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  1. #1
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    How far would you go in order to make a sale?

    You have a used SLR with a dented top. It looks ugly but functions flawlessly. You have another top from a junked, identical body. Would you make the switch, without disclosure to the buyer, in order to sell it more easily, even if the serial number was now changed? Without hesitation, I would. Why not? There is nothing missing and the camera has not been downgraded.

    But there are other questions that segue from this easy situation. What if, for example, by opening a camera body you damage the meter? Would you simply say that the deter 'does not work', leaving the buyer to wonder if only cleaning the contacts is all that might be necessary to make that meter work? No, I would say that the meter is DAMAGED and that the meter would have to be replaced.

    Strict honesty, per se, might not be the main driving force behind adherence to ethical standards. I think, instead, protraying honest VALUE might be a better approach. The buyer does not need to know that I damaged the meter beyond repair, but needs to know that that meter IS, in fact damaged (so he/she doesn't go on thinking one can simply clean the contacts in order to get it working again).

    Take another example: a lens that has a front element badly acratched. From an identical lens, whose body was badly damaged (but the glass is OK), you have its elements, intact. You switch the front elements and now have a 'perfect' lens using the other len's element. Fine ethically, I say. But what if, instead, two cemented elements came apart and you cemented them back together again. Do you disclose this? My response: don't disclose such ONLY if your ability and experience can be compared with a truly professional job. If not, disclose, saying that you think that there should be no problem with the glass in the long term because "I think that I did an adequate job cementing the elements".

    My question to all: I have an Olympus OM 1.4/50mm that had bad internal foggy glass. I knew that I had to open it up to clean the elements. This is normally a simply thing to do but in this instance, with the 1.4, you have to unscrew a threaded nut and do a few other things before you get to the various elements. Somehow, through a combination of shear ignorance and ultra tight fittings I had to use a vice and I badly, unbelievably actually, scratched the aluminum fittings. If you could see this lens when taken apart you would croak with how bad it looks. It looks as if a car ran over it because of all the scratches and cuts. But the glass is excellent, even perfect, and the mechanics (aperture and helical) are completely unscathed and the body is as rigid as new. Amazingly, when I put it back together, one could not tell that there was any damage. It looks, and acts, perfectly as new. And, mechanically, it will last just as long, as nothing that really matters physically is damaged.

    Would you sell this lens with those facts undlsclosed? My feeling is that I would be veering towards doing that because I know, in my heart, that NOTHING pertaining to either the optics or mechanical durability is compromised. But...if it were ever taken apart again, there would, indeed, be a visual shock. But, again, there is this to consider: after all that work cleaning the lens, you can be absolutely assured that everything inside is nicely tightened and will NOW probably function BETTER than if I had left it unopened. I, personally, would feel that this lens is NOW in better shape, and will last longer now, than before I had opened it. The helical is cleaned and regreased.

    Questions like these seek to bifurcate the concept of honesty into two components: perception vs reality, and force us to at least recognize that there really is a difference between the two. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 06-11-2013 at 10:27 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    blansky's Avatar
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    I think I might be careful buying from you.

    You seem to have a lot of dodgy stuff.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  3. #3

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    I'd disclose it---certainly if it changed the apparent serial number. Someone might want to do something that depends on the date of the camera, for instance; maybe they need to replace some weird little part that changed from one year of production to the next, or whatever.

    In general I just think full disclosure is the safest way to do any transaction. It eliminates a lot of opportunities for later ill-feeling if someone's assumptions turn out to be wrong. If a buyer decides to open your Olympus lens for whatever reason, maybe just for their own interest, and discovers that it looks like hell inside, you don't want the result to be an annoyed post that says "This guy sold me a mangled lens", right?

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  4. #4
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    blansky, if you bought from me you would have to come to terms with the FACT that it operated as told to you vs the 'messiness' of the perception when you found out. And I would sleep well knowing that you got value. And there would be nothing you would have to compromise with in your use of such lens, now or in the future. NOTA BENE: as for the serial number being changed: I am not talking about Leica or other items whereby the serial number really matters, as far as date and such.

    First, the Olympus 1.4 is not for sale, but, I am really arguing this scenario in order to see if perception trumps reality, here. The 'damage' in this hypothetical case is, essentially irrelevant but is being treated as if HIGHLY relevant, even to the extent that I might be a shyster. It is an interesting conundrum whereby damage that does NOT matter suddenly matters as if it directly related to the actual functioning of the item. We are not talking about selling a used car that was previously flooded or in an accident: such lack of disclosure really does present an enhanced possibility of future safety problems. I am saying that NOTHING is affected other than 'perception'.

    As analogy: If you had an employee handling food in a restaurant that you told HAD to wash his hands after using the restroom (but then he regularly touched dirty door knobs and handled one of the most filthy, germ laden things in our society, paper currency, would you feel relieved that he 'washed his hands', thus satisfying your percepion that those hands were clean now, even though they decidedly were NOT? Think. Reality is more important than perception. Toilets are 'perceived' as being 'dirty' and money and door knobs not so much. The reality is quite different, and, if I may, moderator: oftentimes I feel that I should wash my hands BEFORE using a restroom because my hands are the dirtiest part of my entire body. After all, they are always touching things and I think that that assessment would pertain not only to me but also to most and stand the test of rigorous scientific scrutiny. It is amazing how some very dirty things get 'cleansed' within our faulty perceptions!

    I knew that this would be attacked here, as most either cannot, or simply refuse, to separate the two very different situations. Perception attacks our sense of propriety but oftentimes fails to stand up to a far more demanding scientific scrutiny. Knee jerk reactions sometimes are not the most coherent but the feedback is priceless because it forces us to come to grips with how perception oftentimes fails to conquer fact. Truth matters more than mere 'feelings'. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 06-11-2013 at 10:40 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    darkosaric's Avatar
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    I think best way is to explain what was done - with note that you know what are you doing and that you have X years of experience in handling and fixing photo gear, eventually with additional note "return accepted" or "not accepted".

  6. #6
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    From Germany (via Poland) comes a rational response that no one can deny or refute. Bonus, darkosaric. - David Lyga

  7. #7

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    If it was my camera, I'd fully disclose it and let the buyer decide fully knowing what was done to it.

    Most people say "CLA'd by such-and-such". Same thing. It concerns the buyer in making his own value judgement and balance it with the risk.

    Hey, you are asking. It already IS concerning you. It'll concern buyer as well.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  8. #8
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Having myself sold photographic equipment for a living for more than 20 years David I found that honesty was the best policy in selling used gear, and that any subterfuge could come back and bite you in the ass with disastrous results.
    Ben

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by benjiboy View Post
    Having myself sold photographic equipment for a living for more than 20 years David I found that honesty was the best policy in selling used gear, and that any subterfuge could come back and bite you in the ass with disastrous results.
    X2 (except for the part about selling equipment for a living)... but I'd be much less concerned about honesty of not disclosing changing the camera top (basically that is "normal camera repair") than not disclosing the hidden damage of the lens from improper repair efforts... whether the lens appeared to be working fine or not.
    Last edited by BrianShaw; 06-11-2013 at 11:23 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #10
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Lyga View Post
    From Germany (via Poland) comes a rational response that no one can deny or refute. Bonus, darkosaric. - David Lyga
    I'm confused why we need a thread to illustrate the obvious.

    Some people are honest and open and others aren't.

    And I'm sure you already know what you are.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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