Buying records from Amazon

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Oelewapper, May 18, 2022.

  1. Dewey M

    Dewey M Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chicago
    Had a similar experience last week. Ordered Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Ghosteen from Amazon UK via the US site, and it was delivered from Australia in a brown paper bag, no padding. Very minor dent in one corner of the sleeve, but that’s it. Records were fine. So I counted myself lucky and let it go. ;)
     
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  2. Davey

    Davey NP: Luke Howard ~ All Of Us (2022)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    A while back I placed an Amazon order for some household stuff and added the recent Broadcast Mother is the Milky Way vinyl issue along with another recent release, I think maybe Luke Howard, and it all came in a big box with stuff kind of flopping around inside, and the Broadcast record wasn't in a box or anything, and the shrinkwrap and sleeve was extremely warped, it was literally like a dish. Needless to say, the record was just as bad, really not playable on one side, but the vinyl is really thin on this one and it flattened out pretty good on the other side with my record weight in the middle.

    Anyway, the other record came in the stiff cardboard sleeving they normally use, so no problem with it, except it was pressed pretty far off center. So I arranged to return/exchange them both, and they sent new copies, and I returned them both in the same cardboard sleeve that packaged the Luke Howard record (with a little trim and some tape it worked fine as a mailer).

    So I checked later and saw they only acknowledged receiving one of the records, not the Broadcast. Presumably they didn't realize I stuck both records in the one mailer, even though it had the return slip for both. So I spent time on chat resolving it, and they said it would be taken care of. But it wasn't, and they charged me for another Broadcast record, so I had to chat with them again and they finally took care of it and credited it back. Kind of a nuisance, especially since they won't pick up the package without a significant added cost, it has to be taken to one of the drop locations.

    The replacement Broadcast record was warped almost as bad, but at least was packaged better, and it's kind of playable now :)
     
    GordonM likes this.
  3. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Yeah, you’ve gotta put each record you are returning in its own box if they issue separate labels for them. I keep a couple of those Amazon mailers tucked away in case something like this may happen.
     
  4. Davey

    Davey NP: Luke Howard ~ All Of Us (2022)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    But it wasn't separate labels, they were both in the same order and returned together, so they issued one label that listed both records.
     
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  5. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Ah, yes, then that’s a weird error on their part!

    I’ve had two records returned from the same order issued one label occasionally, but usually they still get separate labels, even from the same order. Doesn’t make sense to me, but I assume it’s just how they track that individual things are returned, or something.
     
  6. brucej4

    brucej4 Forum Resident

    I do all of my Amazon returns at The UPS Store or Kohl's. Except in rare cases, you don't even have to pack the return - you hand it to them and show them the scan code you received via e-mail. They will give you a receipt if you wish. I would never be bothered with packing and mailing again.
     
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  7. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    If the nearest UPS Store to me was not 100 miles away from my house, I would do it this way, too. There are times I have so many returns to pack up I feel like I’m running a mail order business or something…
     
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  8. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    I had problems with the reissues of those Broadcast LPs. Specifically the first 2 albums. I think I tried at least 3-4 copies of one before I could get one I felt comfortable keeping.

    I think these are Optimal pressings, and that plant has had a ton of problems IME over the last few years. Around 50 percent or more of the records I get from them are defective.
     
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  9. Davey

    Davey NP: Luke Howard ~ All Of Us (2022)

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    Well, this is the only one I've had issue with, the others were pressed a few years ago and all sound pretty great, but this year was the first vinyl issue of the Mother is the Milky Way tour CD from 2009, so is their last "official" album before Trish died. I've had the download for a long time, and didn't expect too much from the record since I've already heard it a few times, but it is fun to have, and Broadcast is one of my favorite bands so a little warpage (unintentional pun) doesn't detract much :)
     
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  10. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    For most new single LPs, the income will be somewhere around $3-6 per record, if they are pricing them competitively.
     
  11. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    It does depend on the retailer but most retailers cannot do that. If the retailer is a distributor or a label, they can sometimes do that IME. For example I went through 3 copies of an album from Bleep, mainly due to pressing defects and their shoddy packaging for international shipping. They are a large distributor and also run label stores for specific labels, so they were able to do that.

    Most of the local B&M shops here and in every city I've lived in or been to have a no returns policy for new vinyl that's been opened. They will occasionally make exceptions for a very egregious defect or for a big spender type customer. One shop a few years ago showed me an RSD title they took back as an exception. It literally had a 5 inch chunk taken out of it. It came that way out of the shrink wrap if you can believe that.
     
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  12. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    For a little while I did a number of returns through Whole Foods. When those returns resulted in a system error where I got charged for a item not being returned, I stopped doing that. Now it's back to the UPS Store for everything. Luckily there is one just up the road.
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  13. ChefBrunch

    ChefBrunch Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hawaii
    Amazon accidently recently sent me 180g vinyl version instead of the CD I ordered. I can't play it and never really bothered to try and return it, just not worth the effort, figured I should get a TT one day anyway.
     
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  14. nosliw

    nosliw It's a hairstyle, not real cat ears :P

    Location:
    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    Even if a B&M shop allow returns due to defects, the amount of paperwork and shipping involved is too much of a hassle to handle, going by The In Groove's current situation with the extremely high defect rate for the Pink Floyd's Animals remix LP.
     
