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10-20-2011, 07:32 PM   #16
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*nods to Clinton*

Like magkelly said, if the seller's not going to be bothered doing their homework, that's not my problem.

And it was my own Buyer's Beware that I didn't check for fungus. At the end of the day it all balances out, right?

And speaking of lenses with fungus - got another one today. LOL.

But to even that out I just won a k100d auction. SECOND BODY - HELLO!!! jeeepers. I really *am* an addict!


Last edited by wolfiegirl; 10-20-2011 at 07:39 PM.
10-20-2011, 10:22 PM   #17
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So, are you going to take the lens to your local shop and get it cleaned? You might also want to simply open the aperture wide up and leave it in the sun for a couple of weeks to kill the fungus. (Make sure it doesn't create a focus point that can burn anything)
10-20-2011, 10:36 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
So the seller ended up with $20 more than she had before. This falls under let the seller beware. She accepted your offer.
As the night has gone on, I've thought about this some more, and I'm not sure I'd make this statement all the time. A few months back, there was a Canadian classifieds add for a F* 600/4 for $500. The person from the forums that ended up buying the lens (@MightyMike) gave them more for it (although I don't know how much) and I'd say that was both ethical and appropriate.

If I had been close enough to buy that lens directly from them, I would have given them substantially more than their asking price, because if I had paid less than 10% of the value for that lens, I'd feel like a heel forever.

So, paying $5 for a $50 lens, meh. that's not that big of a deal. $10 for a $100 lens.. still meh. $100 for a $1000 lens? hmm that makes me feel like I'm taking advantage. $1000 for a $6000 lens? unless it was at an open auction, I'd regret that decision for a long time.

So, for me, it's not a flat percentage that changes the game, but some combination of percentage, how much the discrepancy is, and whether or not it was an open auction.

Just my 2c on the ethics. Take them or leave them as you please.
10-20-2011, 10:52 PM   #19
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in sales negotiatons, the advantage always rests with the person who knows the most out the merchandise. The additional information provides an advantange is deciding whether to hold or fold. Second hand merchants who don't know their merchandise will soon have nothing but trash on their shelves, if they encounter buyers who know more about the merchandise than they do.

10-21-2011, 01:50 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
So, are you going to take the lens to your local shop and get it cleaned? You might also want to simply open the aperture wide up and leave it in the sun for a couple of weeks to kill the fungus. (Make sure it doesn't create a focus point that can burn anything)
Hi Clinton,

I contacted the seller re the fungus lens and she has agreed to refund me the money and I have to return the lens. No biggie since the fungus lens wasn't one that I was dying to have. What I really wanted was the M 1.2 that came with it. Unfortunately the focus ring is totally stuck and I couldn't move it. I'm not sure I'm ready to branch into taking apart a lens unless it's absolutely free. And since she wants it back, I'll take that as no harm and no foul. Is that the term they use?
10-21-2011, 02:04 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
As the night has gone on, I've thought about this some more, and I'm not sure I'd make this statement all the time. A few months back, there was a Canadian classifieds add for a F* 600/4 for $500. The person from the forums that ended up buying the lens (@MightyMike) gave them more for it (although I don't know how much) and I'd say that was both ethical and appropriate.

If I had been close enough to buy that lens directly from them, I would have given them substantially more than their asking price, because if I had paid less than 10% of the value for that lens, I'd feel like a heel forever.

So, paying $5 for a $50 lens, meh. that's not that big of a deal. $10 for a $100 lens.. still meh. $100 for a $1000 lens? hmm that makes me feel like I'm taking advantage. $1000 for a $6000 lens? unless it was at an open auction, I'd regret that decision for a long time.

So, for me, it's not a flat percentage that changes the game, but some combination of percentage, how much the discrepancy is, and whether or not it was an open auction.

Just my 2c on the ethics. Take them or leave them as you please.
Whoever would've thought that ethics would get tangled in lens buying? I agree that pricing is totally different when it's something like ebay or an open auction. Heck, I'm worried about taking advantage on $20 for what I thought would be a $60 lens max. I had no idea until I looked it up last night that ppl were paying close to $200 for said lens. YIKES.

It's funny how our perceptions change on what we should offer based on the situation. Like Sam Joseph said, if it had been a guy selling his lens who for a family illness or whatever, I'd be the same and feel obligated to offer more.

Ack. My head hurts. :ugh:
10-21-2011, 02:08 AM   #22
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I don't bother negotiating. I like the price I buy, I don't then I walk away.
An unsold lens is the best way to tell the seller they are dreaming, especially in forum marketplaces.
10-21-2011, 02:26 AM   #23
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A couple of things to keep in mind. The hot bargains help balance out the junk you will inevitably get stuck with. Some of these lenses are 30-40 years old and there are plenty out there with fungus or other issues. Many people buy them at estate sales so they really have no idea of the history of the lens. If the buyer doesn't want to take the time to learn what they have and learn about it, sometimes it can get you a very hot deal but sometimes it can get you junk because the seller didn't even know what to look for as far as issues. Even if you know what to look for, sometimes you will miss something too.I have bought several lenses on ebay that were listed with the filter description, not the lens description (time to figure out what it is from the pictures and or take a gamble). They know that little about what they are selling. It all balances out. I recently received another lens with fungus off ebay, but I don't care as the hoya hmc filter that was on it was worth more than the 8$ shipped I paid for it.

Something else to keep in mind, they are old lenses and are only worth what someone is willing to pay. This often has as much to do with supply as it does demand and quality. One lens that cost 200-300$ decades ago may only sell for 10-20$ because there are endless numbers of them out there. It may be a very good lens. Another 200-300$ lens may sell for 200-300$ because it is rare, very good quality, desirable and has a reputation. Lenses that have a reputation for being good often sell for a lot more, while lenses that are just as good without the reputation sell for a lot less. Its worth what someone is willing to pay, so if you get a great lens for 10$, then why not? Whats it actually worth? Check completed listing on ebay and you will see that prices are all over the place on many and the same lens in the same condition can sell for extreme ranges in price. It's worth what someone is willing to pay. Think cheap, and get it cheap.

10-21-2011, 02:28 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clinton Quote
$1000 for a $6000 lens? unless it was at an open auction, I'd regret that decision for a long time.
The value of any transaction is whatever price the buyer and seller agree upon. If the seller is willing to accept a price the buyer recognizes as low, why agonize? (I'm also thinking of the joke about the jilted wife who sells her husband's Porsche for $100.)

I'll admit to benefiting from such moral qualms. We inherited a BBQ smoker that we never used. We eBay'd it on a cash-and-carry basis, as it's heavy and we're remote. The winning bid, the ONLY bid, was one buck. The buyer was happy but felt the win to be unbalanced, so she brought a case of homemade fruit jelly too. No big thang.

But if an institutional seller prices a $6k lens at $1k, do they deserve moral qualms?

QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
in sales negotiatons, the advantage always rests with the person who knows the most out the merchandise.
Asymmetrical information. Apart from specifics for a particular item (like its physical condition), much info on objects of commerce is available and researchable. A very little research work would show that a Super-Takumar 135/2.5 is more desirable than a Takumar Bayonet 135/2.5. Isn't each party in a Tak135 auction responsible for doing the basic research to know the difference?

QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
And since she wants it back, I'll take that as no harm and no foul. Is that the term they use?
No foul, and back to square one.
10-21-2011, 02:40 AM   #25
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Right, no foul and back to square one. It was $45 + $13 shipping. A bargain really if both lenses worked and I got a body with it too. But to be honest I don't really have the energy to clean that lens - it had fungus on two glass elements on one side, and more on the other. Yuck. And it was just a tokina. In my short history of lens buying I already now own three fungus lenses, and I've got another five lenses coming (that could all potentially have fungus on them). So if she wants it back and she's willing to pay for the postage back as well, then that's cool. She did admit later on that she had considered cleaning it but didn't bother. (!!!!) And yet she told me there was no fungus. WTF.

Anyway, waiting for her confirmation that she'll pay for postage and then I'll ship it back to her. Time to start trawling again. bwahahaha.
10-21-2011, 03:38 AM   #26
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Do you play Poker? I am 100% serious!

(In my humble opinion) Don't talk about lenses. Talk about the weather. Don't tell them who you are or what you do. Make the seller laugh a little (establish rapport) if (s)he's not too busy. Side track with a question for another product they've got. Then hit them with a "I am looking for a lens I used to have for my OLD FILM camera ... don't want to spend much ... what'ya got?" (use the bolded words if possible). Then, when (s)he pulls out that 50/1.2 or 85/1.8, make a low-ball (straight face, see above re: Poker). Sold, for $100 (actually, I paid way less for either, but that was years ago ).

