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View Full Version : Re-selling from small gear companies



A-Train
10-18-2008, 17:14
I just thought of something today and wondered what others thought.

Do you believe a small gear manufacture such as ULA, SIx moons, Gossamer, Moonbow, insert your favorite, etc. has a responsbility to fix or assist you with faulty or broken gear if you have bought it from someone else?

Like, say you buy a tarptent online from someone on WB. They say the tent has been "set up once in my backyard". Then you go start your thru-hike and on night 5 something unexpectadly rips. Do you have a right to go back to the company and complain and ask for assistance, or have you forfeited that right by buying it from someone else. Does the company have the responsiblity to keep working with the product owner, no matter who owns it?

I realize that there are cases in which this would be ridiculous to expect assistnce, like if you've bought a tattered pack with 2000 trail miles and then expect them to replace a strap when it busts.

What do you all think? This hasn't happened to me, I'm just curious to get feedback from all your moral and ethical folks out there :)

Serial 07
10-18-2008, 17:36
IMO, i would think those smaller companies (especially) would want to work with you b/c you are going to A. advertise their product for them by say setting up their tent and B. will talk positively and more openly about them because they went out of their way to assist you...but, that's just what i think...

Phreak
10-18-2008, 17:51
If it wasn't bought new from the company, then I'd say no, they shouldn't have any responsibility for the product. No one knows what the previous owner may have done to the item(s). With that being said, I'm sure most companies would be willing to help resolve the issue to everyone's satisfaction.

Tinker
10-18-2008, 18:24
If it wasn't bought new from the company, then I'd say no, they shouldn't have any responsibility for the product. No one knows what the previous owner may have done to the item(s). With that being said, I'm sure most companies would be willing to help resolve the issue to everyone's satisfaction.


I agree with both statements by Phreak. Too many folks (a minority, granted, but still too many) expect everyone else to jump through hoops for them (in all categories of life, not just in merchandise warranty), and it costs the honest folks (who don't abuse or weasel and whine their way into services they don't deserve) more money, because they have to shell out goods and man-hours to the entitlement-minded to keep their name from being muddied on the internet - "they weren't fair, nice, reasonable,"...... etc.
I've worked in retail most of my life, and that's the way it is.
If you don't deserve something and get it anyway, rejoice and trumpet the praises of the company who serves you well.
(Just don't make it a habit.;))

Mrs Baggins
10-18-2008, 19:09
Well........there's LLBean. They don't care when you bought it or who you bought it from. If it has their name on it (or they sell it) they will replace it, no questions asked. Is it right to do that if you didn't buy it there? Look at it this way..........you bought it from a private party and it failed. It would have failed on the original owner as well and they would have had it replaced. So you should be able to get it replaced. Maybe the original owner got it as a gift and didn't pay a dime for it - guarantee still applies. We gave a Eureka solo tent of ours to our daughter a few years ago. One of the poles broke and she went back to Eureka and got it replaced for free. The guarantee didn't say "non-transferable" or "only for the original owner." Companies know this: A satisfied customer will tell 3 people. A dissatisfied customer will tell 3000."

wrongway_08
10-18-2008, 19:40
A lot of companies will take care of the problems, no matter what (REI lets people abuse the crap out of them).

The question should be:

Would you abuse the system just to get your used gear - that you bought at a reduced price - fixed for free because you dont take responsibilty for your own desicions that you make? (such as taking the risk to buy a used piece of gear to save a few bucks.)

Another question to ask would be:

Are you one of those people who would - after the warranty is over - call a company up and get something fixed for free because you have no problem screwing a hard working company over?

Another question to ask is:

Would you call a company and tell them a story about how something just "fell apart" to get the item fixed for free, because you wont take responsibility for screwing your equipment up?


To answer your question, no I wouldnt ask to get it fix without telling them the truth. I have had companies offer to fix it anyways (Tarp Tent) but I declined and bought another Contrail from them - instead of them fixing my other new one. ( I screwed up seam sealing the first one, used the wrong sealer, it leaked and I didnt feel like messing with taking off the old sealer and tryn to reapply new stuff while on the trail))

KG4FAM
10-18-2008, 20:08
As long as they live up to the warranty they publish then there is no problem. If they want to have a return policy like REI or LL Bean thats fine or if they say 30 days then screw you thats fine as well. As long as they don't fall short of what they advertise there is no problem.

