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11-12-2007, 08:19 AM   #1
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Buying Lenses Off eBay 20% Know nothing it seems

I have noticed a lot of lenses on ebay have had the worst pictures posted of the item. Having off focused pictures of a "Mint" lens etc" really makes you wonder"... I sometimes wonder about the descriptions and photo's if some people selling on eBay are honest or even know what they are really selling, if I had to give a percentage of HOT air sellers, I would say 20%...Just my Ramblings...LOL

11-12-2007, 08:40 AM   #2
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I agree, it's a very poor way to sell something since they are trying to sell to photographers. I think the % is higher than 20%. Many sellers have no idea of what they are selling. Since there seems to be more demand than supply, people will keep bidding and buying. I try to be careful when buying and only bid what I think something is worth... Just my $0.02.
11-12-2007, 09:13 AM   #3
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I have bought few of those "lots"...This is my dad's gear and know little about it etc. Generally these are sellers that are trying to offload gear that is defective and hide behind ignorance. Some genuinely don't know. I once bought an f70-210, F 50mmf1.7, F28 f2.8 and an SF1. The seller said she was selling it for her mother and the description was something like "mom used to be a pro shooter and has since switched to a digital. She no longer needs the gear and it has been safely stored for 2 years." I asked several questions and got a bunch of vague answers but decided to take the risk.

Long story short. The camera was broken and the lenses were totally fungus infected. So I emailed her afterward and a once responsive seller turned silent. So off to Paypal and they fully refunded my money including the shipping. I took the lenses to the shop and he said to forget it. The inside of the barrels were corroded as well as full of fungus. He suspected the camera bag got soaked and never dried out (it was mouldy). In the bin they all went. Hate to see good glass wasted this way.

So my word of caution is, if the seller says I don't have the battery to test it or I don't know how to test the lens etc. pass on it. I got lucky only because the seller never responded to Paypal and they automatically ruled in my favour. Had she responded, I would have been out $225 USD. This seller didn't even want the gear back...
11-12-2007, 10:04 AM   #4
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I saw this 1.7 -a maunal focus 50mm lens going pretty cheap but noticed he didnt describe it in his listing, it went for $28 , some say "I dont know what it fits" and others say MINT yet the pictures are all blurry , some use a stock photo for their listing or say "I know nothing about this item" haha

11-12-2007, 10:19 AM   #5
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I stay away from eek bay. I've found KEH to be slightly more expensive as a whole, but they are a reputable firm and have a (30 day?) no questions asked return policy. Their second hand lenses are almost always under graded, ie a "bargin" lens at KEH would merit "MINT CONDITION!!!" on eek bay. I used their return option once on a Tokina zoom that had bad IQ, and there were absolutely no problems. I've bought quite a few lenses from them over the years and am completely satisfied with their professionalism.

NaCl(I'm willing to pay a bit more for peace of mind)H2O
11-12-2007, 10:36 AM   #6
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I'm with Salty on this one.

I did deal with another store for a short while, and got good service from them, but they failed to answer my last inquiry.
So I guess that they don't want my business.
11-12-2007, 12:24 PM   #7
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Peter Zack speaks very wise words and I agree 100% when he says that many sellers hide behind ignorance and know full well that the gear they are selling is stuffed. After buying a bit of gear from eBay you get wise and can usually pick the "off loaders" with ease. Always read feedback carefully and fully..... even the positive comments can tell a story.


11-12-2007, 12:44 PM   #8
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I fully agree with Keith, I just get a strage vibe buying anything off eBay now, I read feedback, watch the new 4 pont eBay ratings, look at what was recently sold and what they are selling now if they are...Thanks Keith
11-12-2007, 09:36 PM   #9
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Ebay is a place to definitely be careful with!! Especially when dealing with a Power Seller!! If a Power Seller has under 99.9% feedback I wouldn't deal with them anymore! Power Seller's feedback ratings are figured differently then a normal seller to favor them even with bad ones!! Always check with Toolhaus. I just had a run in with one and bought a Sigma Mirror lens that was listed as mint! The lens arrives and the entire inner elements are hazed over!! Did send it back and get my money back, but the same Seller has now since listed the same lens again.. this time as Good condition no scratches but has still failed to mention the hazing! When I say hazing I mean hazing, lol!

