What is it with people who...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Chris Nielsen, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    ...give broken cameras to thrift stores to give away???

    I picked up a couple of cameras the other day from one store, one camera just needs new light seals, but the other one had some sort of internal electrical short - I purchased a new battery for it at vast expense, and when I plugged the battery and screwed the cover on I noticed there was nothing on the display. Hmmm.. Quick, take the battery out! Oops, almost too late, battery too hot to touch! Quick, wrap it in something to contain the explosion :smile:

    No explosion but you get the idea.

    The other one that annoyed me was yesterday when I went to another store, they had a Oly Trip 35 on display. Oooh, I said and grabbed it. Hmm, first I notice the aperture ring is loose, then I notice the whole lens is loose, then I notice one lonely blade of the (shutter?) hanging in the breeze behind the lens. "This one's broken" I say, to incredulous looks.. "We thought it was a good one" they say...

    So what is it about people who give non-functional cameras to thrift stores? Isn't that a pretty nasty thing to do to people??
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    if they know it is functioning it is terrible. Many times people give these away when cleaning out homes from a "lost member" of the family and are clueless. It would be nice if someone at the thrift store knew something about cameras, but since in these times there are camera stores that have people working for them that know very little about film cameras if any ; it is unlikely.
     
  3. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    Maybe they think someone shopping at a thrift store would pay to have it repaired? Which, I have to admit, doesn't really make much sense, given why people shop at thrift stores and the kinds of things you're likely to find there.
     
  4. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

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    I figure on clueless personally
     
  5. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    My local thrift store is the Salvation Army.When I purchase a camera from them I have 24 hrs. to return it for refund if it's D.O.A. I figure it's a roll of the dice.Sometimes I get a nice shooter and other times a dud,BUT,I don't return them.Figure the few dollars I'm out (5-10) are my way to give to the community.
    The Sally Ann does some fine work with folks who are down on their luck or are in need of a hand up to start over.
     
  6. nick mulder

    nick mulder Subscriber

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    I'm still getting to grips with people that stand two abreast blocking the way on an escalator going down...
     
  7. bsdunek

    bsdunek Subscriber

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    I have more important things to be concerned about in my life.
     
  8. Stephen Schoof

    Stephen Schoof Member

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    I don't know, I sort of assume anything in a thrift store is suspect, sold as-is, and what you see is what you get, especially if it's a camera body for $5. I've considered giving away some of my non-functional stuff with the belief that someone might want it for parts, or know how to repair it, or want a 'camera' for a prop in a play, or whatever. So I don't think you're necessarily dealing with people being 'nasty'. Now if they're passing it off (and pricing it) as if it works that's a whole other story.
     
  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Good to know.
     
  10. Dave in Kansas

    Dave in Kansas Member

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    I figure anything in a thrift store may or may not work. At least I can personally examine it and come to sort of conclusion if it's worth the chance. I would feel a lot more confident doing that than buying something on the famous on-line auction site where you read things like "It worked fine the last time I used it" or the famous "I don't know much about cameras, but ..."

    Dave
     
  11. Jesper

    Jesper Subscriber

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    Would anyone try to return a lottery ticket because there was no prize on it?

    If I want a working camera with everything guaranteed, I buy a new one (and I will have to pay for it)
    If I feel like taking a chance on a nice looking camera for a fiver, I buy at a thrift store. If it doens't work at least my money may be doing something good. Buying from a thrift store is a kind of lottery. If you are not prepared to go back the next day and pay more because the camera you bought cheap really was worth more, then you shouldn' go back becuase it was worth less than the fiver you paid for it.

    Try to be a bit more positive. You bought two cameras and one of them could from what I understand easily be fixed. Isn't this one worth what you paid for the two that you bought?
    Thrift stores are not out there to cheat us. There are no people giggling with schadenfreude at the thought of someone buying the dud they planted on the shelfs.
    It is a lottery. You win some and you loose some. In any case your money helps a good cause.
     
  12. Jeff Kubach

    Jeff Kubach Member

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    Besides cameras, there are TV sets, stereos, etc., that might be in not very good working order, so you take your chances.

    Jeff
     
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  13. elekm

    elekm Member

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    The assumption is that people have knowledge about cameras when they give them to a charity. In fact, I would believe that most people don't have knowledge about a camera. Most items that are given to charity are one step above the trash bin, and if people knew how much value they had, they probably would sell them.

    I believe that it is often the son, wife, sister, in-law or an heir who brings things to a charity, because they might be usable without actually knowing whether they work. I don't think there is an attempt to deceive.

    For example, if I were to look through women's handbags at my local thrift shop, I wouldn't know the difference between a $5 bag and a $5,000 bag and whether it was a knockoff or authentic.
     
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  15. WolfTales

    WolfTales Member

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    They just don't know man. Your talking about college kids and a summer job, not a camera store.

    Your luckier then then 'ALittleBitofLuck'.

