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Online Binocular Retailer Returns policies (UK & Europe) (1 Viewer)

sedgemoor

Member
Troubador posted excellent advice earlier this year, when you don't have a local shop stocking the binoculars you want to try:

Try an internet seller with a good returns policy. Discuss with them that you would like to order both and return the one that doesn't suit you. Folks on here have done this before.

Feeling jealous of our American friends on this forum, who appear to order and return as many pairs as they like, I've been reading the returns policies from sellers available to the UK. While the underlying law is the same ("14 days cooling off period") the details vary - some places allow longer, others may charge a restocking fee, and some are very clear this is not a "Try before you buy" service.

If I can keep editing this post, I'll add more. I've omitted longer returns periods over Christmas/Black Friday which some offer, as they will date quickly.

Online Retailers

Camarthen Cameras
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://carmarthencameras.com/customer-service/#answer3
The Customer will be responsible for the cost of returning items unless agreed otherwise beforehand. Goods returned as unwanted must be returned to us in perfect condition with all applicable packaging intact and any returns over 30 days or those that show signs of use will incur a 15% re-stocking fee.

Camera Centre UK
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.cameracentreuk.com/delivery-returns
Returns of unwanted items must be within 14 days of receiving the item/s.

Items that are returned to us in perfect unopened and unused condition will receive a full refund.

Any non-faulty item that has been opened or used will incur a restocking/repackaging fee of a minimum of 10%. This includes sealed boxes, or sealed accessories and manual/software included in boxes.
[Emphasis added]

Cley Spy
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy:
If the goods are to be returned they must be in a saleable condition without straps or accessories having been used or unpacked. Payments will be refunded by the same method the original payment was made, however the cost of postage and packing will not be refunded.

Clifton Cameras
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.cliftoncameras.co.uk/returns
2. The 14 day Cooling Off period is not a 'try before you buy' period. Any products returned to Clifton Cameras under the Cooling Off Period must meet the requirements outlined in section 4.3.

3. Where Clifton Cameras have supplied goods to you, you must take reasonable care of the goods in your possession pending their return to Clifton Cameras. Clifton Cameras will only accept returned goods complete with their original packaging and which do not exhibit any signs of wear or tear. Any use of the delivered goods beyond that necessary to inspect the goods upon delivery, in accordance with the Consumer Contracts Regulations 2013, will invalidate your right to cancel the contract or may be subject to a restocking fee. When evaluating cameras you agree to keep shutter actuations (pictures taken) to an absolute minimum. As shutter actuations are measurable, products with excessive actuations are not considered to be new. We deem that an excess of 30 shutter actuations is beyond that needed to fairly inspect goods during your cooling off period and in such circumstances, reserve the right to apply a restocking fee.

Focalpoint Optics Ltd
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.focalpointopticsltd.com/shipping-returns
We want you to enjoy your new equipment, however, if for any reason there’s anything you’re not satisfied with please contact us immediately or at the latest within 7 days of receipt to discuss your concerns.

When returning an item please ensure it is in the original packaging and fully insured against loss or damage.

Please note that discounted items in most cases may not be eligible for a full refund when returned (unless agreed in writing in advance), they may be subject to a re-stocking charge or exchange dependant on circumstance. Please call the showroom if purchasing a discounted item you intend to return.

All items returned for a refund should show no signs of being used (IE Have not had straps fitted etc) and all packaging and box contents should be complete and in "as new" condition.

Due to the nature of optics, you must ensure that any optics you return should be adequately packaged and insured in transit.

Focus Optics
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: Not available (searched website, Googled)

There are no Terms & Conditions to be found, or information on returns. The only thing is a Dispute Resolution page linking to the European Online Dispute Resolution website.

In Focus Optics
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.at-infocus.co.uk/returns-policy/
If you purchased from In Focus and the goods supplied are not what you expected, you must notify us that you wish to return them to us within 14 days. The goods should be returned in an un-used condition and with the original packaging within 14 days of that notification and be accompanied by a copy of proof of purchase.

London Camera Exchange
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Content/?Terms-and-conditions and https://www.lcegroup.co.uk/Content/?Support-and-Returns
If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your online purchase * we will offer you a refund within 21 days of receiving your order, providing items are returned to us in original and unused condition, with proof of purchase. Goods must be returned with all accessories, packaging and instructions.
* For purchases made in any of our shops please see our Customer Charter displayed in-store.

