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09-17-2016, 10:14 PM   #1
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Estate sale!!!

So a good friend of my had a very unfortunate recent loss, in the passing of his father. In the following weeks, he had the unpleasant burden of going through his things to help his mother get things in order after her husband's passing. In addition to several outbuildings full of tools and equipment, he also helped his mother with the stuff in the house.

Today he stopped by and dropped off a bag PACKED with photographic gear. I was figuring that it could be anything from a couple of old Petris to a bag full of Hassys or Mamiyas. The first thing that he pulled out of the bag was a Super Takumar 300mm F4.0!!! I almost fell over when I learned that the bag was full of classic Pentax gear! I have been doing photos for this family for a few years at no charge because they are friends of mine. That's why he brought the gear to me. He knew that I would be the best person to help him appraise its value. Unfortunately I Want over half the gear myself so I hope that I have been unbiased in my assessment.

Anyway, here is the gear that I think I will offer to purchase from him. All of it is in near mint to mint condition with the exception of his grandfather's service number engraved into everything. Oh yeah, it was originally his grandfather's stuff, passed on to his dad. One chrome MX with leather ready case in near perfect condition. Mirror buffer is intact, viewfinder is clear with no scratches or dust. Shutter seems to function correctly at all speeds and the meter registers as it should. One ME Super in the same condition, also with the Asahi Pentax leather ready case in good condition. One original Asahi Pentax M42 to P/K adapter ring new in the box. One Vivitar 2500 flash. One SMC M 50mm F2 lens in like new condition. The Super Tak 300mm F4. One Like new and still in the box screw mount bellows (non-Pentax brand). One Visitor 2x 75-150mm matched teleconverter. One Spiratone 90mm screw mount macro lens. One set of screw mount extension tubes, 2.5x and 3.5x.

The other stuff that I have no need for is a 50mm f1.7 SMC M with some tiny spots of fungus or something on one of the inner elements. One Spiratone 105mm screw mount lens that the aperture blades won't close. One Minolta 110 zoom SLR, a really neat camera with B, X, and auto, a hot shoe, aperture selection, and even accepts a cable release. One 500mm f8 mirror lens with no name brand markings, says USSR, so Soviet made. One Soligor 78-210mm zoom,. One Tokina ATX 28-85mm zoom. One Vivitar screw mount 2X-1 teleconverter.

I valued everything by looking at sold auctions on Ebay. Since every piece in this collection is etched, I did not take into consideration any auctions that went for exceptionally high collector prices. There were two of the silver MXs that recently sold NIB for over $300 each. For the more rare items, I just took an average of all of the recent sold auctions. For stuff like the ME Super, where there are dozens of them, I went with the low end of the value spectrum. The reason we negotiated this way is because he has no idea how to use Ebay so I will be the one doing all the work to sell it all. I told him that rather than sell it and take a cut for my effort, I would just value the things I wanted according to the bargains I would likely hold out for on Ebay and just save us both the trouble. He's fine with that. I offered him $306 for the items that I want and will dispose of the other items on Ebay when he gives me the green light. Does my offer seem reasonable or am I lowballing him? I want to give him a fair price for the stuff but still get a good deal for my efforts.


Last edited by ctrout; 09-17-2016 at 10:29 PM.
09-18-2016, 01:58 AM - 5 Likes   #2
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Here is my theory on this, for what it is worth. I had a similar situation where I brought a car off a close friend and colleague of mine.

What anything is worth at auction relies on a willing seller with realistic expectations, and a willing buyer. When it is a related party transaction it is much harder. We went through the same process as you have done, and worked out some price ranges that seemed fair.

When it is someone you know and respect then the most important thing is actually not the price, but the continuing relationship. In our case with the car we both agreed that we wanted the other person, and partners etc. to be happy long term with the transaction. We worked it out on that basis.

Can I suggest it is a good yardstick - be fair, then be a flexible and a little generous. Your ongoing relationship and friendship is far more important than the dollars. I think the 'golden rule' apples well in this situation - treat others how you would like to be treated

Then you will get it right, and be very comfortable with that going forward.

