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How important are product pictures when purchasing products?


Darko
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Hey everyone, I was browsing items on my wishlist and I was thinking does everyone else prefer to see what the product actually looks like before buying? 

I spend a lot of time researching on YouTube and BikeRadar etc before I actually make a purchase locally, so I do have a rough idea of what the actual items look like before I purchase. Even though most of the images are generic stock images from the manufacturers, I do feel better seeing an image as opposed to not. 

Does anyone else feel the same, or do you not care what it looks like as long as there is stock and you can order it immediately? 

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Depends what I am ordering, but I do want to know exactly what I am getting ... a chain for example is not really an issue, a stem on the other hand I would want to see some decent pics of it.

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Engineering drawings with dimensions are not just guideline instructions to the manufacturer. They are part and parcel of the purchase agreement.

If the part does not conform to the drawing, it can be rejected by the buyer, or accepted under a concession.

If you deliver something to me that is not the same as the advertised picture, then I am not accepting delivery of it.

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4 hours ago, Vetplant said:

Engineering drawings with dimensions are not just guideline instructions to the manufacturer. They are part and parcel of the purchase agreement.

If the part does not conform to the drawing, it can be rejected by the buyer, or accepted under a concession.

If you deliver something to me that is not the same as the advertised picture, then I am not accepting delivery of it.

Yes, I fully agree when I am buying a brand new part from a licensed resseller, or direct from the manufacturer, for a project working under a specific SANS/EC/Etc or other ISO standard. But certainly you don’t expect the same when purchasing used goods from an online classifieds? 
 

you can limit risk by asking a few technical questions to the seller. And also, I agree, if your selling me something on the classifieds I would like a few decent photos to judge the condition. If you use stock images on a classifieds ad, I’m going to assume you don’t have the item in hand, and therefor it’s most likely a fake/scam advert. But I certainly don’t expect old Piet from Pretoria to know the complete technical details of the bike he is selling me, because he bought it for the one and only 94.7 he ever intended to ride, and realised this sport really isn’t for him.

You are openly choosing to buy a used product, from a private individual, on what is essentially the 21st century version of a boot sale. If you really expect the same set of rules to apply, I sincerely hope I never have to do business with you, privately or professionally. 

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18 minutes ago, DonatelloOnPinarello said:

Yes, I fully agree when I am buying a brand new part from a licensed resseller, or direct from the manufacturer, for a project working under a specific SANS/EC/Etc or other ISO standard. But certainly you don’t expect the same when purchasing used goods from an online classifieds? 
 

you can limit risk by asking a few technical questions to the seller. And also, I agree, if your selling me something on the classifieds I would like a few decent photos to judge the condition. If you use stock images on a classifieds ad, I’m going to assume you don’t have the item in hand, and therefor it’s most likely a fake/scam advert. But I certainly don’t expect old Piet from Pretoria to know the complete technical details of the bike he is selling me, because he bought it for the one and only 94.7 he ever intended to ride, and realised this sport really isn’t for him.

You are openly choosing to buy a used product, from a private individual, on what is essentially the 21st century version of a boot sale. If you really expect the same set of rules to apply, I sincerely hope I never have to do business with you, privately or professionally. 

Talking 2nd-hand goods, sure, different rules apply. I did not get the impression that this thread was talking about Classifieds on Bikehub though. Thus the basis of my post.

But expanding on my thought process: If I ask for photos on a Classifieds add for a Road Bike and he sends me photos with a S-Works Saddle on the bike, but when I get it from the courier via Bikehub Pay and the seller swapped the saddle out with a Makro saddle, I will certainly dispute the sale and ask for the correct saddle to be sent or the sale will be null-and-void.

I tend to not buy "blind" on high-value items. But I have done it once and I was pleasantly surprised at the actual condition of the bike when I got it. Pictures usually don't do a bike justice. I prefer to touch and observe the bike first-hand to get a real appreciation of it before making a final offer.

I promise to never pull out the micrometer on the Bottom Bracket of your bike if our paths ever cross on the Classifieds ;)

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15 minutes ago, Vetplant said:

Talking 2nd-hand goods, sure, different rules apply. I did not get the impression that this thread was talking about Classifieds on Bikehub though. Thus the basis of my post.

But expanding on my thought process: If I ask for photos on a Classifieds add for a Road Bike and he sends me photos with a S-Works Saddle on the bike, but when I get it from the courier via Bikehub Pay and the seller swapped the saddle out with a Makro saddle, I will certainly dispute the sale and ask for the correct saddle to be sent or the sale will be null-and-void.