A-Train
10-18-2008, 20:19
Good answers so far. I'd love to hear from small companies and get their opinions.

I certainly wouldn;t advocate for being dishonest Wrongway. I agree with you, there is risk involved in buying used gear. There is always the chance the seller was dishonest with how used it was, or maybe you'll just get unlucky with faulty gear.

For me, if something freakishly broke on me after I bought a "brand new" or "just used once or twice" i'd expect to send it back to the company, as it's been lightly used. However I could understand if they wouldn't fix it (but would be dissapointed). If I bought something that was heavily used and had problems, I'd never dream of returning it. Or, if I bought something fairly new, put tons of miles on it, I wouldn't try to return it.

The small companies can't afford to be abused like LL Bean and REI, and it's important that we treat them well. I would never be dishonest with them, but I don't think it's necessary to state that you bought the gear used, if it is reasonaly new and in good condition.

I'd imagine some manufacturers will stand by their product, no matter who owns it currently, while others would frown on re-selling.

Franco
10-18-2008, 22:42
Maybe it's important to understand that a guarantee on a product is built in to the cost as an insurance would. In other words the more your insurance covers the higher the cost to the consumer is; the same is for products. If a manufacturer or re-seller has a very liberal return and or guarantee policy , that is built-in to the initial sell price.
Because easy returns can lead to favorable comments and loyal customers, that is sometime factored in, however it will change if abused. IE several retailers that used to take returns without receipts and even for a "change of mind" reason don't do that anymore.

Franco

Bob S
10-18-2008, 23:50
Maybe it's important to understand that a guarantee on a product is built in to the cost as an insurance would. In other words the more your insurance covers the higher the cost to the consumer is; the same is for products. If a manufacturer or re-seller has a very liberal return and or guarantee policy , that is built-in to the initial sell price.
Because easy returns can lead to favorable comments and loyal customers, that is sometime factored in, however it will change if abused. IE several retailers that used to take returns without receipts and even for a "change of mind" reason don't do that anymore.

Franco

You have no way of knowing what is built into the cost of any item unless you are the one making it.

In a utopian world where all buyers and users of products are honest and tell the company the truth about how well a product is (mis)used it would be easy to see companies willing to fix any problems that were the companies fault. But in the real world consumers lie their rear ends off about all kinds of things. They severely abuse products and then demand the company give them a new product or make the old one like new. So they can abuse it all over again. (Iím self employed and I can attest to this going on all the time.)


I donít think any company should be expected to warrantee a product forever and or to a third party.

Wags
10-19-2008, 22:57
imo a company that issues "lifetime warranty" is responsible for that product for the life of it, regardless of owner.

if they want it limited to the original buyer then they should advertise 'limited lifetime warranty' or something to that extent. part of the reason some of those companies (rei, north face, marmot) are doing so well is b/c of the simple lifetime warranty claim. i know i personally won't buy black diamond products b/c their warranty is only for like 2 years...

i guess that really doesn't answer your question specifically about small companies, but the principle of warranty is the same :D

Haiku
10-19-2008, 23:09
If I bought a piece of used gear from someone and something unexpectedly breaks, I'd expect the company to help me repair it, but I'd also expect to pay for that repair. A piece of gear from a small company doesn't usually come with a lifetime warranty (they're usually thru-hikers themselves, and understand the wear and tear that comes with a thru-hike). I also understand the wear and tear that comes with a thru-hike, and realise that we put gear through more in five or six months than more people put it through in a lifetime.

Haiku.

River Runner
10-20-2008, 01:43
My opinion is that their obligation is only to the original purchaser, with whom their transaction was. It's one of the risks of buying used gear - no warranty or even customer relationship with the company.

As for not telling them it was used, that probably won't make a difference. If it's a recent purchase they undoubtedly have records of who has bought from them and if your name isn't on the list they know you did not.

About the best I'd hope for would be that they would offer to repair at reasonable cost.

