B&H Packing

Started May 4, 2012 | Discussions
abolit
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B&H Packing
May 4, 2012

As a new owner of nice Olympus OM-D camera I'd like share some experience on how B&H packs their products for shipping.

The UPS ground delivered my Olympus OM-D at my door a couple days ago.

The box looked bloated as it was not the right side for this package. The Olympus box was squashed by the air-pillow. the camera was ok though, but I can't get rid of that bad first impression when I was anticipating unboxing and putting my hands on a brand-new camera instead of looking at this shapeless box .

There was another story when I ordered two leica diopters for my M9 a couple of months ago.

Despite paid shipping, B&H packed it between two cheap cardboards and just glued them together.

Those nice Leica boxes looked like a fat lady was sitting on them for hours.

I didn't file complain then, but it's kinda getting to far. Don't you think?

HumanTripod
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 4, 2012

I think this belongs in the Packing and Shipping forum.

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PhotoGearJunkie
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B&H is usually pretty darn good... Amazon is worthless
In reply to abolit, May 4, 2012

I just ordered a GX1 and 2 lenses from Amazon. They packed it in a box that was too big, with no peanuts or air pillows. Everything was left to smack around during the shipping process. It went back to them on their dime...

B&H usually puts bubble wrap on the bottom, and then cushions everything with air pillows. I'm almost always happy with their packing jobs.

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D200_4me
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 4, 2012

Back in the past when I ordered my D700 from them, it was packed very well. That was 2008. I've ordered maybe $1,500 worth of lenses from them in the last week after I got my OM-D and I was disappointed by those terribly weak air pillows. The pillows lose their air and in the case of my two lenses that were $1,300 in one box, they were pretty much just lose and bouncing around inside the box by the time it got to me. I got another box from them a few days later with the air pillows still inflated and it was fine. I think the problem is those stupid air pillows. They are weak and lose the air.

On the other hand, I bought my OM-D somewhere else since it was in stock and that place used some really heavy duty bubble wrap (I mean very heavy duty, quality bubble wrap that has think plastic) wrapped around the camera box, etc. You'd have to drive over the box to damage it

I'm not a whiner, but it's worth mentioning this so maybe B&H will stop using those weak air pillows for expensive items. For a rocket air blower purchase?...ok, just throw it in the box with no packing material. No problem for that item. But for an expensive camera?.....please wrap it up in something stronger.
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searun
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 4, 2012

Ridiculous! Been awhile since I bought anything, and never had this issue. Packing material must suddenly be expensive -)

Maybe this is wishful thinking, but if boxes are damaged I'd want to work out some sort of return. B&H has always been very good about exchanges and returns, so just saying................ and I'd sure give them the chance to make it right. If nothing else you'll get marked as requiring 'special' (read normal & reasonable) packing, and I bet they will do it.

Does Henry Posner still read these forums? If he still runs things a search for him would sure be worth it IMO. Many of use spend lots of our hard earned there - he should be motivated to work out a fix.

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abolit
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to D200_4me, May 4, 2012

+1

D200_4me wrote:

Back in the past when I ordered my D700 from them, it was packed very well. That was 2008. I've ordered maybe $1,500 worth of lenses from them in the last week after I got my OM-D and I was disappointed by those terribly weak air pillows. The pillows lose their air and in the case of my two lenses that were $1,300 in one box, they were pretty much just lose and bouncing around inside the box by the time it got to me. I got another box from them a few days later with the air pillows still inflated and it was fine. I think the problem is those stupid air pillows. They are weak and lose the air.

