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

Started May 6, 2014 | Discussions thread
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,020
Yes... these are clearly two different things

I think everyone agrees that in store demo models should never be sold as "brand new goods."

The question at hand is whether these "I bought it and changed my mind" cameras should be resold as new cameras, or whether they should be discounted as "previously owned."

I think every retailer has rules about this. Most will require all the original packaging materials intact. And some like B&H will refuse a return if there are too many shutter actuations on it. I think their limit is 200. In every case, these are inspected before they are resold, and are only resold as new if they are truly that. In brand new condition.

No matter how it is done, there will be a cost involved, and that cost will ALWAYS be born by the customers. There is absolutely no such thing as a retailer "absorbing a cost" if they plan to stay in business. This really means "reducing the margin" and sometimes the margins are so thin that it is impossible. You always have to pass the cost of doing business on to your customer.

Obviously, there are some who think they should be able to buy and return as often as possible. They tell us "the cost is already built in." While this may be true that the cost is built into the sales structure it is also true that every customer must bear this cost.

There really must be something unique about cameras that makes people demand goods untouched by human hands. We don't expect a brand new endoscope when we get a colonoscopy, but some will insist that our brand new cameras and lenses are never handled by another human being. And since there will always be people like that, I suggest that sealed boxes be offered for them... at a 10% premium over new condition goods.

Then cameras might be priced like this:

  • $1100 - Brand new, in sealed box. Untouched by anyone else.
  • $1000 - In new condition. Minimal handling involved. Perhaps buyer changed his mind.
  • $900 - Demonstrator. Handled extensively, but still in like new condition.
  • $800 - Refurbished. Found defective, returned and repaired by factory.

This way, everyone gets what they want, and everyone gets to pay for it.

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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5 Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +12 more
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