The Problem With Buying An Open Box Item……

open box purchase, store item problems, item issues
Earlier this week I bragged how I purchased a sound bar for my wife at a discount of 60% off. Much of this discount was due to an open box discount. The good thing about open box deals is that a person can save a lot of money. The bad thing is, someone else has opened the box.

My wife was excited when she opened her sound bar this morning. Being a technology kind of guy I almost felt like it was a present for me, too. Unfortunately, I ran into a little bit of a snag as I opened the box and started to hook things up.

The remote control for my wife’s new sound bar was missing.

I know that the remote didn’t get lost in the Christmas morning shuffle because I waited until everything was cleaned up and put away before I even opened the sound bar box. I even double checked the sticker on the box to make sure that it didn’t state the remote was missing. I was able to get it all connected and working, and could use a learning function to make my universal remote work with it.

I have a couple of options:

  1. Keep it : I could just keep the sound bar without the remote. I have the majority of remote functionality programmed to my universal remote. This requires no additional effort or cost on my part, but I don’t have the remote that should have came with it.
  2. Call The Manufacturer : In the Q&A section of the product on the manufacturer’s website a customer stated they had lost their remote and inquired how they could get a new one. A representative gave them a number to call to provide a name and address and a new one would be sent to them. This would require a phone call, and after some amount of time I would have the remote assuming they would also agree to send me a new remote free of charge.
  3. Return it : I could take it back to Best Buy, but what happens at that point is unknown. Will they order me a new one, giving me a brand new item at the open box price? Will they tell me that I just bought the product, “as is?” This may require me to box the item back up and return it to the store, and potentially be without the sound bar for some time.

I’m definitely doing something, so option #1 is out. I don’t feel like boxing up the item and braving the madness that is going shopping the day after Christmas, so I’m putting #3 on the shelf as well.

Tomorrow I’ll be calling the manufacturer to inquire having a new remote sent to me.

I’ll see how that phone call pans out before I decide what to do next. I’ve hit an issue with purchasing an open box item, but I won’t let that deter me from doing it again. The savings potential still seems worth the possibility of having to deal with something like this again.

How about you, Clever Friends? Have you ever had a problem with an open box item? What did you do about it?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • This I not about an open box item, but a display model propane grill. It was missing the ignitor assembly and the hood thermometer ( a thoroughly useless item but it it does fill the hole). Evidently these are often stolen off the displays. I got the assistant manager to mark it down 30%, I had an additional 10% employee discount, and an additional 2% rebate on my credit card.

    It was a Better Homes and Gardens grill (Wal-Mart). called their customer service, turns out it was manufactured by Blue Rhino, and they promptly sent me the replacement parts.

    So good luck! I hope you get your remote.

  • I once bought a small personal stereo system as an open box item. It had a remote but it didn’t work. It was kind of a distraction but I ended up just living with it, as you could do everything I needed it to do from the front of the stereo.

    You could also look into buying a replacement remote if the manufacturer doesn’t come through. For TVs, DVD players, etc. you can often find working remotes (or third party models) on eBay or Amazon, and while sound bars are a little more specific, you might be able to find something.

  • @MoneyBeagle – That’s a good suggestion….I think my next step will be asking Best Buy what they could do. The good news is, I called Polk Audio (the manufacturer) and they said they would send me a remote in the mail. I’m still waiting for it, though….so we’ll see!

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