pulled the trigger on X-A1

Started Oct 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
WT21 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,103
Other issue: fewer brick and mortar stores

forpetessake wrote:

Eddaweaver wrote:

The American retailers' practice of allowing large numbers of people to "return" products without reason sounds crazy to people from other countries.

There is nothing crazy about it. Would you buy a car without test drive and inspection?

It's actually a very good practice when products that people aren't satisfied with are either returned to the manufacturer, or the vendor. In either case, if the percentage of returns starts hurting them the product is being pulled from the shelves. Thus the best survive and the worst languish -- market at work. What can be better?

Retailers in most other countries wouldn't get away with selling used as new either.

No retailers are allowed to sell used products as new, that would be classified as deceitful practices. Large vendors have explicit policies in place, though there is always a possibility of some rogue employees violating them. They can sell returned cameras as open box, used, etc. usually with a good discount.

IMO, the other issue is that online retailers are out-competing brick and mortar stores, where you actually might touch and feel the camera/lens. If you can't touch the cam/lens, then you should be OK to buy and return. If that drives up online retailers costs, then their prices will have to go up. If their prices go up, then brick and mortar stores won't look overpriced and could survive longer.

If the online retailers business model/cost structure allows them to take returns but still keep their prices low, then they are likely to come out ahead.

In my experience, Amazon can do so by sheer volume. B&H provides both expertise, a great store to visit, and efficient systems (and also pretty high volume).

Many of my local camera stores had grumpy or ignorant (Ritz camera) sales people and restocking fees. If they had better service and no restocking fees, they might still be around. Best Buy has reduced their prices recently, seem to have better sales people, and good return policies. Their only issue is they don't have everything in stock -- at least the latest stuff.

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