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02-16-2011, 02:52 PM   #1
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Why I don't sell on ebay...technical lens help needed!

quick summary...guy receives Super-Tak 50mm f/1.4 I sent and it's making a noise when he turns it. Anyone have any clue what might be the cause? Video here:



[backstory]

So, I sold a Super-Takumar 50mm f/1.4 lens and shipped it off two days ago and outside of the normal wear one might expect from an older lens, there were no issues with it. I've had it for a couple of years now and I figured since I have an FA 50 1.4 and a Pentax-M 50 1.4, might as well get rid of it.

Guy buys it, sends payment, and that night sends me a message saying it is the rare 8 element version. I was sure it wasn't, but I'm no expert on the matter so I just shrugged and said ok. Next morning he emails me and says that he made a mistake in buying it and after further research has found out that it was not the 8 element version and asks for his money back and for me not to ship it out. I (wrongly, most may agree) tell him that I was unwilling to do that as I had already used that money (not smart on my end, I know) to buy an LX the same night. In my opinion, he entered into a contract and had no right to back out of it afterwards. I had 5 watchers and over 100 views on the item and now I'd have to wait another week for it to sell. Basically, I was being greedy and I admit that and hind sight shows that I didn't handle the situation the best way possible. By the way, this is the first thing I've ever sold on ebay. Been a member since 2001.

So I worked out a deal where I gave him 3 options. I told him that I felt it wasn't fair for him to back out afterwards, but would send him a spotmatic body and some film so that he could play around with the combo or turn around and sell it all and get his money back that way. Option two was that if he sent me another $25 via paypal, I would send him a Super-Tak 55 f/1.8 along with the 50mm f/1.4 or option 3 was that I'd send the lens out to him and if he wanted he could make a complaint to ebay and we would see where they stand on the matter.

So he received the super-tak today. We've messaged each other and he seems to be a nice guy for sure and seemed to understand where I was coming from as far as the why I wouldn't refund his money. But he sends me a message today thanking me for sending it so quickly and said I packaged the lens really well. But it makes a noise when he shakes/moves it. If you watch the video above, I think if that were happening when I sent it out I certainly would have noticed. Any ideas on the cause of the noise? Anyone know what sort of issues I'll have to deal with when contacting USPS and filing an insurance claim? Thanks so much!

02-16-2011, 03:06 PM   #2
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Hard to say what it is for sure without actually opening the lens up. I have owned several Takumars that had objects loose inside. One was a screw and it was obvious where it went so it was an easy fix. Another had a small piece of black plastic floating around inside that would jam the aperture ring intermittently. No sign of where it came loose from. In fact I suspect it was not supposed to be there at all. Maybe it came from the factory that way, certainly had no wear on the lens so who knows maybe it caused the original owner problems and it never got used.

Point is, something COULD have jarred loose in transit. Or this might be your buyers way of getting his money back.

If you had insurance on it, I would just stop in at the local post office and tell my story. My local PO has always been very helpful. YMMV
02-16-2011, 03:10 PM   #3
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Thank you for your response!

now the question is, if we go the insurance route, do I have him return everything to me and refund his money then file an insurance claim? Or does he keep everything, I keep the money, and he gets reimbursed by USPS (assuming they claim at fault)?

I saw that I can file a claim with USPS online, just wasn't sure if something else had to happen first.
02-16-2011, 03:22 PM   #4
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He sends everything back, you refund him the full amount and then proceed with a claim.

02-16-2011, 03:23 PM   #5
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ummmm. There is already something wrong that I see. Perhaps you might be able to enlighten me. That is a M42 screw mount lens. However, the aperture blades are already stopped down in the video. Naturally the blades are left open if not in use. Unlike the K mount lens in which it is opposite. I see that there is a switch for auto and manual mode. It would seem that it is on auto maybe that's why the blades are stopped down. If so then the pin that would normally control the aperture would be free and loose. Perhaps this is what is causing the rattling noise from the lens. I would switch it back to manual which should hold the pin in place and thus the rattling should be gone.

Other than that perhaps a screw inside is loose and thus moving about inside.
02-16-2011, 03:41 PM   #6
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In manual mode, you can change the aperture and the blades will open and close as necessary. in auto mode, the blades are wide open until the shot is made. I think you just had things backwards...but I suppose the stopdown pin could be loose or something of that sort.

