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

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
Marty4650
Veteran MemberPosts: 9,772Gear list
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You probably don't realize this....
In reply to ne beginner, 5 months ago

But those brick and mortar stores are essentially showrooms for Amazon.com and B&H.com.

People wander in to these stores, handle their cameras, see how they feel, then... if they like them, they go home and order them from an online vendor to save money.

This is yet another big disadvantage for them. They get to be someone else's showroom. They have all the costs of displaying and demonstrating the items, while someone else undercuts their price and makes the sale.

So now you come along and have decided you will help these brick and mortar stores by applying a seal to the box, and requiring them to label every camera inspected by a potential customer as "open box" and then sold at a discount!

There are over 300 new cameras released every year. Very few stores except the largest megastores can stock them all, much less have a demonstrator model for each one. Should they refuse to show a camera to a customer, or should they show it and run the risk the customer decides not buy it... and now they are stuck with a broken seal?

There is absolutely nothing unethical about selling something as new that has been shown to a customer before. This happens for every commodity you buy. And digital cameras should be no different. Those brand new shoes you purchased might have been tried on by someone else. And someone might have handled that eggplant you bought at the supermarket last week.

In my own experience manufacturers always HONOR the warranty if the item was sold by an authorized dealer and was never registered by the buyer. Even if the item was returned and resold, the warranty is still honored. You say "they might not honor the warranty" despite the fact that they always do honor it. You are citing possibilities, and ignoring realities.

I have even purchased USED cameras and have had warranty work done on them. The manufacturers  really don't have an obsession with chain of ownership or broken seals. They just care about whether the item was imported through an authorized dealer and whether the warranty period is still in effect.

Ask yourself... WHY would any manufacturer want to make it HARDER for their dealers to sell their products, by imposing a chain of ownership requirement on the warranty? Your assumptions just don't make any sense.

Your scenario about a "poorly re-packed return, with dog-eared cardboard flaps, misaligned stickers, smudges, dust, missing accessories, etc." is entertaining, but extremely far fetched. I really doubt the retailer would kick the box around the floor to make it more appealing for the next customer. I really think you are trying too hard to invent circumstances to support your case.

There is nothing unethical about a car dealer letting a potential customer take a test drive, then washing the car to make it more attractive to the next potential customer.

I realize you have given this a lot of thought, and you think box seals are a perfect solution. But you haven't thought it through completely. Your suggestion would hurt the small brick and mortar retailer rather than help them. If anyone has the resources to repackage a product properly it is the largest online retailers, and not the smallest brick and mortar vendors.

Amazon probably has an entire crew devoted to that task. And they are probably experts at doing it.

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