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Thread: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

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    Post Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Lately I've been doing a lot of online buying and some selling. I have some observations for you and couldn't figure out where else to post them. I'm pretty sure that my experiences are fairly typical for these 3 well-known sellers: Adorama.com, B&H Photo, and Amazon.com.

    B & H Photo: They use a computer "alert" system to catch potential "resellers". The system is flawed. I was flagged as a reseller because I bought too many items over too short a period! Huh? Before B&H finally said "OOPS, sorry" it took weeks. I'll never feel comfortable dealing with them again. Mr. Posner runs the place and apparently believes customers are liars and cheats until proven otherwise. If all goes well, they are great. But WOE is you if things don't go smoothly! Be CAREFUL. This company can bite!

    Adorama.com: They aren't perfect (who is?). But they work with you. They don't lie. If you have a gripe, they address it. They do not assume, as does B&H, that the customer is always wrong ... and they do know how to ship things properly. A bit slow on the shipping end occasionally (not by any means always), but everything does arrive and it arrives in good shape. Never had to return anything due to poor packing. Their policies are fair. They are not always the cheapest, but they stand behind their products and policies.

    Amazon.com: They often have the lowest prices AND always a most friendly and accommodating customer service department. I almost look forward to chatting with them ... which, alas, I have done quite a lot. This is because they seem to have THE worst packing and shipping department anywhere. Baffling, really. Thus while it is easy to return stuff to them, you may find you are making a LOT of returns because they don't grasp the "bubble pack as protection" concept. Many computerized and photographic equipment items have been delivered without so much as a piece of crumpled paper between them and doom. They DO sometimes get it right: about half the time. On the positive side, they are AWFULLY nice about it when you complain! Ironically, they pack the HELL out of books and NON fragile items. Go figure.

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by teepee12 View Post
    Lately I've been doing a lot of online buying and some selling. I have some observations for you and couldn't figure out where else to post them.
    Adorama.com: They aren't perfect (who is?). But they work with you. They don't lie. If you have a gripe, they address it...... and they do know how to ship things properly. A bit slow on the shipping end occasionally (not by any means always), but everything does arrive and it arrives in good shape. Never had to return anything due to poor packing. Their policies are fair. They are not always the cheapest, but they stand behind their products and policies.
    I really enjoyed reading your comments and was pleased that you find us easy to work with. I've passed on your comments re shipping to our warehouse manager, but if you can give me any specific instances where we've fallen short of your expectations please do let me know - we are constantly looking for ways to improve everything we do.

    In terms of price, we will always make every effort to price-match to any equally reputable retailer who has your chosen item in stock - just drop me an email: Helen@adorama.com

    Please don't hesitate to email me directly any time you need advice - or after-sales support - with any order from Adorama Camera.

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by HelenOster View Post
    I really enjoyed reading your comments and was pleased that you find us easy to work with. I've passed on your comments re shipping to our warehouse manager, but if you can give me any specific instances where we've fallen short of your expectations please do let me know - we are constantly looking for ways to improve everything we do.

    In terms of price, we will always make every effort to price-match to any equally reputable retailer who has your chosen item in stock - just drop me an email: Helen@adorama.com

    Please don't hesitate to email me directly any time you need advice - or after-sales support - with any order from Adorama Camera.
    I had a bit of bad luck with Adorama but I'll get over it.

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by laingjd View Post
    I had a bit of bad luck with Adorama ......
    A lot of people shared your experience; as recently as 2005 our feedback at resellerratings.com was a miserable 3.75/10, and we deserved a lot of the criticism sent our way.

    A change of direction and improvements across the company, and we now stand at 9.64/10.
    Not quite yet the 'perfect 10' but headed in the right direction - and as good as or better than almost all comparable retailers.

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    Cool Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by teepee12 View Post
    Lately I've been doing a lot of online buying and some selling. I have some observations for you and couldn't figure out where else to post them. I'm pretty sure that my experiences are fairly typical for these 3 well-known sellers: Adorama.com, B&H Photo, and Amazon.com.

