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

Started May 6, 2014 | Discussions
(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 3,348
Re: Liberal Return Policies vs. "has my camera been used?": A way to Solve This

Jones R wrote:

You're welcome.

On an unrelated side note, yes, we get charged $30 for a genuine 77mm Nikon front cap here in Canada. That same cap retails for $17 in the US. Here the off-brand 77mm caps cost that much.

And people in the U.S. still complain that Nikon is ripping them off on caps.

EDIT: Nikon LF-4. U.S.: $4.50. Canada: $12.

NZ LF4 = NZ$12 (about US$10)

And all sales in NZ whether in person or online are subject to GST at 15%. Sales from Amazon, B&H etc overseas are hit with tax and customs duty on arrival if the tax would exceed $60.

(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 641
Re: Liberal Return Policies vs. "has my camera been used?": A way to Solve This
1

I ordered most of my photographic equipment from B&H. I still order all my film from them. Local store sells Provia 100F, 135 format, for $25 per roll. I cannot accept that.

Photographic equipment is duty-free across the border here, but not tax-free. I need to pull up some of those orders and work with the tax numbers, but it's certainly not 15% Quebec provincial tax.

Alejandro Daz del Ro Fery
Alejandro Daz del Ro Fery Veteran Member • Posts: 3,735
Re: There's no such thing as a free lunch ...

ne beginner wrote:

As stated by Karlreed further down in this thread. We're all paying for that one way or another.

Alejandro Daz del Ro Fery wrote:

Marty4650 wrote:

... the policy of letting people buy several cameras, try them out, then return them is costing all of us money.

Agreed ...

In my principles as photographer, ~50 years ago, I stayed with the cameras, lenses, speedlights, etc. paid as new, used or not (take it or leave it) ... Had some problems under warranty.

Now, due to the delayed availability (Internet/store), I request the item but warn the seller I do not admit a previously open box ... From this observation, do not have to use the warranty.

-- hide signature --

Regards.

OP ne beginner Senior Member • Posts: 2,149
Re: Just another nail in their coffin

Thanks Marty, got it.

Marty4650 wrote:

ne beginner wrote:

Marty4650 wrote:

In my view, the real solution is to allow returns for defects only, and not for "I changed my mind."

So the B&M ... Buy and try might be the only advantage they have left, but it will drive their costs even higher. This is a no win situation for them.

These two comments seem to at odds. I'm sure I'm misunderstanding you. Can you elaborate a little? You have made a lot of great points, I'd like to understand this better.

What I stated was a paradox. The B&M store can have a substantial advantage over online vendors by having the most generous return policies. But, if they do this, they will only drive their costs even higher, creating another disadvantage for them.

Agree.

So either way, they lose.

Suppose factory seals forced on-line retailers to end the buy and try game, because they could only sell the returns as open box with discount? Or make is so that they had to increase their on-line prices to off-set the buy and try, if they decided to continue that?

Perhaps not much, but a small step in favor of B&M's. B&M's can you try in the store, which an in-line can't. With the customer in the store, the B&M has chance at least to sell their service, and win some customers over. Especially for hobbyists and people learning. I was willing to pay a bit more for that.

I really think the B&M camera shop is headed fast for extinction. Much like the bookstores, record shops, and other specialty shops you used to see at your local mall. There are just way too many advantages for online vendors:

  • in many cases... no sales tax, creating a buyer's incentive
  • much lower payroll costs
  • complete automation of sales, no commissions to pay
  • much lower rent cost per item sold
  • much better prices from suppliers, due to volumes
  • much larger inventories

Yes, I agree. This has effected, and is effecting in new ways everyday, almost every industry.

Would a very liberal return policy negate all of the above? I doubt it, since most buyers don't need a "no questions asked" return policy. The only buyers who actually need this are the buy and try crowd, and those are customers who actually cost YOU money. So why would you do anything to attract more of them?

Yes, and I think we see a higher percentage of those people are this site, so it appears that the % of buy and try is much higher than it really is.. What are a minority to begin with, a small universe, and at the same time a concentration or people avid enough to visit, read, and post on all things related to photography.