I've asked him to send a video of the packaging and also to mount the lens onto the spotmatic and to shake it. Also asked for video of him turning the focus ring and aperture ring to see if anything odd happens.
02-16-2011, 04:08 PM   #7
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I sell a few things on ebay and if you want my opinion you should offer a refund and get your lens back. He pays the freight back. When it arrives issue a refund and move on. Making him jump through hoops is not going to help. And your lens is at his mercy at this point.

Its obvious he doesn't want it. Technically you are right, he assumed something that was not true. But if it was me I would just refund him and get the lens back. If it was damaged in shipping, then file a claim with USPS. If not then put it up for sale again.

It isn't worth the hassle and aggravation to argue with him. Just my opinion of course everybody's situation is different.
02-16-2011, 05:28 PM - 1 Like   #8
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First, my apologies for you having to go through this... I know it sucks! I have dealt with this type of situation before. Here is how it worked in my situation (and I am assuming it will be VERY similar in yours):

Listed item on ebay with "no returns accepted". Item clearly explained and sold as is.
Sold and shipped to buyer via USPS Priority Mail (fully insured).
Buyer received it and contacted me stating that the item was broken (not as described).
Since this was a DSLR camera (not cheap), I had dated photos/videos of it working the day before I shipped it, and I was unsure of how to handle the situation... so I refused the return/refund (stating that the item was in working condition when I shipped it and was sold "as-is" with no returns.
Buyer opened a claim with eBay for "item not as described". Ebay got statements from both of us along with photos and other evidence to support our claims.
Ebay sided with the buyer. I escalated/appealed the claim. Ebay still sided with the buyer, leaving me no other choice but to refund the buyer (ebay automatically charges your credit card on file with them for the refund and pays the buyer once the buyer provides proof that they have shipped the item back to you).
There is no person at ebay that you can speak to or communicate with directly. Don't even bother trying to email them. You receive an auto-generated email saying they will get back to you within 48 hours and you will never hear from them. Also, ebay ALWAYS sides with the buyer because of their new "buyer protection" policy. Another part of ebay's policy (which they will try to tell you is the policy of USPS and that isn't true) is that USPS will only pay the claim to the original sender of the package. It clearly states in the USPS policy that either the sender or recipient of the package can file the insurance claim and receive the payment for it. However, it would be in your best interest to have the lens returned to you and file the USPS insurance claim yourself (so the buyer doesn't get that PLUS the automatic ebay refund).

I received the broken DSLR camera back and opened a claim with USPS (thank god it was fully insured)!
It is all done online (usps.com) and there is nobody at USPS that you can talk to on the phone to file/check on your claim.
You basically provide them with the shipment tracking number, information about its contents (ebay page screen print or link showing item was not broken at time of sale helps BIG TIME), written statement from the recipient (buyer) *email works fine* stating that the item was broken when they received it, and that is about all.
Took a few weeks for USPS to approve the claim (and the status of the claim seemed to never update, EVER). They never contacted me for additional info or anything.
After the claim was approved, I received a check in the mail from USPS after a couple more weeks for the total insured value (that I paid for on the initial shipment).

I hope that helps you in your situation. I definitely wouldn't issue a refund to the buyer through Paypal, or by any other means, until an eBay claim has been settled. The buyer could end up getting refunded twice (and nothing you can do about it). Communicate with the buyer and let them know that you are willing to refund their money but it has to be done correctly through eBay so you have written documentation that the item was broken during shipment to provide to USPS for the insurance claim. Other than that, make sure your address on your eBay account is correct and current as that is where eBay will instruct/require the buyer to send the lens back to. Also, make sure you get a written statement (email) from the buyer stating that they noticed the item was broken immediately upon opening the package (doesn't really matter if the package is dented or otherwise damaged... but if it is, get photos or video of that for sure!

The ebay claim does not negatively affect your account in any way. It is not like negative feedback. The other thing is making sure to communicate with the buyer throughout the process is key. You should reassure them that you are fully willing to refund their money (as long as the proper steps are taken) and hopefully they will be willing to leave you positive or no feedback for the transaction.

Good luck and feel free to PM me if you have any questions!

