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Old 6th November 2018, 08:19   #6151
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Default How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

Hi Friends,

Do you guys feel comfortable buying HDDs online?

My first WD portable HDD was purchased online years back, from Infibeam. It came nicely packed in a larger box, with adequate padding, and is still running fine. My next few drives were purchased in local stores.

Yesterday I received a recent order of 'My Passport' from Appario Retail (Amazon.in seller), packed in a thin plastic envelope, with no other packaging whatsoever! The courier people don't even seem to know what a hard drive is!

The box inside feels intact from outside, but I'm so scared that I haven't even opened the package, and am mulling returning it! Should I?

I wonder how WD extends warranties in such cases, with a huge number of sales online worldwide! Are the modern drives made and packaged in such a way that the shipping and handling is foolproof, as long as the drive is not powered on? I'd appreciate views from members experienced in this regard very much, so I can decide what to do next. Thanks a lot.
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Old 6th November 2018, 08:30   #6152
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Default Re: How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

Quote:
Originally Posted by meerkat View Post
Do you guys feel comfortable buying HDDs online?

Yesterday I received a recent order of 'My Passport' from Appario Retail (Amazon.in seller), packed in a thin plastic envelope, with no other packaging whatsoever!

Are the modern drives made and packaged in such a way that the shipping and handling is foolproof, as long as the drive is not powered on?
I have bought the exact hard drive you mention (Western Digital My Passport) in capacities of 1TB, 2TB and multiple drives in 4TB from Amazon-fulfilled sellers (Appario and Cloudtail), and have had no problems with them at all.

Yes, the first time I received it I was a bit alarmed at the (lack of) packaging, but never actually faced a problem, and all the drives are still running normally today, with no bad sectors or SMART warnings.

Interestingly, once you open the package, you'll notice that WD themselves don't offer much in the way of packaging - they only provide a plastic/cardboard "carton" to hold the drive, reminiscent of egg cartons. So obviously WD are confident in the drives themselves to ship it with such little packaging.

I believe that these drives are built tough - the platter spindle is well fitted to prevent any movement of the platters, and the drive head is securely parked away when it is not powered (as you rightly allude to).
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Old 6th November 2018, 09:27   #6153
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Default Re: The Online Shopping Thread

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Originally Posted by Rameshdude View Post
Guys beware of Flipkart mobile exchange offer. I had ordered a Poco F1 and they had an exchange offer of Rs 3500/ for my OnePlus one. On arrival of the new mobile,this sales guy sends a few pics of my OnePlus . And let me tell you,my mobile is in good condition. But apparently the person at the other end says,there are scratches and not to take the OnePlus as exchange. If they are willing to pay Rs 3500/,you may give them the new mobile. And I had to shell out that money. So there is no exchange,it is just a gimmick. I tried calling that person ,and he never answeres !
This is really sad way of handling customers.

I know it's easy for me to sit out here and give advice, but IMO you should have probably rejected the sale.

Hope you leave a negative detailed review on the website. Atleast it will make it clear for future buyers.
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Old 6th November 2018, 09:31   #6154
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Default Re: How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

Quote:
Originally Posted by meerkat View Post
Yesterday I received a recent order of 'My Passport' from Appario Retail (Amazon.in seller), packed in a thin plastic
Quote:
Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
Yes, the first time I received it I was a bit alarmed at the (lack of) packaging
Two recent orders from amazon.in, each worth 25k were sent with just the amazon branded plastic wrap over the original box. Fortunately, both came undamaged and are working fine. However, it is a bit unsettling to depend on the said fortune for the safe transportation of delicate devices.

In contrast to this was the fort-like packaging that a pair of tempered glass for the aforementioned devices came in. The ₹500/- item was truly a manifestation of an enigma wrapped in a mystery and hidden inside an impregnable safe! I went on and on peeling off multiple layers of bubble, sponge and cardboard wraps before I could reach the items. And yes, this too was from amazon.in.
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Old 6th November 2018, 09:45   #6155
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Default Re: How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

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Originally Posted by dailydriver View Post
Two recent orders from amazon.in, each worth 25k were sent with just the amazon branded plastic wrap over the original box. Fortunately, both came undamaged and are working fine.

