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04-11-2011, 02:42 AM   #1
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Legitimacy of Websites

Hi all, I have been searching the internet for prices on certain lenses, some of which are discontinued. I just would like to know where online legitimate new and used lenses can be purchased, apart from of course B&H and Adorama.
Some offer suspiciously low prices on products I thought were largely unavailable (see amzono.org).

Thanks, Marcus.

04-11-2011, 02:50 AM   #2
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My question back to you would be why you would trust other sites? We've seen this time and again where a deal is too good to be true and the money is lost on some online scammer. I've bought 10's of thousands $ online and it's always been from the big vendors even if the price is a tad higher. At least I can be sure they have good return policies, original warranties and stand by their products.

To check a seller, go here Store Ratings & Reviews - ResellerRatings.com - Find Trusted Stores

But if I were you, don't risk loosing your money on some questionable seller to 'save' a few bucks.
04-11-2011, 03:23 AM   #3
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Along with that an educated consumer is always the best way to go. Compare prices on various sites and as PZ suggest use other tools that rate the store.

With that still there is no 100% guarantee that YOU will be happy/satisfied. Im sure there are some people wont use B&H, Adorama, etc just based on their expierence.

However its still not that big of a crap shoot and deals/bargains CAN be found outside of the big guys. There is even a sale section here on the forums.

GL!
04-11-2011, 03:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
My question back to you would be why you would trust other sites? We've seen this time and again where a deal is too good to be true and the money is lost on some online scammer. I've bought 10's of thousands $ online and it's always been from the big vendors even if the price is a tad higher. At least I can be sure they have good return policies, original warranties and stand by their products.

To check a seller, go here Store Ratings & Reviews - ResellerRatings.com - Find Trusted Stores

But if I were you, don't risk loosing your money on some questionable seller to 'save' a few bucks.
+1 Vendors have to make a profit to stay in business. Good service has value.

04-11-2011, 04:00 AM   #5
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It sounds like you are referring to one of those sites typically based in or near China, that offer discontinued and even current products (e.g. a Canon 5D Mk II for hundreds of dollars less than anyone else) at prices that are simply too low. They are scams and you can often find some discussions about them on the web. If you look closely at their websites you can usually see that something isn't quite right about them. Such sites may advertise having Pentax lenses that have been discontinued for years, as if they don't even know they're not current - also often at prices that are too low.
04-11-2011, 04:47 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies- this is what I thought. I'm still figuring out how the online world operates but some parts of it seem very obvious- and yes, good service and reputation does come with a price. I respect that, and it's not that I trust sites without reputation, it's simply that I'm unsure and seek advice from those with more experience than me.

I haven't bought a lens online before, but I do look first to the big ones, and that is where I will most likely get lenses from. Second hand, I'm not sure. I like getting second hand, but my experience here is only with seeing the lens, I'm not familiar with ebay.
04-11-2011, 06:09 AM   #7
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Ebay can be tough but I'd suggest that 99.9% of the camera transactions there are good. I rarely buy or sell anything else there but have 635 transactions and only 2 that weren't quite right. In both cases, Paypal refunded my money.

The keys are:
1) understand the shipping costs. These are often inflated to offset a lower price.

2) KNOW what you are buying. Never buy anything from a listing that shows a "stock" picture only. If the seller is too lazy to take photos of what they are selling, move on.

3) The photos have to be detailed and sharp. These sellers who can't focus a P&S camera on the item. Then claim to have "taken thousands" of great photos with this lens for sale, are full of horse$hit. Also that the photos show the things you need to know. I could care less if they show a photo of the side of a lens. I want to see the aperture blades and the glass. I want to know the lens is scratch and oil free with light wear.

4) Check FB. If it's less than 99% then I'd move on. Most sellers would rather refund a sale than get a negative score. Those that get more than 1% unhappy are questionable and those at 96% or less are trouble.

5) Use this marketplace first. I moderate here and we see any claims. In my memory, we've had 2 bad deals in the last 3 years (at least reported). People don't want to be kicked off the forums over a sale.

