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The importance of unboxing and how not to get burned by Amazon


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This post could literally have 4 different titles:


The importance of unboxing videos

How to protect yourself when shopping on Amazon for high dollar items

Amazon and their return policies suck

The DJI Spark Fly More Combo Unboxing


How about "My Recent Amazon return experience that went horribly wrong?"  Or, Amazon doesn't give a sh*% about you no matter how long you have been buying from them.


I'll start with Amazon because that will set up the rest.  I purchased  the "DJI Spark Fly More Combo" off of Amazon and wasn't paying attention to the actual seller.  I was only looking at the price because it was a decent price.  As of September 2017 the normal price is $699 for this combo.  The "non Amazon" seller price was around $650 at the time. I purchased it and paid for the overnight delivery. It came via UPS at my normal UPS drop off time around mid afternoon.  Here is where you need to protect yourself. 


When I picked up the box i immediately knew something was wrong.


Look at it.  It has normal Amazon tape on it and that tape has been ripped open.  See the crease on the box?  It is suspect but I can't pin it down to anything.  It looks like the box was pushed downward as a hand reaches in to the the goods.  That's not it though.   The box was then taped with new tape over the torn tape but hurriedly so because the sticky gum on the tape barely held it closed.  Somehow it left Amazon like this.


When i said i knew something was wrong when i lifted it up is because it was light.  Lighter than a DJI Spark Fly More Combo should be.  I immediately started filming me open it up. Lesson 1. Take pictures and film it.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 7.15.49 PM.png



It was a $40 battery.


Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 7.16.37 PM.png


I immediately requested a return, printed the label, and returned it to UPS. I asked him to scan it in and give me a receipt.  Normally, when you do a return with Amazon the funds are returned to you at this point.  Not so. I started a chat session with them and found out I purchased this from an Amazon reseller.

Lesson 2 - Returns to an Amazon seller have to be verified by Amazon prior to refund. Those monies may come 3 to 5 business days after your item has made it back to the Amazon return center.  You are looking at a week before getting your money back.  My refund is still "pending" at my bank. Not sure why.  Even if the item is Prime.  If you are purchasing a high dollar item you could be without your money and your item if something goes wrong.


Look for sold by "3rd Party, Shipped by Amazon."  That's the item I purchased.


Think "Sold by Amazon, Shipped by Amazon" is better?  Think again.  I reordered the item and paid more and got the, "Sold by Amazon, Shipped by Amazon," thinking if something went wrong I would be protected.  I again, paid for overnight shipping.


This time it was shipped and handled by Amazon solely.  Amazon warehouse, fulfilled, boxed, taped, delivered.  Well, it was delivered the next day around 8PM. Left in the middle of my sidewalk about 20 feet from my door in broad daylight of the road and neighbors.  Twenty feet and the item could have been left on a protected porch. Beware of Amazon shipping and hope to heck you have cameras on your doors.


Excitedly to be beyond this $40 battery issue I opend the box.  The DJI Spark box came tumbling out.  Yaaaaaaahhhh?  What is this? The product box is open and there are two seals broken.  Maybe it bounced around in shipping and popped the seals.  Could happen right?

I opened it in front of my family. Look at the pretty drone! What is that sand in the box?IMG_20170923_202303.jpg



The contents are all disheveled and not in the box properly and there is sand everywhere. Are you freaking kidding me? Amazon just shipped me a product that was returned to them. 


I jumped on chat, again, and asked them to make this right. Showed them photos, etc.  Amazon WOULD NOT refund me instantly or drop ship another one for the next day. The totally can do this because I live near a warehouse.  I've ordered at midnight and had items at 8AM the next day.  Amazon will NOT make you whole after making mistakes.  I'm now stuck with two bad deliveries and almost $1500 dollars in limbo.

I've known other companies to drop ship items when you have failures. If you don't return the broken one they charge your card. Simple.  Your are going to refund me for this "beach drone" anyways, why not make me whole? I was pissed.

I have now made a 3rd purchase of this item. Instead of Amazon I purchased it at a "big box store" for $699.  I walked in, pulled it off the shelf, and walked out after paying for it. Just like the good ole days!  


I will NOT make high dollar purchases from Amazon again.  I won't be reckless and say I'll never purchase from them again. I will.  I like the batteries and easy to get items like that. I am however, going to make a concerted effort to buy locally and even at the big box boys.


The importance of unboxing videos.

I was confused when I opened the Spark. It didn't feel right but I couldn't prove it.  Unboxers to the rescue!  I watched several unboxing videos. Surprisingly, many were very loose with details.  That made me realize that what I do, when I unbox, is actually important.  Show the details.




The Spark should have been wrapped in plastic, or cellophane.


Lense covers


There should have been plastic peel off protectors on the sensors and camera of the Spark.


Unboxers, show the details!  Also, viewers, do not accept an unboxing if it is the second time the person is opening the box!  You've seen those ones. Staged unboxing.  They are fake.


Show the details.  I've used unboxing videos to figure out how to re-box goods.  Arlo Pro cameras for instance. Crazy mess of plastic.  Show the details unboxers.  I'll also strive to be better at unboxing.  I shot the video of me unboxing the spark and will include it in this thread.  Seriously disappointed in you Amazon.



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Dave Zatz said on twitter to call back and get a different agent.  Yep, that's a good trick to try when you don't get the answer you feel you should get.  I was on a chat box and asked to be transferred to a supervisor.  Heard the same thing from the super.


I usually don't "blog angry" but this one has touched off a nerve with me.  

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