Bob S
10-20-2008, 02:01
My opinion is that their obligation is only to the original purchaser, with whom their transaction was. It's one of the risks of buying used gear - no warranty or even customer relationship with the company.

As for not telling them it was used, that probably won't make a difference. If it's a recent purchase they undoubtedly have records of who has bought from them and if your name isn't on the list they know you did not.

About the best I'd hope for would be that they would offer to repair at reasonable cost.
I agree!


I think people generally get this entitlement attitude where they expect others to jump when they have any problem. Never really willing to look at it from a realistic viewpoint.

Homer&Marje
10-20-2008, 08:26
I would say they have no responsibility to you the second hand "customer" of their product, but I would generally agree that in order to keep a good product image they would at least fix it for a reasonable price.

Plus, I have known a few techs in my time and they seem to love a piece of their equipment that has broken and no one knows why, it is a way to make the product better for the future and to realize and adapt to problems as they arise. That way it makes it easier for them, as well, to tell people what "not" to do with their product and a way to recognize problems over the phone or via email, without even seeing the damage... One of those, "Oh I know what you did" situations. Just my take.

wrongway_08
10-20-2008, 08:34
imo a company that issues "lifetime warranty" is responsible for that product for the life of it, regardless of owner.

if they want it limited to the original buyer then they should advertise 'limited lifetime warranty' or something to that extent. part of the reason some of those companies (rei, north face, marmot) are doing so well is b/c of the simple lifetime warranty claim. i know i personally won't buy black diamond products b/c their warranty is only for like 2 years...

i guess that really doesn't answer your question specifically about small companies, but the principle of warranty is the same :D

Lifetime warraty is only for the original buyer. Nothing more and that only covers certain parts or items on the product. If your one of the people who think "Lifetime Warranty" means that covers any owner for anything, then you are abusing the system and screwing everyone (the company and other outdoorsmen/outdoorswomen who are honest.)

I have seen people return trail runners because the soles on trail runners "wear out" after 500 miles, sure REI might do it just to keep you from bitching but those people are still screwing over everyone because they think the are "owed" a new set because the shoes cost them $125.00, not cool.

wrongway_08
10-20-2008, 08:38
My opinion is that their obligation is only to the original purchaser, with whom their transaction was. It's one of the risks of buying used gear - no warranty or even customer relationship with the company.

As for not telling them it was used, that probably won't make a difference. If it's a recent purchase they undoubtedly have records of who has bought from them and if your name isn't on the list they know you did not.

This is a great reason to fill out all product cards you get with any gear, this way people cant screw over a company. They will have the name and info of the buyer, preventing someone from stealing (thats what these people are doing) by just say'n they are the original buyer of said product.

mudhead
10-20-2008, 09:37
At some point you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror.

Karma catches up.

I will spend extra to be the original purchaser, as opposed to used. (unless you have a wicked bargain!)

LIhikers
10-20-2008, 09:43
If that were that situation, I'd contact the company to see if they'd repair the item, but I'd be up front with them and expect to pay for the repair. Then if they decide to do it for free consider it a gift from them to you and be thankful.

m0rpheu5
10-20-2008, 11:29
I agree people shouldn't screw over the system but for example...buck knives carry a lifetime warranty. Not concerned with the owners lifetime, the warranty states it is good for the lifetime of the knife!!!

jaywalke
10-20-2008, 11:41
At some point you have to be able to look yourself in the mirror.

Very true. There's no such thing as situational ethics. You either have ethics, or you don't.

Wags
10-20-2008, 13:07
the product itself doesn't change just b/c the product may have changed owners. i'm not advocating going out and buying a bunch of 'used gear' real cheap then sending it all in for warranty. please don't read that into my post and slander ok wrongway? thanks

ps. when someone asks people's opinions, my opinion matters just as much as yours.

Mags
10-20-2008, 16:00
Simple solution....

Contact the company, honestly explain the situation and take it from there.

Sometimes, esp for small repair, you may get it for gratis. For more extensive repair they will probably work out a cost that is fair for you and the company.


Does not have to be a big drama. :sun

Bob S
10-20-2008, 16:55
Without mentioning the name of a company, has anyone (a third party that bought used gear) really felt a company owed them a repair and did not give it to them? Or at least gave some discount.