    B & H Photo: They use a computer "alert" system to catch potential "resellers". The system is flawed. I was flagged as a reseller because I bought too many items over too short a period! Huh? Before B&H finally said "OOPS, sorry" it took weeks. I'll never feel comfortable dealing with them again. Mr. Posner runs the place and apparently believes customers are liars and cheats until proven otherwise. If all goes well, they are great. But WOE is you if things don't go smoothly! Be CAREFUL. This company can bite!
    They've changed since then, but originally I found it hard to order from B&H, because I live on a private road that didn't used to get mail delivery (you know the Jeff Foxworthy line, you might be a redneck if the directions to your house are turn off the paved road onto the dirt road... that's where we live). In addition, it is routine for the UPS and Fedex drivers to leave packages at our house for neighbours, sometimes in puddles of water, which doesn't give me a great sense of feeling of comfort. So I rented a drop box at the local UPS store to get package delivery, but B&H wouldn't ship there, even though I used the credit card that used the UPS mailing address as the billing and shipping address. Adorama had no problems.

    In my last job, when I was back to working out of an office again instead of working from home, I had packages delivered to work, and they wanted me to go through some song and dance because the phone number in my cube was to a different building in the office park, and it didn't match exactly. While I occasionally buy from them, I find I generally will check Adorama, and go to B&H only if they don't have what I want. In my current job, I've had packages delivered to work and it seemed to go well.

    Quote Originally Posted by teepee12 View Post
    Adorama.com: They aren't perfect (who is?). But they work with you. They don't lie. If you have a gripe, they address it. They do not assume, as does B&H, that the customer is always wrong ... and they do know how to ship things properly. A bit slow on the shipping end occasionally (not by any means always), but everything does arrive and it arrives in good shape. Never had to return anything due to poor packing. Their policies are fair. They are not always the cheapest, but they stand behind their products and policies.
    Yes, I've noticed once or twice in the past when I ordered something from B&H and Adorama on the same day, the B&H might get there 1 day quicker. But given they are in New York, and I'm in Massachusetts, it isn't a problem in general. Now, getting stuff from Hong Kong on the other hand can take more patience.

    Quote Originally Posted by teepee12 View Post
    Amazon.com: They often have the lowest prices AND always a most friendly and accommodating customer service department. I almost look forward to chatting with them ... which, alas, I have done quite a lot. This is because they seem to have THE worst packing and shipping department anywhere. Baffling, really. Thus while it is easy to return stuff to them, you may find you are making a LOT of returns because they don't grasp the "bubble pack as protection" concept. Many computerized and photographic equipment items have been delivered without so much as a piece of crumpled paper between them and doom. They DO sometimes get it right: about half the time. On the positive side, they are AWFULLY nice about it when you complain! Ironically, they pack the HELL out of books and NON fragile items. Go figure.
    With Amazon, you need to check whether Amazon itself is doing the shipping or it is actually an intermediate store (like Adorama or 17th Street Photo for instance).

    Once, I was buying an extended warranty for my E-510, and it was being handled by 17th Street Photo. I went there, and found the exact same warranty to be more expensive if I ordered it direct, than if I ordered it through Amazon.

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by HelenOster View Post
    I really enjoyed reading your comments and was pleased that you find us easy to work with. I've passed on your comments re shipping to our warehouse manager, but if you can give me any specific instances where we've fallen short of your expectations please do let me know - we are constantly looking for ways to improve everything we do.

    In terms of price, we will always make every effort to price-match to any equally reputable retailer who has your chosen item in stock - just drop me an email: Helen@adorama.com

    Please don't hesitate to email me directly any time you need advice - or after-sales support - with any order from Adorama Camera.

    Hey - that's nice. I've bought several items from Adorama in the last couple of years. All arrived in good condition. Much variation in delivery time, but I am in Australia and don't pay for expedited shipping.

