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08-09-2012, 09:27 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Pentax lens prices coming down again at retail...but not the marketplace?

Recently, I have noted that several Pentax lenses have been reduced in cost to reflect the prices that were in place prior to the 'big gouge' pricing experiment. These lenses include the Pentax DA* 50-135 (which can now be had for $899) and the 60-250 (for $1249). These are B&H prices, a reputable seller offering brand new products with full warranty and exchange privileges.

These lower prices were welcome to my eyes. However, the same eyes were also scanning the pentax forum marketplace and they noted something not so welcome.

During my searches, I noted two used lenses that were for sale at prices that seemed to reflect the idea that the 'big gouge' pricing was still in place. I PM'd the seller of a DA* lens and mentioned that he might get more action on his lens if he sold his used product for a lower price than the B&H new product. It was a brief diplomatic note and the seller thanked me and told me he wasn't aware of the B&H pricing. Thereafter, he posted the lens at a lower, more realistic price that reflected the used status. His response denotes a healthy marketplace and someone who is selling in good faith.

I PM'd the second 60-250 owner with the same message. His response was that I should buy the new lens at that price ($1250 for new vs. his price of $1200). The reply didn't seem so thankful of my information.

Herein lies the problem as I see it.

This is a forum site for users, and in the spirit of the internet it serves as a communication channel for a small group of camera enthusiasts. However, the forum rules seem to preclude the idea that informed users could post a message on a sales offer that would communicate this information about a used lens cost being rather ridiculous. However, in reading sales listings, it seems that enthusiastic messages about the 'bargain' nature of the lens are welcomed (despite also seemingly being against the rules).

So, is this a forum in which users leverage knowledge and forum rules to benefit established users over newcomers? It's not hard to see a scenario in which a new Pentax user sees the story of the price increases, then buys some used equipment that seems well priced relative to the recent price hike. A bit later, he/she discovers that they have bought the used equipment at an unjustified premium. The result would not be a happy new (or experienced) Pentax forum participant.

So...I'm wondering about the forum rules that prohibit 'table' talk which might disparage a price or piece of equipment. Is there a sound reason for this, other than to seemingly protect sellers?

IMO, a free exchange of information will only make the marketplace a better place to browse, be educated, and buy.

08-09-2012, 09:40 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by dmytty Quote
So...I'm wondering about the forum rules that prohibit 'table' talk which might disparage a price or piece of equipment. Is there a sound reason for this, other than to seemingly protect sellers?
IMO, a free exchange of information will only make the marketplace a better place to browse, be educated, and buy.
+1

I agree 100% that "free exchange of information" should be allowed directly in the threads.
08-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #3
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There is plenty of information available to a prospective buyer so they can make a decision about whether to buy a listed item or not.

The 'no commenting' rules are in place to protect a seller from unfair attacks.

If someone prices an item too high it is a self correcting situation and I don't see the point of trying to convince them otherwise.
08-09-2012, 10:09 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Yeah, stuff that is too high doesn't sell. (Stuff that is priced fairly or even low often doesn't sell either -- I see stuff in the sitting in the marketplace for long periods at lower prices than the same item goes for on ebay regularly.)

But just PM them and offer them less. They can take it or leave it. The interaction in the first post is nothing to get upset about -- it is exactly as it should be. No one needs to change their price just because someone else tells them so, but maybe they will if they really want to move it. Otherwise, just don't buy it. Instead we get sales threads full of nasty notes about how the seller is trying to gouge? No thanks.

08-09-2012, 10:19 PM   #5
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I'm quite a beleiver in a free market, so while I understand the concern about used pricing being abnormally high, I do tend to beleive that a seller should be free to advertise a product for sale at whatever price they so wish.


A lot of the time there is also the value to the seller to consider. Perhaps the seller isn't that concerned if the item doesn't sell. Maybe they look at it as "I still use it sometimes, so I'm only willing to sell it if the price is worth my while"



I tend to agree that there should NOT be discussions regarding price in the threads, by all means, use the PM system and have private discussions regarding price, but in my opinion it is up to the seller to deal with pricing (even if it means they take 5 years to sell the item)


If a seller wishes to advertise a Pentax-A 50mmF2 for $5,000, let them.
If it doesn't sell, it's pretty obvious why, if it does, good for the seller! (and the buyer can't be that mad since they were willing to pay that in the first place)
08-09-2012, 10:27 PM   #6
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I think that his main point is that current price f new ones at B&H should be mentioned on the thread. I think that the title of the sale thread should be selected from a list of products and its current price and product review should appear in the thread automatically.
08-09-2012, 10:30 PM   #7
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The only time I get annoyed is when there is an obvious con job going on where something is being represented as something it is not -- "this is RARE!" (when in ain't), etc. I see that on ebay, but not here.

