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Thread: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

  1. #1
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    Default Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Like Amazon or Rakuten.
    How "safe" is it?


    Actually I found this deal http://www.rakuten.com.sg/shop/buyfi...rch_product_13

    Current Sony retail price is $1199
    Asked local shops, best price is $1030

    But this deal is just $811. Seems too good to be true.

    What's your opinion?

    If a deal is too good to be true, it's not "safe"?

    Also if you purchase lens online before, did the lens arrive safely after shipping??
    Which is another issue to worry about.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    If a deal is too good to be true, it's not "safe"?
    If you have doubts, it is better not to buy.

    I have personally bought lenses and cameras online, but through Taobao, plus I am based in China. Came out ok. Sometimes the lowest price may not be the best deal.

    If the website you are buying from is not local, should there be a problem, you will have a big headache. And also check the website you are buying from, if there is any consumer protection system in place. How to get recourse if some problem arises. Also make sure you understand what you are buying, the warranty involved and the extras. In other words, do your homework.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 3rd June 2015 at 05:49 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Quote Originally Posted by weeshern View Post
    Like Amazon or Rakuten.
    How "safe" is it?
    What you must understand is that Amazon is both a retailer and a marketplace. Meaning on Amazon's website, there are items sold by Amazon itself, and also items sold by 3rd party retailers/shops.

    On Amazon, 'safest' would be items sold by Amazon itself. Next would be those from reputable 3rd party retailers/shops.

    Rakuten is a marketplace only. Meaning on Rakuten's website, items are sold by various 3rd party retailers/shops. Not all of them are the same. Some are local, some are overseas.

    On Rakuten, 'safest' to me, would be items sold by reputable 3rd party retailers/shops that are based in SG.

    E.g., on Rakuten, there's a local SG-based shop, parisilk (http://www.rakuten.com.sg/shop/paris...g_product_shop). They have local presence, long enough track record. They are what I would consider 'safe' cos if you have issues, you can expect them not to suddenly close shop and disappear. The riskier ones would be shops based overseas, may not have any track record. If they ship you a dud, and then close shop, what are you going to do? Do your research and find out if the shop you are looking at has a good track record.

  4. #4
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Not sure about how payment in Rakuten works. In Taobao, when you pay, you pay to Alipay (支付宝). Only after you received the goods, and get to inspect them, then you can do a "acknowledge receipt", where Alipay will release the funds to the seller. If there are any problems, you can request for return or exchange, alipay will hold the payment to the seller until it is resolved. If seller refuses to take care of the problem, you can escalate the issue to taobao, and taobao will step in. Sellers on Taobao are generally very afraid of bad reviews nowadays because it directly affect their rankings and search result appearance. So far, 95% of my dealings on Taobao are very positive. China now has also entered into law, a no-questions-asked 7 day return policy for all off-line or on-line retail outlets.

    For Amazon, it is more of a straight forward B2C internet sales site. Even when 3rd parties are the actual sellers of the items, it should be transparent to the buyer in terms of process. The only difference is that the order is fulfilled by a 3rd party. Payment and seller responsibilities still rest with Amazon. When I was living in the US, I never had any major problems with buying with Amazon. Return/exchange policies are top notch. The only problem is when you are buying from overseas, shipping, returns and exchanges can get very expensive and troublesome.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 4th June 2015 at 05:29 AM.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Quote Originally Posted by weeshern View Post
    Like Amazon or Rakuten.
    How "safe" is it?


    Actually I found this deal http://www.rakuten.com.sg/shop/buyfi...rch_product_13

    Current Sony retail price is $1199
    Asked local shops, best price is $1030

    But this deal is just $811. Seems too good to be true.

    What's your opinion?

    If a deal is too good to be true, it's not "safe"?

    Also if you purchase lens online before, did the lens arrive safely after shipping??
    Which is another issue to worry about.

    Thanks in advance
    All my purchase from Amazon are very positive over the years.

    Rakuten? I have not hear before.
    Shoot to Live, Live to Shoot
    www.benjaminloo.com | iStock portfolio

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    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Thanks for the response. TIL

  7. #7

    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    For cheap items (<$100), u can take the risk la. Those expensive items which don't even have warranty, I will avoid it.
    D800E / Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 / 150-600 Tamron

  8. #8

    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Not sure about how payment in Rakuten works. In Taobao, when you pay, you pay to Alipay (支付宝). Only after you received the goods, and get to inspect them, then you can do a "acknowledge receipt", where Alipay will release the funds to the seller. If there are any problems, you can request for return or exchange, alipay will hold the payment to the seller until it is resolved. If seller refuses to take care of the problem, you can escalate the issue to taobao, and taobao will step in. Sellers on Taobao are generally very afraid of bad reviews nowadays because it directly affect their rankings and search result appearance. So far, 95% of my dealings on Taobao are very positive. China now has also entered into law, a no-questions-asked 7 day return policy for all off-line or on-line retail outlets.