In contrast to this was the fort-like packaging that a pair of tempered glass for the aforementioned devices came in.
Been there :-) I ordered ~100 sheets of glossy photo paper worth a few hundred rupees, and was alarmed at the size of the box handed over, and then was nervous wondering if I had been given an empty box. Some digging through what felt like a year's supply of air cushions, and I found the pack of paper - at the bottom of the box, protected by the air cushions only from the top.

I think Amazon gives standardized & procedural guidelines on how to pack items, and not to deviate from the script, which is why we find such weirdly packed items. In the face of stringent rules, people just stop applying common sense (and I can't fault them!).

That's one reason why I've turned to specialist vendors for specific items being purchased online - they know their product and package it meaningfully. Glassware from FabFurnish, IT hardware from IT Depot, mobiles from Samsung's online shop, all of these are packed and delivered sensibly.
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Old 6th November 2018, 10:12   #6156
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Default Re: The Online Shopping Thread

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Originally Posted by Rameshdude View Post
If they are willing to pay Rs 3500/,you may give them the new mobile.
Same thing happened with me last year. I had ordered a new phone on Amazon.in in exchange of my old one. The website clearly said that the phone should be unlocked with intact body (i.e. no cracks) and a working display. There was a clause under T&C saying that signs of normal wear & tear are allowable.

At the time of delivery, my phone was rejected and I was asked to pay the exchange value if I wanted to have the new phone. The rude delivery agent told that discolouration of silver side frame was the reason for rejection. I believe it was covered under normal wear & tear, that too for a 3 year old Samsung, as it was probably due to the case rubbing against the edges. To top it off, he then proceeded to rip off the tempered glass, to "check the screen", before returning the old phone to me

Even though the exchange value was under Rs. 2000, I decided not to fall for this scam and returned the package. A few friends came in and we were able to extract Rs. 200 from the delivery agent to make up for his nice behaviour and the lost tempered glass.

Last edited by self_driven : 6th November 2018 at 10:17.
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Old 6th November 2018, 11:40   #6157
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Default Re: How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

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Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
I have bought the exact hard drive you mention (Western Digital My Passport) in capacities of 1TB, 2TB and multiple drives in 4TB from Amazon-fulfilled sellers (Appario and Cloudtail), and have had no problems with them at all.

Thank you very much. That's reassuring! Yes, I am familiar with the plastic packaging of WD drives. The drive can't move while in place in the plastic packaging. In addition, the drive is also kept a bit away from the cardboard box walls, so there is some protection from squashing. This is good enough to survive reasonable handling. But what about surviving through the usual rough handling of couriers, with things getting thrown around, and heavy items landing on top of fragile ones? I've also received another item packaged in a reasonably rigid (but thin) plastic enclosure which got squashed badly out-of-shape on one side (also shipped by Amazon in the typical thin, soft plastic wrapper)! Thankfully, the item itsef was not fragile.

I believe shipping the HDD boxes in a well-padded larger box would increase the amount of protection. But even so, once I received a HDD from Flipkart packed in a larger cardboard box that got crushed and torn so badly on one side that the HDD box itself was squashed on one side (it was visible from the tear). I, of course, refused to accept and sent it back for a refund. I also settled for local purchase for my next few HDDs. Only this time I didn't find it in ready stock locally (if I didn't want any weird colours, that is ).


Quote:
...obviously WD are confident in the drives themselves to ship it with such little packaging.
.
.
... I believe that these drives are built tough - the platter spindle is well fitted to prevent any movement of the platters, and the drive head is securely parked away when it is not powered (as you rightly allude to).
There is another aspect of rough handling of such shipped items, -- whether sharp impacts could jar the delicate mechanisms out of kilter, or put them in a way that could cause problems in future. But from what you say, WD seem to know that to capture a larger market the way it is, they must design for it.


