business decision. As such, they should fund them.

Again, customers will fund them. It's just a question of how. On the larger point, that customers should know what they are getting, and that manufacturers and retailers should take real steps to make sure they do, I agree.

Although again, just to be devil's advocate I'll point out that the cultural presumption that customers have a right to strict honesty and transparency, which is common in the U.S. and Europe, is not so common elsewhere. And even in the U.S. and Europe, it's only been dominant since the late 19th century.

In much of the world, for much of history, the guiding principle has been "let the buyer beware", and everyone knows that's the score. I personally don't agree with this principle, at least not to the extent that it condones dishonesty, but I also have some appreciation for the world's imperfections.

Some very shady wheeler-dealers have been among the warmest, most entertaining people I've ever known. On my second day as a Nikon rep, I was sitting in the office of a retailer (he was not Nikon authorized but never mind how I got there) who specialized in fleecing tourists and I still remember his sage advice to me, as he feted me with tasty sweets and Turkish coffee: "In business, you must have some tricks."

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