Here is that auction so no one gets screwed over. I tried reporting it to Ebay and explained the whole situation but they won't pull the Auction!
SIGMA XQ Mirror Ultra Telephoto Lens 1:8 f=500mm +Case - (eBay item 160178659161 end time Nov-16-07 16:02:21 PST)
11-13-2007, 12:03 PM   #10
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I guess I've been lucky...

QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I stay away from eek bay.
In the last couple of months I've bought three lenses from eBay UK: A50/1.7, M50/1.4 and A28/2.8. All three appeared to be from private sellers, but it turned out that the A28 seller was actually a shop. All three were in excellent condition and exactly as described, so I have no complaint about the lenses. However, I won't buy again from the seller of the A28 because of his nehaviour. The auction said they accepted paypal, and immediately after the sale I paid with paypal. An hour later I got an email telling me to phone up and pay by credit card, I replied that I had paid by paypal. Then I got a reply saying that if I didn't pay by credit card they would give me negative feedback and report me as a non-payer. At that point I realised that he had no feedback. Anyway he had not accepted the paypal payment (so I canceled it) and I paid by credit card.

I know that paypal charges the seller, and I know that that means less profit for the shop, but since the auction said paypal was accepted I felt that I had been duped. A28/2.8's are common. Now I am a little more carefful about checking the seller.

11-13-2007, 12:27 PM   #11
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So do credit cards...

QuoteOriginally posted by richard64 Quote
I know that paypal charges the seller, and I know that that means less profit for the shop, but since the auction said paypal was accepted I felt that I had been duped. A28/2.8's are common. Now I am a little more carefful about checking the seller.
Credit card companies charge the seller, as well. Probably as much or more than PayPal.

I might have been tempted to fight it out with the seller and explain to eBay that his auction said he accepted PayPal, but he reneged on the deal. If he wants to back out of the deal, fine.

I would be very leary of giving a credit card number to a seller like that. In fact, I never give a cc number to ebay sellers. I'll use PayPal or a US Post Office money order. Even if they accept personal checks, I'd rather pay the small fee the post office charges, rather than send an unknown seller my cc or checking account information.

Paul Noble
11-13-2007, 01:11 PM   #12
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I am 'till now the buyer with most confidence in Ebay. I mean: I bought a A*300mm/2.8 from a total stranger on the other end of the world! And it turned out wonderful.

Of course, shipping was expensive. Much more expensive than indicated before the auction's end. But the seller took that cost. Of course I had asked questions and got answers. Of course I had taken a very close look at everything I could take a look at.

I have bought and sold a lot of model railroad stuff (including things as expensive as a SMC FA77mm. ltd. black) and am content of 99% of the deals. Once, a parcel I shipped "did not arrive". Twice, a parcel "shipped to me" never got here.

But on a 300-times selling/buying that ain't too bad!

Let's look at it the other way. In the Netherlands we have a local online marketplace for photography equipment. No auction system, it is less clear when the item is sold. I found a SMCFA50/1.4 + a Pentax Z10 body + a AFTZ330 flash unit + protective covers for only 100 euros! It was badly photographed and the only text was "Collectors know the value of this gear." So I mailed, was phoned, and went over. The entire bunch looked flawless! They had kept all the boxes, manuals, caps, everything! They had kept the batteries out of the flash - it reloaded with new penlites in <5 sec.

I went to a big real-life photography market last weekend. And found nothing as pleasing as that!

11-13-2007, 02:23 PM   #13
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I have only been an eBay user for about three months. In that time I have bought quite a few
lenses, more than a dozen, mostly TAKS and mostly under $500, up until I bought the A* 85/1.4 over the weekend (which I have not yet received). I have not felt cheated though I may have paid more than I should on one or two items and I have not had to return any for condition problems. I am very careful by nature and experience, but maybe lucky too!

As always, 'Caveat Emptor' rules................
11-13-2007, 02:43 PM   #14
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A little off topic, but how come the Brooklyn based camera stores are such bad stores? They are all over ebay.
11-13-2007, 03:46 PM   #15
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I just bought my first lens off of ebay---the 18-55mm "kit" lens that was supposed to come with my K100D Super from Dell, but didn't. The seller advertised it as being almost new and had only used it on his camera a few times, otherwise he would have advertised it as new. He has a 100% rating, so I hope that stays true for me as well. The warranty papers and everything were included. He said he has a bunch of other lenses and didn't need this one. I have limited resources, so I hope this camera comes as new as it sounds. I'll let you know when I receive it!

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