Used goods sold as new

11 posts in this topic

Posted

Funny (not!) thing happened today.

A few days ago, I ordered a camcorder as a birthday gift from a relatively well-known online shop in Berlin. Paid 159.99 euros + shipping. I picked it up today from the post office, got home, all fine so far.

First thing: the box said "Sonderpreis 134.99". I assumed that was an error, went ahead with it.

Second thing: the sticker which normally covers the place where you open the box was broken and replaced by another sticker saying (in German): we've opened your box to check the integrity of the contents.

Third thing: I plugged in the camcorder into the PC, only to find a couple of pictures and videos on it. Chill, it's not porn, just some employee of the company (in full company attire and inside their physical shop) making faces to the camera and putting it back on the shelf.

Bottom line: I needed the thing very quickly, so no chance of sending it back and getting a replacement. Also, has to go in the box as a gift (no issue to explain I opened it myself to check that it works), so no option of keeping the box as "evidence".

First, am I right to assume this was a "display piece", hence the "Sonderpreis" they had listed on the box?

Second, is there some law governing the sale of such samples? The gadget works alright, I'm just pissed they sold me something for 25 euros on top of the shop price.

I've dropped them a note describing the issue and expressing my unhappiness at their incorrect practices, but I guess that's the end of it. Oh well, for 25 euros they've lost a customer who spent some 500 in their shop over a year.

Third, should I be naming and shaming them or would I be looking at a court meeting?

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Posted

Name and shame is not always the best route to go. I agree you were slighted and since you let them know that, I'm sure they will reciprocate in some way. On the bright side, the camera works and they have proved that to you. No worries, just send your gift and explain that you had the staff test it before you bought it as a gift. Win/Win situation.

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Posted

So, let's be clear about this. You were happy to pay 159.99 + shipping UNTIL you discovered that you could have gotten it cheaper.

That happens almost every time I buy any kind of sports gear, electronics, or even food. In fact almost everything I buy could be had for less, sometimes in the same shop as I bought it, had I only shopped a day later.

So, I think you will be very lucky to even get an acknowledgement of your gripe, let alone any kind of refund.

As for the item being "used", they have already explained that they ensured it was in working order BEFORE they shipped it to you. They are letting you know - in an offhand way - that they won't accept a return for reasons relating to incorrect functionality. This is totally reasonable. Processing returned items costs a lot of money, and eats into their already small profit margin quite substantially.

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Posted

That's the thing - it's not that I could have gotten it cheaper, should I have waited for the sales. The cheaper price was already the price in the shop BEFORE (or WHEN) I bought it online, only they sold it to me for the higher one. In other countries, such "open box items" warrant a significant discount - not only did I not get the discount, I actually paid a premium for the "privilege". For example: http://www.newegg.com/Open-Box/Store - 20% to 70% discount.

Regarding their "we're so kind to check it beforehand" sticker, it's the first time I see this in Germany. In every single case, the item came sealed in its original box. Moreover, it appears the item was a display sample rather than a brand new thing, judging by the fact their employee filmed himself and then placed it back on the shelf - visible in the movie clip he forgot to delete.

It's not a matter of money, as I said, it's just that I don't like being taken for a ride. They made some easy 25 euros off me this time, I hope this will compensate them sufficiently for future lost sales.

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Posted

Could also be a return instead of a display model and the employee filmed himself in order to test the device. In that case, it would be practically new.

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Posted

That's a bunch of extra Euros to pay. But you've done all you can by notifying the seller. Perhaps you will get a rebate. :) I mean refund.

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Posted

It's kind of like when I moved to Florida from Heidelberg. When I got here I ordered a new car from a dealer. I had to wait because the one I ordered was a special model and needed to be located. They found what I wanted, but it was in Tampa Florida. Instead of putting it on a truck, they hired some dude to drive it to my local dealership.

Should I be happy that the car was test driven and performed well, or should I be pissed thinking that this dude had his hands all over my radio knobs, adjusted my mirrors, put extra miles on the car (that is no longer new), and more than likely farted on the leather seat. I got over it, but I do agree that you may have been slighted....slightly.. :)

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Posted

That's why for cars you have the phrase "delivery miles only". And that's why cars with a one-day registration (Tageszulassung), but never driven, have a discount.

@Illic - I'm wondering if selling a return as a new product, without explicitly mentioning that it is a return, is legal at all.

After all, it is a first world problem indeed.

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Posted

Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. It seems that a lot of shops do that, and with the law stating that things ordered online can be sent back within 14 days they might not have much of a choice or they'd lose a lot of money. I briefly googled the legal situation, but couldn't find a clear answer.

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Posted

They usually then sell those returns as B-Ware, at a lower price.

Ebay even has a special category "Neu: Sonstige" for this type of goods, see here for an example.

But yes, from the purely legal point of view they are allowed to sell the goods as new, see here and here.

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