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Why is the box important?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by flamingfish, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    Why is having the original box important when you're selling or buying a used body or lens? I read somewhere that it shows that the item isn't stolen, but is that really such a major concern? (It also doesn't prove that the item wasn't shoplifted, "diverted" from normal selling channels, or otherwise lifted while in the box.) Are there other reasons? Is there an assumption that if someone has kept the original box, the equipment has been well taken care of?

    I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm really asking. I don't keep my bodies or lenses in their boxes, and I don't have room to store the boxes separately. Have I significantly diminished the resale value of my stuff by tossing the cardboard?
     
  2. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    Consider collectables, collectables always sell for more money if all the original packaging is intact, and unopened items go for the most. Outside of the collectable market, having the original packaging still probably makes items more attractive to buyers, but I wouldn't say it significantly diminishes resale value, rather that it might sell faster with the packaging than without, but that's based on my personal experience as both a buyer and seller, others may have different experiences.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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  3. A sign of a fastidious owner (or a hoarder).
     
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  4. Angus Gibbins

    Angus Gibbins Mu-43 Regular

    177
    Dec 6, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Angus
    I agree with Luckypenguin.

    Also, I keep packaging for absolutely everything, (unless the packaging's literally a cardboard box like for a TV or fridge).

    I LOVE well designed packaging and I love companies that show care and attention to detail with their packaging.

    This blog faffs on a bit, but I agree with its premise, the packaging is the first opportunity for a customer to form a bond or relationship with a product. It's certainly the first thing I noticed about the Everyday Messenger.

    The importance of product packaging and presentation


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
     
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  5. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    It certainly does affect resale value unfortunately.
     
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  6. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Aug 30, 2013
    Cambridge, MA
    Daniel
    I never keep boxes because I live in a tiny apartment and don't have space to keep them. I disagree that it affects resale valuable (unless you are selling a collectable lens). I have never had problems selling my stuff without boxes. It is definitely worth keeping receipts (or electronic versions if you buy from Amazon or something), just in case someone is worried the item might be stolen.
     
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  7. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    I keep boxes for high value items like camera, stereo and video/TV equipment. Movers and shippers can't say you didn't pack the item properly if you have original packaging, though I've heard people having to threaten to sue FedEx or UPS because of unsubstantiated 'inadequately packed' assertions. There is no way I will ship any high value item without original or special packaging. I even had custom boxes made when I shipped speakers and didn't have the outer cartons anymore.
    All my stereo equipment has an inner box suspended inside a heavy outer box. I remove all the staples and flatten the boxes for storage and reassemble them with zip ties. I'll be going through this process in a couple of months, in fact. If we have to store everything because we can't get timely possession, I'l know everything is protected and way too bulky to pilfer.
     
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  8. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Jul 6, 2016
    Texas
    For photography equipment, especially more expensive lenses and bodies having the box absolutely effects the resale value.

    I think the reason is partially what luckypenguin states. The perception that people who save the box also generally take care of their things.

    However, I also think it is partially that getting an item "complete" with all the original packaging is closer to receiving a new item then someone dropping a lens in a shipping box.

    I am not sure that either of those arguments hold any real merit logically but purchasing an item is an often at least partially an emotional decision.
     
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  9. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Aug 30, 2013
    Cambridge, MA
    Daniel
    Do we have any real data to justify this view? I mean, maybe it affects your willingness to pay a certain amount, but it has never affected either the amount I've offered or the amount I have been offered (compared to prior sales of the same items).

    Again, I agree that it likely matters for collectors lenses.
     
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  10. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Jul 6, 2016
    Texas
    That seems like hard data get a hold of. That is just my experience buying and selling photo gear for the last 20 years.

    Although, honestly, I never remember it being an issue 10+ years ago. It has really only been an issue since I started selling gear on forums the last ~10 years or so.
     
  11. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Aug 30, 2013
    Cambridge, MA
    Daniel
    Interesting... I've only been selling/buying in the past 10 years, so I can't compare.

    I bet someone with some webscraping and text analysis skills could use the transactions on here to figure out if it matters!
     
