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06-21-2009, 06:40 AM   #1
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Saddest LBA story I've read in ages

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Some people are just scum, I'm embarrassed that it was someone from Canada that ripped this guy off. The story goes that two years ago he ebayed an A*400mm f/2.8 for close to $4000, only to have the buyer return it with only the front element intact. Paypal sided with the buyer - natch - and refunded the money, so the seller's left with no money and an incomplete lens. I guess it's a cautionary tale to remind us to keep our guard up. But what the hell was this guy supposed to do? In particular, I like the part about how the package returned to him was 7 lbs. lighter than when he shipped it. Damn.

06-21-2009, 06:43 AM   #2
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Damn that is a sad story - here's hoping karma will give the bast#@d his just rewards ....
06-21-2009, 08:19 AM   #3
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That's unreal. Wow.

06-21-2009, 08:29 AM   #4
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This isn't an LBA story, is it? It's an eBay story - or more generally a story about the risks of selling over the Internet.

I've sold a number of lenses through eBay and through the user exchange forum here. My experience has been 90% positive. I did have one buyer who paid me via PayPal, and then canceled the payment after I shipped. Everything turned out okay there, though. The buyer at first thought the lens would work with his camera, then began to worry that it wouldn't, but then he realized that he would, and he got the lens and I got paid. But it was a close call and makes me a little nervous about eBay. I didn't realize it was even possible for the seller to take back a payment after making it.

I always take fresh photos of the lenses I'm selling and I'm very candid about any blemishes etc. I sold a good lens that had a noticeable scratch on the hood: I went to some trouble to take a photo of the hood that made the scratch obvious. And I take a fresh photo with the lens to show that it's working. And finally, I insure the lens when I send it to the buyer. None of this completely eliminates the possibility of misunderstanding. On ebay, you can look at the rep of the seller or buyer and that may be helpful.

Or you can just deal with As a seller, you probably get a little less from, naturally, and I've not yet sold to them. But I've bought with them and they're completely honest and easy to deal with.


06-21-2009, 10:05 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
This isn't an LBA story, is it? It's an eBay story - or more generally a story about the risks of selling over the Internet.
It's an LBA story only insomuch as that it involves the buying of a lens. But since LBA often involves purchases via the internet over great distances it's a good reminder that bad things can and do happen, either accidentally or intentionally. And I suppose the more active your LBA the greater likelihood that something bad might happen. I suppose "saddest eBay story" might have been a more accurate headline, but it probably isn't the saddest eBay story I've heard, but rather the saddest one involving a lens purchase. And I suppose what makes it the saddest for me isn't that somebody scammed somebody else out of some money, but the notion that here's a guy who had a great (and fairly scarce) lens, and somebody else ruined it for him.

I'd rather buy from here on the forum, it's generally a more close-knit community. I know that things still can go wrong, but there are members here whose good words regarding a vendor mean more than all the eBay feedback in the world.
06-21-2009, 10:34 AM   #6
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some scums do cancel their payments after shipment is made. there are scums from both sides, sellers and buyers. problem with paypal is that they dont give a manure.

btw, it seems that that scum stole all the essential elements. what a lowlife. hope he gets sued by others for what he is doing.

Last edited by Pentaxor; 06-21-2009 at 10:40 AM.
06-21-2009, 10:51 AM   #7
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I think I've done my last ebay/Paypal transaction. I prefer Craigslist locally if I can. The sales forum here is also good, as long as it's someone that's been around a bit.
06-21-2009, 10:59 AM   #8
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Gah the nerve! I really duno whatelse to say. If this doesn't go through, you can try asking Pentax or google up some lens specs and maybe take it to a optician to try to make the elements again.

06-21-2009, 11:00 AM   #9
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I took further research about the matter. now, I don't know how the seller shipped the item. but it's either the buyer stole the missing elements or somebody did during it's transport. I checked on the buyer's profile and he seems to get a lot of positive feedback as well. but still I don't dismiss the possibility that the buyer also has a dark side. what a horrendous LBA story.
06-21-2009, 11:42 AM   #10
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Thats just immeasurably low, any way you look at it.
06-21-2009, 12:53 PM   #11
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That is QUITE scary. I feel bad for the seller though... >.<
06-21-2009, 01:53 PM   #12
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LBA turned into a nasty scam...
What a waste of an awesome lens.
06-21-2009, 02:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by G_Money Quote
only to have the buyer return it with only the front element intact
The cost of a airline ticket from Denver to somewhere in Canada plus a couple of taxi fares would be what?

For the loss of more or less $4000 wouldn't you pay the money to go and bang on the guy's door and ask for the lenses back? Or even to go to the local police station and file a complaint. (With an international sale, what would he expect his local police to do?) My guess is that with such an audacious scam the police in Canada would know the guy and would say "what's he done now?" and would be happy to help out. If the address turns out to be a holding address, then the seller would have a case against the shipper (who were supposed to deliver it to the consignee).

So basically, I wonder if the story is really true? The seller did not do what I would have done faced with being scammed out of $4000.
06-21-2009, 03:08 PM   #14
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I read a user report recently (cannot find it at the moment) of a guy who had a large lens like this (not sure if it was the same model) that had a cracked or missing front element. He managed to find a display lens that had only the front element, and was able to switch it out or install the other elements from his original copy and make a whole, fully working lens for much less than current market value.

It was an amazing story. I found it interesting that Pentax makes lenses with only front elements for display purposes. It makes sense, I guess -- considering how expensive some of the large primes are, but still the fact that he got his hands on one and did all the work himself was pretty cool.

I may have some of the details mixed up, as this is all from memory. Does it sound familiar to anyone?

Makes me wonder if the seller had one of these display lenses. Of course I have no reason to doubt him, but knowing that lenses do exist in the form he has at least offers the possibility that no foul play ever occurred.

06-21-2009, 04:03 PM   #15
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I suppose the followup to this would be how expensive an item would you buy or sell without some kind of buyer examination or pick up? I often wonder when I see cars that sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars going on eBay. I'm assuming that a seller wouldn't want Paypal fees on a transaction that large. Don't they have some kind of escrow for things like that?

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