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  15. GordonM

    GordonM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Co.Down N.Ireland
    Agreed. To be fair, it was Bleep I was mostly thinking about and records on labels with which they are associated. I know you have had issues with Bleep packaging but I have generally found their packing works well. I would not expect an independent retailer to replace or refund without a return.

    In the case of Amazon shipping a record with no packaging, it was clearly a shipping issue so not so keen to return just for a refund. It’s also the kind of unsatisfactory service you want to alert the retailer about.
     
  16. patient_ot

    patient_ot Senior Member

    Location:
    USA
    From what I gather, the whole "record in no packaging" thing is much more common with Amazon UK than Amazon U.S. I can say that it's only happened to me once, and the record was miraculously unharmed including the jacket. Pure luck.

    Most Amazon orders I receive now come in a Whiplash style mailer and that goes into a box or bag. In rare cases I have received 1 or 2 records that were just in a bag, or some records that were in a large box with no Whiplash mailer. I have also received the completely wrong album on a few occasions. Customer service usually takes care of these issues and sends a replacement order immediately.

    As for Bleep, using a flimsy mailer with no reinforcement and one small piece of tape that doesn't keep the box closed is bad move for international shipments. If extra tape and an extra piece of cardboard is really that big of a deal, they could charge a couple of extra dollars for shipping.
     
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  17. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Forum Resident

    Location:
    Chester County, PA
    I never get records that are NOT shipped in a mailer, or the mailer inside another box.

    Wasn't there a 'ship in a box' setting?

    I remember clicking that on some orders or maybe it was in my profile somewhere. That would always prevent them from slapping a label directly on the LP or item your ordered and would insure that your LP at the worst gets put into another box. May not prevent the corner bends if it wasn't in the additional mailer. Those air pillows don't seem to help with just an LP outside of the mailer box.

    Google search show the 'ship in a box' setting as an option on the order confirmation page, but I can't seem to find it. Looked in my profile too, but no luck. I know that was an option at one time.
     
  18. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    There is one of those drop boxes outside a bank that works great for sending records back, thankfully. But it does mean printing a label on my own paper with my own toner (sometimes this means I need to buy toner before I can return something, we print things so seldom I’ll not realize it’s low until I suddenly need it…). Not a huge deal, and definitely not as inconvenient as driving the 100 miles to a UPS Store! :laugh:
     
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  19. Texado

    Texado Aspiring Audiophile

    Location:
    Toronto
    I never buy from Amazon, it is my opinion that Bezo's has more than enough billions. I always patronize local shops which helps build businesses and create local jobs. I consider it my civic duty as a citizen of where I live to see my local habitat prosper and thrive .. boarded up businesses and ghost towns benefit no one
     
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  20. lazydawg58

    lazydawg58 Know enough to know how much I don't know

    Location:
    Lillington NC
    Just to play devil's advocate here.

    You might want to also consider the jobs that Amazon create that didn't exist before and wouldn't exist without this type of business model. They have distribution centers and warehouses located all over the country (and world) that get people products they need sometimes within a day or two. Often these facilities are located in areas with high unemployment and depressed economies, and they employ a lot of people. Not to mention the jobs created in the construction these facilities, the local businesses that benefit from having them nearby, and the transportation related opportunities (drivers, mechanics, etc.) just to name a few things. They even provide part-time / temporary jobs during the holidays for people. Is the pay great, sometimes not. But if you're unemployed or working a job for $10 an hour the opportunity to make $15(?) is mighty attractive. I know that local and state governments often offer incentives like no or reduced property and business tax rates for periods of time, but economists calculate the pros and cons of such deals. I'd rather have Amazon build a warehouse in my county and pay no property taxes for a decade and at the same time see neighbors employed and mom and pop businesses reap the benefits of an economic upturn than I would see continued high unemployment, all the young people moving away and businesses closing.

    Just some food for thought.
     
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  21. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

    well said
     
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  22. RemyM

    RemyM Forum Resident

    Same jobs would be there if people would go to stores. Besides the fact that it’s almost modern slavery working for Amazon.
     
    Big Blue likes this.
  23. Chrome_Head

    Chrome_Head Planetary Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA.
    I've usually never had a problem with Amazon US and buying vinyl. They typically come packaged well (heavy cardboard mailers) and free of errors.

    Only record I ever sent back to them was a copy of Scott Walker's Climate Of Hunter reissue, which had an edge-warp that affected the first song on both sides. Could have happened in the factory so I can't really fault Amazon, packaging didn't appear messed up. They took it back and refunded but there was no offer of a replacement.
     
  24. NettleBed

    NettleBed Forum Transient

    Location:
    new york city
    One advantage to living in an apartment building with a staff: I hand it to one of them on my way out of the building, and they put it in the UPS/USPS/Fedex pile of packages for the couriers to pick up the next day.
     
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  25. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Well, the jobs would be somewhere, not necessarily in the places where they are. And they may or may not be better jobs (Amazon’s biggest brick-and-mortar competitor is Walmart…).

    I’m not big on the “Amazon is a job creator” argument, either. But I see this as more complicated now that the killing-of-local-businesses ship has more or less sailed.

    I’d love to patronize a local record store if there was one, and if I could know I wasn’t going to get stuck with defective records, or feel like I’m being difficult if I dare to insist as much.
     
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