Site Unseen Purchase - Best and Worst

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Takizawa, Dec 16, 2011.

  1. Takizawa

    Takizawa Member

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    I purchased a Fuji GW670II camera from Ebay. The camera arrived yesterday and is in magnificent condition. It literally looks new.

    On the other hand, previously I purchased a camera from Ebay that was advertised as clean. I open up the film door to find not one but two social security numbers carved in heavy lettering into the metal. I returned the camera and what a surprise, the seller places the camera right back onto Ebay without disclosing the additional details.

    Out of any of your used medium format purchases made online, do you have a best and worst story?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2011
  2. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    First thought; I don't consider it a wise idea to put SSN on things when not needed. Someone could steal the camera, process the photos, determine where you've been, what you've done, gotten photos of the family for identity theft, and mess with you pretty good.

    I don't consider an ID number inside the camera to detract from its clean-ness unless it alters the function or damages film. Outside the camera, yes it should be disclosed.

    When I see something I really want, it either has to have excellent thorough photos to describe it if they want a serious bid, or else I'll bid low because of the risk of not knowing exactly what I'd get. I've bought bgn lenses from KEH and forum sellers that seem almost new to me.
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

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    NOS boxed Mamiya RB67 Pro S body+120 back+WLF. Came with warranty card, packaged strap, desiccant gel pac. Unused pro back-up camera. RB/film back seal needed replacement--a 20 minute job--and obviously scared off bidders. Pristine, no miles for $120. Still smilin' about that one.
     
  4. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    years ago i used to use a mamiya 6iv folder ( old one )
    it broke and i was in need of a folder ...
    so i purchased one from a private party. i can't remember the brand
    but it was "one of good ones" ... the selling page said
    it was in good condition, speeds seemed accurate and would be a great user ...
    and the seller had a return policy so i felt if it wasn't for me, i had no problem ...
    it arrived a few days later, in a box reeking of cigars ( didn't bother me )
    but when i took the camera out of the ever ready case and worked the shutter
    it didn't work. none of the speeds ...
    i took it to a seasoned repair person near me who works on folders
    and lf shutters &c ... and he couldn't access the shutter because it was seized on the camera.
    i contacted the seller with my tale of woe, and asked to return it, seeing it couldn't be repaired
    ( and there was a return policy ) and i was insulted and then my repair person was insulted and then s/he told me i was a PITA
    and it was too much trouble for him/her to go to the post office and send my money ...

    i don't usually buy from people i don't know anymore, and i make sure there is a return policy in writing ...
     
  5. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    I never bought anything on Ebay, it has been on KEH.

    Jeff
     
  6. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Based on this ebay picture, this lens was essentially 'sight unseen.' The focal length was not listed and it was somewhat of a mystery lens. For $25 it turned out to be my nicest Yashica ML lens. When it came in the mail it was a like new 28 f2.8 ML with original caps and stickers.
    This is the ebay picture:
    [​IMG]

    Below is the lens as it arrived to me:
    [​IMG]
     
  7. dnjl

    dnjl Member

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    So far I've had no trouble with eBay, but I did gamble last night when I bid and won a black Minolta 7sii that was simply advertised as "good condition". I got it at a significantly lower price than what they usually go for, but whether it works remains to be seen. The pictures looked good, I just hope the camera's not DOA.
     
  8. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    mine wasn't ebay, it was here in the classifieds --- it was clearly the worst all around experience i have ever had
    ... and i have been buying off of ebay since the mid 90s, and shutterbug classifieds before that ...
     
  9. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Not impressed by the overall quality of the classifieds here. Junk quotient is too high. Too many use APUG as just another showroom with little or no participation apart from selling.
     
  10. sarahfoto

    sarahfoto Member

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    I recently bought a camera from Ebay. My favourite Praktica had seized up and I thought maybe I could save money buying a "new" one rather than paying for the repair.
    The seller had taken a few pictures and it looked fine but... first thing I see when I unpack it is a big crack on top, just like someone had dropped it. Seller was clever enough to take pictures from every other angle, where the crack couldn't be seen. Shutter doesn't work and the exposure button is loose, useless.
    One bad seed doesn't stop me though(it's just made me more careful, asking more questions), there are too many good ones out there!
     
  11. john_s

    john_s Subscriber

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    I had a strange experience. I bought from an ebay vendor in New York a 250mm lens for my Rolleiflex SL66. It was advertised as "good glass, user condition" and the price seemed reasonable. I paid by paypal and he mailed it to me here in Australia. Before it arrived, he emailed me to say that he objected to paying paypal a commission and would I send a bank cheque? I said I would when I had evidence that the payment was refunded to me.

    When the lens arrived it had many small scratches on both the front and recessed rear elements (no caps). I emailed him to complain and I asked if he had taken any photos with it. I didn't get a reply to several emails. I got my refund. He ceased to be an ebay member. I still have the lens which works quite well. He had an unusual ebay id, and it turned out to be an acient biblical name for the devil.
     