A deduction can be made from the refund amount if the value of the goods has been reduced as a result of you handling the goods more than was necessary. The extent to which you can handle the goods is the same as it would be if you were assessing them in a shop.

Park Cameras
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.parkcameras.com/terms-and-conditions
6.1 Distance buying regulations provide a cooling off period (not a try before you buy period) and a right to cancel your order should you decide not to complete the transaction. The cooling off period begins the day your goods are received and ends 14 days later. The regulations require the customer to contact us in writing to notify us of the intent to cancel/return the goods. We cannot accept returns/cancellations if we have not been notified in writing before this period has lapsed. Email is an acceptable way to notify us and we will confirm that we have received such communication. If an order is cancelled within this cooling off period we would expect the goods to be returned to us before we process any refund. We do not refund carriage costs. We also expect goods to be returned in pristine condition with the original packaging and contents and must not be used in a way that constitutes acceptance by the customer.

8.1 Park Cameras will not accept goods for credit or rectification unless Park Cameras have been notified beforehand by email or telephone and the goods are received by Park Cameras in stock condition with original packaging. Park Cameras retain the right at our sole discretion whether to accept the return of the goods, or whether to rectify the goods or whether to issue a credit note in respect thereof. Stock condition would be described as the product being in pristine condition with all software seals intact, supplied with all the original accessories and packing and not registered for warranty with the manufacturer.

8.2 The purchaser shall unless otherwise stated be responsible for the cost of outward and return carriage and insurance of all goods returned by the purchaser to Park Cameras for service or credit.

Photospecialist (Dutch, ships to UK)
Checked: 28 November 2019
Policy: https://www.photospecialist.co.uk/customer-service/return/
At Photospecialist, you have a legal cooling-off period of fourteen days. Your cooling-off period begins on the day after you have received the product. Would you like to return something? That is possible within this fourteen-day cooling-off period. You are responsible for the return shipping, including any related shipping costs. If we receive the complete item undamaged (and if reasonably possible) in the original packaging, we will reimburse the entire purchase amount.

South West Optics
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: http://swoptics.co.uk/terms.htm (I had to Google to find this)
4.1 You have the right to cancel any contract within 14 working days without giving any reason. The 14 working days will start the day after receipt of the goods.
4.2 The cancellation notice should be sent by e-mail to South West Optics and must state your name, a description of the goods or services concerned and the contract number of the cancelled contract.
4.3 Where South West Optics have supplied goods to you, you must take reasonable care of the goods in your possession pending their return to South West Optics. South West Optics will only accept the returned goods in their original packaging and which do not exhibit signs of wear or tear. Any use of the delivered goods beyond that necessary to inspect the goods on delivery will invalidate your right to cancel the contract.
4.4 Where South West Optics have supplied goods to you, these goods must be returned to South West Optics, or be available for collection by South West Optics. The cost of returning goods is non-refundable, and where South West Optics collects goods, the direct cost of such will be deducted from the refund. South West Optics reserves the right to apply a 10% restocking charge. Other than for faulty returns, the original cost of sending the goods will also be deducted from the final refund.
[Emphasis added]

The Birder's Store
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.birders-store.co.uk/returns-policy.html
If for any reason you are not happy with your purchase, or simply decide you no longer want the goods, we offer a 14 day money back guarantee. Items must be in a new and unused condition, complete with all packaging in the state in which it was delivered.

The One Stop NatureShop / Richard Campey
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.onestopnature.co.uk/epa.../Shops/es143788/Categories/TermsAndConditions
If you are returning it because it is not what you want for some reason then, as long as it is in its original condition and packaging, you may return it within 14 days of receipt and we will refund the value of the goods.

Uttings
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.uttings.co.uk/Information/Returns
No Quibble Returns Policy
In the unlikely event that the goods supplied are not what you expected, you must return them to us in an unused and unsoiled condition, complete with their original packaging, within 14 days of receipt.