I see nothing wrong with returning a product that has a lifetime warrantee, but I was more talking about things without a lifetime warranty.

sarbar
10-20-2008, 21:07
I'd not assume but rather inquire gently to the company if they can help you fix it.

Buyer beware on used gear applies.

Most small companies will work with a person to help them out - if asked nicely and not demanded. Demanding just shuts people down to wanting to help.

Mags
10-21-2008, 14:28
rather inquire gently to the company if they can help you fix it.




Yep. Be honest. Be polite. A solution will occur that works for you and the company.

Good rule not just for this thread but for life in general. :sun

wrongway_08
10-21-2008, 15:11
the product itself doesn't change just b/c the product may have changed owners. i'm not advocating going out and buying a bunch of 'used gear' real cheap then sending it all in for warranty. please don't read that into my post and slander ok wrongway? thanks

ps. when someone asks people's opinions, my opinion matters just as much as yours.


No slander, Lifetime warranty does not mean to any owner. It means the product has a lifetime warranty, it is still to original owner only.

Limited life time is only covering certain parts of a product for the life of it, to the original owner.

A few products, mostly vehicles, will transfer but most are only to the original buyer.

All I did was state the truth.

Sorry you took it as slander but it wasnt. Sorry if I misread what you wrote.

Wags
10-21-2008, 16:19
usually the sort of warranty you're arguing for requires an owner to register their product, such as steripen's. i'm simply presenting an alternative point of view. no worries

wrongway_08
10-21-2008, 17:36
Cool, sorry for the confusion :)

Oh yea, I would never think your (or anyone here on W.B.) opinions don't matter as much as mine. Opinions are just that, opinions, and they are all valid and correct. Again sorry if it came out that way.

Jack Tarlin
10-21-2008, 17:49
"lifetime warranty" does indeed apply to the original purchaser. I've seen hikers try to redeem" or re-place gear they found in a shelter or a hiker box, and this is just wrong.

Also, nearly every company will warrantee or replace gear that has been subject to normal wear and tear, and it says this clearly on the manufacturer's warrantee statement.

What long-distance hikers do to their gear is NOT considered normal wear and tear, so in many, if not most cases, hikers are trying to get companies to fulfill promises and obligations that are NOT really the company's responsibility.

In short, hikers try and take advantage of Trailside outfitters and gear companies at every opportunity, and as a result, these stores ansd companies are NOT as helpfil to hikers as they once were.

And with good reason.

Dealing with long-distance hikers leaves these businesses with a sore butt, and they're tired of it.

But plain and simply, if you bought a used pack on-Line, or got a three year old tent from your brother-in-law, or your best friend thru-hiked last year and lends you all his stuff.....well, this does NOT entitle you to free replacement gear for life.

Tinker
10-27-2008, 08:00
One reason that big companies don't stock "ultralight" gear as we would like them to is that they KNOW that the "average" customer doesn't care for their gear like the person that just shelled out big bucks for the latest ultralight wonder, meaning that they (the big companies) would have to do a LOT of warranty replacement and repairs, resulting in loss of revenue to the company.
The "Golden Rule" (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you) doesn't stop at personal relationships.
Next time you're tempted to cry "Foul" or "That's not fair", think about how fair you are to others. Some call it Karma.
I'm usually pleasantly surprised when I call a company for help with something that I've broken, when I'm totally honest about it (ex: "I know I pushed too hard on the pole and it tore through the sleeve, but I was in a hurry trying to get out of the rain.") Believe me, they understand where you're coming from and will usually extend an offer to replace or repair the item free or at a minimal charge.
I used to have a signature line which went something like this:
To improve satisfaction in life, lower your expectations.
The "entitlement minded" are never satisfied.

Red Hat
10-27-2008, 08:18
The "entitlement minded" are never satisfied.

I couldn't have said it better! (is that the same hiking term as "spread the wealth?")

Wags
10-27-2008, 16:54
lol, bear in mind that 'spread the wealth' is also known in some circles as socialism/communism and 'entitlement minded' is known as capitalism

mmmm food for thought