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  1. #1

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    Is the Ebay market hurting new film sales?

    I'll admit it: I'm guilty of buying film off of ebay because I could not afford certain types any other way.

    I wonder how much of a negative impact ebay sales of expired stock have on sales of fresh stock (contributing to decreased sales).

    I see most of the cheap, expired film on ebay with bids on it when I look. So people are buying it. Honestly, the fact that there is so much on ebay expired, tells me that there is more being manufactured than can be sold before it expires. In the early 2000s, it was more due to people switching to digital, but surely by now, most who were going to switch to digital, have switched and have either used up or already sold off their film.

  2. #2
    Ektagraphic's Avatar
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    My guess is that it would in a way. If you arn't buying it from a dealer, that dealer is not re-stocking their supply, therefore they are not buying from the film company so there is no new films sales. When I buy a roll of film it depletes the stock of Freestyle. When Freestyle sells all of the film they turn to Kodak for example. Kodak sees film is selling they cut some up and roll it. Film stays alive.....in theory.
    Helping to save analog photography one exposure at a time

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I'm guilty. I've sold 30 rolls of EPP 120 on eBay for $56. I don't have any data, but here's what I think. A lot of folks are going digital including pros. As most pros, they have a stock of film. As soon as they go digital, they don't have a need for film. This causes a drop in sales of film a couple of ways...first is that pros that go digital won't be buying any more film and the left over stock goes on eBay. I'm sure the scenero is the same for hobbyist and artist. I sold my EPP because it's hard to find a place to process E-6. That's my 2 cents worth.

  4. #4

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    The only films I've really bought off of ebay were not really obtainable through normal means, like Lucky SHD or something. I don't shoot enough (100ish rolls a year) to really have to worry about the cost of my film too much.

  5. #5
    Christopher Walrath's Avatar
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    I've seen some of the film prices. Unless I feel like getting bent over a box of P/N 55 because there's nowhere else to get it, a moron would be paying some of those prices (read: the pricing comparable to a reputable dealer). There are some deals to be had but not enough to make a diff. IMHO. Kinda like my company fearing Food Lion selling starting fluid or the local 7-11 selling 10W30. They're not compitetion for me, just catching drive thru's in dire and immediate need.
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  6. #6
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    "Guilt" should not be a part of this discussion, it you understand how markets work. Sale of expired film is a perfectly normal market adaptation to imbalances between supply and demand in the fresh-film market. Sellers would always rather sell the higher-priced fresh stuff, but production and consumption will never be perfectly calibrated, so surplus production eventually finds its way to the expired market or is destroyed.

    Buy what suits your needs and wallet from wherever you can get the best price, and let Kodak / Ilford / Fuji / Adox worry about the rest. This is precisely the beauty of a market economy; individuals make millions of disconnected decisions which, in the aggregate, signal what the manufacturers should supply, and at what price. We users don't have to fret about the Big Picture; supply and demand take care of that. And no, as an individual out of millions, You Are Not That Important. However, side by side with millions of similar individuals making choices, you are the driver of the whole economy. So elegantly simple.

    Orders placed filter up the distribution chain to, say, Kodak, signaling how much product it should make. If retailers aren't selling much "fresh" film because the world's momentarily awash in cheap expired film that everyone's buying, that's a signal to Kodak that either their price is too high for the fresh stuff relative to their customers' other choices (expired, or another maker's cheaper product); or their production is too large relative to demand. Kodak'll slow production of their "fresh" films until the market absorbs the surplus, or until the rate of production of "fresh" film mates up with the rate of consumption of fresh and expired film. That's an equilibrium of sorts, and is probably where things are most of the time.

    Once expired film stocks get low, their prices would tend to rise and some buyers would return to fresh film as their first choice. The resultant uptick in demand signals Kodak to raise prices and make more fresh stuff at a higher price. Naturally, they want to sell all they can at a higher price. But larger production means more supply; and higher prices would drive more users to Ilford or Adox, meaning more of this production spurt ends up in the expired-film pool, and demand for fresh stuff falls once again. Because a perfect coupling of supply and demand, signalled by price, is impossible, these market oscillations are continuous, with greater or lesser amplitude, at all times.

    Cool, isn't it? A self-regulating decentralized system, when left alone to work.
    Michael Sebastian
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  7. #7
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    I see a lot of film offered on eBay (Australia) but after the cost of film and postage, and uncertainty about probity, it's easier to get it from the Pro dealer (no shortage of films here to speak of). It's that 'touchy-feely' bit that I find most satisfying: to ensure I know what I am getting and working on a long-established relationship. EFKE, often marketed through eBay, is available from my usual dealer and with VIP discount is even cheaper than eBay. At the end of the day, I'm generally averse to buying anything of value on eBay now, including film!


  8. #8
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    guilty on all charge

    last year's purchases:

    24 boxes of 400nc 4x5 (10sht boxes) 05/07 dating(frozen since purchase in 2003 though). all sheets shot are PERFECT!

    $10/box

    this year's purchases so far:

    80 rolls of 400vc 220 for ~$3/roll. 80(220)=160(120), yeah, had to upgrade my mini fridge after this little purchase .


    basically: watch for what you want, and scrimp and save your pennies(like I do, ALL spare pocket change/ extra money from gas money goes into film and chemistry costs.

    I still purchase new film when I have to, but with my limited income as a student(virtually nil right now, I hammer the local high school's dumpsters collecting cans and bottles) but right now its pretty much just efke 25, I'm pretty much set for color film for the next 2-3 years or so.

    -Dan


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSeb View Post
    "Guilt" should not be a part of this discussion, it you understand how markets work. Sale of expired film is a perfectly normal market adaptation to imbalances between supply and demand in the fresh-film market. Sellers would always rather sell the higher-priced fresh stuff, but production and consumption will never be perfectly calibrated, so surplus production eventually finds its way to the expired market or is destroyed.
    Yes. You're right. But there's another option too: to throw out all the expired film. I'm not saying that's a good option (clearly it's not). But it's still an option.

    Looking at it from your point of view, ebay is a "buffering ground" pr "resevoir" or "storage silo" for the stuff that isn't selling as fast as it "should be selling". You can also look at it as amrket within a market. Ebay of course, is also a lucrative market; it is a very successful company. No surprise.
    Last edited by B&Wpositive; 02-21-2010 at 11:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ektagraphic View Post
    My guess is that it would in a way. If you arn't buying it from a dealer, that dealer is not re-stocking their supply, therefore they are not buying from the film company so there is no new films sales.
    But as long as the dealer is still carrying film, film is still being sold. A dealer can't sell expired film without discounting it/disclaiming it. So they're selling it for less, *or* they're selling it to eBay-type wholesalers who provide a bulk option for them to dump expired film rather than sell in the boxes of 5 on eBay themselves. The dealer then replaces the expired stock with fresh stuff. The key is whether dealers are still carrying it - I agree, it's a lost cause if the film is on eBay because the dealer's no longer carrying that film.

    Just know that even if you're buying on eBay, demand/supply still works its way up the chain to the manufacturer. And the secondary market may even be helping things, because it means that dealers with expired film don't have to dump it for $0. They can potentially recoup something close to the wholesale price of the film. Which makes the economics of carrying film better in the first place.

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