On the other hand, I bought my OM-D somewhere else since it was in stock and that place used some really heavy duty bubble wrap (I mean very heavy duty, quality bubble wrap that has think plastic) wrapped around the camera box, etc. You'd have to drive over the box to damage it

I'm not a whiner, but it's worth mentioning this so maybe B&H will stop using those weak air pillows for expensive items. For a rocket air blower purchase?...ok, just throw it in the box with no packing material. No problem for that item. But for an expensive camera?.....please wrap it up in something stronger.
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D200_4me
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 4, 2012

I meant to say 'thick' plastic bubble wrap, not 'think' plastic Typing too fast or losing my mind.
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D200_4me
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to searun, May 4, 2012

They've always been great any time I called, ordered, etc. Even returns are easy and trouble-free. My only 'issue' is those silly air pillows. They're not strong enough and lose the air. Fix that and it'll be a perfect experience

Oh and yes, Amazon is bad about using those air pillows too or just not enough packaging. I'm amazed at how they pack expensive items sometimes. It's a good thing they have a good return policy.
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searun
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Re: B&H Packing--------Henry Posner from B&H
In reply to abolit, May 4, 2012

Henry Posner is still here.

Hope I did not step on your toes...... I took the liberty of sending Posner a PM. There is no excuse for this as I see ut, so I fired away.

I hope he gets back to you soon. I just pointed him to this thread.

Cheers,

Rob

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Len_Gee
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 4, 2012

Sure.
Do it.
Why not complain?

Sounds like you were dissatisfied with the packing. B&H should know that so they can correct it in the future.
You will be doing them a service.

Good luck, and let us know if they send you a 10% "thank you" discount coupon for your next purchase from them.

abolit wrote:

As a new owner of nice Olympus OM-D camera I'd like share some experience on how B&H packs their products for shipping.

The UPS ground delivered my Olympus OM-D at my door a couple days ago.

The box looked bloated as it was not the right side for this package. The Olympus box was squashed by the air-pillow. the camera was ok though, but I can't get rid of that bad first impression when I was anticipating unboxing and putting my hands on a brand-new camera instead of looking at this shapeless box .

There was another story when I ordered two leica diopters for my M9 a couple of months ago.

Despite paid shipping, B&H packed it between two cheap cardboards and just glued them together.

Those nice Leica boxes looked like a fat lady was sitting on them for hours.

I didn't file complain then, but it's kinda getting to far. Don't you think?

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twokatmew
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Re: B&H is usually pretty darn good... Amazon is worthless
In reply to PhotoGearJunkie, May 4, 2012

PhotoGearJunkie wrote:

I just ordered a GX1 and 2 lenses from Amazon. They packed it in a box that was too big, with no peanuts or air pillows. Everything was left to smack around during the shipping process. It went back to them on their dime...

B&H usually puts bubble wrap on the bottom, and then cushions everything with air pillows. I'm almost always happy with their packing jobs.

I just received a lens from Adorama packed the same way. It too went back. I don't recall ever having had packing issues with B&H, but I have a 20/1.7 on the UPS truck from them right now, so we'll see....

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twokatmew
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Re: B&H is usually pretty darn good... Amazon is worthless
In reply to twokatmew, May 5, 2012

When I opened the box, I see B&H packed my lens safely in nestled in packing peanuts. Now I hate those peanuts, but they're great at protecting delicate items during shipping.
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Henry Richardson
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 5, 2012

This sort of complaint comes up from time to time on the forums. Henry Posner, a B&H employee, usually responds if he sees the post. My recollection is that he usually says that this sort of thing is not the way they normally pack stuff, but he will look into it.

I ordered a lens and software from B&H recently and it was delivered to my address in the U.S. I will pick it up next month when I am there. I hope it was packed well.

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MrKal_El
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 5, 2012

Amazon was not any better.
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ryan2007
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 5, 2012

A few solutions. Return for replacement or refund. If the camera works and the box is not water logged from being left in the rain why worry. The flip side is if the internal box the camera is in is smashed return it ASAP so not to worry about camera failing and you being blamed for impact damage down the road for something you did not do IMO.

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JoeSchmoe
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 5, 2012

Ordered a 45mm from them recently. The box had an air pillow and the 45mm box. The air pillow was deflated, so the 45mm box basically had been tossing around inside the packaging box. It still worked but (like your experience) did not inspire confidence in the item or in ordering again from them. Amazon's availability is worse for camera stuff but packaging is more reliably secure.

