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09-11-2018, 07:31 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Some questions regarding buy/sell etiquette

Hi all, trawling through buy/sell forums over the years I've noticed some peculiar behaviour that I can't quite wrap my head around...

- Why do sellers consistently post (often expensive) gear without images? Are they trying to dissuade buyers? We're photographers, we take photos, why not post some of the lens your selling?

- Why do sellers often delete the price once an item has sold? When I'm looking at gear it would be very useful to be able to track previous sales, and I'm not sure how deleting the price benefits anyone...

- 'Shipping - CONUS only' - not really a question, but as a photography enthusiast in the barron used-market wasteland of Australia, do you North Americans have any idea how frustrating it is to find a great deal that won't ship? You know we're happy to pay postage/insurance etc. right? Is it really that hard?

Any thoughts would be welcome.

Happy buying and selling everyone

09-11-2018, 09:24 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by nickthetasmaniac Quote
. . . - 'Shipping - CONUS only' - not really a question, but as a photography enthusiast in the barron used-market wasteland of Australia, do you North Americans have any idea how frustrating it is to find a great deal that won't ship? You know we're happy to pay postage/insurance etc. right? Is it really that hard?
for the uninitiated occasional seller, selling something across borders is confusing, at least for me

much easier to limit where I would ship the item to
09-11-2018, 10:25 PM   #3
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I gain nothing from a photo of a lens in good condition. For a scratch or other defect, yes, I'd like to see a photo. Pictures don't protect against dishonest sellers - someone who fails to disclose a defect in the description can also hide the damage in photos.

For me, I ship within USA only because of shipping complications. Customs procedures are unpredictable and inconsistent. I don't sell enough for it to be worth my while. I would consider buying from other countries because the shipping headache is on the seller.
09-11-2018, 10:52 PM - 4 Likes   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I ship within USA only because of shipping complications. Customs procedures are unpredictable and inconsistent.
It's really not that complicated. You take the package to the post office and purchase the correct amount of postage. There's a simple form to fill out which will take 90 seconds. The clerk sticks the form onto the package and you're on your way.

09-11-2018, 11:47 PM   #5
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I’ve purchased from Canada, Australia and England in the past. I’ve never offered to ship overseas, but had someone ask once, until the cost of shipping was figured into it. It can make a good deal not so good. My issue with shipping out of country is the trip to the post office; I work nights and there can be a delay of several days before I can get to a post office, with in-country I do everything from my home.
09-11-2018, 11:55 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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May I suggest for the more experienced sellers to create a selling guide on the forum? Including some kind of troubleshooting, recommendations, what to expect in different situations, etc. I think it would be very useful for the uninitiated or occasional seller, and could help overcome some of the fears or doubts the seller could have. Including also auction sites. A thorough explanation and recounting of experiences I think would be very, very useful for anyone intending to sell.

09-12-2018, 01:16 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I gain nothing from a photo of a lens in good condition. For a scratch or other defect, yes, I'd like to see a photo.
While I agree with this in principle, the problem is that one person's idea of "good condition" isn't necessarily the same as another's. I've seen listings in our Marketplace for items that were described as "Like New", when the photos clearly showed some quite noticeable cosmetic wear.

It can work the other way too. A few of my rarer Soviet lenses were described very conservatively in the eBay listings as being "fair" or "good" but with wear-and-tear to the body, and/or scratches or coating marks on the lens elements - but the photos looked better than the descriptions, so I took the chance. In all but one instance, I was very pleasantly surprised by the condition.

So, for me, I'm always going to want to see photos of an item before I fork out my hard-earned money...
09-12-2018, 02:31 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
I gain nothing from a photo of a lens in good condition. For a scratch or other defect, yes, I'd like to see a photo. Pictures don't protect against dishonest sellers - someone who fails to disclose a defect in the description can also hide the damage in photos.