Please be aware that items can only be returned for an exchange / refund if they are unused and in their original packaging and have all of the barcode tags intact, so don't remove them if you're thinking of sending them back! Any seals and shrink-wrap must be intact and clothing, shoes and accessories must have labels or tags attached (please do not put tape or labels on the goods packaging). If either the goods or the packaging are not in a re-saleable state, then we may decline your exchange / refund request. If you provided your email address at time of ordering, you will be sent an email to notify you of receipt of your returned goods.

Viking Optical Centres
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.vikingopticalcentres.co.uk/terms-of-trading/
So long as you let us know within 14 days of delivery, you may return the whole order, or an individual product, in its original packaging and condition for a full refund. Where a refund is claimed, we will process the refund as quickly as possible, but please allow up to 21 days for us to refund your money.
To arrange a return, please telephone us with the order details, or write to the above address.

Wex photo | video
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.wexphotovideo.com/help/returns/
The item must be complete and in the same condition in which you received it:

If you have opened the box to examine the product you must have done so
  • without damaging or marking the product or packaging
  • You haven't used the item (items are not sold on a trial basis)
  • The item contains no personal data and hasn't been registered to a user
  • Used items must not have any additional signs of use or damage.
Some items are excluded from our 30 day return policy, please refer to our terms and conditions.

Can I order an item so that I can give it a thorough test?
Wex Photo Video does not sell products on a trial basis. Any use of the product is relative to examining it, and ensuring it suits your needs. The extent to which you can handle the goods is the same as it would be if you were assessing them in a shop.

A deduction can be made if the value of the goods has been reduced as a result of you handling the goods more than was necessary. We may refuse the return of items without the original packaging or where it has been returned in poor condition.

Wilkinson Cameras
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://www.wilkinson.co.uk/terms/
Your goods must be complete, unused and in 'as new' condition (e.g. if you have opened the box to examine the product you must have done so without damaging or marking the goods in any way). Goods should be returned with the original box, packing and accessories. All software, CDs, must be sealed. Any 'Free Gifts' received with the goods must also be returned.

You will receive a full refund, and the cancellation is free of charge provided you inform us that you intend to cancel within this 14 day period. You then have 14 days to return the item(s). When returning products you are advised to use an insured parcel service, which requires a signature, as we cannot be held responsible for products lost or damaged in transit. Refunds will not be issued until the goods have been returned and checked.


Manufacturers
Avalon Optics
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://avalonoptics.co.uk/return-policy/
90-Days Money Back Guarantee

All items sold on the Avalon Optics website are covered by a 90 days money back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied with the quality of your purchase, for any reason, simply send the item back to us in its original packaging within 90 days of its delivery.

Conditions for Returning an Item

Returned or exchanged items must be unused, in brand new, mint condition, and have all original manufacturer’s packaging, materials, and accessories included. Please note that we will not accept used or non-resalable goods. When sending back an item, please make sure to place it back in its original packaging in the exact same manner as it was received.

RSPB
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://shopping.rspb.org.uk/page/delivery-and-returns#returns
  • The RSPB offers a no-quibble free returns policy. We hope you will be delighted with every purchase, but if not, we will offer you a replacement or a full refund - whatever the reason. Just let us know within 90 days of delivery by contacting our customer service team.
  • Please note that, unless they were received faulty, electrical items, binoculars and telescopes will need to be returned in their original packaging, and in a re-saleable condition.
I can confirm it's no quibble - have used it.

Swarovski Optik UK
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://uk.swarovskioptik.com/terms_conditions
As a consumer, you have the right to withdraw from this contract within 14 days without giving any reason.

The withdrawal period will expire after 14 days on which you acquire, or a third party other than the carrier and indicated by you acquires, physical possession of the goods.

We will bear the costs of returning the goods.

You are only liable for any diminished value of the goods resulting from the handling other than what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods.

You have to take best efforts to send the products back in original condition with their original packaging and the return voucher must be attached to the products.

Zeiss UK
Checked: 29 November 2019
Policy: https://shop.zeiss.co.uk/returnpolicy
ZEISS care about your satisfaction. That's why returns to ZEISS are fast & easy! If you are dissatisfied with your purchase for any reason, you may return it to ZEISS within 14 days of the purchase date, subject to the conditions and exclusions below:

Eligibility Conditions
Please read conditions below. If all conditions are not met, ZEISS reserves the right to refuse the return or to charge a minimum 10% restocking fee. All returned items must be:

- in new condition,
- in their original unaltered box (including an intact UPC code)
and must include all packing material, blank warranty cards, manuals and accessories.