I knew it was over for B&M camera shops the day I tried to buy a very popular DSLR from them, and the salesman said "we don't have it in stock, but I can order one for you." I thought, "I can order it myself, and save $100." So unless they can keep a full inventory in stock, they even lose the advantage of "impulse purchases."

Uncanny ... exactly what prompted me to take on change on-line, with B&H.

Naturally, there will always be a few huge B&M stores in the largest cities. The stores that cater to specialty markets and professional photographers. In might interest you to know that B&H in Manhattan sells an awful lot of pro video and pro audio gear, since there is a substantial industry there.

Around me there we two non-chain camera stores. One tried focusing on the soccer mom & dad crowd, with all printing from digital, both normal prints as well as calendars, greeting cards, posters, frames, etc. They just closed. The other always had a good pro business, both DSL and video. They are all pro video now, as well as custom home theater and audio. Geared towards businesses and contractors, not a place an off the street customer walks into.

But the Ritz Camera, or mom and pop camera small store business plan is in real trouble today. They are all struggling, barely keeping their heads above water.

The very last thing they need is to cultivate customers who buy cameras, try them out, then return them,

Now here's a cheap shot Marty, I am disappointed:

so folks like you can demand deep discounts and label them as unethical if they don't cut the price.

First, it is, at the very least, unethical to re-sell a used item as new to an unsuspecting customer.

If an item has been sold, ownership has changed, and it has left the store and the merchant's control.  The mfg.'s warranty may have changed. If it has been opened, it has been used to some degree. In most if not nearly all cases, the merchant has no idea of how much use has taken place, under what conditions.

There are reasonable expectations anyone has when buying a product that is positioned as "new" from a merchant. Is that fair? Should "buyer be aware" now be applied to new as well as used products?

From a manufacturer's perspective, I do not want my consumers wondering of "new" really means "new".  Or think a poorly re-packed return, with dog-eared cardboard flaps, misaligned stickers, smudges, dust, missing accessories, etc., is how my product is manufactured and served up.

Manufacturers spend a lot of money and time on their packaging, from factory to retail shelf,  to ensure that it meets the consumers expectations, first when they are handed it in the store, and at home when they open it up and hold it in their hands.

A merchant who carefully re-pacts a return so he can pass if off as new, then randomly sells it as new to unsuspecting customers, who are under the impression that they are buying a new item, is deceiving the customer.

The severity of this deception goes up when that merchant does not have the technical equipment, nor factory trained technicians, to comprehensively test that item to ensure it is in 100% new working condition.

All I am saying is that if a merchant checks this return out, and feels it is OK to sell, it should be identified as "open box". The merchant is free to sell it at new prices if he wants, and the customer is free to not want an open box. But the customer knows it has been used, and both parties are free to negotiate a fair price.

Second, this has nothing to do with in-store demo's. Those items have not been sold, never left the merchants control, and may have been handled a few times,  carefully. These are not "open box", unless perhaps they are the store's demo units and have been handled extensively, or a part has gone missing.  No need a discount. Some customers may want a sealed box; others may not not care. So what?

 ne beginner's gear list:ne beginner's gear list
Nikon D750 Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +1 more
Marty4650
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,856
You probably don't realize this....
1

But those brick and mortar stores are essentially showrooms for Amazon.com and B&H.com.

People wander in to these stores, handle their cameras, see how they feel, then... if they like them, they go home and order them from an online vendor to save money.

This is yet another big disadvantage for them. They get to be someone else's showroom. They have all the costs of displaying and demonstrating the items, while someone else undercuts their price and makes the sale.

So now you come along and have decided you will help these brick and mortar stores by applying a seal to the box, and requiring them to label every camera inspected by a potential customer as "open box" and then sold at a discount!

There are over 300 new cameras released every year. Very few stores except the largest megastores can stock them all, much less have a demonstrator model for each one. Should they refuse to show a camera to a customer, or should they show it and run the risk the customer decides not buy it... and now they are stuck with a broken seal?