6) Always use Paypal and unless you know the seller very well, never pay as a "gift" in Paypal. Gift payments have no buyer protections and there is no refund policy. That's why the fees are lower. Paypal is the buyers friend in most cases.

7) Know what the sellers return/refund policy is in writing before you say yes.

8) Research your prices. Get an Ebay account so you can see the past sales of any item you are interested in. Also check the major online stores.

9) Be informed and read every listing carefully. New stuff sells here and on Ebay every day. The hot item (unless it's an A*85mm f1.4, in that case just pay the guy whatever he wants) that was just listed will come again in a week or a month. Take a deep breath before you buy.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 04-11-2011 at 06:15 AM.
04-11-2011, 06:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Ebay can be tough but I'd suggest that 99.9% of the camera transactions there are good. I rarely buy or sell anything else there but have 635 transactions and only 2 that weren't quite right. In both cases, Paypal refunded my money.

The keys are:
1) understand the shipping costs. These are often inflated to offset a lower price.

2) KNOW what you are buying. Never buy anything from a listing that shows a "stock" picture only. If the seller is too lazy to take photos of what they are selling, move on.

3) The photos have to be detailed and sharp. These sellers who can't focus a P&S camera on the item. Then claim to have "taken thousands" of great photos with this lens for sale, are full of horse$hit. Also that the photos show the things you need to know. I could care less if they show a photo of the side of a lens. I want to see the aperture blades and the glass. I want to know the lens is scratch and oil free with light wear.

4) Check FB. If it's less than 99% then I'd move on. Most sellers would rather refund a sale than get a negative score. Those that get more than 1% unhappy are questionable and those at 96% or less are trouble.

5) Use this marketplace first. I moderate here and we see any claims. In my memory, we've had 2 bad deals in the last 3 years (at least reported). People don't want to be kicked off the forums over a sale.

6) Always use Paypal and unless you know the seller very well, never pay as a "gift" in Paypal. Gift payments have no buyer protections and there is no refund policy. That's why the fees are lower. Paypal is the buyers friend in most cases.

7) Know what the sellers return/refund policy is in writing before you say yes.

8) Research your prices. Get an Ebay account so you can see the past sales of any item you are interested in. Also check the major online stores.

9) Be informed and read every listing carefully. New stuff sells here and on Ebay every day. The hot item (unless it's an A*85mm f1.4, in that case just pay the guy whatever he wants) that was just listed will come again in a week or a month. Take a deep breath before you buy.
+1
Another thing to point out (about eBay), never buy anything memory related (SD/SDHC, RAM modules, etc.) from eBay. I’m sure there are genuine products out there from “honest” sellers making a living but unfortunately, eBay is somewhat “infested” by fake memory products virtually indistinguishable from a genuine item. I’d buy from Radio Shack anytime before eBay when it comes to memory products.

For used cameras and lenses, I haven’t bought from them but people have mentioned good experiences with KEH.COM. Cheers!

04-11-2011, 06:48 AM   #9
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Only buy from people you know!

This includes members of this forum who have had a number of Marketplace transactions and whose postings you can also check for their interests. It also includes eBay, where the seller ratings protect you from the worst lot - although you do have to use some selectivity if a sale rings any alarm bells.

I have been buying and selling Pentax gear for about eight years and have dozens of eBay purchases and sales. Not one has gone badly wrong, although I have received a couple of lenses that were not exactly as described. This is usually from sellers who are not Pentax experts, but this works both ways, and I have picked up some gems at bargain prices - getting the odd lemon is the price you pay.

I always offer to refund buyers if they are not happy with an item I sell them and am wary of buying items that say there is no refund or "as is" - a good warning about a broken or defective item.

Mike
04-11-2011, 01:14 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSD Quote
Hi all, I have been searching the internet for prices on certain lenses, some of which are discontinued. I just would like to know where online legitimate new and used lenses can be purchased, apart from of course B&H and Adorama.
Some offer suspiciously low prices on products I thought were largely unavailable (see amzono.org).

Thanks, Marcus.
Having used these stores for 2nd hand camera equipment myself I recommend them, at least for my own use:

KEH (keh.com)
HENRYS (henrys.com)
CAMETA CAMERA (cameta.com)
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