ZEISS can only refund the original purchase price. Shipping and handling fees are nonrefundable.
 
Last edited:

Binastro

Well-known member
Thanks for that sedgemoor.

The problem with all of this is that the final purchaser of an item does not know how many times the item has been returned.
It is possible that the item is slightly faulty when new and may be more faulty at the end buyer.

When buying the Sony A7S by phone, I insisted that the box be opened and that the manager checked the camera and that it had the latest updates.
When received there was a note stating that the buyer had requested this.

When buying several IS binoculars by phone, I again insisted that each binocular was checked for collimation and any problems.
When I didn't do this on one of the Canon 8x25 IS it was faulty.


Most buyers I think would only like to buy a completely pristine unopened box binocular.
I don't.
I want an experienced binocular specialist to check the binocular first before sending.

It bis the same with secondhand binoculars.
Doing this I am sure my failure rate is less than for a random buyer.

But one must know which binocular sellers are able to check binoculars, and who knows their binoculars, new or used.

Many stores have inexperienced sellers who wouldn't know how to check binoculars.

It would be better to go to a shop, test a binocular and buy it and not an identical boxed binocular.

But the internet has killed the high street shops.

I just do not buy from Am.... or E...
They have a lot to answer for, as do many other internet sellers.

Regards,
B.
 

sedgemoor

Member
Thanks for that sedgemoor.
Most buyers I think would only like to buy a completely pristine unopened box binocular.
I don't.
I want an experienced binocular specialist to check the binocular first before sending.

I completely agree. I posted asking for recommendations of shops that will check binoculars before shipping earlier this year but got few responses. When I approached a couple of mentioned shops, they were dismissive of doing so - extra work/fuss for them I guess.

Which is a shame, as I'd happily pay extra for someone to do QC on the binoculars I'm buying.
 

Binastro

Well-known member
I have a few that I know, but it is for others to find their own specialists.

Getting an expert to check binoculars reduces the chances of a faulty binocular, but does not reduce that chance to zero.

I have had binoculars checked that were indeed faulty.
In one case I got a hefty discount, as they know I am truthful when I complain about faults.
Luckily Zeiss completely overhauled this really old binocular F.O.C. in Germany.
Even they edge chipped an eyepiece element, but correctly blackened it. There is no effect on the very good performance.

B.
 

giosblue

Well-known member
Whatever the retailer has regarding their own returns policy , the minimum consumer law is very simple.
It allows the consumer to view the goods as if he were in the shop.
They CAN open the packaging and inspect the goods, they can inspect them, try them and decide if they want to keep them. They have 14 days to reject them and they have 30 days in which to return them.
Obviously they should take reasonable care of the goods and the packaging. But they don't have to be perfect.

Take this for instance from Camera Centre UK


Returns of unwanted items must be within 14 days of receiving the item/s.

Items that are returned to us in perfect unopened and unused condition will receive a full refund.

Any non-faulty item that has been opened or used will incur a restocking/repackaging fee of a minimum of 10%. This includes sealed boxes, or sealed accessories and manual/software included in boxes.


How can you inspect the good if you can't open the packaging?
 
Last edited:

Binastro

Well-known member
I suppose it could end up in legal action, but that is messy.

I think that a warranty period of one year may not be legal in the U.K. if the goods are not fit for purpose.
The law may provide for longer than this.

Perhaps a lawyer could advise us on the actual situation in the U.K.

In the literature provided by makers it usually states that consumer rights may be different to what the maker tries to impose on the buyer.

B.
 

giosblue

Well-known member
I suppose it could end up in legal action, but that is messy.

I think that a warranty period of one year may not be legal in the U.K. if the goods are not fit for purpose.
The law may provide for longer than this.

Perhaps a lawyer could advise us on the actual situation in the U.K.

In the literature provided by makers it usually states that consumer rights may be different to what the maker tries to impose on the buyer.

B.

In the UK, Depending on the nature of the product, you have up to six years to make a warranty claim.
 

cdmackay

Well-known member
There's also the issue of return postage cost, if you factor in insurance for something costing hundreds (or thousands of pounds), could be costly.
 
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