There is absolutely nothing unethical about selling something as new that has been shown to a customer before. This happens for every commodity you buy. And digital cameras should be no different. Those brand new shoes you purchased might have been tried on by someone else. And someone might have handled that eggplant you bought at the supermarket last week.

In my own experience manufacturers always HONOR the warranty if the item was sold by an authorized dealer and was never registered by the buyer. Even if the item was returned and resold, the warranty is still honored. You say "they might not honor the warranty" despite the fact that they always do honor it. You are citing possibilities, and ignoring realities.

I have even purchased USED cameras and have had warranty work done on them. The manufacturers  really don't have an obsession with chain of ownership or broken seals. They just care about whether the item was imported through an authorized dealer and whether the warranty period is still in effect.

Ask yourself... WHY would any manufacturer want to make it HARDER for their dealers to sell their products, by imposing a chain of ownership requirement on the warranty? Your assumptions just don't make any sense.

Your scenario about a "poorly re-packed return, with dog-eared cardboard flaps, misaligned stickers, smudges, dust, missing accessories, etc." is entertaining, but extremely far fetched. I really doubt the retailer would kick the box around the floor to make it more appealing for the next customer. I really think you are trying too hard to invent circumstances to support your case.

There is nothing unethical about a car dealer letting a potential customer take a test drive, then washing the car to make it more attractive to the next potential customer.

I realize you have given this a lot of thought, and you think box seals are a perfect solution. But you haven't thought it through completely. Your suggestion would hurt the small brick and mortar retailer rather than help them. If anyone has the resources to repackage a product properly it is the largest online retailers, and not the smallest brick and mortar vendors.

Amazon probably has an entire crew devoted to that task. And they are probably experts at doing it.

 Marty4650's gear list:Marty4650's gear list
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
OP ne beginner Senior Member • Posts: 2,149
Re: You probably don't realize this....

Marty4650 wrote:

But those brick and mortar stores are essentially showrooms for Amazon.com and B&H.com.

People wander in to these stores, handle their cameras, see how they feel, then... if they like them, they go home and order them from an online vendor to save money.

This is yet another big disadvantage for them. They get to be someone else's showroom. They have all the costs of displaying and demonstrating the items, while someone else undercuts their price and makes the sale.

So now you come along and have decided you will help these brick and mortar stores by applying a seal to the box, and requiring them to label every camera inspected by a potential customer as "open box" and then sold at a discount!

Marty, here's where you start to sound like Roseanne Rosannadanna from those old SNL skits.

As I have stated throughout this thread, even on responses to you, including the one you just responded to, I am talking about items that have been sold, taken from the store, used for a period of time, and then returned. That is clearly an open box.

You keep wanting to lump that in with demo's in the store. If it hasn't been sold, opened and used by the new owner,  it is not "used". Handled, yes, but under supervision and in a controlled setting.

There are over 300 new cameras released every year. Very few stores except the largest megastores can stock them all, much less have a demonstrator model for each one. Should they refuse to show a camera to a customer, or should they show it and run the risk the customer decides not buy it... and now they are stuck with a broken seal?

There is absolutely nothing unethical about selling something as new that has been shown to a customer before.

Agreed ... but as stated, not what this is about.

This happens for every commodity you buy. And digital cameras should be no different. Those brand new shoes you purchased might have been tried on by someone else. And someone might have handled that eggplant you bought at the supermarket last week.

Correct. Would you consider that same eggplant to be new if someone purchased it, took it home, maybe even started to cook, then changed their mind and returned it, and the grocer wiped it off and put it back in the bin with the rest?

In my own experience manufacturers always HONOR the warranty if the item was sold by an authorized dealer and was never registered by the buyer.

Have you considered that may only be because the manufacturer does not know it was sold previously because it was not registered? What if it But what if it WAS registered by the original owner before they returned it?  Then you are the second owner.

Even if the item was returned and resold, the warranty is still honored.

