Winning the e-bay game....

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by ic-racer, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I love this stuff. Buying something that is listed for much less than other similar items. There is some risk, but that is the excitement. In this case a 6008i for hundreds less than similarly listed items. Near mint condition with some secret hidden flaw. In this case I found it right away. The film did not fully wind up after the last exposure. A quick inspection of the pressure plate revealed the sensor-wire had broken off near the solder joint. An easy fix!

    It is odd to find this in a near-mint specimen with no signs of tampering. Perhaps a QC issue. If anyone has a 6008i that does not wind up the film after the last exposure, check the little wire. You can see it without taking the pressure plate off, just look in from the side.

    file-149.jpg
     
  2. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Congrats!!!
     
  3. flatulent1

    flatulent1 Subscriber

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    I've had a few scores like that. Most recently (okay, a few years ago) an Elan 7NE and an EOS RT for about a third the going rate, primarily because of bad photos of the items, and little to no description. Both in perfect condition. Last year I received a box full of dead T90s for $24 and free shipping. Revived the first one by tapping it on the ground. Well, bashing it would be a better description...
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had a few deals like that, often where something was "broken," but the seller didn't really know how to use it ("Studio shutter fires at only one speed"--well, yeah), or it was a routine fix that people are afraid to touch. It is rare that some really old LF shutter is really in good working order, for instance. Better just to factor in the cost of a CLA and consider it a bonus if it turns out to be unnecessary.

    Knowledge is worth money.
     
  5. Kyle M.

    Kyle M. Member

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    I've managed to stumble into a couple of amazing deals, the most recent being a mint Bronica S2 for $120. I found it at a used camera shop in columbus ohio and had to have it when I found out not only how cheap it was, but that it also had a Nikkor lens. I've put about 15 rolls of 120 through it with only 1 very minor problem, a cable release works fine if threaded into the shutter button but doesn't do anything through the cable release port on the bottom of the body. Personally I can't imagine ever needing the one on the bottom so it's fine with me.
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The release on the bottom is handy, if you have the camera on a tripod and you have something like a compendium shade on the lens. You also need it, if you ever get the L-grip.
     
  7. Hatchetman

    Hatchetman Subscriber

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    You gotta be careful with eBay or you soon wind up with a closet full of "bargains" that you never actually use.
     
  8. Kyle M.

    Kyle M. Member

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    Like all those Canon FD lenses I've got, theres a 100-300, a 18-28, and a 400mm that I haven't even tried out due to my current affair with medium format.
     
  9. pasiasty

    pasiasty Member

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    If this gives you some fun...
     
  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    With careful attention, a bit more knowledge than the seller, and a dash of good luck, you still do get bargains on Ebay. Like my second Rolleiflex 2.8E - I got it for about $550, and all it needs is an adjustment to the film sensor roller so that it will handle black-and-white emulsions (which seem to be a hair thinner than color, so it skips the first frame on the roll with most b/w emulsions. Not a problem, as I have another Rolleiflex body that reads them just fine).
     
  11. momus

    momus Subscriber

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    Like all gamblers, we remember the wins as if they were yesterday, and conveniently forget the losses. I too have figured out how to win the eBay game....I don't play it any more. Like any game of chance (and eBay is truly that unless you buy from someone you know there), the house has the odds, and the more you play, the more likely you are to lose. I buy from Igor, KEH, Sammy Koh, even amazon before going there, unless I absolutely have to have something and no one else has it. That rarely happens. Life is much nicer now :smile:
     
  12. clayne

    clayne Member

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    3000' of modern era Kodak MP color for 100$. I actually felt bad for the seller.
     
  13. Charles Wass

    Charles Wass Subscriber

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    This thread strikes a chord with me. I have rarely had success on Ebay, but today I won a Canon FP, claimed to be fully functional, for 27 euros. I wait to see how it works out. Where I am there is little alternative, except occasional interesting offers from private sellers and very rarely something worthwhile in a pawnshop. The nearest shop to my home for the first time to my amazement has something, a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super BC three lens kit with cases!
     
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  15. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Twenty odd years of evaluating and buying and part exchanging used photographic equipment from the public for the company I worked for was enough to make me very sceptical because to hear the sellers speak nothing was ever faulty, everything was always mint, and to buy cameras and lenses 20-40 years old or more sight unseen from an auction site from the other side of the World brings to mind the old saying about " buying a pig in a poke". I admit I do buy stuff off eBay but only small accessories like lens hoods, focusing screens etc. and odds and ends that are unobtainable elsewhere.
     