Quote:
.... all the drives are still running normally today, with no bad sectors or SMART warnings.
Do you usually do a bad sector scan on a new drive before putting data on it? Thanks again.
.
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Old 6th November 2018, 11:48   #6158
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Default Re: How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

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Originally Posted by meerkat View Post
This is good enough to survive reasonable handling. But what about surviving through the usual rough handling of couriers, with things getting thrown around, and heavy items landing on top of fragile ones?
That's true, the rough handling meted out to some packages almost seems designed to try and defeat packaging and safety measures!

Quote:
Originally Posted by meerkat View Post
Do you usually do a bad sector scan on a new drive before putting data on it?
Internal drives - yes, I use WD Drive Utilities and run the detailed scan before moving data onto it.

External drives - they're usually supplementary (e.g. to hold movies for my TV), so I'm a bit lazy to spend the time on it

If you're in B'lore or Chennai, try the IT Depot (online, or store), they are a good supplier of computer stuff, and I'm a happy customer. I buy my internal disks from them, but externals from Amazon due to better deals on occasion.

Last edited by arunphilip : 6th November 2018 at 11:49.
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Old 6th November 2018, 12:14   #6159
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Default Re: How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

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Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post

External drives - they're usually supplementary (e.g. to hold movies for my TV), so I'm a bit lazy to spend the time on it
For me space on my external drives are much larger than that on my internal ones, and most of my valuable data are on them. So I take it that it would be a good idea to have the new external ones scanned before putting data on them? Do you usually find problems with your internal ones on scanning?

Unfortunately, cloud services are not yet practicable for India!


Quote:
If you're in B'lore or Chennai, try the IT Depot (online, or store), they are a good supplier of computer stuff, and I'm a happy customer. I buy my internal disks from them, but externals from Amazon due to better deals on occasion.
No, I'm not in Bangalore anymore. Never lived in Chennai. Why I need to be there if I can order online from IT Depot? Thanks.
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Old 6th November 2018, 12:24   #6160
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Default Re: How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

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Originally Posted by meerkat View Post
So I take it that it would be a good idea to have the new external ones scanned before putting data on them? Do you usually find problems with your internal ones on scanning?
Yeah, if they're your key data drives then do a full scan (takes a few hours) them before putting your data onto them. It makes spotting errors easier, you can return it/initiate a warranty exchange if errors are found, and you don't put your data at risk by copying it onto an unproven medium.

I've not found any errors in any of the scans I've run, nor have I faced any SMART warnings. I did have a WD 3.5" HDD fail on me some 5-6 years ago abruptly, and WD replaced it under warranty (replacements are refurbished HDDs, not brand new), and that replacement has been chugging on merrily without any problem, in what has become my standby PC.


Quote:
Originally Posted by meerkat View Post
No, I'm not in Bangalore anymore. Never lived in Chennai. Why I need to be there if I can order online from IT Depot? Thanks.
They have local fulfillment centers in B'lore and Chennai, which means its their own staff who deliver it (not via courier), so they take the necessary care. Elsewhere, it depends on courier transport, and (in my opinion) that would be no better/worse than Amazon delivery.
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Old 6th November 2018, 12:52   #6161
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Default Re: The Online Shopping Thread

No, hard drive should not be despatched in the plastic bag which protects against nothing but static.

What happens, I think, is that sellers buy them in bulk packs that are meant for machine builders, and then sell them off singly. They should at least add a few layers of bubble wrap!

Thus we never get to see the actual retail packing, but I'm sure it exists.

Having said that, my last couple of bag-wrapped discs, one from Amazon, one from a local shop, are doing fine. I'm waiting for a special offer on a WD Black 2tb
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Old 6th November 2018, 13:34   #6162
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Default Re: How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

Thanks arunphilip, for all your help. I had simultaneously put my query to WD themselves regarding safety of the drives during usual ecommerce shipping. I've just received their response (which confirmed your opinion ). Here it is for everyone's reference :

Quote:
....

Thank you for contacting Western Digital Service and Support.
.
.
Please be informed that the Western Digital products are packed with WD standard retail packing with adequate padding to ensure safety of the drives. The package from a ecommerce online sellers completely depend on the way that they handle the shipment in transit.

We understand your concern that the WD retail pack delivered with normal packing from the seller. However, we would like to inform you that if the WD outer packing is intact, the portable drive should be safe.