  12. Stuggi

    Stuggi Member

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    Very weird indeed, maybe the devil is nice sometimes? :D

    I have never really had a bad experience with buying stuff from eBay and the like, and I buy quite a lot of stuff. My best/worst experience was my Yashica-Mat 124G that supposedly worked according to the ad. Then I get it, and it's in mint condition, just a bit scraped paint on the WLF cover. Then I take a roll with it, and the exposure is a all over the place. I start checking it out, and I notice some fungus on the lens. At this point I'm thinking I got ripped off, but I take it to my repair guy, and he tells me that the reason the exposure is all over the place is because the shutter speed dial doesn't connect to the shutter, a 5 min fix. He then proceeds to fix that, along with cleaning the lens and setting the meter right. It jacked up my purchase price buy 25%, but now I have a perfect looking and working Yashica-Mat.
     
  13. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Best "Sight Unseen" (ebay): A pristine F3HP and MD4 drive. Popped in some batteries and went out shooting. Worst "Sight Unseen" ebay: An F3 with a part-visible display; its accompanying MD4 with enough corrosion in its battery holder to render it non-functional (until replaced with the battery holder from a junker - also (some 6 weeks later) found on ebay.
     
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  15. BradleyK

    BradleyK Subscriber

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    Whoops, did not see the "medium format" header! Insofar as medium format goes, I have no issues: I have only ever either bought new stuff or shopped for used at KEH. And, like most here, I give an unqualified thumbs up to the folks in Smyrna, GA!
     
  16. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    It is pretty easy to see who these are - and then just as easy to add them to the ignore list. There is nothing like a well-populated ignore-list/kill-file to improve the quality of one's on-line experience.
     
  17. Crashbox

    Crashbox Subscriber

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    My Hasselblad 500 C/M purchase on eBay was a mixed bag. The camera was stored in a case in which the foam had deteriorated badly (and both the camera and the case REEKED), the lens had fungus/mold and the shutter speeds were WAY off, so I had to buy a $900+ replacement used lens which works well. The lens cost more than the camera.

    On the other hand, the camera body itself cleaned up easily, it has a nice prism finder, the 1974 A12 back matches the 1974 body, and I was able to buy replacement foam for the Zero Halliburton case it came in.

    It worked out OK.

    ETA: Oh, I forgot: the 500 C/M also came with a Komura Teleconverter which- although I've never used it- looks pristine.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2011
  18. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    The biggest problems I have had are with eBay purchases. I only deal with KEH now and APUG people with significant history on the forum. I don't mean selling lots of stuff, I mean actually contributing to threads and helping people. The worst screwing I got was from a former apug member who has been banned. I see this low life on the large format site and rangefinder forum now and again.
     
  19. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Most of my used camera gear are bought on ebay and i have been very satisfied with 99% of my purchases.
    Today i received two 95mm Heliopan slim filters, a red and a yellow in like new condition. I paid 81$ for both. One of those days you feel like contacting the second highest bidder to say thank you.
     
  20. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    I picked up a 65mm lens for my GS-1 from a now closed photography store in the UK (MXV Photographic) which was described as "Good". I called to confirm they had it in stock, and the condition of the glass, which they told me had some slight marks.

    I took the plunge as I couldn't pick one up anywhere at the time for a decent price, and waited for the package to arrive.

    And yes, it did have some light marks - which cleaned up nicely with some careful cleaning and it's an outstanding lens. Buying site unseen seems to be a given for me these days - used MF gear for my Bronica GS-1 is hard to come by here in BKK and the same can be said for buying in AU.

    After nearly 5 years of looking, a 250mm came up about mid-year in AU. It was $100 more than the one I picked up from Keh (including postage); would like to support the local market, but the prices being asked are sometimes unrealistic. . . . .
     
  21. borisdeswan

    borisdeswan Member

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    I bid on a 50mm f4.5 PG wide angle for Bronica GS1. I didn't feel to enthusiastic since it was purported to be excelent plus.I ended up with it after forking out $220. When It arrived inside the package in it's original box and warranty was a NEW lens...:smile:
     
  22. LarryP

    LarryP Member

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    Best deal on the bay Pentax 645 body with the large eyecup, body cap ,strapand220 back $ 103 including shipping. I would say it's in the high end of bgn low excellent keh grade.After i bought it found out he had paid 400 for it a couple years ago from keh.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Best: KEH, Samys, Bel Air Camera, B&H, FreeStyle, APUG classified, APUG "FREE!! ...", Large Format Photography Forum, ...

    Worst: My ex
     
  24. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    An arranged marriage ?:munch:
     
  25. mark

    mark Member

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    Worked with someone in Ukraine to have a K88 built by Hartblei (The original). Sent payment and after a few months started kicking myself for being stupid. Person no longer answered e-mails, wife considered killing me, the hartblei became unreachable, they changed hands, then 6 months after purchase it showed up. It has worked flawlessly for the last 9 years.

    I have been pretty lucky with camera equipment. I have not been so lucky with art off ebay. Bought a "#1 of 30 limited silk screen on cotton haida moon." that turned out to be a freaking bandana complete with sweat stains. Seller refused a refund even though they offered it. I contacted ebay and they never did anything. Only negative feedback ever left.
     
  26. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I could not see clearly 'cause my eyes had a mist from the smoke of a distant fire