Adorama Trade in Program: BEWARE!
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obadiahlee
Registered: Mar 02, 2012
Total Posts: 1
Country: United States

This post is meant to do one thing, in keeping this as short as possible I'd like to tell photographers of my experience with Adorama's Trade-In program and give you guys a warning.

In early January I was reading much about the anticipated release of the 5D Mark III, I was a pleased owner of a 5D2 and was not looking to upgrade. I was excited about the 5D3 but wasn't planning on purchasing it quite yet, the 5D2 had served me well and what I didn't experience (better auto-focus, low-light, etc.) wouldn't hurt me, out of sight out of mind kinda thing. I was pleased with my 5D2. As the month went on I was getting more excited about the 5D3 and thought, what could it hurt to call Adorama and other places to see what kind of value I could get from my 5D2 before the 5D3 hit the shelves. I spoke with a couple of places and Adorama gave me the best quote and guaranteed me two prices minimum. I asked the representative (whose name I will respect and keep private) several times what I would get MINIMUM (let me make that clear "MINIMUM") because I thought what good is it to trade in if i can get a better price selling on my own. The rep gave me this simple break down with the following conditions:

MINIMUM TRADE-IN Value: $1700 - Trade in for another purchase through Adorama
MAXIMUM CASH Value: $1200 - Just get a check from Adorama

I wanted to have these prices clarified and the rep said that IF I wanted a cash (form of a check) from Adorama that I would only get $1200 for the 5D2, I could easily sell the camera myself for a much better price. So I asked him again what would be the minimum TRADE-IN price (meaning Adorama credit which would go to another body or whatever I have my eye on at Adorama, in my case the 5D3) and he assured me a MINIMUM of $1700 (I must have asked him 3 or 4 times to assure and guarantee this price). I didn't want to waste his time or mine so before shipping my camera out I wanted to make sure that I would be looking at at least $1700 for my trade in. He again assured me that depending on the quality of my camera, $1700 would be the minimum and I could possibly get $1800 or more (of course stating again, depending on the condition of my camera) I said that was fine and he went through with sending me a shipping label (they ship both ways so what could I lose?) I asked the rep explicitly about the release of the 5D3 and asked since it would be released soon, that it would affect my 5D2 price so would i still be guaranteed the MINIMUM $1700 price, he went on to assure me that that would be the MINIMUM I would get. (Mind you, through this entire beginning process of "trade in" with Adorama, I read some neutral reviews about their trade in program. Some good some bad. I was already a bit weary)

I cleaned, prepped and packed my camera and shipped it out the next day.

My camera arrives almost 2 weeks later to Adorama, it's now around the end of February and the 5D3 is planned to ship mid-March. I am cameraless, I want my quote asap, it took another 4-5 days to get in touch with a rep and now I have another person who is quoting and dealing with my camera.

The rep ends up calling me and without any decent customer service and doesn't let me speak, tells me that my camera is valued at $1200 and if I would like to go through with the trade-in that I would be put on the priority wait list for the 5D3 which would be released in about a week or so. I asked him about the entire MINIMUM I was guaranteed and he went off on this explanation that they need to make money off the resell, and now that the 5D3 is about to be released my camera is only worth $1500-$1700 for them to sell back. I was in shock, I asked over and over again at the time I was to trade-in and get a quote that I would be guaranteed the MINIMUM $1700 price. The rep was not easy to speak to, complete sales man with no personality. The principle of trust was broken and I warn anyone that is looking to do a trade-in with Adorama.. DO NOT TRADE-IN. That department in Adorama is horrible. I was guaranteed a MINIMUM price of $1700 and I got the "cash price" of the 5D2. If anything my camera was in prestine condition and babied, no blemishes, no scratches, nothing, it was worth atleast $1800. If you put yourself in my situation, I could have just got my 5D2 back and forgot the entire thing, but it's the principle of customer service and integrity that my beef is with. Adorama's trade in program is NOT upheld to the standard of their retail store. Granted the retail store is just an expensive typical place so there isn't any need for conning or deceiving customers of any prices or service, people see the price and will buy it, no problems there.

But with their Trade-Ins, I spoke with a rep who convinced me that I have nothing to lose, that I was promised and guaranteed a price and then 3-4 weeks later I finally got a response only to find out that I've been given false promises and the guys I speak to don't even want to try to compromise or help me out. I've wasted time and money, waiting for the equipment and ultimately losing business because of their deception and wasting of my time. They spoke so quickly and lacked even acceptable customer service in their trade-in department and it came off to me that all they were trying to do was to get me off the phone.

So my warning to you other camera owners out there, beware of Adorama's trade in program. They're not easy to work with, they handle your trade-in slowly and ultimately they don't keep their word. Really disappointed and they've left a bad taste in my mouth.




