Buying Equipment from KEH

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by jd callow, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I bought a nikon 105 micro f/2.8 AF lens from KEH. I paid less than the lens has sold for on ebay (using the completed auction search) and the lens is immaculate. Service was excellent (Arthur was my cust rep), packaging was fine and dandy and the lens arrived right on time. In as much as we all tend to look at ebay first, you might be surprised if you compare it to KEH. When it is important (this lens was bought for a job shooting rare books, sheet music and maps) and you can't swing new, KEH is an excellent choice.

    Next up my amazing copy stand story
     
  2. mark

    mark Member

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    Fully agree.
     
  3. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Just to add my kudos to KEH (again)... I just received a body case and strap for my Rolleiflex 3.5f in excellent condition... for less than the cost of what the scissors strap alone is going for on ebay these days.

    I have had nothing but excellent experiences with them.
     
  4. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Getting it shipped to Canada is not a problem, nor is there a needless mark-up.
     
  5. david b

    david b Member

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    I normally deal with Dan O and he is just fantastic.

    In case you did not know, KEH is now offering Mack Warranties with all used cameras.
     
  6. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    What is a Mack warranty?
     
  7. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I totally agree. I don't even look at ebay anymore for camera gear since I discovered KEH.
     
  8. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    I think Mack is just a brand name for a warranty re-seller. You know, kind of like going to Future Shop, buying a TV and then paying for the extended warranty, which is actually a kind of "insurance" company operation playing the odds against you ever remembering where you bought it in the first place.

    Maybe I'm wrong:D
     
  9. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    Somehow, particularly given the hugh postage cost between the US and Europe, I can't bring myself to take the plunge with KEH.

    Consider this:
    http://www.keh.com/OnLineStore/Prod...e&ID=&BC=LM&BCC=1&CC=&CCC=&BCL=&GBC=&GCC=&KW=
    KEH has used the same stock picture for 3 different cameras ranging in price from a $616 BGN to an $818 EX example and has also used another single picture for several cameras elsewhere. They do not describe individual cameras at all, except by grade, which fans say is very conservative but is also very vague - for example, "May have small dings, pecks and slight finish wear. Glass may have some dust, but no marks." Does it or doesn't it? If the seller doesn't know, is it because he can't recognise defects on cameras, or can he just not be bothered to look? I appreciate that KEH has its fans among APUGers, but the message from its website for me is "Here's a camera, it's cheap, so don't be fussy, just give me your money and f*** off."
     
  10. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

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    David, I was looking in to a Zone VI 4x5 a few months ago and after getting in touch with one of their customer service reps we talked for a bit and then he had them pull the item in question from their warehouse so he could describe the exact camera to me, and email pictures. It takes a few days for the item to make it from warehouse to the sales rep but they are willing to show you the specific item if you ask.

    - Justin
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Luckily keh does not end at the web site. I have always first checked their site to see if they have what I want and then called. You can ask the sales rep whatever isn't supplied by the vague website . It isn't quite as good as dealing with a store clerk in person, but keh prices are almost always cheaper and the product as good or better than my local camera shop's used section. If all else fails they have a generous return policy -- that I have never had to use -- which still may not be enough to offset the long distance postage. I haven't checked, but it might be that the exchange rate would be an additional reason to reinvestigate KEH.
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    David,

    KEH does such a high used equipment volume and high turnover rate that they simply can't manage individual photos of every used item. They'd have to hire a large number of photographers and web editors just to keep up. They have travelling reps that buy out used stock in bulk from camera stores all over the US. The last time I went in to the local pro shop looking at used gear, KEH had just come through and cleaned them completely out. They do way too much volume to operate as you would prefer. The added advantage for purchasers is that they grade conservatively and have excellent prices that would certainly have to rise significantly if they spent time doing web photos and individual descriptions for each item.

    I was recently given a batch of Nikon lenses and a couple of bodies. I ordered an extension tube from KEH that arrived as described with the exception of a missing mounting flange screw. I emailed, asking for them to ship a replacement screw rather than go through the expense of return shipping. They got the replacement screw to me very quickly and refunded 150% of what I paid for the extension tube to my credit card without my asking for any compensation.

    In practice they certainly don't have the attitude you ascribe to their web presence.

    Lee
     
  13. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    In my expierence the way Keh grades.

    Excellent would be called new by many shops or at the very least mint.
    Bargain can range from a scratch on the camera base to a good user item. Bargain grade always works but if you're worried about looks the higher grades are nicer. OTOH I really have bought bargrain grade that needed a loupe to find the scratches.

