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When a mail order bino goes back to the retailer- where does it go after that? (1 Viewer)

pat mitchel

Well-known member
As a virtual babe in the wood when it comes to online purchases of new bino's- I never had to return one, Is there a standard policy (likely depending on the particular country the mail order business operates within) or is there a fuzzy meaning as to what constitutes a "new" binocular. I see B and H photo have a grading system for the binos they offer as used. Is a return that has no apparent defects (simply not what the buyer wanted) used or new? Thank in advance, Pat
 
The descriptions have different meanings on your side of The Pond.
My take is.....
New = Unopened after being boxed, sealed and shipped out by the manufacturer to a retailer or end user.
New in box = an originally unopened sample that has been returned by a customer unused and without any known faults. Complete with all accessories and warranty paperwork.
Ex - demo = a sample that has been on display and handled / tested by customers in a shop or at a field show by a sales representative.

Hope that helps.
 
where it goes, and how it is classified will vary a lot by retailer... be careful to check what the terms mean if not new... maybe even if "new"

 
I feared it was a minefield. So ultimately it is up to the individual company and their reputation. Thanks for the information, regards, Pat
 
Last month we ordered a New binocular on sale from Scopelist.com. When they arrived in its unsealed box along with the missing ocular lens covers and with a oil finger print on one of the front objective lens, made it pretty obvious that it was either a Demo or a return sold as New. I immediately got on the phone, got a return authorization number and sent them back the same day. If we purchase a pair of Binoculars and they arrive as described, whether New or used I will only return them if the seller did not hold to their end of the agreement or if it is apparent they are defective. We have only had to return something a few times out of all of the hundreds of purchases we have made over the years. Scopelist started out not being to cooperative over the phone when I told them I wanted a complete refund but I made it pretty easy for them … either do what’s right or my credit card company would do it for you, by them backing the charge out with us getting our money back. I will not do business with them again. Those binoculars probably did go out again, as New to a consumer with less experience than me when it comes to handling New optics right out of the box. One tip when it comes to buying a New pair of binoculars … never pay cash over the counter. If paying in person always use a credit card which is in good standing with your credit history, with a solid policy in writing which will make you whole(getting your money back) when it comes to disputes with all your purchases. If you pay in cash, you have lost all control as to whether you will be able to get any refund. Even with all the hundreds of purchases we have made over the phone and internet, I still have that uneasy feeling before opening that expected package …. will it be used sold as New.
 
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I bought two pair of kowa genesis 8.5x44 from cameraland in ny six months ago, both over the phone. the first pair was open box, considerably less than the new price. I asked the salesman what made them open box. he told me someone had looked through them and preferred a different binocular. I asked if they'd been out of the store -- "no."

the second pair was sold as new. they were out of open box sets and gave me a good price for the new pair.

I couldn't tell them apart when they arrived in their boxes. to me they both seemed new and the performance to me is amazing.

I guess the area of concern is binoculars that a customer has used in the field and then decided to return. a problem for the retailer but also possibly for the ultimate owner.

I'm sure it's retailer by retailer, but I'd be comfortable buying open box from cameraland again.

Jeff
 
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I was recently sent a pair of binos to try. The box was open, but everything was there, apart from a free 'toy' that was seemingly meant to be included.
The binos were obviously brand new, and after testing i kept them as they seemed perfect to me. I would think any binos sent out for testing would have been inspected to make sure they were perfect before being sent to a potential customer.
 
The reference to CameraLand in NY reminds me also that many online retailers are not actually "authorized dealers" and so, while their prices for some brands are attractive, the manufacturer does not offer their typical warranty if purchased from these sellers.

More complicated still, going through an authorized seller, an "open box" item is sometimes classified under the umbrella term "used"(see adorama) and that can affect the warranty even though the "open box" category is sort of suggested to be new-ish - I believe adorama's "open box" items still come with manufacturer's warranty, though a nikon I bought from them some time ago was also "open box" and they explained a warranty that was different from the Nikon one when I bought it... I wish I could remember the details.