See above.

You say "they might not honor the warranty" despite the fact that they always do honor it. You are citing possibilities, and ignoring realities.

You are drawing a conclusion based on a few points of data. You may want to read some warranty cards. Some specifically state the warranty is to the original owner and is not transferrable.

In reality, in the US, manufacturers are by law required to, regardless what their warranty states, repair or replace an item you send them that has a known defect, or has been subject to a recalled. Even if you are the 5th owner. Most will also repair something if the problem is a manufacturing defect, no questions asked, depending on how old the product is, and the condition.

Where you may not be so lucky is if the the problem is determined to be the cause of damage or poor handling. That is an out of warranty repair. That's the risk you run when you buy a used item: that the original owner did something to it that the merchant was unaware of before they passed if off to you as new.

You know as well as I do that people on this very site have from time to time shared experiences like that, where they got a big repair estimate for some hidden damage they swear they knew nothing about.

I have even purchased USED cameras and have had warranty work done on them. The manufacturers really don't have an obsession with chain of ownership or broken seals. They just care about whether the item was imported through an authorized dealer and whether the warranty period is still in effect.

Seals, no, that would be irrelevant and unknown. But they do care what is the cause of the problem. That's the first thing they do: is this a warranty repair or not.

Ask yourself... WHY would any manufacturer want to make it HARDER for their dealers to sell their products, by imposing a chain of ownership requirement on the warranty? Your assumptions just don't make any sense.

Roseanne .... nothing is being imposed on anyone ... except maybe a merchant who elects to misrepresent sold, used, and returned merchandise as new. Manufacturers simply seal their products. The rest is between retailers and customers. No chain of ownership, just honest representation of what the product is.

Your scenario about a "poorly re-packed return, with dog-eared cardboard flaps, misaligned stickers, smudges, dust, missing accessories, etc." is entertaining, but extremely far fetched. I really doubt the retailer would kick the box around the floor to make it more appealing for the next customer. I really think you are trying too hard to invent circumstances to support your case.

I believe you have perhaps mentioned in a post above somewhere seeing clumsily re-packaged products at the shelf in stores? Some one did, if not you. You have never seen that? Someone mentioned Best Buy and their open box bin. Know why that happened? They were fined not that long ago for re-selling returns.

Have you every received a pre-sold item as new? I have, twice. Clear signs of wear in the box flaps, tape on manuals torn, etc. Many people have also reported on this board the condition of recycled products. Your position like saying there is no snow at the South Pole because you have not been there to see it yourself.

There is nothing unethical about a car dealer letting a potential customer take a test drive, then washing the car to make it more attractive to the next potential customer.

No there is not. Again, you are off on a tangent, arguing a point that has never been part of the discussion.

But to use your example in a way that is relevant, what if the dealer sold the car, and then took it back 4 weeks later ...  can he sell it to you as new?

How about if he details it?  Touches up a few minor scratches and a dent?  Come on, it's car, right? It's durable. What's a few thousand miles and a few dents?

Maybe he could pull some of that new car plastic they use on exteriors panels from an actual new car, same as yours, maybe the one he sells me, and manages to re-apply it to yours so it looks new?  Maybe re-wrap the steering wheel and seats with that new car plastic?

Is it OK as long as he can fool you? You're good with paying the exact same thing I paid for the identical car, just sans dent, scratches and extra milage?

I realize you have given this a lot of thought, and you think box seals are a perfect solution. But you haven't thought it through completely. Your suggestion would hurt the small brick and mortar retailer rather than help them. If anyone has the resources to repackage a product properly it is the largest online retailers, and not the smallest brick and mortar vendors.

I'm not saying seals are the answer, just posing this as an idea for discussion. I appreciate all the responses and different points of views. What prompted my thinking is that this whole "how many clicks" thing has come up again.

And I'm not thinking of it in terms of hurting ... or helping ... a retailer. I'm looking at this purely from the customer perspective. I want to know that when I buy something represented as new, it is indeed new, and not used and returned.

