Sunday 24 June 2012

Paying new prices for secondhand goods

Buying goods online requires a degree of trust.

You pay for a new item and you expect to get just that - something that has not been previously owned.

But that is just what has happened to me twice in the past few months.

I decided to buy an AirPrint capable printer and I opted for a Canon MX515 which I bought via a reseller on Amazon - £99.00 inc postage.

That one click purchase is too tempting, right?

Printer arrives.

First alarm bells ring.

Canon printers ALWAYS have little bits of orange tape on them, just about everywhere, holding various components in place.

There was no orange tape.

Then I went looking for the ink cartridges and saw that they had already been installed.

And one power cable - a two pin for Europe.

The little voice in my head told me that this is most probably the 'new' way.

I listened too, as I was in a rush and just wanted to get it up and running.

From that moment on no what I did the output was blurred - out of register and printed with big gaps in any image or text.

Nozzle cleaning did nothing neither did the clever auto pint head alignment feature.

It then began to dawn on me.

I'm pretty certain in my own mind that this printer had been used, rejected and returned by another user.

The vendor then decided they would try their luck with another customer.

What now makes me so certain of this?

I was in a hurry and I had now bought spare ink for the Canon MX515.

So I went to Staples and bought one over the counter for £79.00 (£20.00 cheaper than the reseller on Amazon)

Go home and open the open box.

There was a spanking new printer plastered with the orange tape.

Packed with a myriad of phone cables, adaptors and two power leads - Europe and UK.

I had to install the ink cartridges myself.

And then the printer goes into a once only start up mode just like a Mac.

Quite at odds with the 'dud' printer.

The second occasion this happened was when I bought 4 Hitachi 3TB 7200rpm HDD's for one of my BRILLIANT QNAP servers, which were heaven sent following my Drobo experience.

I purchased the drives form a highly reputable reseller in the Midlands.

The drives arrive.

Well packed but not in the 'one shot' antistatic foil bags but opened bags secured by one small piece of tape.

Foolishly I thought nothing of this.

Installed the first one in the QNAP.

It failed to be recognised.

And so it was with all of them.

I turned to QNAP, whose support was swift and most illuminating.

(If you are looking for superb and simple storage I cannot recommend QNAP too highly)

They viewed the QNAP TS879 remotely.

'We can see your problem' they said.

And took me through to the super special diagnosis screen which showed that someone had used and formatted the discs for use in a PC before they had got to me, and could contain some data.

I returned the drives and will no longer use the company concerned following this incident.

Yes, I should have realised much earlier on that both of these products were not quite as new as the vendor claimed.

Lesson - If the packaging looks like someone has opened it before then be VERY cautious.

It may well have had another life which the vendor does not want to share with you.


Libby said...

Hmmm you seem to allude to Drobo in an ominous way - third time I've seen that this month from various people.

These days I only buy printers or scanners at a reliable local outlet where they can immediately be returned if there is a problem. I got burned on both item types back when. On one printer, it would not even power up, and on a scanner (in the very early days) they motor was start stop, start stop as it scanned. You should have seen the wacko lines in the output. It was just wacky. There was also a gash in the case and I think the thing was dropped at one point knocking something out of alignment.

You have a great day!

Mark said...

I'm glad you like the QNAPs. I read your old post about Drobo failures along with Scott Kelby's one (they were both linked in comments on a recent Drobo article). They are quite pricey but they are fantastic devices. I've certainly never looked back. My only regret is that I didn't buy a larger model.

Unknown said...

Good point Libby.

It has got me thinking.

Hi Mark, If you are happy with Drobo then fantastic - I'm just speaking as I find.



Libby said...

I'm just funny that way when it comes to certain goods, especially when you have the mechanical arrays in printers and scanners. You think you get a deal, mechanicals fail, you need to ship back - pain in the rear. In the long run, the time and aggravation cost money.