Sarsfield
Registered: Nov 29, 2004
Total Posts: 1540
Country: United States

I don't do business with them because of another form of unethical business practice that I encountered first hand. There are many companies that work very hard to make the sale and really do not care at all about true customer service. I know there are many Adorama fanboys on this board and we have one of their rep's who comes to their defense when anything goes awry but I don't buy anything from them due to their lack of honesty.



omarlyn
Registered: Feb 19, 2004
Total Posts: 4066
Country: United States

obadiahlee wrote:
This post is meant to do one thing, in keeping this as short as possible…


FAIL

OK, seriously…While I understand & agree with your frustration regarding deceptive sales practices (assuming your story is accurate), I have to point out that you share some culpability in this as well. It seems (to me) that you are a person who knew the resale value of your 5D2, knew the 5D3 was imminent, and was generally knowledgable on sales practices…so why on Earth would you believe that a brick & mortar store would ever buy any equipment for more than wholesale value (which typically is 1/2 to 2/3 of a private sale)? It was pure fantasy and you absolutely knew it because you questioned it 20 times. You were chasing the proverbial pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, and when someone trolled up and told you they'd give it to you, you fell for it hook, line, & sinker. Again, I'm not defending this sales person's ethics, but you should have known better, you did know better, and you fell for it anyway. That's a BIG shame on the sales person but it's also a shame on you too.

Omar



Skarkowtsky
Registered: Feb 22, 2009
Total Posts: 1419
Country: United States

In my experience, with the exception of KEH down south, selling or trading used gear to a retailer is always a loss. Well, KEH bills themselves as brokers, BUT, they are very fair when making offers, and reselling goods.

Unfortunately, the NY mega-stores (adorama and B&H) are especially cheap when it comes to trade-in and buy back. Private sale, all the way.



anthonysemone
Registered: Mar 08, 2008
Total Posts: 4258
Country: United States

I have sold or traded-in multiple times at Adorama. I have always been told straight up that the BEST I could expect was 70% of "then current price of used equipment." When I did the calculations, using KEH, BH, Adorama, and listings here for similar items, when I got the quote back, usually a week to 10 days later, I was given a figure that was 40 to 50% of what the average price was of the total calculated from those sources. E.g., on a recent sale, I calculated that the items sent back should fetch approximately 1400$. I was quoted $600 IIRC and negotiated that # to $750 as I recall. Since there were a number of items and I didn't want to mess with the time it would take for me to sell each item, I decided to sell it to them. I rationalized it by noting that my forensic time is worth $250 an hour, and just not having to sweat boxing everything up, carrying it to USPS, or UPS, standing in line, worrying about whether or not some potential buyer was gonna bitch about a scratch or minimal internal dust, well, you get the picture. It was overall worth it to me. FWIW, I was NEVER given a firm quote upfront, never given a "guaranteed" price upfront.

One or two items at a time, for me, this is the place to be.



borderlight
Registered: Dec 06, 2004
Total Posts: 1745
Country: United States

My experience selling to both B&H & Adorama has been a last resort. If you can't sell it on FM, then either your price is too high or your equipment isn't in demand. Canon & Nikon usually sell on FM, other equipment usually takes longer or there are no bites. Adorama usually pays around 40-50% for mint products, but an Olympus MFT adaptor ($200) for a FT Olympus Macro lens ($450) amounts to about 10% because there is really not much demand for it or the lens, or so they say. I settled with Adorama for $250 for both. B&H offered $300 for same equipment, including hood from one associate in Oct. Three months later they only offered me $200. I succumbed to the least crappy offer from Adorama. It usually takes a three weeks to get a check from either store. Over the holidays, at least a month.

A few years ago I slowly watched my old 5D price plummet from $1900 to $1100. I eventually sold it on FM for $1200. If I had attempted to sell it to either store I probably would get a check for $500. My experience is that mint condition equipment is to costly to sell to a retail/wholesale store for a slight upgrade, in your case the 5D3. You shouldn't have left yourself without a camera no matter what.



anthonysemone
Registered: Mar 08, 2008
Total Posts: 4258
Country: United States

Borderlight, +1



zapatista
Registered: Aug 17, 2011
Total Posts: 128
Country: United States

I've never traded anything into Adorama (because I know it's a royal screwing) but have had 1st rate experiences with purchases, returns and cancelations.



dcains
Registered: Oct 09, 2005
Total Posts: 7344
Country: United States

I always enjoy threads with "BEWARE" in the title



anthonysemone
Registered: Mar 08, 2008
Total Posts: 4258
Country: United States

I as well Wonder where OP went



scalesusa
Registered: Sep 02, 2008
Total Posts: 2277
Country: United States

Quotes are very time limited, as prices change day to day. He apparently did not ask the key question about how long the offer was valid for. Canon dropped the price of new bodies and everything else dropped accordingly.

If you are lucky, a price quote might be good for 3 days at most.



Helen Oster
Registered: Dec 03, 2007
Total Posts: 860
Country: United States

I have been in contact with the OP - who also posted in 2 other threads that I'm aware of.