As a photo hobbyist, I would not care if I was in your store, and the seal was broken on a lens, as long as I knew you just showed it to a few people. I would not even think to ask you for a deal, because I trusted your reputation not to sneak in returns.

And if you had a return, and offered it to me for 5 or 10% off (funded by a restocking fee perhaps from the original buyer), and you told me you checked it out your self, I'd also trust you, if you had a good reputation.

As a manufacturer, I would also not be concerned if you broke seals to show people things, either. Or charged full price on open boxed. But if you were passing off used items as new to unsuspecting customers, and I found out, you would risk loosing status as an authorized dealer of my product. And, depending on the state you operate in, if had evidence presented to me, I might have no choice but to report you.

Amazon probably has an entire crew devoted to that task. And they are probably experts at doing it.

If so, they are hopefully doing it in a place where this is legal. Companies I have worked for have contracted out this kind of work, and I could see Amazon perhaps winning such a deal. But there would be protocol and process. Probably repackaging.  And any product determined to have been used would have to go to refurb.

 ne beginner's gear list:ne beginner's gear list
Nikon D750 Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +1 more
clarnibass Senior Member • Posts: 2,044
Seal vs. price

A few things re some of the posts that you and others poted...

As I mentioned I used to sell saxophones and it was normal for me to open, check each saxophone, etc. Now, if there was a seal (e.g. the nylon) and each open nylon meant the saxophone could only be sold as an "open box" at a discount, then there is no question about it, I would have to raise the prices of all new saxophones.

If the same idea of the seal was "enforced" by customers for all stores, then prices of all saxophone in all stores would be higher. OTOH, the chance of a customer to get a defective one would be higher, because I wouldn't be able to check it before selling.

I don't know if this would work the same with cameras, but it might...? Honestly I can't say if a seal would cause more or less returns overall.

BTW in my country it's a little different. By far most people buy at a store or used. It is relatively less common to buy online. Some people and stores are against trying at the store exactly for the same reason, they don't want to buy something for a new price unless it's completely 100% new from factory, never opened. I prefer to try at the store and I'm glad several stores have no problem with that. Stores here generally can't afford a demo model.

j_photo Veteran Member • Posts: 3,417
Re: Liberal Return Policies vs. "has my camera been used?": A way to Solve This
1

The solution is simple: don't by from stores that take back sold items and restock them as new.

I buy local. I like supporting my local business community and I like my new equipment to be new.

 j_photo's gear list:j_photo's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon Df
Flashlight Veteran Member • Posts: 7,411
Sealing boxes is no solution

I know for a fact that Nikon themselves hand out returned items unchecked into consumer hands again.

A few years ago I returned a 70-200 VRI, was eventually asked to communicate with the local Nikon office where they told me there was no stock and they were waiting for shipments from Japan. A short while later I got a call from them a lens had 'popped up', went to collect it and tested. Turned out the lens had a horrible difference between focus at the short (front focusing) and long (back focusing) ends. Obviously a returned item, the lens was unusable for even the most ignorant user.

My guess is they just re enter that kind of lenses into the chain until it stops coming back.

-- hide signature --

Philip

OP ne beginner Senior Member • Posts: 2,149
Re: Seal vs. price

Thanks, that sounds like an interesting job! My brother-in-law sold pianos when he was in grad school, which combined something he loved with earning an income. He just retired (government, not as musician), and is thinking of doing something with music. He has been playing all his life and is very good.

clarnibass wrote:

A few things re some of the posts that you and others poted...

As I mentioned I used to sell saxophones and it was normal for me to open, check each saxophone, etc. Now, if there was a seal (e.g. the nylon) and each open nylon meant the saxophone could only be sold as an "open box" at a discount, then there is no question about it, I would have to raise the prices of all new saxophones.

I understand your point. But regarding this discussion, I think you are referring to a misrepresentation made, over and over again,  by two posters.

The idea of a seal is to ensure merchants are honest about the condition of a product they are representing as being new.

