Lack of U.S. Bidders and World Market for Film Based Equipment.

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Mr.3D, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Mr.3D

    Mr.3D Member

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    Greetings,

    Just curious..... Anyone selling cameras on the BAY for a period of time that has noticed a lack of U.S. bidders all together or U.S. bidders offering up some low ball bid. I've been selling since 7/97 and have really noticed in the last few years a complete absent of U.S. bidders. I only deal in film based equipment, the digital market may be a different story. As one would guess the Pacific Rim is my strongest market for sale followed by Eastern Blocked Countries (suprised). In 3rd is the rest of Europe & Canada (Tie). Up and Coming: Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Brazil, Indonesia. Hit or Miss: Australia, New Zealand, Mexico. No Show: Except for (Israel) the Middle East, all of Africa and the rest of South and Central America.

    Is the market that depressed or am I missing something?


    Bill
     
  2. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    Supply >> demand
    Weak dollar
    Craigslist

    What kind of cameras do you sell?
     
  3. Mr.3D

    Mr.3D Member

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    Supply and Demand: Then there must be a shortage a Japanese camera in Japan because thats where alot of the stuff is headed back to.

    Weak Dollar: I agree

    Craigslist: Have you seen the prices people are asking for junk? Is anything being sold there?

    The bulk of my stuff is 50s through modern SLRs. Anything I can get my hands on.


    I also do tube based audio. Same story here. All the top bidders are overseas. Again Pacific Rim NO. 1

    Bill
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    You must not be offering what I am buying. I have bought 5 lenses for 4"x5" cameras. Four of which are barrel lenses.

    Steve
     
  5. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Yup, I've noticed the same thing. Everything I sell on eBay is headed to Asia.
     
  6. Mr.3D

    Mr.3D Member

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    Not alot on LF lenses. The last one was a year or so. 3 5/8 Gold Rim Dagor. To Taiwan I believe..

    Bill
     
  7. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    May be I am wrong , but for me , I am still under heavy influence of print quality of National Geographics , Photograph Magazines , Films , Equipment design and art , literature from 70 to 86. I think my generation of China , South America , South East Asia , Eastern Europe was under influence of US propaganda until 90s and people were dreaming Fender , Levis , Cola , Frank Zappa , Nikon , Leica and chicks like Isabella Adjani , Ali Mc Graw , Emmanuelle , Kinski. Now people turned to 40 or more and want the same old good days. Internet makes everything accessible and they are buying all now yet. Nostalgy may be
     
  8. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Anybody in the US who wants film stuff already has it- or is looking for the truly rare/good quality stuff now. Some in Asia are just starting to collect. Like it or not the market for Film Cameras/Lenses is becoming a collector's market.
     
  9. guitstik

    guitstik Member

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    I buy a lot of camera equipment off of the Bay, more than my wife would like. So I really can't speak to the Asian market but I did recently buy a lens from Albania. I have pretty good idea of the prices these items go for so I don't have a problem paying it if it is a good deal and something I need. Were I have a problem is those who are selling at extremely inflated prices. I'm seeing sellers trying to get $500 for gear with offbrand lenses and flashes just because they are 40 years old. That and the fact that most don't know anything about cameras and they readily admit it.
     
  10. Mr.3D

    Mr.3D Member

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    Would a Nikon 85mm/1.4 consider "rare or good stuff"? This is one lens I would like and currently don't have...

    A show of hands of everyone that has all the lenses they have wanted that are neither rare or good stuff.

    Bill
     
  11. JMC1969

    JMC1969 Subscriber

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    I completely agree with this. I always want to ask the seller what they are thinking. On occasion a interesting list will come about, but just crazy in price (my opinion). In the last week there has been an Agfa Isollette for $125, a Kodak Vigilant for $250 and Omega D5 enlarger for $450 and a D2 for $125. I have 2- D2's setting in my darkroom with no home as I have 3 D5's set up and ready. If only the D2's were not setting on them. I was going to Craigslist them, but I don't see the point. I listed a Pentax K1000 w/ f2 lens and verified shutter times for $75 and received an offer of $30. I'll keep it for a back up at that price.