  16. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    I have no problems buying off Ebay - but there are some pretty obvious pointers to condition:

    Out of focus photographs are hard to produce with modern digital cameras so if the photos ARE out of focus, the seller is hiding something.
    Even someone completely ignorant of cameras can tell if knobs turn and buttons press - if they won't tell you so, either the knobs don't turn or the buttons don't press.
    Someone who has listed several 'faults' has probably listed them all (and a fifty-year-old camera like I buy WILL have faults).

    I have only once bought a camera off Ebay that was nothing like as described and that went back for a full refund. I have also bought cameras that were not quite as described and I have actually sold those again on Ebay for more by accurately describing them.
     
  17. Vilk

    Vilk Member

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    each time i get that congrats email from ebay i remind myself of the quote i once picked up on some forum, "i am the moron who just agreed to pay more than anyone else on the planet was willing to"

    :laugh:
     
  18. pasiasty

    pasiasty Member

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    but only slightly more :smile:
     
  19. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    There are some buyers on eBay who pay insane amounts of money for the silliest things, I saw a replacement Canon AE coupler cover for a Canon new F1, which is a small aluminium (aluminum) screw about 1/4" in diameter that covers one of the motor drive connections that somebody in Germany was selling for £30 ( $ 46.90 ) plus postage.
     
  20. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The converse is also true. They can't get a sharp image to save their life and the description isn't trying to deceive, it is just ignorance.
     
  21. Charles Wass

    Charles Wass Subscriber

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    I have bought quite a number of cameras and lenses from Ebay, all European sellers and all with at least 99.5% rating and willing to accept returns. The sellers all gave realistic descriptions except one. I had that one bad experience with a seller with a 99+% rating, who advertised a Canon F1 as in "great condition" and "fully functioning". It was only fit for spares. The return shipping I had to pay was fairly expensive. The guy then advertised it again as "mint" and at the bottom in small print he listed the three serious visible defects that I had listed, but ignored the fact that the galvanometer was bust. The guy then disappeared totally from the site!
     
  22. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    Given that I am totally relying on the description when buying on Ebay, I remember Caveat Emptor and assume deception unless I have reason not to. With that attitude, I do not get problems (other than the one I mentioned above).
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    The best way to "win the eBay game" is not to buy on it and buy from a reputable retailer who gives you a warranty, because what appears to be cheap can prove to be very costly in money and aggravation the long run.
     
  24. Noble

    Noble Member

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    Thank you for the information on the fix.

    Unfortunately I have to say that gamble is so not worth it. I'm glad it worked out for you but as an owner of a Rollei 6008i I can't imagine what I would do if my camera went on the fritz. If I determined it was a fault with the body and not the magazine as was the case with you I would sell the malfunctioning body and get a working one. Seriously you only need that gamble to fail once to wipe out the profits from numerous previous purchases. A price way outside the norm is usually a big red flag. Not always but a lot.

    I got my Rollei 6008i off of ebay in a killer bundle. It came with two backs and showed virtually no signs of use. It came with all kinds of accessories. I was astonished when I go the whole kit for the opening price. I probably saved a couple of hundred dollars for such a mint item. But it wasn't anything like $400 below market.

    I find if an item is niche enough you just have to keep checking. Eventually an auction will pop up on a day when your competitors are on vacation. I notice on a lot of auctions the serious bidding only occurs between 2-3 bidders a lot of the time. It's not like 10 people flood in to snipe in the last 15 seconds.

    As far as dealers are concerned... I don't know. Often they don't have inventory if you aren't looking for a Hasselblad. Although I picked up 4 genuine Rollie Bay VI B&W filters from a local photo store for five bucks a pop. And while I find there are risks on eprey the mark up some dealers charge is way too much. I've bought tons of camera equipment over the years and my worst experience was with a pretty big name store. Lets just say they should change the wording of their rating system. Instead of "may" they should use "will." As in the camera will have numerous scratches.
     
  25. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    I've made a fair number of eBay purchases, and very few have been disappointing. But, I always read the feedback, check to see if the seller normally sells this type of item, and if it says untested assume immediately that it is broken.

    I've found a screaming good deal here and there, but can say I have only had one real issue with a seller. Amazingly enough, that was over a $10 deal.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  26. dances_w_clouds

    dances_w_clouds Subscriber

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    For me the amazingly good ones offsets the bad ones. Recently I purchased a Canon A1 for very little and when it arrived they a forgotten to mention that it came with a MA power winder as well as a 50/1.4. The "not arrived as indicated" was not used but I did mention it to the seller and they told me "you have the camera so we can't use it anyway. I hope you don't mind" But needless to say that is a very rare occurrence. You just need to ask the right questions and don't ask any stupid ones everything seems to work out on a one to one communication. And you do have back-up with Paypal.