    For Amazon, it is more of a straight forward B2C internet sales site. Even when 3rd parties are the actual sellers of the items, it should be transparent to the buyer in terms of process. The only difference is that the order is fulfilled by a 3rd party. Payment and seller responsibilities still rest with Amazon. When I was living in the US, I never had any major problems with buying with Amazon. Return/exchange policies are top notch. The only problem is when you are buying from overseas, shipping, returns and exchanges can get very expensive and troublesome.
    i tried to buy some accessories from taobao , i think i chose the wrong shipping info. so i wait and wait, the seller don't bother to contact me. so i contact the seller thru QQ. able to change the shipping info but need to pay much more. so i tell them i want to cancel my order. they said ok and refunded my money. I paid thru enets or something from singapore. So i thought how they going to refund me. then they told me will be refunded to Alipay.

    I didn't remember setting up an Alipay account. So when i try to buy something with the refunded money in Alipay, I couldn't accessed the account. can see cannot touch. i even asked my China friend to help me, like transfer that money to her account and then she give me cash. cannot. no way to accessed the account. money gone. lucky it's only a small amount.

    I thought it would like Amazon, but no. Tao bao make it very easy for you to buy but if you didn't set up your account properly or you have problem. that's it.

  9. #9
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf Winston View Post
    i tried to buy some accessories from taobao , i think i chose the wrong shipping info. so i wait and wait, the seller don't bother to contact me. so i contact the seller thru QQ. able to change the shipping info but need to pay much more. so i tell them i want to cancel my order. they said ok and refunded my money. I paid thru enets or something from singapore. So i thought how they going to refund me. then they told me will be refunded to Alipay.

    I didn't remember setting up an Alipay account. So when i try to buy something with the refunded money in Alipay, I couldn't accessed the account. can see cannot touch. i even asked my China friend to help me, like transfer that money to her account and then she give me cash. cannot. no way to accessed the account. money gone. lucky it's only a small amount.

    I thought it would like Amazon, but no. Tao bao make it very easy for you to buy but if you didn't set up your account properly or you have problem. that's it.
    If you want to deal in Taobao, you need an Alipay account. Everything is interlocked. If you want to buy from Taobao overseas, you need to set up a Singapore Taobao account. Then the shipping will be to Taobao HQ, from there it is shipped via Taobao's containers to the distribution center in Singapore, then Taobao will deliver the item to you. All these account stuff is built so as to protect the customer actually. If you did not set up everything correctly, you cannot blame anyone. Amazon is a retail website, Taobao is just like a selling hub. They are not running a retail business unlike Amazon. It is more alike to eBay and Paypal. As for the money in Alipay, contact alipay directly and see how it can be handled. Since you were paid the money before you actually had an account, there is bound to be issues. Only way is to get customer service in Alipay to handle it for you. There is no way you can get around the issue.

    Have you set up an alipay account yet? Where did that seller send the money to? your phone number? Alipay usually uses your phone number as userid.

    BTW, the best way to contact sellers in Taobao is to use Alichat. Everything is logged for your protection.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 6th June 2015 at 08:59 AM.

  10. #10
    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    If you want to deal in Taobao, you need an Alipay account. Everything is interlocked. If you want to buy from Taobao overseas, you need to set up a Singapore Taobao account. Then the shipping will be to Taobao HQ, from there it is shipped via Taobao's containers to the distribution center in Singapore, then Taobao will deliver the item to you. All these account stuff is built so as to protect the customer actually. If you did not set up everything correctly, you cannot blame anyone. Amazon is a retail website, Taobao is just like a selling hub. They are not running a retail business unlike Amazon. It is more alike to eBay and Paypal. As for the money in Alipay, contact alipay directly and see how it can be handled. Since you were paid the money before you actually had an account, there is bound to be issues. Only way is to get customer service in Alipay to handle it for you. There is no way you can get around the issue.

    Have you set up an alipay account yet? Where did that seller send the money to? your phone number? Alipay usually uses your phone number as userid.

