Rant: ebay auctions for "As-Is" items at premium prices

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by darinwc, May 5, 2010.

  1. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    Has anyone noticed some Ebay auctions for broken or not working items have starting/buyitnow prices comparable to working examples?

    I cant help thinking that these sellers are wasting their money, but I also hope no one gets duped into buying these.
     
  2. lorirfrommontana

    lorirfrommontana Member

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    Yeah, It really pays to know what you a bidding on. It is up to the consumer to do their research.
     
  3. MFstooges

    MFstooges Member

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    That's nothing, if you take a look at craigslist some used items are offered higher than new.
    Rip off & entitlement culture is in the making.
     
  4. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    craigslist is insane - at least in los angeles. I guess the culture of entitlement helps. People selling their used crap for MORE than recommended list pricing... man!!
     
  5. pcooklin

    pcooklin Member

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    Yes, it makes me cross....Ive seen expired film being sold for *more* than I can buy it new. Im sure they must catch a few people who don't know better which is why they keep running the ads'. Ive nearly contacted the sellers' a few times to say I could buy a new item for less...</end rant>
     
  6. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I especially dislike the folks that have a no return policy and wont answer emails with questions about specifics of their item. not to mention "vintage" or "antique" Polaroid super shooters (and other cameras)and P&S cams that are listed with outragously high start prices.
     
  7. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Lori, you're correct. It really is incumbent for all of us who love older (and newer) cameras to be cautious before we bid or buy
     
  8. railwayman3

    railwayman3 Member

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    I agree....I just won't bid on a "no return" item, or with a seller who ignores emails, unless the item is of very low value, or something simple like a filter which is obviously OK. Expired film is also largely a waste-of-time (unless it's ancient enough to be a collectors' item :smile: ), since (despite recent manufacturers price rises), fresh film is available competitively by direct mail order. And safer to use, when you take into account the time, travel costs, etc., of picture-taking.
     
  9. rrankin

    rrankin Member

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    I always ask a seller a question before buying, no matter what, and judge him by his response. If I don't like him before the sale, I'm sure not gonna like him after the sale... Cheers, Richard
     
  10. John Lawrence

    John Lawrence Member

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    I've stopped using Ebay for buying as I've found that most items cost more on that site than they do from specialist camera / photographic dealers.

    Having read the above comments though, I do have some sympathy with those selling items who list them "as is" or with a "no return" policy. When I sold photographic gear and high end watches, I had no end of problems with people who either did not know how to use them properly or wanted to "try" them out for a weekend (or in some cases use them for a professional job) before trying to return them to me. I should also add that all items I sold were fully serviced (in most cases by the very top people) prior to listing.

    One guy I sold a Rolex watch to took a pair of pliers to the crown because he didn't realise it had a screw-down crown!

    John
     
  11. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Pretty simple. If you don't like the sale terms or prices, don't bid or buy. And more power to anyone who can sell used dreck, fairly represented, at whatever price an informed and willing buyer will pay.

    Don't really see an issue here.
     
  12. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Couldn't agree more. They are selling these items at those prices because they can. Somebody out there buys it.

     
  13. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    John Lawrence is right, there's a very dodgy UK seller who sells at inflated prices often 2-3 times higher than reputable photo dealers who would give a guarantee as well. Usually this seller has around 1,200 items for sale at any one time, but that has been as high as 2000 in the past. His descriptions are short and he also contravenes the spirit of Ebay policies by having two accounts one for selling another for buying.

    I'd add that sellers like this prey on the potential new users to Large format etc, and by swamping the site with so many adverts give a false impression of prices.

    Ian
     
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  15. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I say caveat emptor when buying on Ebay. I've bought plenty of items on Ebay and for the most part, the item is what's described on the listing. I always check the feedback on the seller. I don't buy from anyone with a rating of 90% or lower. If you have any questions, shoot he seller an email. No need to rant. Why frustrate yourself over some sellers? Save your energy to do analog photography.
     
  16. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    What he said. It's up to YOU to read the auction carefully, and do your homework. If you don't like something there, whatever it is, close the page and move on. Can't be easier than that.
     
  17. BobD

    BobD Member

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    Most eBay sellers are honest IMO though many are clueless about cameras.