New, as I have pointed out, does not mean untouched. It means not previously sold, opened, used for some period of time (as much as 30 days), returned, and then re-sold as new to an unsuspecting customer.

An item that is opened in the store, buy the dealer, to show someone, is not used. Ownership has not transferred, it has not left the dealers control, the warranty in intact.  It may have been handled, but under supervision and care of the owner, the merchant.

There are some categories of products where it is customary, even desirable, for the merchant to examine, test, perhaps even adjust, the product before delivery. Automobiles. Lawn mowers and tractors.  Products that are more hand crafted than machine made, like musical instruments.

I always buy gas powered tools from a local "mom and pop" rather than the big chains because they test and adjust - when you buy an item - and give customers a walk-through how to use it. Sure, I pay a little more than Home Depot or Lowes. But I can always go back for service and parts, or just to ask a question.  Try getting parts for a made-for-home-depot only gas trimmer, even if it has a brand name on it, 4 - 5 years after you bought it.

Bicycles at a bike shop are assembled and adjusted at the store.

Do camera bodies and lenses need to be tested before a merchant sells them? Anything need adjustment? ARE dealers doing any pre-sale testing?  I may wrong, but I believe when you buy a camera or lens, no one is opening the box to put it through it's paces ... it is just handed over to you, or put on a box and shipped.

So seals would only be broken if: 1. the dealer took it out in the store to show someone, or 2. is was sold, used, and returned.

Now, for an on-line retailer, any item received by a customer with a broken seal would be the latter, right? They don't have walk-in customers in their warehouse. Same even for B&H: they ship on-line sales from a warehouse, not their store.

So seals would keep on-line retailers honest about what they are selling. I think that would be a good thing.

For a large chain retailer, like Best Buy, they sell a limited assortment, and have demo units.  They have no reason to break a seal and open a box. They are supposed to sell returns that have been opened and used as open box specials.  Most of the time they do, but a seal make it so that the customer can be assured the item they are buying in that particular store is not a used return.

That leaves only the local full-service camera stores, which carry a broader assortment, who are most likely to break a seal in the store. So a broken seal means they either demo's the item, or it is a used return, right?

Now, an honest dealer would not sell a used item as new, even if he could make it appear as close as possible to "new" visually.  An honest dealer would offer that up as an open box.  Right?  Not only dishonest, but probably against consume protection laws in many if not most US states.

If a dealer is honest about returns, by selling them as open box, could you not also consider that dealer to be honest when they tell you a seal on a lens was opened only in the store to show someone? In that case, the item is new, not an open box return.

So it all comes down to dealers being honest with their customers about the condition of the item they are selling.

As I see it, it would only raise prices at those sellers who are no longer able to fund their liberal returns policies at the customer's expense, by misrepresenting used returns as new, and re-cycling them on unsuspecting customers.

If the same idea of the seal was "enforced" by customers for all stores, then prices of all saxophone in all stores would be higher. OTOH, the chance of a customer to get a defective one would be higher, because I wouldn't be able to check it before selling.

No, because you are selling new saxophones, not used ones. Checking them out, making adjustments, is part of the service that you are selling.  The prices wouldn't change.

But what about used ones?  Did you allow customers to "try and buy" for a few weeks, or a month, then return them?  Did you sell those as new?

I don't know if this would work the same with cameras, but it might...? Honestly I can't say if a seal would cause more or less returns overall.

It might cause less; if merchants who rely on that marketing tactic could no longer pass the returns off to unsuspecting customers as new, they might no longer be able to afford such policies. Some may have to charge a restocking fee to off-set open box discounts.  Customers who "buy an try", if they had to pay a restocking fee, might be more selective, narrowing things down before "buy and try".

But the real winner would be us, the customer.

