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11-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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B+H Black Friday Sales - Used Equipment Being Sold as New?

Hi everyone. I received today a "brand new" 16-50mm DA* that I ordered from B+H at the Black Friday/Cyber Monday special price of $749. Unfortunately, when I opened it up, I saw that there appeared to be light soiling and wear on the bayonet, as well as a couple of small scuffs on the name ring. Additionally, neither the box itself nor the components inside were shgrinkwrapped or otherwise sealed.

Has anyone else who bought from B+H detected any similar signs of use? And have your items been shrinkwrapped? I am of course concerned for practical reasons , considering the SDM problems that have plagued older versions of this lens this lens model, that I have received a used, demo, or refurbed unit. Furhtermore, it is a federal crime in the U.S. to sell such merchandise as new, so one would hope that B+H weren't engaging in this practice.

Unfortunately, since it's Shabbos, I won't be able to contact them until Sunday, but hopefully they can clear it up then.


Last edited by dcshooter; 11-30-2012 at 04:14 PM.
11-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #2
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A lot of stores put stuff back on the shelf if it was returned and there was minimal to no wear. I'm sure B&H does the same, and I wouldn't be overly-concerned about it as long as you can clean everything off. If the scuffs are permanent, though, I'd definitely ask to get the item exchanged.

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11-30-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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I can't recall any of my Pentax Lenses that were BNIB being "shrink wrapped" either the lens or the box itself. They come inside a plastic bag, unsealed, with silica.

Last edited by Docrwm; 11-30-2012 at 04:20 PM.
11-30-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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The 15 4 I just got from B&H was in a plastic bag inside of the leatherette pouch. I'd exchange it as well if I was you.

11-30-2012, 04:02 PM   #5
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My DA* 16-50 I received from B&H yesterday came new in box, where the box had no opening creases on it other than the lines smoothly laid out on the box. So I had to make the creases to open the box in joy knowing it be new and untouched. Also it came brand new tightly in shrink wrap with silica gel. It was like the lens itself where untouched and ready for me just to open it. It's unfortunate that yours didn't come out the same way, It's a shame not everybody gets their lens wrapped the way I got mine. Hope you return it and get better luck next time.
11-30-2012, 04:28 PM   #6
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Like Docwrm, none of my Pentax gear from B&H or Adorama, including the FA 31 Ltd and the DA*55, or any of the DA Ltds, or the K-5 or K-01 boxes, have been shrink-wrapped anywhere. I bought all my stuff new this year. Just a small plastic bag inside the leatherette pouch or interior cardboard box, along with the silica gel packs.

I inspect my stuff carefully and I don't think I've ever received re-shelved goods.

(Off subject, but I really wish they used a little foam in the packaging, not just one thin layer of corrugated cardboard to go up against the UPS guys.)
11-30-2012, 04:29 PM - 3 Likes   #7
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I know that this site has a business relationship with B+H, but you shouldn't be so quick to downplay a practice that is an honest-to-goodness federal crime. Just because "a lot of stores" do it doesn't make it legal or right.

Under the fair packaging and labeling act, the minute the item comes out of the shrinkwrap, the merchant is legally obliged to indicate it during future sales, or they are violating the law, plain and simple. Why do you think stores like Best Buy, et al. regularly sell open box items at a discount when they are often in perfect condition?

Likewise, "minimal wear" won't cut it. The item is either new or is not, and by selling a non-new item as new, a merchant is committing a fraud on the consumer.

Now I'm not saying B+H has a policy of foing this - for all I know, it could be a legitimate oversight. But I've already received confirmation in this thread that my experience has been abnormal, and I'll be sure to let B+H know that when I make my return request.


QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
A lot of stores put stuff back on the shelf if it was returned and there was minimal to no wear. I'm sure B&H does the same, and I wouldn't be overly-concerned about it as long as you can clean everything off. If the scuffs are permanent, though, I'd definitely ask to get the item exchanged.
11-30-2012, 05:04 PM   #8
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I've certainly heard what Adam describes as common practice for retailers, online and not. The customer may have misreported the return condition as unused.

FWIW, my K-5 II w/ 18-135 kit from B&H on post-Thanksgiving weekend appeared to be completely new.

11-30-2012, 05:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
I know that this site has a business relationship with B+H, but you shouldn't be so quick to downplay a practice that is an honest-to-goodness federal crime. Just because "a lot of stores" do it doesn't make it legal or right.