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Lights
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to D200_4me, May 5, 2012

I've noticed that the air pillows they are using now don't seem anywhere near as robust as those from a couple of years ago.

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Moonman52
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Re: B&H Packing
In reply to abolit, May 5, 2012

The worst packing on a consistant basis for several years now has to go to Amazon. Downright pathetic!

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jalywol
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Wait until you order glassware from someplace....
In reply to abolit, May 5, 2012

This post gave me a little chuckle.....Yes, indeed, I too have gotten boxes of photo and electronics gear from Amazon and Best Buy (and even Staples, who are usually better) where the items are tossed into the bottom of a large box and one or two inflated pillow things are all that is sort of filling the rest of the space, leaving the items to bounce around inside the box.....

However, since the items are in their original packing, they are at least somewhat protected. Heck, I have even had sellers send me the items just in the original factory box with a shipping label on it...(they don't do that so much anymore since the only way to get insurance coverage for shipping damage from the shipper is to double box things.)

I draw the line, personally, at crushed. Other than that, I just try the gear out and make sure it works, and let it go.

When I had my D200 some years ago, and it needed a warrantee repair, Nikon sent it back in a tiny little box with just some bubble wrap around it. I watched as the UPS driver delivered it to the wrong address (my next door neighbor's house), and tossed it on the front doorstep......Fortunately I was home at the time and could retrieve it, and also fortunately it was fine, but still....It was not packaged well enough to survive much more than that toss; it's a good thing that the camera was one of their more rugged models...

When I had my G2, however, I had broken the LCD, but since I had an accidental damage warrantee, I sent it in for repair. Those people had the wrapping down to a science. That camera was returned in a special very sturdy small box that had an internal plastic suspension apparatus that secured the camera and isolated it from the rest of the box, keeping it from rattling around, bumping or crushing. It was a great system.

The reason for the laugh on my part is that in addition to my camera hobby, I collect one type of dinnerware. There are vintage and contemporary versions of it, and I have bought both over the years. Most of the vintage has come from Ebay, and you would be appalled at how people try and ship fragile items. Sometimes you get lucky and badly wrapped things come through ok, sometimes you do not (I have had a couple of people ship large lots of dishes with one sheet of newspaper, if that, between the pieces, all in one box. Needless to say, maybe one or two pieces arrive intact from that. ) You know it's bad when the UPS guy walks up to the front door and the box is jingling from all the shards hitting each other as the box is moved...

The unfortunate thing is that now even retailers of the contemporary version of this dinnerware have also seemed to have forgotten how to pack. I bought a bunch of items (about 10, some bakeware and some dishes) from Kohls a couple of months ago, and the entire order was shipped in one large box. Inside the box, the pieces had had each one sheet of bubble wrap laid on top of them, but not taped , and no other cushioning used (no peanuts). When I opened the box, all of the dishes had slid out of their unsecured bubble wrap and had smashed against each other during the trip. I think two pieces made it out unscathed. The rest were either broken into bits or chipped. The funny thing about this is that a bunch of other collectors that I know had the same experience, and had written to both Kohls and the china manufacturer to see if they could get Kohl's shipping department to use a little care.....Clearly that did not have any effect, however.

Macy's has a little better track record, but not much.....I think it depends on who is running the warehouse on any given day.

(Replacements, Unlimited, by the way, apparently uses the same kind of isolation box packing that the G2 repair people did...so big, fragile glass or dinnerware pieces are suspended tightly in a plastic sling which is isolated from the edges of the outer box and prevents shifting, crushing, or other damage.)

So, at this point, as long as things get to me that are not crushed and are working, I take it as a good thing and go from there......

-J

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jazzbass62
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Why care so much for boxes...
In reply to abolit, May 5, 2012

... as long as the product is in good shape. I assume nothing was damaged.
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