BTW in my country it's a little different. By far most people buy at a store or used. It is relatively less common to buy online. Some people and stores are against trying at the store exactly for the same reason, they don't want to buy something for a new price unless it's completely 100% new from factory, never opened. I prefer to try at the store and I'm glad several stores have no problem with that. Stores here generally can't afford a demo model.

 ne beginner's gear list:ne beginner's gear list
Nikon D750 Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +1 more
OP ne beginner Senior Member • Posts: 2,149
Interesting ... what bad experience

In my experience on the manufacturer side, not cameras, but consumer products, we have had, on and off, programs to re-package returns in a few electronics categories. My experience is USA only. I had to learn about these programs because, in my role, i had to be prepared to discuss this externally.

It took over a year just for our corporate lawyers to come up with how we could do that,  and not be at risk for violating various state and federal consumer protection laws. There are also other laws that they had to examine, in order to determine under what procedures and protocols we could do this.

For one thing, we had to be 100% sure the item has not been used.  So before we could implement this program, we had to change packaging for all new product to sealed.

Returned items had to be inspected, and if there was any suspicion that it had been opened, it went to refurb.  If the item had been recalled, or required a fix, it also went to refurb.

Then each item was opened, and repacked in new boxes.  We had to ensure the newest manuals and insert were included, so that whole sealed packet was new.

The repacking had to be under the same conditions as the factory lines.

It is a very expensive process, and it many cases we stopped because going the return route was more cost effective.

Flashlight wrote:

I know for a fact that Nikon themselves hand out returned items unchecked into consumer hands again.

A few years ago I returned a 70-200 VRI, was eventually asked to communicate with the local Nikon office where they told me there was no stock and they were waiting for shipments from Japan. A short while later I got a call from them a lens had 'popped up', went to collect it and tested. Turned out the lens had a horrible difference between focus at the short (front focusing) and long (back focusing) ends. Obviously a returned item, the lens was unusable for even the most ignorant user.

My guess is they just re enter that kind of lenses into the chain until it stops coming back.

 ne beginner's gear list:ne beginner's gear list
Nikon D750 Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +1 more
OP ne beginner Senior Member • Posts: 2,149
Agree ...

j_photo wrote:

The solution is simple: don't by from stores that take back sold items and restock them as new.

I buy local. I like supporting my local business community and I like my new equipment to be new.

I am like you: I don't want something that has been used and returned.  For me personally, it's not so much the warranty or weather a manufacture will service the item.  I just don't want to have to go through the hassle of having to dealing with someone else's problems. That's why i am paying for a new item.  Otherwise I'll buy refurbed, trade in's, off Ebay, etc.

I see seals as a way to keep merchants honest.  Not all are as your local dealer, especially the on-line guys.

 ne beginner's gear list:ne beginner's gear list
Nikon D750 Tamron SP 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di VC USD Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G +1 more
clarnibass Senior Member • Posts: 2,044
Re: Seal vs. price

ne beginner wrote:

Thanks, that sounds like an interesting job!

I'm a musician and woodwind instrument repairer. Selling instruments was a relatively small part of that I stopped doing because actually it wasn't interesting at all... plus I am much better at explaning someone why they don't need to buy something than selling them something

New, as I have pointed out, does not mean untouched. It means not previously sold, opened, used for some period of time (as much as 30 days), returned, and then re-sold as new to an unsuspecting customer.

An item that is opened in the store, buy the dealer, to show someone, is not used. Ownership has not transferred, it has not left the dealers control, the warranty in intact. It may have been handled, but under supervision and care of the owner, the merchant.

The stores I buy from here let me use the camera (and another one) slightly at the store before I bought it. I put a lens on it, focused and clicked a few times. I didn't have to buy it after that. Someone else was checking one of the cameras when I entered the store and it was obvious the other one was checked before too. With lenses, the stores let me mount them on my camera and use it in the store and outside the store too.

I understand you don't mean this is the same as something that was bought and returned, but with a seal, how would a customer know? It would be just the same and very few if any would be willing to pay the full price for any item without the seal. So for a potential customer, e.g. a lens might look exactly the same whether it was used for a while or just looked at without even moutning it.

That leaves only the local full-service camera stores, which carry a broader assortment, who are most likely to break a seal in the store. So a broken seal means they either demo's the item, or it is a used return, right?

