Never Trade-In Electronics to Amazon [Updated with Amazon Response]

Please read to the bottom where I updated with Amazon’s customer response.

I’m not happy with Amazon at all today. We have an iPad 2 and a new iPad in our household which left the original iPad useless.  After “shopping” around I found the best route would be just to trade it in, and after looking at several options Amazon was offering the most money for it.  I was quoted $240 for excellent condition, and I around $216 for a “good” condition.  This was a 1st generation iPad 32GB wi-fi in excellent condition.  This was in the original box, with accessories, and not a scratch on it.  It was always in a case and cleaned regularly. It met the requirements perfectly:

  • Item is in perfect working condition
  • The original manufacturer packagingand all original accessories are intact
  • There is no visible wear or personalization (markings or engraving)
  • Suitable for presenting as a gift

The next category was “good” which they will assign it to items with minimal signs of use.  I figured even if they nitpicked about something it would fit into this category and around $216 was still better than what I would end up with if I was to sell it on eBay.  Yeah…so much for that. I packed the iPad up and shipped it off.  It was received and even though they say you will receive confirmation and payment within 2 business days, it ended up being about a week.  I sent an e-mail off to customer service just to inquire and they gave the usual canned response that it will be processed soon.  About 20 minutes later I received the payment e-mail, and to my surprise it was only for $127 as the condition was downgraded to “acceptable”.  Looking further they said it had “minor cracks or dents”.  Pure BS.

amazon trade-inThe mistake I made was choosing not to have it returned if it wasn’t in the like new condition.  I opted for that because as I said before, the worst I figured it could have been was in good condition and a bit of decrease in price wouldn’t be a big deal.  As you see, a price of $127 is ridiculous.

These are the images I took as I was packing it:

The iPad was nearly flawless and should not have been downgraded to “acceptable”.  They either rushed the processing just to get it done, or lied about the condition.  Either way, there doesn’t seem to be any way to have it looked at again.  I’d really like to see what “scratches and dents” they supposedly found.

Needless to say, I will never trade-in electronics – and probably anything else – to Amazon.  I’m a regular customer and Prime member, and I might also have to reconsider that as well.

Update [October 18th]:

I also sent this blog post to Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon.  My intent was only to express my experience as I thought it was unfair that there wasn’t a way to challenge the determination of what is acceptable.  Less than a day later I received an e-mail from a member of their Executive Custom Relations team explaining that they will investigate my issue and get back to me within a week.  Just that lone made me happy knowing someone at Amazon was looking into my experience.

After just a few days I received a response back that the item was checked and had a dent in the back.  I still deny this as I detailed above, so I can only guess it was dented when they unpacked it.  Regardless, Amazon apologized for my experience and offered some promotional credits as a goodwill gesture.

I appreciate the response Amazon gave and have turned an unhappy customer into a happy one again.  Great customer service like this is what makes me purchase from Amazon.  Although I still say be cautious when trading in, be sure to elect to have the items returned to you if you don’t agree with their pricing conditions.  Even though I had a rough experience, I would still give them another shot at trade-ins in the future just for their great customer service.

 

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