    BTW, the best way to contact sellers in Taobao is to use Alichat. Everything is logged for your protection.
    Thanks for sharing.
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  11. #11
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post
    Thanks for sharing.
    No problem Ben. I am in the industry la..

  12. #12

    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Quote Originally Posted by weeshern View Post
    Like Amazon or Rakuten.
    How "safe" is it?


    Actually I found this deal http://www.rakuten.com.sg/shop/buyfi...rch_product_13

    Current Sony retail price is $1199
    Asked local shops, best price is $1030

    But this deal is just $811. Seems too good to be true.

    What's your opinion?

    If a deal is too good to be true, it's not "safe"?

    Also if you purchase lens online before, did the lens arrive safely after shipping??
    Which is another issue to worry about.

    Thanks in advance
    I have bought lens and a camera from Amazon Japan and Rakuten with no problems at all.

    However, in your case, I'd be cautious. Rakuten is just a marketplace, you have different sellers from big reputable shops to shady individuals.
    Your seller looks a bit dubious, with only 1 user feedback (and the feedback looks dubious too).
    I'd avoid if I were you.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by catchlights View Post

    All my purchase from Amazon are very positive over the years.

    Rakuten? I have not hear before.
    Rakuten is a big Japanese online company, emulating amazon.

    They have SG operation office. I know coz I know a Japanese working in the SG office, and they hire local and Japanese staff.

    They r big in Japan.

    http://global.rakuten.com/en/

    SG do not know them coz we are overwhelmed by amazon, Alibaba etc.

    Again, the friendly advice for all sites is buy with caution and homework must be done before u click the purchase button.

  14. #14

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    Bought several apparel stuff from rakuten, no issues but the shipping sucks especially taqbin.

    Amazon I bought a lens before, no issues. Amazon is fantastic with return policies.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    If you want to deal in Taobao, you need an Alipay account. Everything is interlocked. If you want to buy from Taobao overseas, you need to set up a Singapore Taobao account. Then the shipping will be to Taobao HQ, from there it is shipped via Taobao's containers to the distribution center in Singapore, then Taobao will deliver the item to you. All these account stuff is built so as to protect the customer actually. If you did not set up everything correctly, you cannot blame anyone. Amazon is a retail website, Taobao is just like a selling hub. They are not running a retail business unlike Amazon. It is more alike to eBay and Paypal. As for the money in Alipay, contact alipay directly and see how it can be handled. Since you were paid the money before you actually had an account, there is bound to be issues. Only way is to get customer service in Alipay to handle it for you. There is no way you can get around the issue.

    Have you set up an alipay account yet? Where did that seller send the money to? your phone number? Alipay usually uses your phone number as userid.

    BTW, the best way to contact sellers in Taobao is to use Alichat. Everything is logged for your protection.
    from the way you described , it's alot of hassle.
    i thought they are so efficient, i asked for refund, they did it immediately. then i asked them where they refunded the money to, they say alipay account. since i did not even set up an alipay account yet, how can they refund the money to the account ? in order to log into the alipay account which they had refunded, i need a password. in order to get the password, i need to submit some stuff. it's a big merry go round. since it's just a small amount, i just write it off.

    BTW, i didn't buy in taobao but Tmall. i think they are the same, link to alipay.

  16. #16
    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone bought lens online from large retail websites before?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ralf Winston View Post
    from the way you described , it's alot of hassle.
    i thought they are so efficient, i asked for refund, they did it immediately. then i asked them where they refunded the money to, they say alipay account. since i did not even set up an alipay account yet, how can they refund the money to the account ? in order to log into the alipay account which they had refunded, i need a password. in order to get the password, i need to submit some stuff. it's a big merry go round. since it's just a small amount, i just write it off.

    BTW, i didn't buy in taobao but Tmall. i think they are the same, link to alipay.
    Tmall is the high end version of tabao. it is a lot more expensive to set up tmall storefront, with a 60k security deposit vs the 1k security deposit required for taobao. Tmall is also a lot stricter than taobao in terms of product quality, as well as product matching description. Tmall stores are also required to provide official tax receipts when requested. They are also required to respond to your requests a lot faster, and many other rules.

    To use Alipay of course you are required to set it up properly. Make sure you select overseas status. They can even link the account to your DBS debit card/account. Of course when it comes to money, I rather they require information and documentation. If they do not, I would not use them either.

    If you find it a hassle, then you should not buy from tabao/tmall/JD etc... just stick to amazon.

    Just so you know Taobao, Tmall, Alipay, Alibaba.com is all owned by Alibaba group...

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