I buy new fresh kodak and fujifilm on eBay, one seller from the U.S. have gotten from before, typically others are Thailand, Hong Kong or Taiwan. They have to re-stock to, so there's no difference really if they are moving a lot of film.
I sure as hell would never pay the rip off prices Australian shops charge. Though Vanbar seems to have a reasonable Tri-X 400 price in 120, so thats alright.
Every industry seems to have some mechanism for dealing with slow selling items. It is important for retailers to be able to get out of the "dead" inventory.
In film's case there are three possibilities: back toward Kodak or Ilford or ...; sell it in a secondary market; throw it away.
If you were in Kodak's and the retailer's shoes what would you do?
I bought a lot of E100GX (200+ 35mm rolls) from ebay over the last many years, generally for under $2/roll, and stuffed it in the fridge and freezer. I have a very long term project I'd like to shoot all on the same film, and learned my lesson when E100SW went away. I figured I'd want to have a lifetime supply of the stuff in case Kodak every stopped making it.
Well, now they stopped making it. I was clever, right? Except I can't shake the feeling that in my own small way I helped bring about its demise. After all, I never in my life bought a single brand new roll of E100GX! The whole "beauty of the free market" thing is great until one of those dips in demand makes Kodak throw in the towel entirely on something.
For those buying film on ebay, don't forget the somewhat hidden costs: Shipping costs, plus you really need to waste a roll from each purchase to test it out, since no amount of cost savings are worth having important images you thought you captured not really be there after all. So one roll plus processing costs from each purchase goes to waste. Which is why I only buy big quantities of film. There seems little point in winning an auction of one or two rolls. On the bright side, nearly everything I've bought has turned out fine. Some really ancient Tri-X 4x5 was a little fogged, but no surprise there.
The 4x5 Polaroid films are not good deals now, nor were the last couple of hundreds rolls of fresh E100GX 35mm that Adorama sold recently. But there are plenty of good deals to be had on more mundane stuff, if you shop carefully.
i just don't get it.
To me ebay fresh film is way way more expensive than freestyle/bh or european fujilab/maco.
It has been almost 4 years since i'm buying all of my film outside spain, usually germany or usa. And i always check ebay prices before purchasing, there hasn't been even one time i got a better deal with ebay sellers.
In the other hand i also dont get the point to buy expired film. I know that there are some emulsions that were just magic and we lost them forever without any subtitute (polaroid 55 for example, polaroid 8x10) but leftovers of those films are museum items, but buying someone else expired film for your precious pictures, ¿? and take chances to buy something completly fogged?, i dont get it. I shoot expired film also, but it's my expired film and i know where and how has been stored.
There are plenty of cheap film companies in the market with plenty of enogh quality to work with from 35mm to 8x10 film, maybe it doesnt has kodak on it but is more reliable than a yellow expired box.
A brick of Kodak film, just out of date, being sold by a photo store who always kept it cold, should be every bit as good as fresh film. At least in my case, I plan to put it on ice for years anyway, so the few days it spends outside of the fridge while in the mail is no big deal in the scheme of things. You are right, it isn't worth the risk of shooting film if it might be fogged, which is why I test every batch I buy before using it on something important.
I've bought plenty of fresh film in my life and continue to, but I'm also not afraid of ebay film, as long as I'm careful and double-check it. But if ebay film purchases are causing Kodak to stop making film, then I am the guilty one...and I do feel bad about that.
There seems to be a lot less expired film & general film bargains on ebay UK over the last year or so & maybe we have seen the peak of it over here? A couple of years ago sellers were doing 35mm Portra 160VC in bulk packs that worked out at around £2 a roll. No longer. In the UK, I find it in most cases cheaper to go to somewhere like 7dayshop.com that to use ebay.
Cheap experiments or practicing with new equipment. I bought a bunch of 10 year expired film when I got my RZ67 and used it in the first few walks I did with this camera. Since an RZ67 takes some practice because its handling is very different from a small format SLR it saved me a lot of film. More expired film was used for practicing with the Jobo spirals and 120 film (much more fiddly than 35mm film for some reason).
Originally Posted by peri24
Certain emulsions, particularly black and white, age very slowly. I buy my Neopan 1600 from eBay, a couple years expired, generally for about $2.75 per roll. I think it looks the same as it did when I used to buy it fresh. Any other films I get from eBay are unusual finds (APX 100 for $2.35 per roll) or anything that's about 40% off the cost from B&H or Adorama (160S expired 9/09 for $2.60, purchased before the expiration date). I'm comparing auction prices including shipping against B&H/Adorama prices including tax. For the most part though, I'm happy to buy from my local shops.
I doubt this is too significant.
I got my hands on lots of expired 200 iso Fujicolor which is no use to me, I have been flogging it on ebay ,still have around 600 rolls left, I keep it in a fridge but can't vouch for it's whole life. Tested a roll last week still fine. My attitude is its a free market and I need the money to buy B&W film. I doubt it impacts on sales of anywhere.