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09-22-2017, 02:49 AM - 1 Like   #1
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It is official (for me) eBay is rubbish for legacy gear now

I have been buying (and selling) for years and have not had too much bother in doing so, until now.

I have to say, within the last 6 months, I have noticed a very sharp rise in 'not as described' selling going on. I have just received two parcels today, the first had a rear element with a deep gouge in the rear element (described as dirt or dust marks) and the second with a massive ding on the prism cover (well packed - cannot understand how this could have happened).

Worse still, eBay is not acting with consistency or care for buyers. I have had a number of declined return cases despite clear violations in item descriptions.

So, I am juts saying, beware on eBay - really going downhill at least for Pentax legacy gear.

09-22-2017, 05:07 AM   #2
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Same issue. Bought a K28/3.5 that was "excellent" that had clear signs of ham-fisted repair and wouldn't focus to infinity.
09-22-2017, 05:10 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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PF Marketplace. Nuff said
09-22-2017, 05:29 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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Lately, I too have been stung more than ever buying legacy equipment (especially lenses) on Ebay. Now it's even happening with sellers who have perfect feedback (even sellers in Japan!). Sellers in Russia, Ukrane and that area I'm finding are especially prone to doing this.

Their trick goes like this... In the Ebay ad, they don't describe the damage/defect or show it in the photos. They send the buyer the product, hoping they either don't notice the damage/defect, or accept it because it's not worth the trouble of returning. In the rare case when the buyer contacts the seller and complains, they offer a full refund which they figure should make most buyers happy enough that they won't leave negative feedback. The seller then cries "foul" when they receive the negative feedback that they deserve.

Here's a tip... Before I make an offer on a lens on Ebay, I send a message to the buyer asking them to confirm the condition of every characteristic of the lens that is of "critical" importance to me. I don't care much about how the lens looks, so I will not ask questions on that. However, something really important to me like haze I will specifically ask them to re-inspect the lens and tell me if there is any sign of the slightest bit of haze. Then if the lens arrives with haze in it, I have a clear statement from the seller that there's no haze in it - which helps when pressing a claim against the seller.

09-22-2017, 05:55 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I think the best solution is to buy from sellers with a reputation beyond ebay, like DCShooter or KEH.

That said, eBay still tends to be more reliable than say, Goodwill auctions.
09-22-2017, 06:26 AM   #6
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Items I automatically don't consider are those where no description is provided, those with stock photos only, those "sold as is", and those where the seller says something like, " I am not a photographer and have no way to test the ........".
09-22-2017, 06:43 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jlstrawman Quote
Items I automatically don't consider are those where no description is provided, those with stock photos only, those "sold as is", and those where the seller says something like, " I am not a photographer and have no way to test the ........".
Stock photos are an obvious immediate disqualification, but I have often been pleasantly surprised by listings with deficient information.

Pictures are always very important.
09-22-2017, 06:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by timw4mail Quote
but I have often been pleasantly surprised by listings with deficient information.
Me too - picked up an 18-35 lens some time ago, clearly visible in the photos but not mentioned, along with other gear - and sold what I didn't want to a dealer for more that the original cost of the lot ! Don't always get that lucky, though, but so far I have had no issues that were not sorted out promptly, courteously and efficiently.