Yes...

Now, an honest dealer would not sell a used item as new, even if he could make it appear as close as possible to "new" visually. An honest dealer would offer that up as an open box. Right? Not only dishonest, but probably against consume protection laws in many if not most US states.

If a dealer is honest about returns, by selling them as open box, could you not also consider that dealer to be honest when they tell you a seal on a lens was opened only in the store to show someone? In that case, the item is new, not an open box return.

So it all comes down to dealers being honest with their customers about the condition of the item they are selling.

Maybe, but if it became standard that there is a seal, my impression is that people would simply not pay the same price as they would for a new and sealed item. Maybe I would. Maybe some other people would too. But I think in general, by far most (if not almost everyone) wouldn't.

RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 28,368
Re: More than just the sales tax ...

ne beginner wrote:

From what I can see, the "local camera stores" are getting beat in price as well. As I understand this, local small camera stores have to go through a distributor or wholesaler, which adds a level the chains can avoid.

Yes, Amazon is selling for very little profit.  As much that Amazon sells, I was surprised they made only $100,000,000 profit in the first quarter.  Extremely slim profit margins but very high volume.  A local store cannot compete due to volume.

RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 28,368
Re: Eliminate Retailers
1

Selling My Nikon Stuff wrote:

I would be in favor of eliminating retailers altogether

Yeah, and would help lead to 50% of the world being out of work.  Low prices, selling direct to consumers is a recipe for no increase in employment.  The economy has worked in the past due to the structure of it.  Now with 3rd world countries doing most of the manufacturing, and people able to buy from the cheapest store in the country, the economic structure has been blown up and the lack of job growth has suffered because of it.  That's why most jobs added are in service: hotels, fast food, restaurants.  We don't build things here anymore and retail stores are mostly big box (low wages and few jobs).

RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 28,368
Re: Eliminate Retailers

clarnibass wrote:

You say it saves the dealer's profit, but in reality it is entirely possible that doing that wouldn't make the camera cheaper, if not even more expensive.

Yep: only one place to buy it - the manufacturer!

henryp
henryp Veteran Member • Posts: 6,812
Re: wholesalers and uniform retail pricing

Eamon Hickey wrote:

The Supreme Court decision that enabled this shift is called Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc. Wikipedia undoubtedly has some information on it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leegin_Creative_Leather_Products,_Inc._v._PSKS,_Inc.

-- hide signature --

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

 henryp's gear list:henryp's gear list
Nikon D5000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +1 more
henryp
henryp Veteran Member • Posts: 6,812
Re: Liberal Return Policies vs. "has my camera been used?": A way to Solve This

Bob Wolf wrote:

I purchased a D800 and a couple of Nikkor lenses from B&H, and not one of the boxes had a factory seal on them. If there is any indication that the item was used, I call them and return it. Never had a problem with them, and that' s why I continue to shop there.

Thank you.

I don't beleive Nikon puts factory seals on their boxes.

I believe you are correct.

-- hide signature --

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

 henryp's gear list:henryp's gear list
Nikon D5000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +1 more
henryp
henryp Veteran Member • Posts: 6,812
Re: Yes... these are clearly two different things

Marty4650 wrote:

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.

The shutter actuation limit was eliminated months (a year?) ago due to overwhelming demand from customers.

-- hide signature --

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

 henryp's gear list:henryp's gear list
Nikon D5000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +1 more
henryp
henryp Veteran Member • Posts: 6,812
Re: Liberal Return Policies vs. "has my camera been used?": A way to Solve This

MPA1 wrote:

How about requiring a camera to log on to the internet when first turned on before it will function further and register with the manufacturer's servers as 'activated'?

Some computers do this, making returns impossible and when retailers then decline (refuse?) to accommodate a return request (despite having published the returns policy & offered an even eschange) the retailer is excoriated and vilified on web sites and forums throughout the land.

-- hide signature --

Henry Posner
B&H Photo-Video

 henryp's gear list:henryp's gear list
Nikon D5000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +1 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads