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12-22-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
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Holy Canoli, Batman!!!

A few moments ago I was browsing on ebay. I was pricing a Pentax-M SMC 50mm f1:7 lens. Great lens by the way, I am quite taken with mine. My question is this: I found one listed as Prime lens, with a price tag of $999.00. I was aghast. I thought perhaps this was a gross and apparent error until I noticed that the owner had turned down three offers. What makes this lens so expensive? Is it different in some way than mine? Going by the photos provided, it is exactly like mine.

Thank you.

Tony

12-22-2013, 04:26 PM   #2
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If the seller finds a buyer then he is good. You see that occasionally, either they are hoping for a dumb buyer or they genuinely have no clue. I also think sometimes these are deals for merchandise that is, shall we say less than legal? Make an offer of a specific price and you will get something delivered, but it might not be a lens. Keeps everything 'legal' and above board.
12-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #3
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There's a school of thought that 'sales' like these might be a way of money laundering - getting illegal cash back into the system. They offer something for sale at a rarified price, so high that nobody in their right mind will buy it ( but if someone does, that's a bonus ) but an accomplice will 'buy' it. No money changes hands, but there is now a paper trail for an amount of money. And when the IRS , HMRC here in the UK, ask awkward questions about "where has your money come from?" they have an answer.
12-22-2013, 04:37 PM   #4
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I looked up the listing and the guy's other items for sale. With the exception of some large format Graflex cameras and a Zeiss Contax body, I'd say just about every one of his items are grossly overpriced. Four hundred clams for a Kodak Brownie? Granted, the one I have isn't mint, but it certainly wouldn't get me $20.

I've seen listings like this before, although it's usually an item like New-Old-Stock digital bodies the seller is pricing at original MSRP. My guess is the two offers that got turned down were in the more appropriate range of $40-$50. Maybe the seller thinks that max aperture of f/1.7 is especially unusual. It's the same optical formula as the new DA 50mm 1.8 (as best as I can tell), so it's not unique. That M 50mm is a nice lens, and I'll be selling one like it soon, but the asking price will at least be sane!

12-22-2013, 04:39 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lloydy Quote
There's a school of thought that 'sales' like these might be a way of money laundering - getting illegal cash back into the system. They offer something for sale at a rarified price, so high that nobody in their right mind will buy it ( but if someone does, that's a bonus ) but an accomplice will 'buy' it. No money changes hands, but there is now a paper trail for an amount of money. And when the IRS , HMRC here in the UK, ask awkward questions about "where has your money come from?" they have an answer.
Very interesting. Never heard of that before, but it certainly makes sense!
12-22-2013, 05:42 PM   #6
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Wow Money Laundering through Ebay. I hadn't thought of that before. I guess I won't make snide comments regarding overpriced merchandise. Apparently they have their place
12-22-2013, 06:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Driline Quote
Wow Money Laundering through Ebay. I hadn't thought of that before. I guess I won't make snide comments regarding overpriced merchandise. Apparently they have their place

OOPS. I never thought of that. I was thinking of PT Barnum and one born every minute. Your suggestion is equally valid in this day and age.
12-22-2013, 06:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
What makes this lens so expensive?
A fundamental lack of understanding of the principle of Supply and Demand.

12-22-2013, 06:30 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
A fundamental lack of understanding of the principle of Supply and Demand.
I've got 2 to 1 odds it's money laundering
12-22-2013, 08:41 PM   #10
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Holy Canoli Batman!!

Geeeeez. You can imagine how red my face is now. Sometimes I am overwhelmed by own nievete'. Let's suppose that these sales actually go through and it is money laundering. Wouldn't ebay be considered to be an accomplice? Seems to me that ebay should have some kind of control as to a pricing ceiling that makes sense. A thousand dollars for a used lens, when the average price is approximately $89.99? Well, on the bright side, more of us are now aware of the goings on of these sellers. Buyer beware.

Thanks for reading and for your input.

Happy Holidays.

Tony
12-23-2013, 06:00 AM   #11
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Ha! I just browsed this ebay sellers other items for sale. Most are $999 to $1999 each including a Nikon flash for $999 that most others are selling for $19. Money laundering CONFIRMED!
12-23-2013, 06:23 AM   #12
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Shoot, I thought this was a thread about cannoli's mmmmmm
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