'New' Amazon E-P5 Kit: Stolen Lens w serial & returned unit

Started Jul 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
EEmu Forum Member • Posts: 69
Re: Shocked! Not...

walkaround wrote:

MT wrote:

Just received a 'New' E-P5 kit from Amazon today. This is sold and shipped by Amazon and not an affiliate.

Opening the box, the lens is missing. The white fabric baggie is in there but no lens. Then, looking at the body, the LCD has no protective plastic covering and there were some grease marks on there indicating that it had been handled.

This was ordered as new, and not as a Amazon warehouse returned unit! But there is no question that this is a returned unit. I was livid initially but am calmer now. However, this is absolutely unacceptable as I presume that as with other vendors, Amazon tracks their serial numbers and knows that this is a returned unit. I've never had such an experience out of hundreds of Amazon purchases!!

Whoever took the lens did not take the warranty card with all the serial numbers so if any of you purchase a lens of ebay, here's the serial number for the stolen 17mm 1.8 lens: ABT207125. If you have that, it may be worth reporting the seller to Ebay and Amazon.

Incidentally, a few days ago, the shipping date was indicated to be next week and I was pleasantly surprise to see that a unit shipped out yesterday. Now I know why - possibly someone returned and Amazon reshipped?


This is not new, and not surprising at all. Amazon, B&H, Adorama, and many others all do this - and have been for years. They won't stop doing it until it hurts their bottom line in a measurable way. For every complaint like yours, 30 people will step forward, unpaid and eager to state that "in ___ years, over hundreds of purchases, this has never happened to me."

Nobody wants to believe it's a corporate policy to resell returns, or at least to look the other way, yet these threads keep appearing... over and over and over again. Kind of like "rogue trading" at investment banks. "We had no idea this was happening!"

"We're so sorry [you caught us]! We'll take care of this immediately [by selling your returned return to a third sucker... er, customer]."

Amazon, B&H, Adorama? Whatever.

Try Walmart, Target, Macy's and basically every other retailer that ever accepted a return. Camera gear? How about clothes? Tools? Other electronics? Most people can't tell and/or don't care that their item might have been sold before. Even if they weren't sold, what if they were tried on / tested in the store. If someone tries on a shirt, should the store discard it? Or is it just an intrinsic advantage of cameras over shirts that you can hack their firmware to see if someone touched it before?

Retailers do make an effort to determine if a returned product is salable before reselling. However, that is done by unskilled workers for unskilled pay. Don't expect them to go into the service menus or even realize that having the date set means ZOMG USED!!111 RUINED FOREVER like people around here consider it. (BTW, 95% or so of their buyers don't care either.) They look at it, check that everything is there and in good shape and say it's salable.

When something like this happens (a real error), they honestly don't have any idea it was happening. They payed someone to look at it, and that someone lied to them / didn't do their job (seems to be the case). Heck, that someone may have even been the one that stole the lens! More oversight? Maybe the manager stole it. When more than one person is involved in something, despite the best and honest efforts of 'A', person 'B' might still be screwing up.

As an aside on the topic of factory seals: During my brief stint at retail, we would get thieves who would buy iPods and then return them sealed but containing a rock rather than an iPod. Many would actually be accepted for return because the clerk would see it was sealed and figure it was good.  The security guys could identify a few bad ones because they'd not do the seals perfectly, but sometimes they would get resold. Without factory seals at least the returns counter could check to see if it was in there and the serial matched, which they would with things like cameras and game consoles.  (Though there were still times when a lazy / overworked clerk would let something through.  It's quite the war out there...)

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