P.S. - Ebay sucks for selling. They offer absolutely no protection for sellers and their policies/involvement with paypal gives them a lot of power to just "freeze" your money or accounts with either website for issues/problems with one or the other and take money from your bank account, credit cards, or any other form of payment that you have on file with either website. Doesn't seem right (or even legal to me in some instances)... but I guess that is what we all agree to when we *digitally* sign the 50+ page Terms of Service agreements.

02-16-2011, 05:32 PM   #9
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Issue a refund and get on with your life!

You are putting more effort into this issue than it's worth. There is no sense in your having an unhappy customer out there - get him to send the lens back and issue a refund. This is what I have always done when selling on eBay and here on Marketplace. Things go wrong sometimes - shipping damage, or a misunderstanding or whatever. You can check the lens out when it gets back, fix it if necessary and resell it.

I would counsel against the aggravation of arguing with a customer. Fix the problem, then move on!

Mike
02-16-2011, 06:10 PM   #10
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Hi

The noise is from a loose screw under the front nameplate, one of 3 that hold
the focus adjustment.
I have had a few like that, even a 135 with all 3 out and that lens was never out of
the original box ! The previous owner did a lot of flying. Must be the vibrations during shipping.
Only have seen taks do this.
02-16-2011, 06:36 PM   #11
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Is it in fact the same lens you sent him? Don't put it past people to try and pull a switch. I didn't see him exercise the aperture in the video. There are only a couple things I know of INSIDE a lens that could be rattling around like that. Most will be related to the aperture mechanism. Perhaps a screw or springs and levers. The front ring is easily unscrewed on these lenses.

02-16-2011, 07:01 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bobpur Quote
Hi

The noise is from a loose screw under the front nameplate, one of 3 that hold
the focus adjustment.
I have had a few like that, even a 135 with all 3 out and that lens was never out of
the original box ! The previous owner did a lot of flying. Must be the vibrations during shipping.
Only have seen taks do this.
I was going to say this as well, though my experience was with an m28/2.8
02-16-2011, 08:34 PM   #13
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Thank you all so much guys! to those saying I should have just refunded initially and that you should always try to keep your customers happy, well you're absolutely right. The headaches afterwards just are not worth it.

I'll be sending him a message through ebay asking him to send it back to me and letting him know that I'll be issuing him a refund.

JeffJS, I did check the serial number from the video with the photos I posted on ebay, and they are one and the same.

He has sent me a couple of other video's now showing the packaging and also him working the focus/aperture. unfortunately sound doesn't work on my netbook so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to check them out. you can feel free to view them if you'd like and see if you notice anything



also, he's said that when turning the focus ring, it feels kinda like sand or something is obstructing as you turn it.
02-16-2011, 10:09 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by irishwhite Quote
Thank you all so much guys! to those saying I should have just refunded initially and that you should always try to keep your customers happy, well you're absolutely right. The headaches afterwards just are not worth it.

I'll be sending him a message through ebay asking him to send it back to me and letting him know that I'll be issuing him a refund.

JeffJS, I did check the serial number from the video with the photos I posted on ebay, and they are one and the same.

He has sent me a couple of other video's now showing the packaging and also him working the focus/aperture. unfortunately sound doesn't work on my netbook so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to check them out. you can feel free to view them if you'd like and see if you notice anything

also, he's said that when turning the focus ring, it feels kinda like sand or something is obstructing as you turn it.
I'm a cynic so I tend to think the worse sometimes. I'd have a hard time believing something came apart in transit in your packaging, you must have sent it JUST at the right time. Having him send it back for inspection is probably the best course of action if you want to keep the peace here. Do keep track of all communications.

Good luck with it.

02-16-2011, 10:16 PM   #15
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Scott:

I want to take a second to thank you for posting your experience here. I have read all you have written, along with our fourm's response, and feel I learned something from it all.

I am sorry to hear about what you have endured--truly a shame. As far as right & wrong go, from what I read here, clearly the buyer is wrong and an idiot. However, especially with an idiot, I would carfefully follow the excellent advice you received here already, especially from the excellent efforts of JP-Seattle, which you said you will do.

You can not win in this situation. If this guy is utilizing unethical means to get his desired ends, it will surely come back to him--I firmly believe this.

Good luck, and please update us here if any new twists come about as a result of your attempts to clean up the mess.

JT
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