I tend to not buy "blind" on high-value items. But I have done it once and I was pleasantly surprised at the actual condition of the bike when I got it. Pictures usually don't do a bike justice. I prefer to touch and observe the bike first-hand to get a real appreciation of it before making a final offer.

I promise to never pull out the micrometer on the Bottom Bracket of your bike if our paths ever cross on the Classifieds ;)

Sorry. Maybe I misunderstood. I thought this post was referring to private/classifieds/Bikehub type sales

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33 minutes ago, DonatelloOnPinarello said:

Sorry. Maybe I misunderstood. I thought this post was referring to private/classifieds/Bikehub type sales

Hey, not at all. I meant in terms of online stores where you'd buy the item new. So Cyclelab, EasyBike, EvoBikes etc. Most of them just give you the generic marketing image and description and you'd assume you were getting that exact item. 

I was just wondering since the image and description is generic, is it really important? Or does it help to at least "see" what you're buying. 

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39 minutes ago, Darko said:

Hey, not at all. I meant in terms of online stores where you'd buy the item new. So Cyclelab, EasyBike, EvoBikes etc. Most of them just give you the generic marketing image and description and you'd assume you were getting that exact item. 

I was just wondering since the image and description is generic, is it really important? Or does it help to at least "see" what you're buying. 

Okay. Thanks for clearing up. 
 

That said, with most of the larger online stores, I think you have a 99.9% chance of getting the product exactly as described. They do tend to use the generic/manufacturer supplied images and technical description. But you are buying brand new goods from them, so it’s understandable. They offer inventory of sometimes 10s of thousands of products. Expecting them to unbox and take detailed pictures of each item is a bit far fetched. Before online sale, it was mail order. You basically had a magazine or product catalogue to browse through and you chose what to buy based on the images and description on the paper. Online today is the same idea, except along with the simple pictures and description you have access to interactive sizing charts, up to date user reviews, and a simple mouse click away is the manufacturer website that should have all the technical data you need. This allows you as consumer access to a massive database of products, without the supplier needing high end retails space the size of a small country to display all the stock. If the business is linked to a physical store chain like cycle lab, the top selling products can be checked  out in store. But you can’t expect to be able to touch and feel their entire catalogue. 


if for some or other reason they don’t provide enough information on their listing, as it’s a new/unused product you should be able to link back to the manufacturer website for more info. Obviously if the product as supplied does not fit the manufacturer description, and the variation wasn’t clearly displayed on the vendors site, you obviously have grounds to request a refund or return. In my experience though, this has never been the case. But you can be almost certain if this happens, it was through simple oversight, and they should correct it without any hassle.do not automatically assume malice. 

Some legitimate issues with the online retailers you have listed though are that they don’t openly tell you that most of the time they are actually dropshipping, and the stock they show as “in stock” simply isn’t, or just send you an email after you have paid stating that instead of 5-7 days as they said on the site, it will take 3 weeks. This annoys me to no end. This little gem on the evobikes site is case in point:

I mean either you have the item in stock or you are dropshipping, which means you actually don’t carry stock at all. If you list something as in stock, you have it in stock, or at worst, you have signed a purchase order for it, and it’s secured, in your name, but still in the suppliers warehouse. Stock shortages from your suppliers will explain stock shortages in your store. But cannot explain stock numbers on your store being inaccurate. Not a single supplier I know of would sell stock committed to one reseller, to another reseller, without fort clearing that with you. In extreme cases like the current stock shortages, there might be a case of a supplier asking you wether they can sell stock assigned to you, to another reseller that has greater demand, and then upon agreeing to this, you will be credited for that stock, and. An then update your stock holding. But under no circumstance will stock you as a reseller own be sold to another reseller without your approval.

that statement confirms to me that evobikes is forward selling, based on the assumption of stock being available, and then ordering on demand. Doing this, while leading customers to believe you actually hold the stock is unethical. They are acting like an approved reseller, while carrying no risk, and simply running a C.O.D account with the suppliers. It should read, “To all our customers - since we don’t actually have any stock, our stock numbers may not be accurate.”

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Edited by DonatelloOnPinarello
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^ to be fair to Evo, their website is relatively up to date with stock numbers even though they do dropship most of it. They do however carry some stock themselves.
Ive never had an issue where I paid for something through the webstore just to be contacted later and said the supplier doesn't have stock - mildly annoying since it takes a week to get a refund.

This happend to me two weeks ago from another reputable online bike store up north…and also why i try to avoid bike addict (among others). 

Summit bikes on the other hand carries everything on their web store at the premises, the stock diversity is not as extensive as evo or cwc for instance but Dominic is always willing to help you find something and as mentioned, if it’s on his webstore and ‘in stock’ you know he has it on hand.

Edited by MORNE
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