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Do I need the Olympus Extended Warranty on my refurb body and lenses?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by seventysixersfan, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. seventysixersfan

    seventysixersfan Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jun 24, 2016
    Alexandria, VA
    Brian
    Hi all -- I got an E-P5 and two lenses from the Olympus outlet store recently. All three items look in perfectly new condition, and come with the 90 day warranty for refurbished products. My question is-- should I buy the 2 year extended warranty for my camera body and the 4 year extended warranty for my lenses? I am new to M43 system and to Olympus camera equipment, so I don't have a sense about their general reliability. Will I be wasting my money buying these warranties? (Note: I've purchased and owned lots of Pentax equipment over the past ten years and have never purchased an extended warranty plan on anything-- and luckily have never had a mechanical defect or malfunction occur. But I don't know if Olympus bodies and lenses are more fragile or prone to failures)

    Thanks for any thoughts you might have on this. Really appreciate it!
     
  2. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 Top Veteran

    697
    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    Depends on the cost, when I looked up what a out-of-warranty cost would be for my old E-P3 it was roughly a $125 flat rate (basically refurbs it and cleans it and includes a 6 month repair warranty if you send it in), for my E-M5 (Mk1) it's about $160.

    Seems the E-P5 body would be about $150 if you had to send it in currently.

    The 2 year extended warranty is $99... However:

    May need to check if the 'outlet' is considered authorized in that respect.

    PS: In my opinion, the warranty is going to be more beneficial for the body, I don't ever seem to have a problem with my lens, and generally speaking, depending on which lens you have, it may be just cheaper to replace.

    The only lens damage I can think of happening, would be accidental, which wouldn't be covered anyways.
     
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  3. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I would DEFINITELY recommend it for the body, given Olympus' track record. I'd probably pass on the lens though.

    FYI, B&H has the 2-year extended PEN warranty for $60 on their website.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    No. People sell these warranties because they are profitable. Very profitable.

    You are far better off self-insuring for such small expenses. Insurance is for protection against risks that you cannot financially afford to take.
     
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  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    This is irrelevant. First, internet "wisdom" is seldom accurate. The plural of anecdote is not data.

    Second, the guys offering the extended warranties have the data. They know almost exactly what their loss rate is going to be, probably to within 1%. So whether it's high or low, the loss rate will be priced into the product. Typical margins for extended warranties are in the 50% range. So for every dollar they take in, they are expecting to pay out about fifty cents. With exceptionally reliable equipment they may even go for a bigger margin, looking for the price point where sticker shock deters too many potential suckers.

    A few years ago, Best Buy's entire annual profit was equal to the profit they made on selling extended warranties. That's why the salespeople try to cram that extended warranty onto your ticket when you buy something. Their management pounds on them to do it.

    Once I had a salesman (I don't remember where) offer me his extended warranty at half price if I would just agree to buy it. Nope. Not born yesterday. But what does that say about the profit margin in that warranty?

    So every time you think you need an extended warranty, simply self-insure. Put those warranty price dollars into a savings account and watch it grow. If once in a while you have a "claim" you can cheerfully pay it from your still-growing self-insurance pot. Statistically your success is almost 100% guaranteed.
     
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  6. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Does your credit card provide the warranty?
    For current EP5 prices it make little sense to buy warranty, but from my experience I had to replace two EP5's for failed back control wheel.
     
  7. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Yeah, statistic this: Sudden Death of E-M1 - Purple Haze Sensor - I'm giving up on Olympus!
     
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  8. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Without reading all four paragraphs of your response, I'll just say this: I bought a refurb E-M1, bought an extended warranty based on numerous reports of failures mentioned here, the rear dial started failing outside of the 90-day warranty, I sent the camera in for repair which was free of charge because of my extended warranty. The extended warranty cost me $80. An out-of-pocket repair would have cost more than double that. So it worked out in my case.

    Most electronic items are like a Toyota or Honda. They run and run and run and run, never giving you any issues until years down the road when they finally fail. Olympus cameras are like Range Rovers, which seem to have all of the oddest things go wrong and fail, and if you're outside of the warranty period, you're paying to fix the problem. I don't buy extended warranties for 99.99% of the items I buy. I did for my E-M1, and it already paid for itself on the first repair. YMMV.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    If your college major really was statistics, then you know that one individual experience (no matter how close to home) doesn't permit one to draw any kind of conclusions about the whole population. And besides, as I pointed out, the failure rate of the device drives the extended warranty price, so high or low failure rates really don't mean anything re a purchase decision.
     
  10. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    One thing to keep in mind is the difference buying new vs. buying refurb. When buying new, the user gets a 12 month warranty. When buying a refub, the user only gets a 3 month warranty. So provided that failure of an item is more likely, there's a greater chance that the failure will occur within the warranty period when purchased new compared to purchasing a refurb. I guess the thing is, I can buy a refurb AND extended warranty for less than buying new, and be covered for 2 years vs. 1. The only downside to this is that you have to wait for refurbs to become available (so you can get one at launch).

    Another example is something like Apple's AppleCare+ on the iPhone. For $99 up-front, plus a $99 service fee at the time of redemption, Apple with repair your iPhone if it's damaged. For something like a cracked screen, this isn't very cost advantageous, but if the phone breaks, you basically pay $200 out-of-pocket for a new phone versus paying $700-800+. Again, that's a risk I'm not willing to take, simply because of the environment the device is used in and the frequency of use.