    I once had a major camera shop try to sell me a broken camera and then gave me a hard time when I tried to take it back. I won't name names but it is located in Stamford Connecticut.

    Ahhh my one hundred and eleventh posteth.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2009
  16. John Hermanson

    John Hermanson Member

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    You don't really expect cameras in full working order found at a thrift shop, do you. Thrift shops are weigh stations between the original owner and the garbage dump. You can get fully overhauled, warranted cameras from dealers and repair shops who do the rebuilding. John
     
  17. IloveTLRs

    IloveTLRs Member

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    Thrift stores carry so many items, they don't have the resources to test cameras or be knowledgeable about them. Someone on another internet forum could be saying "I bought a watch at the thrift store but it doesn't work. Why don't they test these things??"

    Sometimes you can get gems at places like that, sometimes you can't.

    Trip 35s are pretty easy to repair. I wonder how much that broken one was ...
     
  18. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    The practice in the UK for most charity shops is for goods offered to be sent to a central warehouse where they can be sorted and evaluated, and re-distributed to shops as appropriate, and as a result one is less likely to come across an unknown Modigliani from the clearance of Great Aunt Matilda's attic unwittingly priced at £12.50. I have periodic clear-outs at home, and this is exactly how my chosen charity works, I have to take my boxes of stuff to the warehouse.

    I've had occasional bargains in the past, including a little Olympus AF number that I picked up for £1.50, which only required a clean-out of the battery chamber to restore it, but that's much rarer these days.
     
  19. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    It's no different than eBay. Any item on eBay listed as "I don't know if it works or not" or it "just needs a new battery" are outright lies. Both equate to "This is a piece of junk but I won't sell it if i tell you the truth".

    Assume everything is broken unless assured otherwise. Even then, be prepared for the trully ignorant to give exception to the rule.
     
  20. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I often wander thrift shops, often while my wife is sizing up my young boys for more pants. You would think they eat them, the rate that they blow out the knees to a state beyong another round of repair. The nice part of them wearing them out, as opposed to growing out of pants is that I know they are building an active part into thier lifestyle with their peers. Something that playing with their video games while laying around the house does not do.

    I frequently see all sorts of things that are no longer whole, but are great to get you thinking about how they could be used or repurposed. I whole bunch of light modifiers that I started out with for studio waork were found this way, and I still have a few of them. The cloth from an ugly framed japanese screen became a diffuser, a plant pot the genisis of a beauty dish. A large projector screen, woefully wounded with a matte white screen, became a bounce surface tacked to the ceiling of the studio. Its stand became a fill light stand, and the dead spring part went on the curb, and a metal scavenger took it overnight. Not a bad deal of the outlay of a whole $4.

    The camera section get looked at, but it is almost always full of cheap point and shoot 35mm cameras.
     
  21. dracblau

    dracblau Member

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    I think it's better than throwing it out. I assume the cameras at a thrift store may not be working, and I also assume the people working there will know nothing about cameras.
    I think that if the camera is at the thrift store, at least there is a chance someone that knows about cameras will buy it and fix it. There is no chance of that if the camera is just thrown away.
     
  22. alexmacphee

    alexmacphee Member

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    Ah, a lesson I have learned. I once bought a Yashica AF230 from a seller 'turbo-jacques' (no longer trading) who described it as "working last time I used it, but no battery to test now". As you've already guessed, it was DOA. He was reluctant to take it back ("I don't see why I should"), and tried to sell me, off-auction, an AF270, which he asserted did have a battery and was tested working. Now, the Yashica AF SLRs all take the same battery... A quick check of his listings showed that he was trading almost exclusively in photographic gear, so he knew what he was selling. I never made that mistake again.

    There are those who say that there are bargains to be had from auctions of the "don't know much about it" type from people who really don't know what they're selling, but that's not a risk I'd spend money evaluating.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    This is a showcase example why I shop at my local camera stores, Samys, B&H, KEH and APUG rather than eBay. On rare occasion I will use eBay, usually sticking to dealers although I have had very good luck [so far] with small sellers.

    Steve
     
  24. Wolfeye

    Wolfeye Subscriber

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    I'd avoid Shutterblade, personally

    Not to hijack the thread, but keep in mind that even "reputable" sellers are often clueless as to what constitutes "fully working" condition. Case in point, an EOS 1V I recently bought from Shutterblade came with a smashed hotshoe. While they were willing to take it back, it's obvious they didn't test it to see it was working fully. Too much trouble to actually try and slip a flash onto the hot shoe.

    It's amazing how many people will snap the shutter three times and if that goes ok, assume the rest of the camera is in great shape.
     
  25. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    the olde saying goes: you get what you pay for ...
     
  26. Leighgion

    Leighgion Member

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    A thrift store is, in essence, a kind of gambling operation designed for charity. Instead of just asking for donation outright, you pay some money on the gamble of your choice in the hopes of getting something at least useful, hopefully very cool. But if you don't, then you don't.