    Everything else on the list is digital or someone selling cotton rag paper as "Photo Paper". Always gets me to look, always disappointed.
     
  12. mooseontheloose

    mooseontheloose Subscriber

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    Well, I live in Japan and I buy almost all of my photo stuff overseas. It's just so much cheaper than what's available here. Plus, I don't ever have to pay any customs duty on whatever I buy, used or new. The quality of used gear is very good, but also very expensive -- I would consider it for a camera I really wanted, but again, many of those are not available here (or really hard to find). I bought my first SLR here back in 2001 and I don't think that the prices have changed very much since then.

    I just wish more ebay sellers were open to selling to non-US buyers -- it seems that they would have a much larger market available to them.
     
  13. c.d.ewen

    c.d.ewen Subscriber

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    This could be a new sticky thread :laugh:

    My local favorite is the seller who's been listing a Stroboframe every week for the last two years. Last year he wanted $85. This year, he's made a major concession and come down to $75.

    Charley
     
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  15. Mr.3D

    Mr.3D Member

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    For some reason I think many U.S. seller believe there a bunch of hoops you need to jump through to ship something overseas. The only extra step is a customs form.

    Bill
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Why no N. American buyers? Low/no interest in film gear, especially garden variety 35mm stuff. Decimation of low-cost processing/printing. Current N. American market can't be anywhere near as robust as its pre-08 collapse version. KEH can't seem to sell-off NOS Mamiya RB67 stuff even at lowball prices.

    Offshore buyers can't always find the range and depth of quality used gear locally at decent prices--if at all. US Bay looks like Aladdin's Cave.

    All my kits are where I want them. I use what I buy and pay for top quality. Quality is something I'm frankly not seeing now compared to 3-5 years ago.

    Agreed that some US sellers are totally misinformed about overseas shipping even to Canada with full insurance and upgraded, trackable shipping. On the other hand, I resent crooks who kite shipping and use it as a profit centre.
     
  17. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    There's a surplus of film equipment in the US, for as long as I've been into photography seriously (late 1960's) equipment has been very cheap in the US and expensive elsewhere. It's still the same today.

    I remember a time when a Pentax in the US was half the UK price and a third of the Japanese price. New models were introduced first in Japan, volume sales in the US to bring down production costs and high profits elsewhere.

    As a consequence the proportion of decent cameras per head of the population is much higher than the rest of the world in the US.

    There's another factor, Europe made a big switch to 35mm and MF before WWII, particularly in the amateur market, after the war almost no amateurs used large format, the US was quite different, a much slower pace of change they didn't suffer the material shortages that affected all of Europe.

    That's just a tip of the iceberg.

    Ian
     
  18. Chrismat

    Chrismat Subscriber

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    This past spring I sold via Ebay a Voigtlander Vitomatic, Kodak Retina IIIC and a Rollei 35 tessar and all three winning bids were in China. Maybe it's the emerging Chinese economy, people finally can afford collecting classic cameras.
     
  19. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    One problem is all these seller/yard salers listing 35mm junk as Vintage with the obligatory "I don't know much about cameras but will answer questions to the best of my limited knowledge" or some crap like that.

    The market is saturated here in the US for mechanical film gear.
     
  20. alapin

    alapin Subscriber

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    Right now there is a OLYMPUS OM ZUIKO AUTO-T 135/2.8 PRIME LENS for sell on ebay and the three questions to the seller are from Australia, France and Spain. They are all about shipping.
     
  21. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    1. The economy was decimated by the housing bubble; Banks tightened up credit and raised interest rates before consumer protection laws took effect.

    2. People lost alot of money in the market 2 years back and then bailed out instead of buying.

    3. We all know digital has been killing off film cameras sales, which for a time gave us alot of deals on good lenses in dead brands till 4/3rd's came along. Now their just as expensive as ever, if you can find the good ones.

    4. Shipping and handling became expensive. Many sellers on Ebay became a little too greedy with their rates.

    5. Many older cameras need a cla and when you cost that in the price is much higher.

    6. I believe buyers (if any) that are on the sidelines are worried about films continuance. Too many film is dead articles.