Under the fair packaging and labeling act, the minute the item comes out of the shrinkwrap, the merchant is legally obliged to indicate it during future sales, or they are violating the law, plain and simple. Why do you think stores like Best Buy, et al. regularly sell open box items at a discount when they are often in perfect condition?

Likewise, "minimal wear" won't cut it. The item is either new or is not, and by selling a non-new item as new, a merchant is committing a fraud on the consumer.

Now I'm not saying B+H has a policy of foing this - for all I know, it could be a legitimate oversight. But I've already received confirmation in this thread that my experience has been abnormal, and I'll be sure to let B+H know that when I make my return request.
I'm in the same boat- but when users go to return an item, you can check a box stating that the item is unopened. If they receive an RMA like that and there's no evidence of use, I'm sure they'll restock it- but I'm just speculating.

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11-30-2012, 05:16 PM   #10
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I have never received a new lens or camera in shrink wrap and that encompasses quite a few purchases over many years. A plastic bag with silica gel loosely closed I seem to recall on a couple of lenses. Accessories for cameras yes to shrink wrapped.

I personally would consider it customer service if the box were carefully opened and the item was tested prior to shipping because the return factor is so much more difficult online than locally.
11-30-2012, 05:31 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Check the serial number against the pf database. If it was made long ago......hmmmmm.
11-30-2012, 09:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
I know that this site has a business relationship with B+H, but you shouldn't be so quick to downplay a practice that is an honest-to-goodness federal crime. Just because "a lot of stores" do it doesn't make it legal or right.

Under the fair packaging and labeling act, the minute the item comes out of the shrinkwrap, the merchant is legally obliged to indicate it during future sales, or they are violating the law, plain and simple. Why do you think stores like Best Buy, et al. regularly sell open box items at a discount when they are often in perfect condition?

Likewise, "minimal wear" won't cut it. The item is either new or is not, and by selling a non-new item as new, a merchant is committing a fraud on the consumer.

Now I'm not saying B+H has a policy of foing this - for all I know, it could be a legitimate oversight. But I've already received confirmation in this thread that my experience has been abnormal, and I'll be sure to let B+H know that when I make my return request.
So ask for an exchange. It is as simple as that. They will honor your request...assuming, however, that you did not take the lens out and shoot with it while you were making up your mind.


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12-01-2012, 05:22 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
Furhtermore, it is a federal crime in the U.S. to sell such merchandise as new, so one would hope that B+H weren't engaging in this practice.
Alleging that a federal crime has occurred is a little over the top, don't you think? Have you considered the possibility that someone at B&H made a mistake? They are human, you know, just like you.

I have been dealing with B&H for years, and have never had any reason to question their integrity. Check out HenryP's posting history here and at dpreview, and you will see he does not hesitate to apologize for mistakes, and works to make things right as quickly as possible.
12-01-2012, 07:14 AM   #14
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I've never experienced this with B&H but I have experienced tremendous, after-sales support. I realize that your posting for a two-fold reason; to express your concern as well as to inform others members. But why don't you give B&H a call first? They are not likely to jeopardize their reputation over this. Always remember that the little guy back in shipping who possibly made a mistake and was just hired a week ago to help with the seasonal crush does not represent B&H's sales policies .
12-01-2012, 08:13 AM   #15
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I've been purchasing lenses and cameras for over 35 years and I can't remember a time that the box itself was shrink wrapped, there may have one or two years ago, I'm just saying that I can't remember it. I do know that nothing I've received lately has come that way. Usually though the lens itself, in the box, is inside of a plastic wrap with a silica gel pack.

I have over the years received packages from numerous retailers where it was pretty obvious that the box had been opened at least once or twice before it was shipped and there were a couple of times that the lens or camera had obviously been removed from the plastic inside. In all but one instance the lens / camera didn't appear to be used and since they worked fine I never bothered to call the seller. The one time I did receive an obvious 'return' (an LX camera body that was missing the accessories and had some scratches - might have been fom BH as they have always been one of my favorite stores) a quick call to them and I was able to exchange it for another one.

BH has a great return / exchange policy, I have received the occasional defective item and they have always corrected the problem quickly. Just make sure you contact them for an RMA first, if you're unhappy with the purchase for any reason they should correct it quickly (just not until Sunday).
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