Cheers

Ross
09-18-2016, 05:58 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ctrout Quote
So a good friend of my had a very unfortunate recent loss, in the passing of his father. In the following weeks, he had the unpleasant burden of going through his things to help his mother get things in order after her husband's passing. In addition to several outbuildings full of tools and equipment, he also helped his mother with the stuff in the house.

Today he stopped by and dropped off a bag PACKED with photographic gear. I was figuring that it could be anything from a couple of old Petris to a bag full of Hassys or Mamiyas. The first thing that he pulled out of the bag was a Super Takumar 300mm F4.0!!! I almost fell over when I learned that the bag was full of classic Pentax gear! I have been doing photos for this family for a few years at no charge because they are friends of mine. That's why he brought the gear to me. He knew that I would be the best person to help him appraise its value. Unfortunately I Want over half the gear myself so I hope that I have been unbiased in my assessment.

Anyway, here is the gear that I think I will offer to purchase from him. All of it is in near mint to mint condition with the exception of his grandfather's service number engraved into everything. Oh yeah, it was originally his grandfather's stuff, passed on to his dad. One chrome MX with leather ready case in near perfect condition. Mirror buffer is intact, viewfinder is clear with no scratches or dust. Shutter seems to function correctly at all speeds and the meter registers as it should. One ME Super in the same condition, also with the Asahi Pentax leather ready case in good condition. One original Asahi Pentax M42 to P/K adapter ring new in the box. One Vivitar 2500 flash. One SMC M 50mm F2 lens in like new condition. The Super Tak 300mm F4. One Like new and still in the box screw mount bellows (non-Pentax brand). One Visitor 2x 75-150mm matched teleconverter. One Spiratone 90mm screw mount macro lens. One set of screw mount extension tubes, 2.5x and 3.5x.

The other stuff that I have no need for is a 50mm f1.7 SMC M with some tiny spots of fungus or something on one of the inner elements. One Spiratone 105mm screw mount lens that the aperture blades won't close. One Minolta 110 zoom SLR, a really neat camera with B, X, and auto, a hot shoe, aperture selection, and even accepts a cable release. One 500mm f8 mirror lens with no name brand markings, says USSR, so Soviet made. One Soligor 78-210mm zoom,. One Tokina ATX 28-85mm zoom. One Vivitar screw mount 2X-1 teleconverter.

I valued everything by looking at sold auctions on Ebay. Since every piece in this collection is etched, I did not take into consideration any auctions that went for exceptionally high collector prices. There were two of the silver MXs that recently sold NIB for over $300 each. For the more rare items, I just took an average of all of the recent sold auctions. For stuff like the ME Super, where there are dozens of them, I went with the low end of the value spectrum. The reason we negotiated this way is because he has no idea how to use Ebay so I will be the one doing all the work to sell it all. I told him that rather than sell it and take a cut for my effort, I would just value the things I wanted according to the bargains I would likely hold out for on Ebay and just save us both the trouble. He's fine with that. I offered him $306 for the items that I want and will dispose of the other items on Ebay when he gives me the green light. Does my offer seem reasonable or am I lowballing him? I want to give him a fair price for the stuff but still get a good deal for my efforts.
The Russian mirror 500 is supposed to be among the best. I haven't found one yet.
3M-5A-MC CCCP / MTO 500mm F8 maksutov mirror Lens Reviews - Russian and Zenitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
09-18-2016, 09:23 AM   #4
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Hmmmm. Maybe I should keep the 500mm too then. I think I might just offer him $600 for the whole lot and then sell of anything I don't end up wanting to keep, on Ebay.

Oh, and Ross, I think that you have probably given the very best advice right here:

"be fair, then be a flexible and a little generous. Your ongoing relationship and friendship is far more important than the dollars."


Last edited by ctrout; 09-18-2016 at 09:34 AM.
09-18-2016, 09:45 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Utah
Posts: 331
Is any of the grandfather's/father's film still around? Perhaps you could offer to digitize some of it in exchange for the gear. Might be a nice gesture during this time for them.
09-18-2016, 01:19 PM   #6
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Maybe in a shoebox or something.

I must say that their request for me to photograph the funeral procession was a bit awkward for me. I just finished a couple shoot of my friend and his wife about ten days before that and I photographed his nephew's wedding last year but I never would have thought they would ask me to document a memorial service.
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