    7. Labs are dying, processing fee's went up, and mailing film out is not cheap if you have to pay rates like $17 a 36 exp roll printed at pro labs. With mailing back and forth and handling you've got an easy $25 a roll cost for the enthusiast. Local labs are of course is best, doing your own better. Now the cheap route is Costco.

    8. The dollar lost value, gas is expensive, home insurance shot thru the roof if your near the hurricane coast, and food prices are up up.

    Really, I'm surprised anything sells in the U.S. concerning film cameras. Accessories and lenses go, but bodies(?) why, we all have drawers full.
     
  22. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    Hi Bill,

    I'm getting there. There are a couple of lenses that I want in the $500 range and a couple of lenses in the $1000 range. I already have all of the commonly found lenses that I want.

    :confused:
     
  23. kand

    kand Guest

    Nah, Getting good prices for 4X5 stuff.
     
  24. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    watch e-bay carefully

    watch craigslist, I've actually been able to email and buy things w/ Paypal from people listing things on C-List around the world, farthest one was in England!

    go to camera fairs(if you have one locally). You never know what you'll find. Dealers show up with the weirdest, and sometimes, unseen gear. I like going to the buyer's booths, even KEH's booth when they're there. Sometime you get to see funky stuff that might be worth bookoo bucks!

    -Dan
     
  25. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    Given the list of idespread financial setbacks noted above, people are selling film cameras and equipment. There's a liquidation.

    The loss of the local mini-labs locally has absolutely killed interest in film. I see it mentioned in local ads repeatedly and have picked up and flipped a lot of gear lately as a result. No major outlets sell film anymore, nor process it (not Costco, Wal-Mart, nor any similar outlet such as drugstores; the bottom has completely fallen out of the market). Only 2 dedicated photo stores will have anything to do with film, and then it is relegated to the low-profile, back shelf.

    One owner says by next year all commercial lab film will be mail order and dry scanned printing; nothing in-house for C-41 even. He's basically looking at a franchise drop box similar to what they have for recycling inkjet cartridges to handle his remaining film customers. His staff will only oversee the paperwork and bulk mailing for processing, and they'll be FTP's the Frontier scans for local printing. He gives that process maybe 4-5 years maximum before he will not be able to cover that cost, but he also thinks within the next 2 years he will no longer be able to stock film at all. The refrigeration costs alone are too much for the return. He used to sell a 25-40 instant cameras per day in summer for the beach and lake crowd; last month total he sold 8. He has a very large clientele of older folks who have been customers for years, often with excellent film gear, and he says that they are also switching to digital.

    Why?

    At over $20 per roll for 135/36 processing and prints, the cost of using film is far beyond accessible for the average middle class household, pretty much anywhere. Even the local hipster store that had a lot of Lomo gear last year is hardly stocking anything new because there is no local processing and film + processing + shipping = $32. You cannot move camera stock at those prices. Film photography simply cannot even co-exist alongside digital at those prices.

    With no obvious source for film or processing, the average prosumer user cannot participate in the market. So film users dump their capital investment in the face of such an enormous increase in their operational cost. What applies to business is a factor in every household as well.

    The OP's complaint about prices is the flip side of the fact that film photography is going back to being a wealthy person's hobby.

    Everyone already invested in equipment and darkrooms here is so tied up in knots about the survival (and pricing) of film that overlooked is that the demand is driven by the mass market for cameras and processing. The latter is disappearing extraordinarily fast and the former's manufacturing base is almost totally gone from the mid-range market.

    You have to look at it this way: Every person who processes and prints their own is a customer also lost to the local lab, pro or mini. But the market has been entirely driven by cost-shifting where prices for all were pushed down to margin by the mass market sales to the mini-lab crowd. Take that away and prices can only go up, up, up. The operational cost between film and digital has reached a severe delta that goes far beyond the cost of manufacturing and distributing film alone.
     
  26. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    The prices I've seen for trackable shipping have been insanely high. Am I looking in the wrong places?