Adorama Trade-In: A Sour Experience

I had a bad experience with Adorama.

I’m trying to find the silver lining, I really am, but over and over, I feel like I may have a resolute “no Adorama” policy in my future.

As I’ve been pondering my bad experience, it’s mostly that I had expectations pretty significantly mismanaged. I mean, if there were a few bullet points that I could have seen earlier, this might have all seemed normal. Here’s what I’d recommend that they put in the welcome packet:

  • We prefer phone calls to email, even though you might be in Alaska and have a 4-hour time shift.
  • We will have affiliates call you to sell you on the idea. They will review what equipment you should send us. This is not equipment we are actually interested in.
  • You will take a copious amount of time to inventory and package these items upon which, you’ll send it our way
  • We will have a trade-in guy review those sent items and select (possibly a fraction) of the items you sent. Ex: you might send us 30 things, but we might only choose 3 things to offer you a price on. Or, maybe you send us one thing and we offer you a price on that.
  • We will CALL you with an offer of the items we want making no mention of the other items sent or the process to expect
  • If you ask for an email articulating the offer, we’ll resent that and send you as few details as possible like “Item: $value” without other commentaries
  • To clarify (again), we don’t like email. we’d rather have you call us after hours on a cell phone than to be near a keyboard
  • Because we are wildly busy and important people without time to foster a relationship, we will have secretaries call you to connect you to the person you actually need to talk with
  • We are east-coasters, so expect terseness.
  • In many cases, the trade-in value will actually be lower than you expected (ex: $500 teleconverter reconditioned by manufacturer with original box has a $300 offer)
  • You can send us a list of items that you might want to buy with any credit accrued from your trade
  • We’ll send you a short response that only shows the items we can price in our system without any additional words like “Item: $value”
  • We won’t talk about actual availability of said items
  • The Trade value will be at a better price than MSRP because it is pre-owned equipment
  • The pre-owned equipment is unlikely to have the original box/bag/manuals/etc but we won’t tell you that unless you ask
  • Heck, it’s possible that your pre-owned lens will ship in a non-OEM storage bag that didn’t originally come with the item and won’t warn you of that (Ex: Nikon lens shipped in Lowepro g inside of OEM Nikon lens box)
  • Your trade-in credit will be applied to the value of the equipment you would like to purchase
  • Any difference over and above the purchase of pre-owned will be charged to the credit card on your account
  • Any amount that remains in credit can either sit within your account or a check can be sent to you
  • We will overpack everything and send it back to you in (possibly giant) boxes.
  • We won’t check in with you at any step of the game to see if you have any questions or if the process was clear and valuable
  • Any feedback you send to us, either the affiliate or trade-in associate or whoever, will fall on deaf ears and will not garner any follow-up or attention
  • Thanks for selling to and shopping with Adorama!

Comments? Thoughts? Have you had a similar experience? or perhaps your experience was everything you dreamed of (top-dollar trade-in, great service, etc)? Let me know!

-cb

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