I have had people (via PM) try to bully me to lower a price on an item even when it was a perfectly fair price (that I sold it for to someone else shortly afterward) a couple of times on this forum, so don't think for a minute if the threads were open to all comments it would be restricted to only buyers with pure motives who somehow are the only true arbiter of the proper price.
08-09-2012, 10:38 PM   #8
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+1 on new/used fair price appearing in seller's posting, like the price/time graph on user reviews.

08-09-2012, 10:51 PM   #9
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There seems to be a theme in the rules (and some comments here) along the lines of 'we're all big boys and girls, so let the buyer beware'. However, couldn't this same logic be applied to sellers? Aren't they big boys and girls that don't need to be protected in particular fashion?

My larger point is that the Pentax forum is a community that attempts to offer the enthusiastic and the curious a fair, balanced, commercially-undistorted view of Pentax and 3rd party products. With the format of lens reviews being very much that of actual users, there is an assumption of trust. In reading most of the information on this website, one can let down the 'marketing hype' guard. It's refreshing.

However, in the midst of this trusting community, there can also be opportunism on the part of parties that might not operate in good faith. I emphasize 'might'. I responded to what I saw as an unfair arbitrage opportunity presented by the lack of disclosure of the Pentax price rollback. 1 seller responded in very good faith. 1 seller (who noted that he sells a lot of ebay but wasn't well established here) did not take well to a mild and friendly reminder via PM.

Given that the Pentax forums made big news about the initial price increase, isn't there a mutual responsibility to spread the word that the prices are rolling back?

I have 2 other points:

1. Information wants to be free, but most websites usually cage it up in some way - usually simply due to the volume of info. I have a web design and coding background, so I look at the marketplace as a fairly disorganized system. However, the sheer scale of the legacy lenses probably means that it would be quite difficult to hyperlink all the different bits of information. As such, while the information is usually present somewhere, quite often it's difficult to find. Difficult ultimately makes the marketplace less successful - for both buyer and seller. Free and informed discussion tames difficult subjects - and pricing is probably the most difficult of any subjects.

2. Lens reviews quite often have comments in which lens owners comment on the value of the lens. In fact, 'value' is a widely used metric in lens reviews. For new equipment, this is understood to be relative to the MSRP. For used equipment, lens owners talk freely about a price or price range that they feel is 'fair' for the product. For a new Pentax user, this information is something I always look for and carefully consider. Why does this rule change for the commercial presentation of a product?

In summary, shouldn't the marketplace rely on the 'collective wisdom' of the forum just as all other areas of the site invite civil, informed discussion?
08-09-2012, 10:52 PM   #10
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Deep hyperlinking...very good idea.

QuoteOriginally posted by momotazur Quote
I think that his main point is that current price f new ones at B&H should be mentioned on the thread. I think that the title of the sale thread should be selected from a list of products and its current price and product review should appear in the thread automatically.
This I like! The same system would also tie in the lens reviews.
08-09-2012, 11:08 PM   #11
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If I go to buy a used lens and don't do my research via eBay/PF's lens database/B&H, etc its not the sellers fault if I screw myself.

If I go and buy my groceries at one store only to find that the place next door was selling the same stuff for 20% cheaper, the only one I have to blame for shopping at the wrong store is me.
08-10-2012, 12:04 AM   #12
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sounds like you may be proposing something akin to a unilateral pricing policy to keep used sellers from deviating too far from some established "norm"?

responding to the OP's point, price isnt the only reason someone buys, and I have in the past paid more for a lens knowing there was a less expensive one for sale, when i preferred the location, seller rating, condition, payment terms, etc...

I say let the sellers ask any price they choose...if it is out of line, it won't sell. done.
08-10-2012, 12:22 AM   #13
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Just because B&H lists an item at a price doesn't mean that price is valid everywhere on the planet. In Australia that lens is A$1599 (more if you convert to US$). We have to pay 10% GST and a 4% import tariff for items over A$1000 so I would expect a good quality used DA*50-135 to sell for at least a grand here. With Pentax messing around with prices of late I wouldn't blame people for listing on the high side as the prices may well jump back up next week at B&H.
08-10-2012, 12:25 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I say let the sellers ask any price they choose...if it is out of line, it won't sell. done.

Exactly.

If the item is advertised correctly (ie: not with some fake "rare" tag attached) what harm does it do to have the price much too high?

The buyer is not being coerced into buying the lens at any price.
08-10-2012, 12:25 AM   #15
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Any buyers should be responsible for whatever they have purchased. If a certain item was price way out of range (maybe because it was virtually new and discontinued), should the price be attacked so it would be sold based on the average price? Who are you or anyone to police? If somebody offered you 2M for your house, but your neighbor tried to talk the buyer down to 1.5M. Would you be pissed? If somebody is selling counterfeit product, I can see the problem. But we are talking market prices here, and the 3rd party has no business in it. Just get laid if you are bored.
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