Another chapter in the continuing "Why buy local?" story. Purchased a used 24-70 from a local dealer a few weeks ago. It was originally owned by a customer who'd stretched to buy it (cost wise) and never felt he could justify it. He returned it a few months after, never having really taken advantage of its capabilities. It was in pristine condition externally, and in a couple of test shots in the store, which I uploaded to my computer, it seemed fine internally. The price was a little higher than I'd expect to pay for a used lens (even a gently used one), but it did come with a 3-year warranty.
I brought it out to San Francisco with me two weeks ago and this week finally got around to culling through images. It become immediately apparent that something was wrong. On virtually every image, the right side was much less sharp than the left. This was true at varying focal lengths and apertures. Brought it in yesterday, told the owner I thought something was wrong, and showed him one shot on my laptop. He saw it too, also immediately. He shot a couple of test shots against a target, just to confirm what his eyes told him to be true, but then took the lens from me, boxed it up, and sent it back to Nikon, no questions asked.
So maybe I paid $100 more than I would have for a used lens at a big chain or $200 more than I would have paid on eBay, but the difference just paid for itself. Being able to walk in and get a resolutions in 10 minutes is pretty great.
(We'll of course see what Nikon says but that's for another thread I suppose.)