I listened to the recording of the call between the OP and the sales rep.

It was very clear in that recording that the rep stated we would pay up to 70% of re-sale value, which was estimared to be $1,700, meaning we would pay him $1,190

However, we actually agreed to credit the customer $1,200.

After the OP listened to the recording of the call he understood that he made an error and agreed that if we would credit the full amount, ie the sum we would be hoping to sell the unit for, he would remove this post from all forums.

We have now credited the OP $1700 in full - so by the time we take into account the time devoted to this single trade we have made a loss.

I am disappointed that he did not follow through on his promise to us.

I am also disappointed by some of the comments on this thread from members who immediately jumped in to denigrate Adorama without knowledge of the true picture.

Helen Oster
Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador
Helen@adorama.com





Helen Oster
Registered: Dec 03, 2007
Total Posts: 860
Country: United States

Sarsfield wrote:
.......we have one of their rep's who comes to their defense when anything goes awry but I don't buy anything from them due to their lack of honesty.


Please see my post above; my job is actually to act on behalf of customers - even when they let us down.......

borderlight wrote:
.........Adorama usually pays around 40-50% for mint products, .....


Adorama pays around 70% of expected re-sale value


scalesusa wrote:
Quotes are very time limited, as prices change day to day. He apparently did not ask the key question about how long the offer was valid for. Canon dropped the price of new bodies and everything else dropped accordingly.

If you are lucky, a price quote might be good for 3 days at most.



Over the 'phone we only give estimates, not quotes.

It is only after we have physically appraised an item that we give a quote - and yes, this is time limited.
However, as I noted above, this was not the case in this situation. The customer mis-heard or mis-understood what was said, and has listened to the recording of the call himself. Nevertheless, as a good will gesture we paid out the full re-sale value in the expectation that he would remove the misleading comments posted on all forums.
So far, he has removed only one that I am aware of.



BluesWest
Registered: Nov 02, 2009
Total Posts: 729
Country: United States

Wonder where OP went

After reading Helen's posts above, I assume the OP is too embarrassed to show his face again.

John



supradedupra
Registered: May 05, 2009
Total Posts: 16
Country: United States

Thanks for the post Helen! I love Adorama



JohnnyMike
Registered: Feb 11, 2011
Total Posts: 94
Country: United States

Helen Oster wrote:

After the OP listened to the recording of the call he understood that he made an error and agreed that if we would credit the full amount, ie the sum we would be hoping to sell the unit for, he would remove this post from all forums.

We have now credited the OP $1700 in full...


This sounds like extortion to me.

Adorama, you should stand by your policies. What's to stop the next person from committing forum defamation following a deal they are unsatisfied with. Worked for this guy, why not me...



borderlight
Registered: Dec 06, 2004
Total Posts: 1745
Country: United States

Helen Oster response to my post:

borderlight wrote:
.........Adorama usually pays around 40-50% for mint products, .....

Adorama pays around 70% of expected re-sale value


Really? ... then Adorama owes me some money. We don't need a tape for this one since I kept all the emails of the transaction I spoke of. Here's what I sold to Adorama:

Olympus 50mm Macro f2 - LN, used twice. Buy it at Adorama for $499 new.
Olympus Adaptor FT to MFT - LN - used twice. Buy it at Adorama for $146 new.
Olympus Lens Hood for above Macro lens - LN Buy it at Adorama for $18 new.

TOTAL: $663 ..... I was offered $250 for it all. Seems like about 38% of the retail value.

Adorama's Jacob Z. ex. 2043 told me that Adorama pays 50% of mint condition equipment upon inspection. If you split the cost of the lens in half you get $250, or 50%. BUT, apparently items like the adaptor which would work on the more desirable MFT systems was only worth.... well, NOTHING! And the lens hood I might as well thrown away since it didn't factor into anything either. Here's the quote number: 1284736

And, "expected retail value" is the Catch 22. It means you can bend the numbers anyway you want.

Ball is in your court.







DanBrown
Registered: Feb 09, 2003
Total Posts: 3056
Country: United States

Helen Oster wrote:
I am also disappointed by some of the comments on this thread from members who immediately jumped in to denigrate Adorama without knowledge of the true picture.



Always keep in mind this is the internet...so many saying so much worth so little.



borderlight
Registered: Dec 06, 2004
Total Posts: 1745
Country: United States

I don't like airing out transactions on the internet either. But I do like the truth. You are not going to get 70% of the "expected retail value" through a middleman. Period.



CVickery
Registered: May 14, 2004
Total Posts: 2517
Country: Canada

Kudos to Adorama for their resolution of this case...it's far more than I would have expected and speaks well of them.

Borderlight...all your post tells me is that 70% of the expected used resale value of Olympus equipment is about 38% of new retail price. It may not be as much as you'd like but it doesn't seem inconsistent with Helen's statement.

Face it guys, if you want the best price, sell privately...if you want the convenience of dealing with a retailer for a trade, there's a price to pay.



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