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06-18-2015, 01:54 PM   #1
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Inexpensive lens hoods and lens caps

Over the years I have picked up cheap used lenses for my Pentax cameras. Most are vintage lenses that do not usually come with a hood. I have started to buy hoods off the Internet, and was shocked at how cheap they are, unless bought from the lens manufacturer. In May, 2015, I ordered two lens hoods with 49 mm threads, paying with PayPal. They come with snap-on 55 mm caps for the hoods. They were to be shipped free from China and I was a little concerned about the quality even though they looked fine on photos on the website. The total cost was $8.78 (other selections were cheaper but I decided to splurge). They arrived in about 10 days. The hoods were black metal and very finely finished. In fact, I don't think the quality could have been better. What a great bargain. I was so pleased with the purchase that I just ordered two snap-on 52 mm lens caps. Again there is free shipping from China and the total cost for the two is $1.98. Unbelievable.

What profit could the retailers make at such a low price? They must be losing money. Why do they bother? Any thoughts?

06-18-2015, 03:14 PM   #2
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Maybe a very good (cheap and fast) way to built up a good feedback rating.
Particularly on Fleabay

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06-18-2015, 03:29 PM   #3
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Many items ship from China with 'free' postage. My hunch is that the seller isn't paying for postage, the Chinese government is as a means of boosting exports.
06-18-2015, 04:30 PM   #4
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You can always make your own lens hood on the cheap. Google is your friend:
Free printable cardboard lens hoods
Quick and Easy Lens Hood for DSLR
Make Your Own Printable Lens Hood

06-18-2015, 04:32 PM   #5
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I live in China, and postage here is amazingly cheap. A friend who moved to Holland paid sixty dollars for each massive box of household items that she sent to Amsterdam, for example. My wife, who is Chinese, complains bitterly about spending five dollars on the courier service for valuable items crossing distances wider than the USA...

The only problem with the basic postal service here is the lack of accountability - in 2008, my special edition PSP probably disappeared somewhere between my University's security guard and my mailbox, and I sometimes get mail about my pension handed to me having obviously been opened and perused. More than once a security guard has said "I had a letter for you here somewhere but it seems to have disappeared"
06-18-2015, 04:41 PM   #6
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old stock. Last year I needed 2 M42 backs, it was cheaper to get 10 than 2. This year not so much.
06-18-2015, 05:15 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bagga_Txips Quote
I live in China, and postage here is amazingly cheap. A friend who moved to Holland paid sixty dollars for each massive box of household items that she sent to Amsterdam, for example. My wife, who is Chinese, complains bitterly about spending five dollars on the courier service for valuable items crossing distances wider than the USA...

The only problem with the basic postal service here is the lack of accountability - in 2008, my special edition PSP probably disappeared somewhere between my University's security guard and my mailbox, and I sometimes get mail about my pension handed to me having obviously been opened and perused. More than once a security guard has said "I had a letter for you here somewhere but it seems to have disappeared"

Yes, I think mailing stuff in China must be quite cheap but, remember, that once the package reaches the destination country it still takes a lot of effort to get it to your doorstep. Even if all countries agree to provide free passage across their land why can a person get goods for essentially nothing.? Are the Chinese donating stuff to foreign buyers to open trade route, or is there something more sinister?

---------- Post added 06-18-15 at 08:20 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Liz_in_Calgary Quote
old stock. Last year I needed 2 M42 backs, it was cheaper to get 10 than 2. This year not so much.
Maybe it is old stock but it doesn't degrade like cornflakes. It can stay on a shelf for years and still be "brand new". My advice is to buy your $1 lens caps now and stockpile them. I have a feeling that in the next year or so the price will skyrocket to $2 and you'll all be sorry.

---------- Post added 06-18-15 at 08:31 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Wingincamera Quote
You can always make your own lens hood on the cheap. Google is your friend:
Free printable cardboard lens hoods
Quick and Easy Lens Hood for DSLR
Make Your Own Printable Lens Hood
Making your own lens hood was a labor of love for you, and I'm sure you're proud of your accomplishment. It must have taken a couple of hours to make it. When you consider your own labor it must have cost you about $100 to make the hood So you're now the proud owner of a unique $100 hood. Not many people can say that.
06-18-2015, 06:21 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by P. Soo Quote
So you're now the proud owner of a unique $100 hood. Not many people can say that.
You obviously haven't looked at the replacement cost of the OEM lens hoods.

I came on here hoping there'd be a link to a third party replacement for my 16-50. It's about $65 now, but I think that's gone down since the first time I looked.

06-18-2015, 09:08 PM   #9
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I often wonder if ridiculously cheap prices and free postage are part of a phishing technique. You'll get your bargain but having provided c/c details sometime down the track you'll really pay for it.
06-19-2015, 02:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canuck_west Quote
Many items ship from China with 'free' postage. My hunch is that the seller isn't paying for postage, the Chinese government is as a means of boosting exports.
I'm guessing you're right on this, CW.

Very aggressive (and command ecomomy) approach to 'free markets'.
06-19-2015, 04:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
I often wonder if ridiculously cheap prices and free postage are part of a phishing technique. You'll get your bargain but having provided c/c details sometime down the track you'll really pay for it.
In the back of my mind I do worry about a possible attack via my PayPal payment which is connected to my US bank account. However, the labels on the packet show both China Post and US Postal Service logos so I hope this gives some assurance of safety. The full address of the seller in China is given, and a custom declaration form is also attached. I hope that the dirt cheap cost for the lens hoods and free postage are just a way to sell thousands of these accessories in order to keep factory workers employed and off the streets.
06-19-2015, 06:22 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
I often wonder if ridiculously cheap prices and free postage are part of a phishing technique. You'll get your bargain but having provided c/c details sometime down the track you'll really pay for it.

PayPal doesn't provide your cc details to anyone. They can't even modify the amount you're billed in either direction (though they can issue partial refunds).

Labor is cheap in China. Population density is high. There's a lot of mail traveling around. Hence, their postal system is by U.S. and euro standards, cheap.

6 months ago I'd have said it was reliable, but I've had 3 watches from eBay never arrive now (original order from January and 2 replacement orders)... But there, I think they just put an incorrect address in.
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