    Regards,

    Alan

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Meissner View Post
    They've changed since then...
    Once, I was buying an extended warranty for my E-510, and it was being handled by 17th Street Photo. I went there, and found the exact same warranty to be more expensive if I ordered it direct, than if I ordered it through Amazon.
    That's because if you walk into a shop, you are more likely to use a warranty than if you purchase by mail order.

    Regards,

    Alan

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    Cool Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Baxter View Post
    That's because if you walk into a shop, you are more likely to use a warranty than if you purchase by mail order.

    Regards,

    Alan
    These were both mail order prices for the same extended warranty. Given it is an Olympus warranty, once the shop sells it, they are out of the loop. I've noticed every once in a while similar price differentials, so if I know a shop does fufillment for Amazon, I check both prices. Usually it is the same, but not always, and sometimes the shipping options are different.

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Meissner View Post

    With Amazon, you need to check whether Amazon itself is doing the shipping or it is actually an intermediate store (like Adorama or 17th Street Photo for instance).
    All the really bad shipments were specifically direct from Amazon and ONLY for either cameras or computers or other electronic items. They just put whatever it was in its own packing, dumped it into a larger box, slapped a label on it and shipped it -- with no additional packing between the item and the larger box. So of course the item rattles around and that is not healthy.

    This happened with two tablet computers (sent them both back) and one camera (sent that back too). Another camera was shipped with a SINGLE piece of bubble pack. Pathetic. I kept that camera because I was out of working cameras and had a gig. Fortunately, the camera worked despite the bruising it took. Lets hear it for Canon.

    I have gotten things like camera bags (which you could run over with a truck without doing it any harm) packed so solidly you could have launched them into space without it stirring ... but whoever handles electronics simply doesn't care. If it is coming from a different vendor (but I'm paying through Amazon), it's actually a relief because generally THEY know how to pack. It's Amazon that has a problem and they can't seem to solve it. It happens over and over again and I've grown very wary of ordering anything fragile directly from them.

    So. I get a package. I realize that whatever it is, it is loose in the box, no padding. These days, I don't even OPEN the box. I just call them, explain the problem, they agree with me, issue a credit, send me an RMA, and I send it back. We chat pleasantly about the shipping department and whoever it is assures me that they are working on it.

    I'm sure they just put the returned item back into inventory and sell it to another unsuspecting customer. But that's out of my control. That may be why the viewfinder didn't work. I bought it from Amazon.

    It is ironic because they really are the most pleasant people to deal with. They never argue, never make excuses,. They just apologize and fix the problem. I just would prefer that there be fewer problems.

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by teepee12 View Post
    B & H Photo: They use a computer "alert" system to catch potential "resellers". The system is flawed. I was flagged as a reseller because I bought too many items over too short a period! Huh? Before B&H finally said "OOPS, sorry" it took weeks. I'll never feel comfortable dealing with them again.
    Our system, while imperfect is quite a bit more sophisticated than a "computer 'alert.'" But it is imperfect and if someone is flagged inaccurately we will repair this as soon as it's brought to our attention.

    Mr. Posner runs the place and apparently believes customers are liars and cheats until proven otherwise. If all goes well, they are great. But WOE is you if things don't go smoothly! Be CAREFUL. This company can bite!
    Mr. Posner (that's me) does not run the place. I've been here 15 years or so and enjoy a good bit of credibility internally, for which I am grateful. I appreciate and respect all our customers. While I abhor liars and cheats as much as the next fellow I think 99.999% of our customers are simply great people.

    They do not assume, as does B&H, that the customer is always wrong ...
    ROFL. I may do a lot but neither my colleagues nor I assume that the customer is always wrong. In this case, you are mistaken and that's not an assumption. You obviously have a grievance and I am sorry you do but that's not license to spray defamatory inaccuracies all over this forum.

    If we did something for which you deserve an apology, we;ll have one for you. Feel free to email your details. My email address is in my sig.

