The perils of selling tech gear on Amazon

As we all know nothing devalues like tech hardware and as I had amassed a few items that were superfluous to my needs I recently put them up for sale on Amazon.

The items were:

1. A (used) Samsung Series 7 Slate

2. A new Asus Vivobook Tablet

3. 2 x new Nokia Lumia 620 Phones

4. A new Asus Bluetooth keyboard.

The first item I bought from a distraught user on eBay after he had attempted to upgrade the device by prizing apart the slate (little real damage although the slate does show some signs of having been taken apart (see video) it actually still works surprisingly well!

Of the items above I have had three requests for returns:

1. The series 7 slate – the user complained that the Bluetooth keyboard would not work.  (As it had worked perfectly before I sent it so when it arrived back the first thing I did was test it out) :-

As it turns out they were right and I did have to re-install the Bluetooth driver (which was on the CD that I had sent with the device).  Lesson learned!

2. The Asus Vivobook screen was damaged in its one day of courier transit (in spite of being both in it’s original packaging and bubble wrapped and completely covered using tape with ‘FRAGILE’ in big letters!.  I had used Amazon’s own process – paying for and printing a label before taking it to their elected Courier drop off point so I do feel that Amazon might have taken some responsibility for the damage.

3. The Nokia 620 – I suspect the user saw the same device advertised cheaper elsewhere and elected to return the device to me under the Amazon A-Z guarantee program.  In an effort to avoid the hassle of a return (and as a gesture of goodwill) I offered the user a partial rebate of £20 – this being the difference in price between what they paid and what I could see it currently being sold for (they refused my offer).

Sadly they had ripped the box so I can no longer sell the item as new (which it was).


So all in all a horrible experience selling tech on Amazon.  It was obvious to me that the person buying the phone was simply abusing Amazon’s customer charter but I got no response from Amazon when I asked them for advice (simply that I had to accept the return and refund the user).  I can only figure that the Courier company played hockey with the tablet and as for the Samsung slate, I guess I have to take that on the chin and chalk it up to my own stupidity for not testing the device after resetting it to it’s default more thoroughly.

Reflecting n this for a moment i seem to have been hit by 3 separate weaknesses in the system:

1. My own stupidity (I should have checked the Series 7 Slate more thoroughly after resetting it)

2. Careless Couriers (I can only assume that they saw the ‘FRAGILE’ stickers as a challenge?)

3. Dishonest Buyers (It does seem to me to be the case that Amazon’s system favours dishonest buyers over honest sellers)

With my apologies for having a bit of a rant with this one  …