  12. dalto

    dalto Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Jul 6, 2016
    Texas
    I was thinking about doing that when you asked but then it occurred to me that the problem with forums is that you don't actually know what the final selling price of the item is.
     
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  13. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    I think it's going to be different with different audiences; a forum like this one might have more people who care about packaging and are willing to pay a premium for it than you'd get on an auction site or venue like Craig's List.

    When I'm looking to buy used equipment, I'm looking for value and condition. If the item has original packaging, that's bonus, but not if it's significantly more expensive. That said, given two identical items, one with original packaging vs. w/o, I will go with the one with every time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
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  14. zane73

    zane73 Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Jun 22, 2013
    Pilot Mnt, NC
    Patrick
    Most forums allow you to open polls to survey what people prefer. Open one here and other forums you might visit to see where the numbers lean. I for one would be curious to see the results.
     
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  15. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I wanted to add :agree: and :funny:. :drinks:
     
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  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Do I have hard data, no. But yes they do add value and I've always asked more for an item complete. I have a lens I'm thinking of selling now that I bought second hand. I couldn't remember if I got the box or not so I was looking at pricing, when I found the box and everything in it I figured another 5% - 10%

    Two things to consider, right now there are empty camera and lens boxes for sale on Amazon, eBay, and even Fred Miranda. Second check out ebay sellers with white box versus original packaging on eBay, there's normally $10-$25 difference. I've even seen a seller have both (white box and original) with different prices, though these are mainly direct imports.

    While I can see all the arguments about proof of ownership, care of equipment, etc. It most often also adds the "All original accessories and paperwork included". For many Panasonic lenses it often means the seller still has the pouch. For Olympus bodies it means they probably still have the cable needed for firmware updates. And so on....... Little things but they make a difference.
     
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  17. Aushiker

    Aushiker Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 12, 2014
    Fremantle, Western Australia
    Andrew
    I for one simply would not make you an offer or bid if it was an auction sale if you do not have the packaging therefore you can not know if I would have paid more or not and hence if the value received was equal to if the packaging was included.

    You may be right but you really cannot verify your own assertions without more substantive evidence; the very evidence you expect from the counter view.
     
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  18. ddekadt

    ddekadt Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Aug 30, 2013
    Cambridge, MA
    Daniel
    I don't know what the answer is, just giving my own experience. I disagreed with another poster, but I didn't mean to claim that my point of view is the "truth". I don't know the exact counterfactual no (but neither does anyone else here), but I do know what the typical market price for the item I'm selling is (with a box), and I know that I pretty much get it (without boxes). Anyway, it's all rather moot. If you have the space and don't mind clutter and like boxes, keep the box. If you don't, don't. I live in a tiny apartment with minimal storage and I hate accumulating STUFF, so I throw things away. If it knocks $10 off the sale price of an item, does it really matter? But I know that photographers typically really like STUFF, don't we. :)

    As with everything in life, to each their own!
     
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  19. monchan

    monchan Mu-43 Veteran

    255
    Jul 7, 2012
    Tottori City, Japan
    I just traded in my EM-5 mki.
    It was just about shot, didnt think I`d get much for it as it didn`t really work.
    No video, no art filter or scene modes just manual. it would shut down after taking a few shots.
    I had the box, manuals everything, some just like cables and manual unopened from the plastic.
    They switched it on with no lens attached, Ah it works, how about 20,000 yen. ($200)
    I`ll take that. I think they assumed it was well looked after. it was but it was well worn out too.
     
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  20. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    @flamingfish@flamingfish It's obviously my own personal opinion and only one viewpoint, but I will typically only buy an item if it comes with the original box. It's primarily for better resale value when it comes time to sell the item.

    If you really wanted to find out what the percentage breakdown is of something like this, you could create a new thread with a poll asking "How important is it when buying an item that it comes with the original box", and the answers could be "Very Important - I will only buy items with the original box. Somewhat Important - I prefer to buy items with the original box, but will buy items without the box if they're the only ones available. Not Important - I do not care whether the sale includes the box or not".
     
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