Ways to try gear.

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Fryd
Michael Fryd Forum Pro • Posts: 12,056
Re: Ways to try gear.

pforsell wrote:

pcrc11 wrote:

pforsell wrote:

pcrc11 wrote:

riveredger wrote:

pcrc11 wrote:

scrup wrote:

buy from Amazon and return if its not what you expect.

No shame in doing it. Amazon will sell it through their warehouse as open box item. Someone will get a deal, you get to try a lens risk free.

So who eats the loss?? Not only is the retailer out the diminished value of the item but also out the shipping cost both ways. I know, who cares, it is Amazon, surely the biggest retailer in the world can absorb a few dollars without a hurt to their bottom line. However this type of behavior has also crept into all the other online selling platforms where you most likely are dealing with a small individual seller and not a faceless corporation.

This is the cost of doing business in today's world. Note that these companies are not paying for stores and all of the associsted costs.

Shoplifting was considered the "cost of doing business" when you had a brick and mortar store in "yesterdays world". A scumbag is a scumbag no matter how you want to justify it.

Going from testing an item into stealing it seems a bit of a stretch to me.

I wouldn't buy a car without test driving it first. I wouldn't buy a lens without test driving it first. I wouldn't buy a camera without test driving it first.

Because the mail order houses have killed off the brick and mortar stores which used to carry demo samples, the only way to test an item is to get it from the mail order house. And they voluntarily offer free test driving. Those stores that don't won't get my business.

I cannot see the "shoplifting" part in this business transaction between two consenting adults. It is the modern version of the age-old demo-sample try-before-you-buy business model.

The OP was not asking about a test drive. He wants to purchase, use it and return it for a refund and be out no money on his end. That is not a test drive.

I think it is, and fully sanctioned by the mail order house. Why else would they endorse and promote it? You think they do it just to annoy you? I think they do it to please me.

It is not unusual for a mail order house to re-assure customers by telling them to purchase the item they want, and if it turns out they are unhappy with the item, they can return it.

As a general rule, most people will keep the item, and the return rate will be low.

The assumption here is that the purchaser actually wants the item, but is not 100% sure.

This is not at all the same as someone using the vendor as a source of free rentals.  Nor is it the same as someone who is not sure how they feel about an item but wants to test it out to see.

Your "test drive" a car analogy is so far from this it is laughable. Go ask your local car dealer if you can purchase a car on Friday, drive it for the weekend and then bring it back on Monday for a full refund.

Every time I buy a new car my dealer not only lets me drive a demo car (see, local dealer not mail order) for a week. They deliver the demo to my doorstep and pick it up the week later. Similarly they also deliver the purchased vehicle to my house when it has been manufactured and shipped to my country.

Yes.  Car dealers frequently have vehicles designated as "loaners".   This is part of their marketing budget.  After serving time as a loaner, these cars are not sold as "new".

Is this arrangement of driving the demo cars and accepting home deliveries also shoplifting? I think not, it is just customer service. Not free, somebody always pays for it, but customer service nonetheless.

There's a difference between borrowing something intended to be a loaner, and borrowing something under the pretense that you actually want to buy it.

A local dealer let me have a loaner while they tried to find out why my car wasn't running right.  (it turned out to be a bad wire to a sensor).  I had the loaner for a few weeks.   I returned it when my car was fixed.

This was fine because everyone was upfront about the arrangement.  The dealership was well aware that I would be driving the loaner, and I would return when my car was repaired.

It would not be OK for me to have bought a new car when I dropped off the old one for repair, and then returned the new car when my old one was repaired.

The difference is that by buying a new car, I would have been making a representation that I intended to keep it.  That representation would have been false, as I intended to return the car.  That's an arrangement made on false representation.   There are moral and ethical issues with such an arrangement.

I expect similar level of customer service when I'm buying lenses and cameras, and thankfully the big mail order retailers provide just that. Happily and voluntarily. Win win.

You are entitled to expect whatever level of customer service you want.  Dealers are entitled to offer whatever level of customer service they want.

If the two overlap, that's a great thing.

However, if dealer does not offer a "loaner" service, then it seems a bit shady to try to twist a generous return policy into a loaner program.

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