Retailer report: Amazon.com

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by leifw, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this. Feel free to move it somewhere else.

    I bought the newly released Sigma 150-500 from Amazon about a month ago. I wasn't sure that I wanted to keep it, but it appeared that Amazon had a very liberal 30 day return policy with no restocking fee. They offered me a free trial of Prime (as they had been for years) and I took it. Then I paid an additional $4 to get next day shipping.

    I proceeded to use the lens for nearly a month. During that time I concluded that it wasn't for me. Either one or more of the following was true: it wasn't very sharp, it didn't focus very well, the IS didn't work as advertised, and/or my tripod wasn't stable enough for glass that heavy. For now, I'd rather spend my money another way. Someday I aspire to have good long glass. This was not that for me.

    In any event, I decided to return the lens. Amazon's online return process is really easy. At the end, they give you a link to print a prepaid shipping label. I cleaned up the lens quite well, during which I noticed that I lightly pocked the front element three places and took a couple chips out of the foot while I used it. I was really shocked that I'd chipped the front because I almost always had the hood on and I couldn't remember banging the front element on anything. I was a little worried they wouldn't take it back. I've never scratched another lenses without doing something obviously stupid, like falling down on a scree field and whacking the lens on granite.

    I packed the lens up in the original packaging and took it and the prepaid label to my local UPS shipper. After shipping it, I realized I'd forgotten to include a copy of the original shipping slipping slip as the directions said. I called Amazon and they said it wouldn't be a big deal.

    The lens arrived at Amazon on Friday. I got an email today, Monday, saying that they'd processed my order and credited my card. They credited me for both the lens and the cost of shipping. I paid nothing to try (and damage) the lens for a month.

    I'm really positively impressed. Amazon may not have the best prices on camera gear, but they seem to have a fabulous policy on the stuff.
     
  2. keko

    keko

    143
    Jul 20, 2007
    Barcelona
    I just hope they actually check the product and send it back to the manufacturer to be refurbished. I don't know about amazon, but many retailers just send the product to the next costumer...
     
  3. I've had excellent results with Amazon and their return policy as well. They are quite good.

    When I was shooting Canon I ordered an 85mm f/1.8 from Amazon. I checked tracking and UPS said it was delivered, but it was nowhere to be found and I didn't sign for it. I called them about it and without even hesitating they sent out a new one that day and didn't even make me go through the hassle of filing a UPS claim. They dealt with the situation themselves and I got the new lens the following day.
     
  4. Leif

    Leif

    Feb 12, 2006
    England
    So you are the one that damaged the lens I received from Amazon. :smile:

    Seriously, I doubt any UK retailers would offer such a good return policy. Mind you, I once bought a portable TV from Dixons (UK shop) as I wanted to watch the rugby on Saturday. I was not keen on the TV, so returned it on Monday, and I got a full refund. I think shops offer generous return policies as it encourages more sales - hey, if I don't like I'll return it - and most people do not return the item even if they are not totally sold on it.
     
  5. Doug

    Doug

    Jan 17, 2006
    East TN
    Well my honest opinion is, if you damaged the lens, you shouldn't have sent it back, the old you break you buy philosophy. During a trial period, we have a responsibility to evaluate the lens as new, to treat like new, and return in a reasonable time as new. While they may have a 30 day liberal return policy, that really doesn't mean we should freely use the product for 30 days, then say, ahhh, send it back. This is precisely why we wind up with crappy return policies many places, becasue of these sorts of abuses.

    I know I sure wouldn't want to rebuy a damaged lens as new. No offense. I wouldn't necessarily have a problem with a lens being handled with extreme care and trialed before I got it, but it better not be damaged in any way form or fashion when it arrives to me.

    Devil's advocate off.
     
  6. I hope this opinion doesn't get me in trouble, but I find it absolutely unconscionable that you would treat a lens so abusively to not only knick up the foot but damage the front element, and then just send it back and expect a full refund. I could never do such a thing and still sleep at night.
     
  7. I hope you guys don't think I was endorsing this behavior. I was just following up with an anecdote about how good the people at Amazon are.
     
  8. did you tell them that you damaged the lens?
     
  9. Must agree with Doug. I couldn't in good conscience do this.
     
  10. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    I'm sorry if I offend anyone. I simply wanted to report affirmatively on Amazon as a place to buy.

    I bought the lens in good faith. I really did want to love it. I was really happy when I pulled it out of the box and played with it. It was later when I realized I just wasn't getting smashing results that I decided to return it.

    I really was very surprised that the lens was damaged. I thought I was taking good care of it. I didn't expect that mounting the foot on a tripod plate would cause the coating to come off. Would you have?
     
  11. gadgetguy11

    gadgetguy11

    Nov 16, 2005
    Kentucky
    VERY WELL STATED, DOUG!

    +1
     
  12. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Yes. When I called about forgetting to include the packing slip, I mentioned it. The CSR said that it wouldn't be a problem if the damage was minor, the result of typical wear and tear.
     
  13. CraigH

    CraigH

    691
    Mar 21, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    I totally agree with many here. I can't imagine using a product for a month and returning it just because I decided I didn't like it. Moreover damaging it further makes this an unethical transaction, IMO.

    Returning a defective product in 30 days is an whole different story, and Amazon's policy certainly does ease my mind with regards to returns. I don't think this lens was defective.
     
  14. cool...
    glad for your reply
    except that YOUR damage was NOT "as a result of typical wear and tear."
     
  15. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    The return policy doesn't require the the object to be defective. The reason for my return was the item didn't meet my expectations. I picked that as my rationale when returning the item. It was one of the standard reasons.

    Most brick and mortar retailers have a floor model that suffers some degree of wear and tear from being handled. At the end of the product cycle, they sell it for a discount. Amazon doesn't have that expense. Instead they have a liberal return policy. I live multiple hundreds of miles from the nearest Sigma dealer who would carry that lens. Ordering from Amazon was in my mind the moral equivalent of trying the floor model in store. Imagine I'd pocked the floor model in store. Would I have been required to buy it? That's never happened to me before.

    I try to do most of my shopping at Costco because I can return stuff there if it's wrong in any way. I'm much more likely to shop at Amazon because they treated me well in this case. I suspect both will be happy to continue to take my money.
     
  16. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    I'm sorry, Greg. I really think it was. Feel free to explain why you think it wasn't.
     
  17. How many people do you honestly know that try a lens and put 3 chips in it, and how do you rationalize that THAT is normal wear and tear. You've got to be kidding.
     
  18. typical wear and tear is something that happens over time with NORMAL use of a product

    denting and scratching a lens because you dropped it (by mistake.... doesn't matter) on granite is your fault.... NOT NORMAL WEAR AND TEAR

    i mean you NO disrespect
    but... you aren't right about this
     
  19. leifw

    leifw

    472
    Jul 25, 2007
    Bozeman, MT
    Perhaps what I should've said was that I'm fairly certain the damage to the front element was the result of putting on the lens hood and slipping. That seems like normal wear and tear to me. Had that happened while I tried out the lens in the store, I wouldn't have expected to be required to buy the lens.
     
  20. CraigH

    CraigH

    691
    Mar 21, 2008
    Orlando, Florida
    I know you think you're right or you wouldn't have posted this in the first place. I'm sure you're surprised at the responses you're getting. I'm sure you're probably a nice guy, but I think you need to rethink your ethics on this even if you've rationalized differently.

    Anyway, it's over and done. Good luck in future purchases.