For me, I ship within USA only because of shipping complications. Customs procedures are unpredictable and inconsistent. I don't sell enough for it to be worth my while. I would consider buying from other countries because the shipping headache is on the seller.
lol a first world problem

09-12-2018, 02:57 AM   #9
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The CONUS issue is interesting. I've lost a lens that I shipped to India and another one that I sent to Thailand. The Thailand was a nightmare situation. The buyer sent an inquiry about lens whereabouts through ebay at which point PayPal took back the money I got from the guy. Then he said the lens didn't arrive at which point PayPal took money back again. The lens finally arrived a couple of months later and the guy sent me the money for it, but I still lost the cost of the lens... So I'd be very reluctant to send an expensive lens anywhere far...

Oftentimes I see an item listed CONUS only and I ask just in case if they'd ship it to Canada and the answer is often "duh, of course!" which really makes me wonder if when they say CONUS only they mean a place with a reliable postal service (or they consider Canada a part of CONUS )
09-12-2018, 02:59 AM   #10
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I have often wondered about the CONUS shipping thing as well. Why not use a courier like DHL or Fedex? They are not cheap, but the buyer pays their fees. They take care of customs. Very little hassle to the seller, from my point of view. Perhaps there are reasons that I don't know about.

Used Pentax gear in Africa is not easy to come by. There is fleabay but few sellers offer courier services and the local post office is a bit dodgy.
09-12-2018, 03:17 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
It's really not that complicated. You take the package to the post office and purchase the correct amount of postage. There's a simple form to fill out which will take 90 seconds. The clerk sticks the form onto the package and you're on your way.
Correct. It's not hard. The complications are all on the buyer's end where, depending on the jurisdiction, there may be import duty and/or GST to pay, prior to Customs releasing the item to the local courier / mail service for delivery.
09-12-2018, 03:33 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Correct. It's not hard. The complications are all on the buyer's end where, depending on the jurisdiction, there may be import duty and/or GST to pay, prior to Customs releasing the item to the local courier / mail service for delivery.
I had problems shipping to Canada because of fees added by the shipping service

I did not know that would happen, the buyer didn't know, the shipper didn't tell me and the buyer was refused delivery until he paid the extra fees



if he didn't the item would have been returned to me, I would have had to swallow the fees and paid the shipping there and back before I could get the item

that is the experience that convinced me not to try to sell outside the US, the limited times I wanted to sell anything
09-12-2018, 03:40 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
I had problems shipping to Canada because of fees added by the shipping service

I did not know that would happen, the buyer didn't know, the shipper didn't tell me and the buyer was refused delivery until he paid the extra fees



if he didn't the item would have been returned to me, I would have had to swallow the fees and paid the shipping there and back before I could get the item

that is the experience that convinced me not to try to sell outside the US, the limited times I wanted to sell anything
Yes, and if those "extra fees" are the duty and tax, (as I have stated in my previous post) then the buyer needs to pay those before the shipper is legally allowed to continue the shipment to the buyer.
This is all perfectly normal. The buyer should have known or should have been prepared to educate himself. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.

Here's a link to an easy Canadian duty calculator: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/dte-acl/est-cal-eng.html

Again, it's not hard.

Last edited by MarkJerling; 09-12-2018 at 03:46 AM.
09-12-2018, 03:44 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Yes, and if those "extra fees" are the duty and tax, (as I have stated in my previous post) then the buyer needs to pay those before the shipper is legally allowed to continue the shipment to the buyer.
This is all perfectly normal.

Here's a link to an easy Canadian duty calculator: Travellers - Duty and Taxes Estimator

Again, it's not hard.
they are not, as far as it was explained to me when I complained, they are imposed by the delivery company in Canada, in addition to any duty/import fee

which in my case because of the low value of the sale, there was duty or import fee.
09-12-2018, 03:52 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
they are not, as far as it was explained to me when I complained, they are imposed by the delivery company in Canada, in addition to any duty/import fee
Postal and delivery companies often issue a handling charge. For instance, if I receive a package from overseas and it is checked by the delivery company on behalf of HM Revenue & Customs, even if it is subsequently not subject to VAT or import duty, there will be a handling charge applied.
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