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by henryp View Post
    Our system, while imperfect is quite a bit more sophisticated than a "computer 'alert.'" But it is imperfect and if someone is flagged inaccurately we will repair this as soon as it's brought to our attention.

    Mr. Posner (that's me) does not run the place. I've been here 15 years or so and enjoy a good bit of credibility internally, for which I am grateful. I appreciate and respect all our customers. While I abhor liars and cheats as much as the next fellow I think 99.999% of our customers are simply great people.

    ROFL. I may do a lot but neither my colleagues nor I assume that the customer is always wrong. In this case, you are mistaken and that's not an assumption. You obviously have a grievance and I am sorry you do but that's not license to spray defamatory inaccuracies all over this forum.

    If we did something for which you deserve an apology, we;ll have one for you. Feel free to email your details. My email address is in my sig.
    Someone, NOT you, in your organization called last week and apologized profusely for the mistake which was, as it turned out, exactly as I suspected, a computer error. He did a pretty good job of making me feel better. Perhaps you should check with your staff. I consider the incident resolved.
    When in doubt ask yourself: "What would the Lone Ranger do?"

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by teepee12 View Post
    I consider the incident resolved.
    Excellent. He called at my direction because he was the source of the error.

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    My satisfaction with B&H is about 75% +. My problem was with a item that was inaccurately/incompletely described on the website. I was able to return it on my nickel and was charged a restocking fee besides. Customer "support" was worse than useless. Should be called B&H bottom line support.
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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by teepee12 View Post
    This is because they seem to have THE worst packing and shipping department anywhere. Baffling, really. Thus while it is easy to return stuff to them, you may find you are making a LOT of returns because they don't grasp the "bubble pack as protection" concept. Many computerized and photographic equipment items have been delivered without so much as a piece of crumpled paper between them and doom. They DO sometimes get it right: about half the time. On the positive side, they are AWFULLY nice about it when you complain! Ironically, they pack the HELL out of books and NON fragile items. Go figure.
    a bit of a long read - but this may give some insight to why the packing at Amazon is so P*** Poor! http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-17...ss-brutal-heat

    Jim
    Jim Couch
    Portland, OR, USA
    www.unicornphotography.com


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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeL View Post
    My satisfaction with B&H is about 75% +. My problem was with a item that was inaccurately/incompletely described on the website. I was able to return it on my nickel and was charged a restocking fee besides. Customer "support" was worse than useless. Should be called B&H bottom line support.
    This is certainly disconcerting. Please email your order details to me. My email address is in my sig. I may be able to resolve some or all of this for you.

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by JBC View Post
    a bit of a long read - but this may give some insight to why the packing at Amazon is so P*** Poor! http://articles.mcall.com/2011-09-17...ss-brutal-heat

    Jim
    I wish I were surprised, but I'm not. I figured something along those lines. My son worked warehouse for a bunch of years and this is a common story, with variations.
    When in doubt ask yourself: "What would the Lone Ranger do?"

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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    I feel lucky because of all the stuff I've ordered from Amazon (including laptops, cameras, and lenses) the only problem I've had was with four sets of manufacturer-packaged and direct-shipped stoneware dishes. Two sets arrived broken and an email to Amazon resolved the problem with new shipments and RMAs at no cost to me. The new items were shipped before the broken items were returned. This allowed me to replace yet another broken plate before returning all the borken items.

    My only complaint with Amazon is that they discontinued their 30-day price match policy some time ago, something I always benefitted from on almost every purchase.
    Cheers, Dave

    E-510 | 14-42 | 40-150 | 50-200 SWD| 70-300 (still Broken)| EC-14 | FL-36
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    Default Re: Resellers: 3 Biggies, Quickie Reviews

    I had another fire drill with Adorama the last couple of days.

    To make a long story short I had to ask for Helen Oster in person after Customer Service couldn't fix it. A very nice and helpful person.

    I got my items and thank you from the bottom of my heat Helen.......you saved me a very irate customer.

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