09-22-2017, 07:03 AM   #9
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I've had it swing both ways. The worst was a 25mm Switar that the U.S. seller described as having an iris that was frozen, when I got it there was no iris at all! I bought a Pentax 110 kit very cheaply that only had a bad cellphone photo in the listing; it was fine. I've had good luck with Japanese sellers, usually the item is better than listed. I never go above $100 for any item, don't gamble more than you can afford to lose..
09-22-2017, 07:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fenwoodian Quote
Here's a tip... Before I make an offer on a lens on Ebay, I send a message to the buyer asking them to confirm the condition of every characteristic of the lens that is of "critical" importance to me. I don't care much about how the lens looks, so I will not ask questions on that. However, something really important to me like haze I will specifically ask them to re-inspect the lens and tell me if there is any sign of the slightest bit of haze. Then if the lens arrives with haze in it, I have a clear statement from the seller that there's no haze in it - which helps when pressing a claim against the seller.
This is exactly what I do - regardless of the description, I send a note to confirm no fungus/haze/separation/scratches/etc. - spell it all out in fine detail. I had a really fun exchange with the seller of my CZJ Biotar I picked up of eBay from this type of questioning. He described it as excellent, which the lens is (did buy it), but in the process of making the deal - had a "make offer", I queried why it looked like it had these 3 or 4 scratches across the front element. I got a quick reply back saying it had none, but he was rechecking because it made no sense, but yes, he saw what I was looking at in the pictures once I raised the question. Shortly after I get another reply, and it turned out to be the reflection of Venetian blinds in his room! So, all worked out well, and I got a very nice copy. On the flip side, from another seller I picked up an M100/4, I asked all my questions point blank, was assured it was "great", and when I got it, total haze in the front elements - think it's separation that I've read about on these lenses. That seller didn't fight me on a refund, and I got to keep the lens. One of these days, I'll take it apart and see what I can do with it. For the moment, it works as a neat paper weight on my desk.
09-22-2017, 08:15 AM   #11
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My worst things that ever happened on ebay were two cases when the item was never sent to me, but in the second case the seller died the day I purchased it. Both cases ebay resolved in my favor. The only places I've ever contacted about a condition issue not identified in (or seeming to contradict) the ad, have offered to have me return for full refund or keep the item and get a partial refund. The last of those was earlier this year. I am also protected by being a cheapskate. If I spend over $35 (including shipping) its a pretty rare (only a few times per year) ebay purchase for me. So if I do get burned, the effect is much more limited than for some people. I shouldn't forget to also say that in the past year I've benefited from buying a couple of lenses listed as "for parts" that actually worked or that were in much better condition than the ads suggested.
09-22-2017, 08:28 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
My worst things that ever happened on ebay were two cases when the item was never sent to me, but in the second case the seller died the day I purchased it. Both cases ebay resolved in my favor. The only places I've ever contacted about a condition issue not identified in (or seeming to contradict) the ad, have offered to have me return for full refund or keep the item and get a partial refund. The last of those was earlier this year. I am also protected by being a cheapskate. If I spend over $35 (including shipping) its a pretty rare (only a few times per year) ebay purchase for me. So if I do get burned, the effect is much more limited than for some people. I shouldn't forget to also say that in the past year I've benefited from buying a couple of lenses listed as "for parts" that actually worked or that were in much better condition than the ads suggested.
I got a rough Tessar copy that way, which turned out to work pretty well after simple disassembly and re-lube. Sometimes its just the seller not wanting to miss problems.
09-22-2017, 02:06 PM   #13
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Also beware of out-of-focus photos. I have a suspicion they're sometimes done intentionally to hide defects.
09-22-2017, 02:09 PM   #14
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About a month ago I saw an ad for a Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 in K mount on a local ad website. From the pictures it seemed to be the mark one version without optical stabilization. The price was pretty good at about $250. The seller was not too far away but I had quite lot of things going on and I couldn't make the trip right away. I called the guy and we set up an appoint for a few days later. Before the appointment I got a message from him that he had another look at the lens. It was badly scratched and he was withdrawing the sale. Me thinks somebody turned up on his doorstep with cash, he did a deal and now he was just spinning me a yarn. That will teach me to be more eager next time.

Last week I saw an ad for a Pentax 10-17mm fisheye zoom on a local auction website. The price was really low. It was late at night and the listing had just been placed. Thinking that it was a used item and that the seller was pricing it for a quick sale, I clicked on buy now. I even made the payment right away even though the terms and conditions gave me 24 hours. The next day I received a call from the seller. He was very sorry but there was a terrible mistake and the price was wrong. The listing was actually for a brand new item that he has to order from his overseas supplier. He could offer the lens to me at the correct price or do a refund. I took the latter. That will teach me to not to be so eager next time.

At least no money was lost in either of these cases....
09-22-2017, 02:20 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by E-man Quote
Also beware of out-of-focus photos. I have a suspicion they're sometimes done intentionally to hide defects
How truly cynical.

And cynically true !
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