No sale? Move on, come back in an hour, start again. Sometimes they will even remember you
And most importantly, have fun!

QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
Hi all,

So as you may have noticed (or not noticed) I've been bitten quite badly by the LBA bug. This has resulted in me trying to think laterally about where I might acquire lenses. It has led me down the normal routes of ebay, online classifieds etc. But it has also made me notice places like Auction houses.

...

Anyway, I'm starting to wander. Essentially what I'm asking you is, do you have a particular buyers technique that you like to employ when buying/enquiring about lenses from the general public or an ignorant sales clerk? Do you spend any time educating them? Or are you really a pro and just harden your heart to sniff out the best deal?

Last edited by photocanadian; 10-21-2011 at 03:43 AM.
10-21-2011, 03:43 AM   #27
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Remind me to never play poker with you!

No, I tried playing once and discovered I'm a really sore loser. I was pretty grumpy when I lost.

Also discovered I'm crap at gambling in general. Do not let me near the racecourse. I will lose all your money because I have a "feeling" about every horse in the arena.

Thanks for the tips about what to do when I go in. Am psyching myself to go back into the Auction house and spotted a few other antiquey places around town that I should probably go and check out.

And yes, I'll remember. "lenses for my OLD camera". Heck I even have a film body lying around somewhere. I should bring it with me as a prop eh? Although I better make sure I know how to use it properly.
10-21-2011, 03:57 AM   #28
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You would probably win, the only thing I got going is the straight face (due to lack of interest) and I get distracted easily

But the practice has proven priceless, both for selling and buying.

The key for me seems to be saying "that OLD FILM camera" ... repeat 100 times every morning after waking up A lens-bootcamp, if you will.

I would advise to never say "my snazzy empteen megapixes multi-metered prime engine powered high price high value high iso high everything digital single lens reflex Pentax body", even if that's what you really mean

Now, of course, you need an old film body now, so that your still telling the truth (if you already don't have one).

Curse you, LBA/BBA.

EDIT: I noticed you mentioned having a film body. Bring the most beat-up looking one. Make sure it's got a lens mount you are not likely to find anywhere (Regula, Topcon, Exacta, medium-format, or an old Kodak Brownie, that sort of thing). When the lens doesn't fit, say "I'll buy it just because it looks cute ... even if I can't make it work". That $100 50/f1.2 just became $50. And, yes, I do live in a fantasy world but you never know. That's the fun part.


QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
Remind me to never play poker with you!

No, I tried playing once and discovered I'm a really sore loser. I was pretty grumpy when I lost.

Also discovered I'm crap at gambling in general. Do not let me near the racecourse. I will lose all your money because I have a "feeling" about every horse in the arena.

Thanks for the tips about what to do when I go in. Am psyching myself to go back into the Auction house and spotted a few other antiquey places around town that I should probably go and check out.

And yes, I'll remember. "lenses for my OLD camera". Heck I even have a film body lying around somewhere. I should bring it with me as a prop eh? Although I better make sure I know how to use it properly.

Last edited by photocanadian; 10-21-2011 at 04:03 AM.
10-21-2011, 04:00 AM   #29
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Yeah some of the other lenses I've got came with film bodies. So I'm ok on that front. Although I just copped a lot of flak for me being honest about the second hand k100d I scored this afternoon.

"why do you need a second camera??"

"i thought you liked your camera"

"you got the exact same model??"

non photographers... they just don't understand. *rolls eyes*
10-21-2011, 04:05 AM   #30
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Many good suggestions...

May I add?

If you are negotiating face-to-face and you get to a price that seems fair, but you are short on cash in your pocket, ask the seller to hold the item for you for as small a deposit as you can get. Give them the money, head to the local ATM, then promptly return and complete the transaction. If you ask them to hold it without a deposit, the seller has no obligation to save it for you and someone (like me ) might buy it out from under you, before you return.

Or.. If you are struck by a bad case of "Buyer's Remorse" during your journey to the ATM, you can just walk on the deal. The seller will pocket your deposit. Consider the loss "tuition" as you move along learning more and more along the way. Keep in mind, you've probably burned your bridge with this seller, but there will always be another chance from someone else.

My 2 cents...
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