Anyway, we're in a time when online is a common way of buying expensive, delicate equipment. Seller reputation is a just as important as ever, and return policies even more so. I really appreciate the ability to speak to someone who really knows their stuff, and while some big retailers like B&H offer that, they sell so many different things that an "expert" may or may not know about binoculars, or the particular pair in their inventory that you're calling about.
I'm beginning to default to smaller companies with a more explicit focus, despite sometimes a bit higher prices and/or lesser perks, like Optics4Birding.com - smaller company and everyone I've talked to knows more than I do about the product that I'm interested in, and I appreciate the confidence it gives me to make a purchase. They also have a less generous return policy - I think it's 7days and you pay return shipping and restocking fee(!) - and while I don't love that for myself, I think it deters chronic returners from abusing their system and their inventory.
 
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A positive thing to note when dealing with a retailer who has in place a more restrictive return policy. One would probably have a much higher chance of receiving a New ,Untouched and Unopened Box of Binoculars . You are dead on, If the chronic return buyer knows that they will be hit with all the xtra fees. Having to pay a return fee and a restocking fee, they are less inclined to make that return which could be my next purchase.
 
Hi,

I don't even know what the problem is?

If you buy binoculars from a dealer over the Internet and the glass is not in order, you can send it back for 14 days without giving a reason, and you should not get involved in disputes with dealers.

In the past I often had problems with "new" binoculars that have obviously been used before!
It is unacceptable when a "new" pair of binoculars comes to the buyer, something goes back in a moment!
Unfortunately, many dealers do not check the returned binoculars carefully and then send them to the next buyer, which is a no-go.

Andreas
 
The problem, it seems to me, is that if you return what is actually a binocular with a fault, does it go somewhere for service to be sold as refurbished, does it get recycled, or does it go right back on sale until it finds a home with an unsuspecting buyer? You really don't know what will, or has, happen. A person might well be best served by taking advantage of the manufacturers warranty and returning it there for service.
 
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or does it go right back on sale until it finds a home with an unsuspecting buyer?
Yes, of course that's a problem ...

Which often makes things more difficult ... Binoculars are often sold by photo dealers, unfortunately I had to find out again and again that these sellers have very little know-how in binoculars, they look at a glass to see if it is clean and then it will resold.
I have already spoken to a number of photo dealers who sell binoculars and then noticed that there is not really much knowledge about this subject.
Often these dealers fail to notice mistakes themselves.

Andreas
 
What do you expect the dealer to do with the returned one?
Quite simply that he checks it properly and then offers it as a demo model!

You can see it anyway when the seal has been opened.

The problem is not only with binoculars but with all goods where you have a 14-day right of return.

Andreas
 
Many larger reputable dealers, such as CameralandNY or Eagle Optics when they were in business, or places like Maven have their business models built to accommodate their return/demo policies. The default setting for most places it to restock the return as a demo or like new in box item. The kicker is if they will look for a legitimate serviceable fault in the returned binocular. If so what happens then? I would assume (a troublesome thing) that a dealer that moves a lot of product will have some arrangement with the manufacturer to return legitimate service needs to the dealer for replacement. However we simply can't really ever know for sure what some will do. If you are going to buy from an online source you have never used before, call them and discuss with them what they do with returned items. FWIW my go to places for online ordering are CameralandNY, and SWFA. These dealers have people who know something about the product and refrain from blowing a lot of smoke at you. The former has a lot of open box type sales, and the latter has a good trade in policy and sells them on their Demo list. Beware cheap third party deals from Amazon or Ebay. Too much searching for perfection or a better deal can have consequences.
 
Perhaps some companies are better than others at repackaging the returned product for resale. I stick with sport Optics and EuroOptic.
 
Quite simply that he checks it properly and then offers it as a demo model!
.........
The problem is not only with binoculars but with all goods where you have a 14-day right of return.

