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08-28-2011, 07:53 PM   #1
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Ebay lens full of fungus

I recently purchased a Pentax M 200 F4 from an ebay auction.

eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d?r

The seller provided following description:

1:4 200mm


with uv filter
The lens is full of fungus and all photographs taken are extremely soft - the lens is therefore virtually useless to me.

I sent the seller a message and she more or less admitted she knew it was full of fungus and stated:

I only gave a description of what it was which was accurate, so therefore i dont beleive the fault lies with me but with you for not asking about the condition before you purchased the lens

This seems very unreasonable to me. Any advice?

Thank you

08-28-2011, 08:18 PM   #2
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I sell lenses on ebay and would never list an item without full disclosure of any flaws I was aware of. I think any reputable dealer would do the same. The exception might be an antique dealer or someone not familiar enough with lenses to know to even look. Bottom line they sold you a lens with the implication that it was in working order and it is not.

Does the seller offer any return policy? Check the listing and see, mine states that you have 7 days to return if not satisfied, no questions asked.

Check the sellers feedback score, are they a total newbie or have they been around long enough to know better.

Always state your case using facts and not emotion, do not threaten with anything, simply state you are not satisfied and you would like to return for a refund due to undisclosed flaws in the item. You will likely have to pay return postage, although if it was my item and I made an error in the listing I would pay the return as well as refund the full purchase price and I have done so when I've messed up.

Always respond through the ebay system not by email, check the box that says "send a confirmation to my email address" so you have a copy on file. Tell the seller you feel the item was not as described and that you are opening a case in the ebay resolution center. Go to the resolution center and open a ticket for your item. Do this now regardless of what the seller says, so you have it on file. You can always mark it resolved later.

Sellers like this give ebay a bad name and generally ebay will not allow this type of behavior.

Good Luck!
08-28-2011, 08:18 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by heasley Quote
This seems very unreasonable to me. Any advice?
Certainly if I were the seller, I would have been much more forthcoming with that information in the description of the lens. The fact that the seller is hiding behind the fact that she didn't technically provide inaccurate information seems somewhat childish to me. It also suggests that either she knew about the fungus or at the very least isn't denying that there is an issue.

That said, in the second picture it looks like you can see the fungus on the front element (at least I assume that's what I'm seeing in the picture). Whether or not you noticed and/or should have asked more questions before bidding is another issue altogether.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure I have any good advice to offer, nor do I know specifically what your options are given the situation. I guess at the very least you could contact the seller again and politely disagree with her assessment about where the fault lies, although there is certainly no guarantee a second message will be any more productive than the first. If (when) that doesn't work, the next step would be to contact eBay through the resolution center.

Last edited by dgaies; 08-28-2011 at 08:46 PM.
08-28-2011, 08:23 PM   #4
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If the seller knew about some of the problems and stated that the lens condition seemed ok then she would be wrong.

Have a look at the conditions closely in this auction: Used: An item that has been used previously. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended. This item may be a floor model or store return that has been used. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections. See all condition definitions

You could get her on the part that says 'fully operational and functions as intended'. If the lens is full of fungus then it is NOT fully operational.

You could raise a dispute using Paypal and I think you would have a case for at least a partial refund and a complaint to ebay. (if they care which they probably don't)

She knows nothing about customer service though judging from her reply.

08-28-2011, 08:28 PM   #5
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They didn't say it had fungus - so it wasn't described correctly - as the fungus is a major problem. Other seller are very careful to mention even minor issues. If I've sold a lens, I'll say there is a tiny scratch on the lens hood that can only be seen in bright light and include a photo.

Go through the process here:
Resolution Centre - eBay

If you paid by paypal, look into getting a refund from there.
If not resolved, then give seller a negative rating and include the reason why. It may not help you, but it will help others and at least you get a bit of satisfaction.

Good luck.
08-28-2011, 08:36 PM   #6
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Well, hopefully you didn't pay via Bank Deposit, and paid with PayPal. If it is the case that you used PayPal... then you just go to the PayPal Resolution Centre and open an 'Significantly Not As Described' dispute. Just say something like:

'I contacted you regarding the lens being full of fungus and tried to resolve this problem with you, but you are denying any responsibility despite admitting that you were aware of the fault but failed to mention it in the item description... which is deceit by omission. Because the lens is full of fungus it is useless for the purpose for which it is intended, and I would like a full refund.'

Keep checking the dispute for progress, and escalate as soon as the option becomes available to you. When you escalate a dispute, PayPal staff review the claim and make a decision... so make sure you comply with any requests PayPal makes of you.

The seller and PayPal will probably say that you can't get a refund until you send the item back... and make sure you send it via registered post so you have proof of postage, (and enter a record on the dispute of the registered parcel number) or the seller can say that they didn't receive it.

The process can take a few weeks. Alternatively, if you paid via Credit Card - you can always ask your bank to do a charge back.

Good luck.
08-28-2011, 08:43 PM   #7
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That's what PayPal is there for, to protect you from sloppy|sleazy sellers. Open a case.
08-28-2011, 09:09 PM   #8
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The buyer clearly has a case. The condition was described as "Used: An item that has been used previously. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended"

Clearly this is not an appropriate description of the condition of this lens, it has been misrepresented.

08-28-2011, 09:41 PM   #9
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I would take advantage of paypal here, they will refund you if you open a "not as described" claim.

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08-28-2011, 10:10 PM   #10
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Thank you very much for advice everyone1

Unfortunately the seller requested that I pay via direct bank transfer (many ebayers prefer this to avoid paypal fees). It looks like being nice has back fired on me.
08-28-2011, 10:15 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by heasley Quote
many ebayers prefer this to avoid paypal fees
More like some ebay scammers prefer this so they can rip people off. You should still report this to ebay, including that the seller pushed you to pay off-site. Hopefully they ban him so that nobody else gets ripped off.
08-28-2011, 10:30 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by heasley Quote
Unfortunately the seller requested that I pay via direct bank transfer (many ebayers prefer this to avoid paypal fees).
You've now learned the hard way. My comments are for others:

The eBay fees are insurance premiums (as well as corporate profits). An honest seller factors the fees into the price+handling, so buyers pay anyway. With PayPal, you have recourse; without it, you don't. Avoid sellers who don't accept PayPal. Or just send me all your money.
08-28-2011, 10:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by heasley Quote
Thank you very much for advice everyone1

Unfortunately the seller requested that I pay via direct bank transfer (many ebayers prefer this to avoid paypal fees). It looks like being nice has back fired on me.
and I believe it's strictly against ebay's policies for this reason. I'm afraid you are likely stuck with a lens you are going to learn to take apart and clean yourself. It isn't terribly difficult, just document every step with photos. The M200 shouldn't be 'soft'. Both copies I had were pretty nice though I didn't use them much before letting them go.

08-28-2011, 10:58 PM   #14
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If this seller is prepared to take a negative feedback for a lousy $30.00 plus sale, then make it a good one.

Never pay direct deposit, its as safe as giving money to a complete stranger in the street.

Last edited by wwwmorrell; 08-28-2011 at 11:05 PM.
08-28-2011, 11:50 PM   #15
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I have only ever had good experiences buying on eBay and using PayPal. I research the vendor pretty well though. In you case, the vendor had 100% positive feedback on 48 transactions but only three of these were as a seller. Not much of a track record.

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