    IMHO Best part about KEH is they are REALLY honest. I bought a shade that didn't include the mounting bits. Pretty useless. Some shops would have shrugged. KEH gave me a quick refund with no questions asked. They've shipped the wrong hole size lensboard and just told me to keep it and then shipped the right one at their cost.

    How much is shipping to Europe?
     
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  15. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    I hear what you say, but this is a business model of which examples can be found in many industries in which the customers are the quality control department. I have experienced enough of these where the response to complaints is two words, the second being "off" (Amstrad, Ericsson and Leica UK come immediately to mind!). In the case of KEH, any metaphorical rough edges are smoothed away by an apparently super-generous returns policy, which for all I know may well apply to foreign sales too - as a very rough guide, sending a 35 camera and lens from the US to me in England will cost $50 express with insurance - plus I will have to pay around $25 import duty (tax-deductible) and 17.5% sales tax (VAT - reclaimable in my case). Even assuming KEH would pay 2-way freight in the case of a justified return, I find it frustrating and time-consuming to unpack, check and return goods.

    Regards,

    David
     
  16. mark

    mark Member

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    David, buy from them if you want don't if you don't want. I can understand the feeling of being told to basically ^^^^ off. Ever try to return an item to Adorama? But, just because their business model does not suit you and you have been obviously bitten a few times it does not mean that we are all lying.

    IMO KEH is more than honest and quite helpful to talk to on the phone.
     
  17. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Mark, David was not told to f&^k-off, that was how he internalized his perception of KEH's website. If a person wishes to twist things around to suit their own rational for not dealing with someone that is their business.

    I have dealt with KEH for a number of years and have nothing but praise for them. If I am interested in an item I call and we go over the condition of several examples of the product and I make my decision based on that.

    I've always bought bargain and have always been extremely happy with the merchandise. I've basically given up on eBay as I can usually get it for the same price + or - from KEH.

    I can only speak for myself, but my experience with KEH has been stellar.
     
  18. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i too like to buy things from keh, and have had nothing but good experiences.
     
  19. Rick Olson

    Rick Olson Member

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    My Experience with KEH

    I have been buying from KEH for years, and yes they are very fair and conservative with their ratings.

    I decided to send them a Pentax Spotmeter V a few years back. I had purchased it used several years ago. The gentleman at KEH received it and called me with a fair offer, which I accepted. He then called back about two days later and advised that the meter was one internally modified by Zone VI (it had no external Zone VI markings noting this).

    He offered me a much higher amount.

    That was service!!

    Rick
     
  20. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I find their website quite easy to use, their customer service very good, and their return policy very flexible. And have never seen it say f*ck off anywhere on their site. I think the difficulty with using them from overseas has to do with forces quite beyond their control. Is there no such business anywhere in the UK or Europe? Perhaps there's a market that needs to be filled?
     
  21. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I've bought about a thousand dollars worth of stuff from KEH over time, and usually been quite happy about it. At the moment, though, I'm about to return an LF lens that was rated EX, but turns out to have a dented filter ring, so I can't attach a skylight or UV filter that I use on every lens to protect it. BUT....the call I made to their service department was very satisfying. Not only will they let me return the lens, but they will exchange it for one that has both front and rear caps this time (the one I received didn't). So...if all goes as I hope and expect it will, I'll continue to be a satisfied customer.

    (Interesting to read jd's account of more stuff than is listed on their website. I'll try calling the store next time I don't see what I'm looking for on line.)
     
  22. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    I should let David speak for himself :rolleyes: but I don't think he is saying that either. He is saying other companies he has dealt with have given him that attitude instead of dealing with a problem.
     
  23. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    John,
    You may have misunderstood me or I may have misspoke. I didn't mean to say that their site may not represent what they have in inventory. Although, I've heard the website is not a complete listing and it seems to me when I bought a mamiya 6 body off of them they had more than the site listed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 21, 2008
  24. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    I've never had a problem. And 4 out of 5 times I was surprised at the condition and felt that the bargain equipment was truly a bargain. Plus they were easily reachable via email and offered a phone number 'just in case' if I needed it. Very good to work with.
     
  25. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Member

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    Like everyone else who has actually dealt with them and has posted so far I have have had a uniformly good experience on value and service from KEH.
    Never once been told to f*** off.
     
  26. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    ya, KEH is great to buy from...but don't plan on getting much from them if trading up! The days of a 20-30% markup is over. They're going for 80-90% profit.