Amazon Trade-In Trades My Camera For Invisible Camera

Image courtesy of Camera?


Nate saw that he could get a few bucks for his old Canon Digital Rebel camera using Amazon Trade-In. It was a few bucks more than he could get using eBay, so he packed it up and waited for his $97. They didn’t agree about its condition, so he asked to have it sent back. He received back the manual and cables in a smaller Amazon box…but where was the camera?

I’d never used the service before, but when I realized my 8-year-old Canon Rebel was only worth $20 on eBay, I thought I’d give it a shot. The trade-in value was listed as $97 for “Like New” quality.

This is how they define “Like New”

Typical elements included with a camera product: camera body, lens, lens cap, battery charger, battery pack, cables, strap, software CD, and user manual.

  • Please check your item to ensure it meets this criteria:
  • Item is in perfect working condition
  • The original manufacturer packaging and all original accessories are intact
  • There is no visible wear or personalization
  • Suitable for presenting as a gift
  • I had all of that. I packaged it up and mailed it off.

    They ask you what you want if they determine your item is a lesser quality. I didn’t want $62 for “Good” or $20 for “Acceptable” so I chose to have them send it back.

    Days later I checked and they considered it “Good” and mailed it back. A few days went by and I got a package. I couldn’t remember ordering anything from Amazon, and when I opened the box, this is what I saw:

    (Caption added by Consumerist.)

    It was all the manuals and CDs for my camera. There was NO CAMERA. The reason I didn’t connect the dots when UPS came was because the box was not even large enough to hold the camera!

    I immediately called Amazon. I explained the situation and told the woman that I was shocked. She had to place me on hold for a few minutes to “research the situation.” When she came back, she apologized and offered to give me a promotional credit for the “Good” value. I told her, no, that I chose to get my camera back if they wouldn’t offer me the $97. She said “Good” was the best she could do. I asked for her supervisor.

    10-15 minutes later, I was connected to [D] who told me the camera was probably taken during shipment. When I explained the box was too small to hold a camera, he said “Oh…I’ve never heard of this happening before.”

    Luckily for me, I was able to get him to give me the $97. I felt bad for Amazon since it’s a third party company who takes the trades and stole my camera. But what would have happened if I would have been trading a MacBook or iPad worth several hundred dollars? Would they have been as willing to give me the credit? I’m afraid to trade anything in now!

    Has anyone else had this happen to them?

    We’d like to know the same thing. Has this happened to you with Amazon’s trade-in program, or similar companies? How did you work things out? Tell us your story, if so.

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