    Many camera-clueless sellers are not aware of the importance of the condition
    of a camera and couldn't determine the condition even if they are. They find
    a camera cheap, have no clue as to its working condition and "research its
    value" by searching on eBay for the highest price that model recently sold
    for. This, they think, is its value and that's what they list it at. Some even
    more clueless sellers just look for the highest asking prices of similar cameras
    regardless of whether or not they sold at that price and this, they think, is
    its value. Since they have no clue if the camera works nor what camera
    buyers look for and care about, their prices are unrealistic. And, because
    many of them end up getting returns on their cameras they list them as
    "sold as is, no returns."

    At a recent swap meet I saw a 4x5 Graphic View rail camera in shabby
    condition with a so-so lens and nonworking shutter. The seller was
    asking $375 for it. He said "our research indicates the camera is worth
    $450 so this is a bargain." When I got home I searched eBay and found
    one mint condition Graphic View outfit with 2 nice, working lenses (wide and
    normal) at an asking price of $450. It was the highest asking price for
    that camera on eBay at that moment so I suspect the swap meet seller
    saw the same listing and that was his "research" -- he saw one camera
    with the same model name at that price so he figured that's what it was
    worth even though his camera was unusable without a shutter repair which
    he was unaware of. And, if I tried to explain it to him I'd probably just make
    him angry.

    These guys go to estate sales and yard sales and buy up cameras if they're
    cheap. Then they "research their value" by looking them up on eBay. They
    have no clue if the camera works, if the lens is full of fungus or anything
    else about its condition.

    Often times they eventually give up selling cameras because of all the returns
    and angry buyers but some other goofball comes along to take their place
    and does the same thing.

    There are lots of camera bargains available on eBay, you just have to
    determine if the seller is or isn't knowledgeable about what he's selling
    and bid (or don't bid) accordingly.
     
  18. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    I totally understand if a seller doesnt know anything about cameras and doesnt know what they have.
    But these vendors have thousands of sales and obviously know Ebay.. They can know absolutely how much that item will sell for just by looking at the recent sales.

    "Hmm, brand new in box examples sell for $100. I will put this lump of crap online with a BIN for $150"
    I cant help thinking that they are wasting their money in listing fees.. But then again, all they need is 1 out of 100 or so listings to sell to make their money back.

    And what I am starting to see is exorbant prices for things knowingly advertised as non-functioning.

    "Petri FTEE" for repair. sellers description: the winder is broken and may have other issues. Sold as-is no returns. $200
    (recent sales for this camera have been in the $10 range) Am I missing something??
     
  19. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

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    With so many people shopping ebay, it seems a much more worthwhile to me to start an item with a low bid.
    Perhaps what you paid for the item. And then if you really do have something valuable, it will be bid up to its real value.
     
  20. photoncatcher

    photoncatcher Member

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    I recently sold a few photographic items on ebay, and I almost always do the " no return" thing. As John said, I'm not here to let you try before you buy. I always start at a more than reasonable price, and I am always very honest about my description of the pieces condition. If it's not working, it's listed for parts or repair. I did recently miss a bit of fungus on a lens I sold, and even though I had the no return policy plainly listed, I refunded $25 of the selling price to the buyer. Look, if you're buying on the "bay" you need to do the research, and buy wisely. It can be easy to get caught up in the whole "auction" excitement, and that's when you pay more than you should. Been there, done that.
     
  21. lonepeak

    lonepeak Member

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    I always sell with a "no return" policy simply because I'm trying to clean up and make a little more room. I see nothing wrong with it and I always start my auctions at 99 cents with no reserve and accurate shipping. If someone doesn't like the "no return" policy they can skip my auctions and someone else will get a bargain. I've never had a complaint.
     
  22. Ron G

    Ron G Member

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    I won a bid today on a black T3 body parts/repair,paid the guy and he refunded part of my shipping and says he might get it in the mail today for me.That is what makes ebay attractive at times.I seem to attract the dorks though.LOL.Ron G
     
  23. bill spears

    bill spears Member

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    What gets me is the often very poor quality photos of the camera being listed. The buyer often saying ... ''this camera has given me some really great photos over the years'' !!
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    its the best when they sell a kodak portrait lens
    that is being sold "as-is" because it is missing the front cell :wink:
     
  25. Hikingman

    Hikingman Member

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    Unfortunately for some, it's the all-american way! Mark something up 400% and wait to see if some nimrod will pay the price.

    And, no - I've never worked in a jewelry store. :D
     
  26. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    If I don't like the listing, I move on. There is one guy in particular that I would bid on his camera items, but the photos in the listing are obviously taken with a cheap digi shooter, and the pictures are out of focus and highlights blown out. If this guy can't take a decent picture of a lens, he doesn't know anything about camera gear.