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09-17-2014, 01:23 PM   #1
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Pentaxforums.com: a community?

Maybe today i'm in a bad mood, or maybe i'm just naive, and i should go with the flow.
Whatever, at the risk of being unpopular i'm going to throw the stone in the pool.
Is pentaxforums.com still a community (If it has ever been like that)? Or just a marketplace for greedy individuals who sell their stuff at inflated price at a fee (read voluntary contribution)?
Why on earth every time i give a look at the marketplace section i feel that there is something wrong?
Why most of the requested prices are higher than the average Ebay auction?
If it's really a community i'd expect to find slightly better prices than on Ebay auctions, or at least at the same level.
I am very, very sorry to say that in at least 80% of the sales that's simply not the case.
What's really weird is that many times the item gets sold... probably to unwary newcomers (that's my best guess), or to individuals who think that they have to trust somebody part of the same community, better than an unknown Ebay seller.
I think i have almost 300 objectives at home, so i'm not the kind of person who sells... i usually buy but i would never sell a lens to a Pentax amateur photographer, or to a fresh enthusiast of the brand, at a price higher than the average Ebay adjudication price. Probably i'd sell for less, cause i'd like to see my beloved lenses in the hands of somebody who will make good use of them, no matter if he's student//young/not affluent.
I guess i must come to term with it, the very concept of community of people moved by a common interest is old fashioned, naive and the marketplace is the most unlikely place to look for it
Not saying that this spirit is dead, i found some very helpful and very gentle fellows on this forum, just saying that the marketplace is a totally different story... and that this forum as a whole suffers from the same kind of degeneration (albeit to a lesser extent).
Must be said that i'm a lens junkie, i am posting on this sub forum cause i don't care about camera bodies (i perceive them as lifeless tools, sorry for my tweaked brain ), i'm after non-mainstream lenses, mostly vintage, so my observations are probably partial and inaccurate. Frankly, i don't think so, but i recognize that my point of view is quite... traversal, and that it could well be that i'm not getting the whole picture.
That's why i'm asking your opinion

cheers

Paolo

09-17-2014, 01:35 PM   #2
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Wow, that sounds sad.
I am new to the forum. I lurked for a while before joining.
Even though I am new, I have read hundreds of threads and find pentax Forums to be friendly, positive, and very helpful. Perhaps my positive feeling is due to my thinking of the forum as mostly a community, and not a place to buy/sell. I am a newbie, but I hope your experiences here get better.
09-17-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
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To add a very useful comment:

*grabs popcorn*
09-17-2014, 01:42 PM   #4
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Well, you do have a point. Some of the sellers on The Marketplace are selling their stuff a bit higher than Ebay, but it doesn't sell very quickly because most of us are smarter savvy consumers who know better. I've sold two lenses recently on The Marketplace, but I sold both even less than what Ebay was commanding because I didn't want to hang onto them for weeks on end. So do your homework and only buy at a price you're comfortable with. An example, I was selling a DA 21 for $349 about $100 less than some others were trying to get for their lens. Mine had even been sent to CRIS for repair and calibration so technically it was a better lens, but again, I wanted to sell it quickly and I did.

09-17-2014, 01:53 PM   #5
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yep, i find also there is a difference with the dutch forum e.g. where equipment is sold between members at "soft" prices.
Otherwise it is a great forum ofcourse. :-)
09-17-2014, 01:54 PM   #6
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I think a lot of negotiation goes on, so the prices you see are often not the selling prices.

I would consider the marketplace more of a resource than a community, which is defined by the photo sharing and gear discussion sections. With that said, there's a lot more to buying gear than price alone. On our marketplace you'll see a wider range of pentax products and most likely more precise descriptions since Pentax users, not dealers, sell directly there.
09-17-2014, 01:57 PM   #7
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I have brought a number of lenses off the marketplace and I have been happy with the transactions for the following reasons:

The sellers have been from fellow Pentax enthusiasts, and people in that category generally look after their gear well - that has been my experience in any case.
I can check their forum feedback, and posts and decide whether I want to do business with them.
Although I may have paid a little more in some cases that eBay I have had quality experiences - living in NZ and shipping from the US it is important how the lens is packed, and shipped and all of that sort of detail. It is a risk, but so far I have been ok. eBay is a much bigger risk from my perspective.
It is a free market - no one is forcing me to purchase off it, or to pay any particular price. I can check against eBay or KEH prices and make my own decision. There are people who are unrealistic about the value of their gear, but that goes for eBay as well of course. The fact is, any buyer can adequately inform themselves and make their own decisions.

Overall I have found Pentax Forum to be a very friendly and supportive place, with lots of good and helpful discussions on various aspects of Pentax lenses, bodies, technique and gear. So I am a happy member of the Forum, and a user of the Marketplace on occasion
09-17-2014, 02:00 PM   #8
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IMO marketplace prices are comparable to EBay. The PF marketplace is more like "buy it now" than it is like an auction. Open auction prices can start lower but go higher as more people bid, and often end up more expensive than the same lens in the marketplace.