We would request you to kindly connect the WD drive and perform a diagnostic test through "WD Drive Utilities " software to ensure the drive is all good. ....

Thad, just noticed your post. The package I received from Amazon looks like usual, sealed, retail package! Don't yours? Or are you talking about internal drives ("machine builders" etc.) while we were discussing external drives?

Thanks.

Last edited by meerkat : 6th November 2018 at 13:48. Reason: Just noticed Thad's post!
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Old 6th November 2018, 13:54   #6163
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Default Re: The Online Shopping Thread

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Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
According to a survey, the maximum cheating in on Perfumes in all of them.
That survey was carried out by a firm called LocalCircles and was reported in yesterday's TOI.

Quote:
19% received a fake product from ecommerce site in the last 6 months
Cosmetics and fragrances the most affected category
Snapdeal identified as the biggest culprit
The Online Shopping Thread-screenshot_20181106134330327_com.brave.browser990x928.png

Results and image courtesy: LocalCircles

Quote:
Flipkart is an aggregator and no more. It is effectively a group marketing exercise
But so are amazon and snapdeal. True, they have their own/affiliated sellers, but even when you purchase from them and face some issue, they are quick to point out that their site is not the actual seller but only a marketplace. And that they are only facilitating the trade by connecting the buyer and the seller. Have been told so by the customer service executives multiple times.
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Old 6th November 2018, 14:19   #6164
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Default Re: The Online Shopping Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
No, hard drive should not be despatched in the plastic bag which protects against nothing but static.

What happens, I think, is that sellers buy them in bulk packs that are meant for machine builders, and then sell them off singly. They should at least add a few layers of bubble wrap!

Thus we never get to see the actual retail packing, but I'm sure it exists.
Quote:
Originally Posted by meerkat View Post
Thad, just noticed your post. The package I received from Amazon looks like usual, sealed, retail package! Don't yours? Or are you talking about internal drives ("machine builders" etc.) while we were discussing external drives?
Yeah, I think Thad is referring to internal drives. The external drives come in nice, tidy and colourful retail packaging. The internal drives I've bought have come in a plastic clamshell, like what is seen on this page. This is irrespective of whether these are consumer drives (WD Green/Blue), or prosumer/enterprise drives (WD Red/Gold).

Also, happy to be of help, meerkat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
How is your experience with IT depot. I presume you are referring to these guys - https://www.theitdepot.com
Are the pricing comparable to brick and mortar stores or ECommerce websites?
Yep, that's the one. I'm very happy with them - I've bought UPSes, monitors, HDDs, SSDs, RAM from them, never been disappointed. Very fast shipping, prices are competitive or better than Amazon (e.g. just 2 days ago I bought a 1 TB SSD, Amazon listed it at 21k, IT Depot had it at 15.6k, but this is the most extreme example I've experienced).

Excellent customer service as well - when my trusty UPS died about half a year ago, I called them to place an order for a replacement, and asked them to expedite the delivery, as I was working from home, and I didn't want to use my computer unprotected from power fluctuations. Less than 1 hour from the call, I had the UPS at home!

If you prefer buying from a shop, I've found Computer Warehouse (Barton Center, MG Road) to be very reliable, professional and trustworthy. And it is more accessible to us than SP Road Before I came upon The IT Depot, CPW was my go-to place.

PS - I'm unaffiliated with both IT Depot and Computer Warehouse, let my enthusiasm not be misconstrued!

Last edited by arunphilip : 6th November 2018 at 14:48.
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Old 6th November 2018, 14:32   #6165
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Default Re: How safe is it to purchase a portable HDD online?

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Originally Posted by arunphilip View Post
That's one reason why I've turned to specialist vendors for specific items being purchased online - they know their product and package it meaningfully. Glassware from FabFurnish, IT hardware from IT Depot, mobiles from Samsung's online shop, all of these are packed and delivered sensibly.
How is your experience with IT depot. I presume you are referring to these guys -

https://www.theitdepot.com

Are the pricing comparable to brick and mortar stores or ECommerce websites?
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