    Would I buy an extended warranty for a refrigerator that just sits in my kitchen. Hell no. Would I buy one for an iPhone that gets used multiple times per day? Absolutely.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    It's not just me and you know it. 8% failure rate.
    In ideal world. In reality price is also driven by market and warranty provider can balance losses/profits between different divisions - e.g. I suspect selling lenses warranty is way more profitable than for bodies .
     
  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Searching "profit margin on extended warranties" and (on the first page) getting:

    Nobody is selling extended warranties where, statistically, consumers have any chance at all of winning. If the market won't pay the price they need, they will simply not offer the warranty.

    If peace of mind is worth a lot of money to you, then go ahead and buy. But don't believe that overall they are a good financial deal and don't believe that you know more about the loss statistics than the warranty sellers. They aren't and you don't.
     
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  13. seventysixersfan

    seventysixersfan Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jun 24, 2016
    Alexandria, VA
    Brian
    wow, these are helpful responses, thanks a lot!! I will have to do some thinking about this. I have purchased extended warranties for my iPhone and iPads in the past but only needed to make one claim. As I said above, I have never bought a warranty plan for my other camera system and have never had to send in for repairs. But I may be willing to pay for a warranty for my refurb E-P5, if the reliability is a bit spotty. Thanks for the tip about the $60 deal at B&H! I also like the idea of self-insuring.


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
     
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  14. lchien

    lchien Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Aug 7, 2014
    Texas
    I'm with the guys here that refuse to buy extended warranties.

    The stores and manufacturers sell them with the expectation of making big margin profits. They know the overall chance of things failing is low.
    If we bought extended warranties on every electronic appliance that we bought, we would be spending probably a thousand dollars a year. But I expect we don't spend anywhere close to $1000 annually in repair.
    I believe in the self-insure philosophy. We buy insurance to share risk with others to cover things we can't afford have total loss or huge repairs - homes, cars, health, liability. In doing so we make the insurance companies a lot of money. But for $150 repair bills on $700 cameras, surely we can afford to take an occasional hit.

    My last comment is, as an electronics/fiber optics engineer, our camera makers are building hugely complex machines here. Millions of pixels in the LCD, again in the EVF, 16M Pixels in the sensor, Tens or hundred Millions of transistors in the processor, megabytes of firmware. And all the stuff that connects them together. Its a wonder it works at all, let alone have the reliability is does have, even over freezing and searing temperatures. The cameras today have a lot less mechanics (particularly mirrorless) and more electronics than any cameras of the past.
    Frankly when we build industrial electronics as I have, we make them for -40 to 85°C (-40 to 185°F) for shaking and baking and all kinds of bad conditions. But the basic construction of the PCBs and automated assembly we made is not really any more advanced than what makers are putting in the top cameras, as far as basic longevity is concerned. These electronics are really great considering the complexity. Because of the electronics complexity, these things are not made of the very cheapest construction as some of you are implying.
     
  15. Imager

    Imager New to Mu-43

    9
    Aug 23, 2016
    Budeny,
    What is the 'purple haze sensor' ? I have had my E-M5 since new and it was one of the first ones made at that. It still works perfectly and as new.
    So please explain the 'p.h.s.' as I am very near pulling the switch on a new Pen F with in the next day or two.
     
  16. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Just click on linked thread and read it?
     
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  17. Imager

    Imager New to Mu-43

    9
    Aug 23, 2016
    Thanks. I never experienced it. Sorry about your experience.
     
  18. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Top Veteran

    971
    Apr 9, 2013
    Hawaii
    Stephen
    "Watch it grow" in a savings account? Really? :rofl:
    I think watching grass grow would be quicker, more satisfying and about equally profitable . . .
     
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  19. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Top Veteran

    971
    Apr 9, 2013
    Hawaii
    Stephen
    It amuses me that so often commenters state that there isn't any reason to believe
    that Olympus cameras are more quality challenged than other brands.
    And contend that the complaining person's experience is anecdotal
    and therefore not probative.
    And then state how many Olympus cameras they've had w/o a problem!
    Internet forums are rank with complaints about Olympus failures.
    Not so with Panasonic.
    I've had 3 E-M1's - two of them had control wheel failures.
    I guess I'm also just out there on end of that bell curve.
     
  20. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    Yup. It doesn't grow from interest when we are getting 25 basis points on our money, it grows from the continuous addition of money that would otherwise be wasted on the next extended warranty purchase. (And it shrinks occasionally from the very rare withdrawal of funds to pay for a repair.)

    Well, if you're shooting at me you need to re-read the posts. Anecdotes or not, the guys selling the extended warrranty know exactly what the failure rate is going to be. High, low, average ... it doesn't matter a bit to them. It is priced into the warranty. So it is fallacious logic to say that because one believes that that a certain camera is unreliable that is a reason to buy the warranty. It if is indeed unreliable then the warranty will cost more and like all extended warrantees it will still be a bad bet.

    Think about it. If the warranty seller's margin is 50%, then he has to pay the salesman a commission and possibly the selling store some profit out of the other 50%, so he is expecting his actual repair outlay to be maybe 1/3 or less of what he charges the buyer. Granted he doesn't pay sticker price for repairs but the odds are still strongly against the sucker ... err... buyer.

    Remember, too, that the warranty seller is usually protected by a manufcaturer's warranty for the initial OEM warranty period. So he is at risk for a much shorter period than the stated term of the warranty. Another reason the warrantees are so profitable.
     
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