Prices on different sites tend to equalize over time. If the PF marketplace consistently sells for much more than EBay, some people will buy all the EBay stuff to sell on the marketplace, leading to price adjustments as supply-demand changes.

09-17-2014, 02:05 PM   #9
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Actually I would expect PF prices to be slightly HIGHER than ebay prices.

1 - You can be pretty sure that you are getting actual Pentax gear and not someone putting every lens mount possible in the listing. I can't tell you how many times I have seen listings for Canon, Nikon Oly and Sony lenses show up in a custom search for Pentax lenses. I have written to sellers of Tamron and Sigma lenses and asked "are you sure that is Pentax mount" only to find out that no, it is not.

2 - Im willing to bet that the average PF seller has taken a bit more care with their gear than the average ebay seller. Not to many "I found this bag of stuff in my attic" type listings here. And if it is someone active on PF its unlikely they will describe its condition falsely.

3 - Every transaction is inherently fair. Just because YOU would not pay that price for the item doesnt mean someone else thinks its an unfair price. As long as the seller is disclosing every relevant fact, there is no possible way for the price to be unfair. Just because something is sold cheaper somewhere else does not make one price unfair. And given the EXTENSIVE pricing information available to ALL of us at no cost at all, it is really not possible for someone ask an unfair price unless the buyer is under some kind of external influence.
09-17-2014, 02:33 PM   #10
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For me The Marketplace and The Forum they're barely related. I gave up on trying to sell anything because as long as I've been here it was just an exercise in futility. I got tired of talking to a metaphorical brick wall and decided I was just going to forget it, enjoy The Forum, and sell anything I wanted to sell elsewhere. The Market is not The Forum. It's only a very small part of the Community, and for the record there are some very generous people here who have literally given away expensive gear they don't need or sold it for a pittance so that says a lot about the caliber of the people here I think.

Yeah, there are a lot of people seemingly making a business out of reselling it seems and people do start out asking higher prices than on Ebay sometimes. But I think that's more about having haggle room than actually expecting to get what they asked for it at first, at least in most cases. Prices will drop a lot so I just think people try to compensate a bit for that, aim high at first. Don't make the mistake though of equating Market haggling with Community. That's totally wrong headed and really not very representative of this place as a whole.
09-17-2014, 02:35 PM   #11
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Given a choice between fleabay ratings and marketplace ratings I'm willing to pay a small bit extra in the marketplace.

Here, at least, we know Pentax products intimately.

QuoteOriginally posted by ksuwildkat Quote
And if it is someone active on PF its unlikely they will describe its condition falsely.
Concur.
09-17-2014, 02:38 PM   #12
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There's a marketplace?
09-17-2014, 02:42 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
I think i have almost 300 objectives at home, so i'm not the kind of person who sells... i usually buy but i would never sell a lens to a Pentax amateur photographer, or to a fresh enthusiast of the brand, at a price higher than the average Ebay adjudication price. Probably i'd sell for less, cause i'd like to see my beloved lenses in the hands of somebody who will make good use of them, no matter if he's student//young/not affluent.I guess i must come to term with it, the very concept of community of people moved by a common interest is old fashioned, naive and the marketplace is the most unlikely place to look for it
Not saying that this spirit is dead, i found some very helpful and very gentle fellows on this forum, just saying that the marketplace is a totally different story... and that this forum as a whole suffers from the same kind of degeneration (albeit to a lesser extent).
Must be said that i'm a lens junkie, i am posting on this sub forum cause i don't care about camera bodies (i perceive them as lifeless tools, sorry for my tweaked brain ), i'm after non-mainstream lenses, mostly vintage, so my observations are probably partial and inaccurate. Frankly, i don't think so, but i recognize that my point of view is quite... traversal, and that it could well be that i'm not getting the whole picture.
That's why i'm asking your opinion

cheers

Paolo
I think the prices are a bit higher here at the Marketplace that's true. You have to bear in mind that most members here at the forum have bought their gear new (selling it for 20-30% loss) and usually take good care of it. Let's consider a scenario: How much is a Sigma 300 Ex Dg f2.8 worth on the used market. You can buy it on Ebay for 1700-2200 perhaps but how do you know if its been probably calibrated when you're not sure how the owner got it in the first place. I bought my Sigma 300 from another forum member, it was expensive sure but had been send at CRISS three times for service, re-chipped and calibrated. It was tack sharp when I got it and that has Value to me.(even the new buyers of the 300mm f2.8 have to go through numerous service calls to get their lenses in optimal shape)
All in all, not all prices are noncompetitive, there's plenty of fair deals to be found, you don't see them because people have already got to them first.
09-17-2014, 02:48 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
Is pentaxforums.com still a community (If it has ever been like that)? Or just a marketplace for greedy individuals who sell their stuff at inflated price at a fee (read voluntary contribution)?
We have roughly 70 forums and subforums; and that's without counting the lens clubs and social groups. Exactly ONE of those forums is dedicated to the sale of photographic equipment. I hardly think that classifies the entire forum as "just a marketplace".
09-17-2014, 03:22 PM   #15
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Fornum

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