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

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
ne beginner
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Like?
May end up giving the B&M's an edge over internet?
In reply to Photo Pete, 3 months ago

The way it is in the USA, the big on-line retailers offer a trial by way of what had become essentially a free rental: you can buy a camera or lens, use for a week or two, in some cases up to 30 days, then return it for a full refund.  That sure beats a 10 - 15 minute trial at a B&M. And, if you are so inclined, you can just buy and return a lens or camera you need for a weekend, never having intended to actually keep it in the first place.

With sealed boxes, on-line retailers would not be able keep recycling these returns, re-selling them as new.  They would have to sell them as open box specials, and either building the cost of that into their retail prices, or charging re-stocking fees.

The local B&M, on the other hand, may let you try out something in the store.  Even if they don't have demo units, they can make a decision to break a seal for a serious customer. Regardless of weather that customer ends up buying it or not, they can still sell if as new because it was not purchased and returned.  And with the seal having been broken, potential customers will know it has been opened. They can then at least make an informed decision on weather to buy that unit, or ask for a sealed box.

However you look at this idea, so far anyway, I can't see where anyone looses .... except retailers who are abusing the returns game by reselling their used returns at full retail to unsuspecting customers.

Photo Pete wrote:

Yup. Seal the boxes.

Online retailers should have to buffer the cost of any returns... that is the price they pay for avoiding the overheads of having a real world store. Returns, if not faulty, could be re-sold by them as 'used' stock.

Real world, bricks and mortar stores allow customers to try out the stock. If the customer decides to purchase then they will be sold an unopened product at full price. If the retailer only has the display product in stock the customer can choose to buy that at full price, has the opportunity to negotiate a discount or can ask for a new, unopened product to be ordered for them. Any returns, unless the product is subsequently found to be faulty, would be chargeable as the customer has already had the opportunity to try the product.

Something sound familiar? This is exactly how things are set up to work in the UK at the moment, but a sealed box would make the whole process more 'foolproof'. IMHO the introduction of sealed boxes would simply serve to make online retailers more accountable and in doing so would help reduce the unfair advantage they hold over bricks and mortar stores.

Whatever happens we shouldn't be making it harder for the consumer to try before they buy and we shouldn't be imposing a premium on consumers who wish to do so.
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Photo Pete

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