Reminder to always open your boxes…

Over on the Consumerist is a reminder to always check your purchase boxes before leaving the store. The blogger there said she was ripped off by Target who gave her a camera box without a camera inside.

That reminds me of the time when I started working at a camera store after a stint away from the store. I did my usual thing and cleaned the store from head-to-toe. One of the reasons I did that was so that I could find things quicker cause I’d know where they are. Plus I’d know what’s in stock so I don’t go trying to sell things that we didn’t have.

But, anyway, I kept finding empty boxes. Where there shouldn’t have been any empties.

Turned out an employee was stealing equipment. We figured out who it was. He was stealing lenses in his thermos and taking them home.

When the cops raided his apartment they found about $100,000 worth of stolen camera gear. One employee can do a lot of damage.

Sounds like Target might have someone doing just that.

Another tip? Make sure the serial numbers on the box and warranty cards match what’s on the camera. Sometimes people will try to return something that’s gone bad by putting it in a newer box.

Comments

  1. I only accept boxes in stores if they’re shrink wrapped. And all the stickers meant to show that the box hasn’t been opened are still present. Else there’s no means for me to ascertain that it isn’t a refurbished product.

  2. I only accept boxes in stores if they’re shrink wrapped. And all the stickers meant to show that the box hasn’t been opened are still present. Else there’s no means for me to ascertain that it isn’t a refurbished product.

  3. In Russia, they go even further.

    Most electronics stores have an area just past the registers where everyone takes their purchases to have an employee plug it in and check that it actually works.

    When you buy DVDs or CDs the stores have DVD & CD players where you can test the disks.

    How do you say in Russian, “It’s better to be safe than sorry?”

  4. In Russia, they go even further.

    Most electronics stores have an area just past the registers where everyone takes their purchases to have an employee plug it in and check that it actually works.

    When you buy DVDs or CDs the stores have DVD & CD players where you can test the disks.

    How do you say in Russian, “It’s better to be safe than sorry?”

  5. If there is one thing I absolutely hate when buying the next cool gadget is to find out the box has been opened, the product used, or on display. Even more if there was no warning from the sales rep that the product had been on display, or demo’d to someone.

    Funny story on this – I wanted to buy a Nokia N70 when it came out, and called a couple of stores to check their stock. Found one that had it in stock, and specifically asked if it was new, unopened – answer was yes.

    So I get to the store, and open the box, apart from the plastic wrapper around the cellphone being a bit creased, it looked OK (I can understand an open box to show a potential client a device, but that’s it, nothing further than that). When I get home and start playing with the phone, and open the media player, I notice that apart from the couple of sample ringtones and media, there is a clip001 in the list.

    Hit play, and this is an approximate transcript of the recording:

    “[female voice] Today is September 15th, and this is Felix’s last phone [male laughter]“. So, the phone is -not- new.

    I return to the store, and talk to the same sales rep. The conversation was more or less like this:

    Me: “Hi, I bought this phone yesterday, under the assurance it was new, and it is not new”

    SR: “Sorry, but we only sell new products here, the phone is new”

    Me: “No it is not new”

    SR: “It is”

    Me: “No it is not”

    SR: (getting cocky) “It IS new”

    Me: “This phone was sold on September 15th to a guy named Felix, or lab pulled his DNA from the phone”

    Sales rep at this point turns white, and goes to talk to the store manager, agitated and waving his hands. The store manager comes by, with the sales rep behind him, offers an apology and an immediate refund, no questions asked.

    Went to another store nearby, where they did have a brand new N70. In the Nokia case, look for a holographic seal, these guys had removed it so it didn’t look so obviously opened.

  6. If there is one thing I absolutely hate when buying the next cool gadget is to find out the box has been opened, the product used, or on display. Even more if there was no warning from the sales rep that the product had been on display, or demo’d to someone.

    Funny story on this – I wanted to buy a Nokia N70 when it came out, and called a couple of stores to check their stock. Found one that had it in stock, and specifically asked if it was new, unopened – answer was yes.

    So I get to the store, and open the box, apart from the plastic wrapper around the cellphone being a bit creased, it looked OK (I can understand an open box to show a potential client a device, but that’s it, nothing further than that). When I get home and start playing with the phone, and open the media player, I notice that apart from the couple of sample ringtones and media, there is a clip001 in the list.

    Hit play, and this is an approximate transcript of the recording:

    “[female voice] Today is September 15th, and this is Felix’s last phone [male laughter]“. So, the phone is -not- new.

    I return to the store, and talk to the same sales rep. The conversation was more or less like this:

    Me: “Hi, I bought this phone yesterday, under the assurance it was new, and it is not new”

    SR: “Sorry, but we only sell new products here, the phone is new”

    Me: “No it is not new”

    SR: “It is”

    Me: “No it is not”

    SR: (getting cocky) “It IS new”

    Me: “This phone was sold on September 15th to a guy named Felix, or lab pulled his DNA from the phone”

    Sales rep at this point turns white, and goes to talk to the store manager, agitated and waving his hands. The store manager comes by, with the sales rep behind him, offers an apology and an immediate refund, no questions asked.

    Went to another store nearby, where they did have a brand new N70. In the Nokia case, look for a holographic seal, these guys had removed it so it didn’t look so obviously opened.

  7. Interesting point Robert … one employee can do SO much damage to the company he works for. Is robbing lenses the same ethical position as robbing intangible assets at a company you work for?

  8. Interesting point Robert … one employee can do SO much damage to the company he works for. Is robbing lenses the same ethical position as robbing intangible assets at a company you work for?

  9. My husband is compulsive about this, he trust no one and nothing, he checks and recheck, if it is dropped on the floor we have to get another, even for things that are imopssible to break dvds anything!

  10. My husband is compulsive about this, he trust no one and nothing, he checks and recheck, if it is dropped on the floor we have to get another, even for things that are imopssible to break dvds anything!

  11. Why do people feel compelled to do these crazy things? I mean why are their spammers, etc. If they used their skills for good instead of evil just imagine where we would be. I know this is not an original thought/comment/question but I never think about people doing this sort of stuff until they do it!

    All I have to say is that I’m a big believer in ‘what goes around comes around.’ I’ve been fortunate enough to see it come around once or twice but I know even if I don’t see it, it will come around…

  12. Why do people feel compelled to do these crazy things? I mean why are their spammers, etc. If they used their skills for good instead of evil just imagine where we would be. I know this is not an original thought/comment/question but I never think about people doing this sort of stuff until they do it!

    All I have to say is that I’m a big believer in ‘what goes around comes around.’ I’ve been fortunate enough to see it come around once or twice but I know even if I don’t see it, it will come around…

  13. Great tips.

    My nephew works in the elctronics department in a Target store. He confirms that the store is more worried about employee theft than customer theft. When you consider stores like target are open all night, to give the stockers time to get their jobs done, plenty of opportunity.

    I wonder what would happen if this sort of thing got into the online purchases.

  14. Great tips.

    My nephew works in the elctronics department in a Target store. He confirms that the store is more worried about employee theft than customer theft. When you consider stores like target are open all night, to give the stockers time to get their jobs done, plenty of opportunity.

    I wonder what would happen if this sort of thing got into the online purchases.