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10-28-2014, 12:28 PM   #1
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Trust issues

I trust pretty much everyone on this forum because of the great interactions I've had from buying my first digital camera to my first rolls of slide film. Now I'm going to draw upon that to ask; How much should I trust eBay sellers? During my lunch break eBay trawl, I came across some film at insane prices. Kodak Portra 400 for 30, 16 months expired and Fuji Pro 400h for 30, 5 years expired. The Fuji scares me more than the Kodak because of age, yet the seller writes that they've both been cold stored since. Can I trust that or should I just pay 1 1/2 pizzas more and get in date film?

10-28-2014, 12:32 PM   #2
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Do you specifically want expired film? Because you can find new film, too. Not as wide a range as back in the film days, and perhaps not all the classics, but you can still find something. Expired film can reach absurd prices because some people fetishize it.
With ebay, my limited experience was good, even buying from China, when shipping literally tool 3 months. Buying from USA, Russia, and Germany was okay, as well. It is important you choose a seller that is reputable, though. Many sales, good feedback, bonus points if they have a real address listed. With expired film it is difficult to know what you will get, but if the seller has a reputation, it should be okay. Hope someone else chips in, I mostly have ebay experience with vintage lenses. Best of luck
10-28-2014, 12:33 PM - 1 Like   #3
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10-28-2014, 12:38 PM   #4
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Ebay has a good feedback system but it only works if you listen to it. Do your research. Few sales, few comments, any red flags at all, just walk away. Stick with sellers with lots of positive feedback and good reputation and you will do fine.

I've bought and sold there for years, only had one really bad experience and looking back it was my fault.
  • Few sales ( 3 I think)
  • No feed back
  • Listing said they were moving
  • Price almost too good to be true (it was)
  • No response from seller to questions
Bought anyway, and regretted it. Learned my lesson.

10-28-2014, 12:53 PM   #5
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I agree with everything that has already been said. I have bought all sorts of things via ebay, I've been using it since it first started back in the dial-up days. Seller feedback is a great tool, you can read it and decide for yourself if it's worth it to you. Even the comments on negative feedback help one understand the issue (a common reason for negative feedback on overseas sellers is slow shipping - everything takes a while from overseas).


Specifically to expired film - how the film was stored, how expired it is, the specific type/brand, and a whole host of other things will change that rolls properties. Remember that regardless of how it was stored, it will be thrown, kicked, heated, cooled, and who knows what else during shipping, which will further change the way that film turns out.


To summarize: Can you trust great deals on ebay? Sure - most of the time.
Will your great deal on expired film produce the results you want? - Maybe, it depends on the film and whether or not you're looking for random results.
10-28-2014, 01:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by chimpwithagun Quote
I agree with everything that has already been said. I have bought all sorts of things via ebay, I've been using it since it first started back in the dial-up days. Seller feedback is a great tool, you can read it and decide for yourself if it's worth it to you. Even the comments on negative feedback help one understand the issue (a common reason for negative feedback on overseas sellers is slow shipping - everything takes a while from overseas).


Specifically to expired film - how the film was stored, how expired it is, the specific type/brand, and a whole host of other things will change that rolls properties. Remember that regardless of how it was stored, it will be thrown, kicked, heated, cooled, and who knows what else during shipping, which will further change the way that film turns out.


To summarize: Can you trust great deals on ebay? Sure - most of the time.
Will your great deal on expired film produce the results you want? - Maybe, it depends on the film and whether or not you're looking for random results.
The seller has good feedback, just none on the last year and none pertaining to film at all. Which is why I'm a bit gunshy. He/she says coldstored but....
10-28-2014, 03:02 PM   #7
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I've sold and purchased on eBay since 2003, and it's all about reading the feedback details. My only concern with specialty items (like cameras, PC components, etc.) is that the person might think something is in mint condition, but it really isn't...because they don't know any better. If this seller took the time to say the film has always been cold stored, then they are either lying bold-faced style, or they're telling the truth, because they know that film lasts longer if it's stored in low temperatures. Good feedback makes me think you're safe. Just pay close attention to their return policy. Expired film is a tricky thing, so I'm sure they aren't guaranteeing much of anything, so again, the good feedback, and how much they have, would be what I would go by.

I bought a Sigma 50mm Macro f/2.8 P/KA mount a couple months ago -- for $60. Seller claimed the lens was in "flawless" condition. I did not see the usual "snappy blades/no haze/no fungus comments. They were an online thrift store, so that told me they probably knew very little about camera equipment. They also used the EX (auto-focus lens) information from Sigma's site in their listing -- so you know they don't know anything at that point. The clincher was that they offered a full refund if the item wasn't in satisfactory condition. I rolled the dice and won. Great lens for super-cheap. Hope it works out for you, as well.
10-28-2014, 03:07 PM   #8
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Can't speak for film, but everything I have bought through ebay has always been exactly as described. (Mostly from Hong Kong sellers)

10-28-2014, 03:13 PM   #9
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Ebay has been trying to be more reputable and less "garage sale". With their current buyer protection policies, they will almost always side with the buyer whether or not there is a legitimate issue if you open a dispute case. That being said, this will not prevent you from receiving junk, however, you will almost always eventually get your money back. There is hassle involved and a few weeks of waiting sometimes, but generally your money's safe.

It sucks if you are a seller and the buyer is less than honest though. You should see how many long time sellers on Ebay are completely up in arms about this.
10-28-2014, 09:58 PM   #10
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I've bought numerous lenses on eBay, and have found the actual comments that people leave in the feedback system to be a much better indicator than their feedback numerical scores. When more than a couple of people leave iffy comments (even when positive feedback) be sure and take heed. Most of the time a seller will be willing to work with any problem items without having to use the buyer protection program. Of the 4 times I've chosen to use the buyer protection program, all were easy,

And to repeat what others have said, it really, really sucks to be an eBay seller with dishonest buyers. They offer the sellers virtually no protection and now force sellers to accept returns after extended periods of time, etc. I no longer sell on eBay when at all possible due to the way the sellers are being treated.
10-28-2014, 11:27 PM   #11
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I too am leery of some of those overseas eBay film sellers.

I try to buy only from US dealers that specialize in film and photo related products,
or from individuals I know and trust from the photo forums I participate in.

Chris
10-30-2014, 02:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
I too am leery of some of those overseas eBay film sellers.

I try to buy only from US dealers that specialize in film and photo related products,
or from individuals I know and trust from the photo forums I participate in.

Chris
What he said!


Steve
11-03-2014, 10:40 PM   #13
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With eBay, the best that you can do is mitigate your risk. If the seller says the item is 'a garage/estate/boot, etc. sale find', 'that they don't know much bout cameras/lenses/film, etc', then I avoid them unless it's cheap and I'm willing to risk losing money.

At least if the item is described poorly eBay almost always sides with buyers over sellers. (The one exception I know of being when an overseas seller bought something and used a shipping front in the U.S. and then left negative feedback for me when it arrived broken -- but was not broken at the U.S. delivery point. eBay was ready to remove the feedback for me until the buyer reversed it to positive.)

I have had good luck buying from eBay. So I tend to trust the sellers, in general.
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