Andreas
Who should eat the difference between new and demo price?
the dealer - if a defect?
the returner- if no defect?
this makes a restocking fee sound reasonable

edj
 
Who should eat the difference between new and demo price?
the dealer - if a defect?
the returner- if no defect?
this makes a restocking fee sound reasonable

edj
It is very easy, if binoculars have been used before, it is a demo model or a return that the dealer must indicate, even if the binoculars are not defective!
Do you think a dealer should offer the glass again as new and in its original packaging?

There is of course always a certain risk for the dealer that glasses are also sent back, but I think that is taken into account.
I would like to at least have the information whether a glass has already been sent.

Andreas
 
Many larger reputable dealers, such as CameralandNY or Eagle Optics when they were in business, or places like Maven have their business models built to accommodate their return/demo policies. The default setting for most places it to restock the return as a demo or like new in box item. The kicker is if they will look for a legitimate serviceable fault in the returned binocular. If so what happens then? I would assume (a troublesome thing) that a dealer that moves a lot of product will have some arrangement with the manufacturer to return legitimate service needs to the dealer for replacement. However we simply can't really ever know for sure what some will do. If you are going to buy from an online source you have never used before, call them and discuss with them what they do with returned items. FWIW my go to places for online ordering are CameralandNY, and SWFA. These dealers have people who know something about the product and refrain from blowing a lot of smoke at you. The former has a lot of open box type sales, and the latter has a good trade in policy and sells them on their Demo list. Beware cheap third party deals from Amazon or Ebay. Too much searching for perfection or a better deal can have consequences.
Sometimes as stated here by another poster the retailer gets the return , takes a quick look and then sells as new or as open box. You mentioned one retailer in NY I dealt with. I returned a Leica Trinovid due what Leica themselves said sounded like a defect and to return or send into them. These were two weeks old. I returned for another pair. There was a 30 day return policy.

I decided after about 2 weeks these were not for me. When I returned them they said there was a 10 return policy. Then they hit me with a 10% restocking fee and had no cash on hand for a cash refund (so much for a large retailer). This was after one of their veteran sales people tried to convince me that they’re not allowed by state cooperate law to return cash to customers, ridiculous.

They informed me at that point that they had to charge me the restocking fee because they lost money selling the defective return as an open box. So first we have two different return policies on different days, then if they lose money on having to sell a return as open box you have to pay a restocking fee.

The moral of the story is be very clear on the return policy, get in writing and make sure of policy if your returning a second replacement. Theres where it got tricky.

As far as NY is concerned, B&H and Adaroma are as good as it gets. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars with these people on equipment and have had numerous returns without even a question.

Just my 2 cents. Thank you.

Paul
 
Sometimes as stated here by another poster the retailer gets the return , takes a quick look and then sells as new or as open box. You mentioned one retailer in NY I dealt with. I returned a Leica Trinovid due what Leica themselves said sounded like a defect and to return or send into them. These were two weeks old. I returned for another pair. There was a 30 day return policy.

I decided after about 2 weeks these were not for me. When I returned them they said there was a 10 return policy. Then they hit me with a 10% restocking fee and had no cash on hand for a cash refund (so much for a large retailer). This was after one of their veteran sales people tried to convince me that they’re not allowed by state cooperate law to return cash to customers, ridiculous.

They informed me at that point that they had to charge me the restocking fee because they lost money selling the defective return as an open box. So first we have two different return policies on different days, then if they lose money on having to sell a return as open box you have to pay a restocking fee.

The moral of the story is be very clear on the return policy, get in writing and make sure of policy if your returning a second replacement. Theres where it got tricky.

As far as NY is concerned, B&H and Adaroma are as good as it gets. I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars with these people on equipment and have had numerous returns without even a question.

Just my 2 cents. Thank you.

Paul
This is not a binocular, but as a counterpoint… with B&H, I ordered a Swarovski CTH tripod head. I received it with missing paperwork and about three set screw indentations/marks on the bottom of the tripod head. Clearly used. I sent the tripod head back and this counted as my last allowed return (I had returned an unused tripod and one or two other small items). I no longer purchase from them.
 
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