Well, I live in Japan and I buy almost all of my photo stuff overseas. It's just so much cheaper than what's available here. Plus, I don't ever have to pay any customs duty on whatever I buy, used or new. The quality of used gear is very good, but also very expensive -- I would consider it for a camera I really wanted, but again, many of those are not available here (or really hard to find). I bought my first SLR here back in 2001 and I don't think that the prices have changed very much since then.
I just wish more ebay sellers were open to selling to non-US buyers -- it seems that they would have a much larger market available to them.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
This could be a new sticky thread
Originally Posted by Mr.3D
My local favorite is the seller who's been listing a Stroboframe every week for the last two years. Last year he wanted $85. This year, he's made a major concession and come down to $75.
Originally Posted by mooseontheloose
For some reason I think many U.S. seller believe there a bunch of hoops you need to jump through to ship something overseas. The only extra step is a customs form.
Why no N. American buyers? Low/no interest in film gear, especially garden variety 35mm stuff. Decimation of low-cost processing/printing. Current N. American market can't be anywhere near as robust as its pre-08 collapse version. KEH can't seem to sell-off NOS Mamiya RB67 stuff even at lowball prices.
Originally Posted by Mr.3D
Offshore buyers can't always find the range and depth of quality used gear locally at decent prices--if at all. US Bay looks like Aladdin's Cave.
All my kits are where I want them. I use what I buy and pay for top quality. Quality is something I'm frankly not seeing now compared to 3-5 years ago.
Agreed that some US sellers are totally misinformed about overseas shipping even to Canada with full insurance and upgraded, trackable shipping. On the other hand, I resent crooks who kite shipping and use it as a profit centre.
There's a surplus of film equipment in the US, for as long as I've been into photography seriously (late 1960's) equipment has been very cheap in the US and expensive elsewhere. It's still the same today.
I remember a time when a Pentax in the US was half the UK price and a third of the Japanese price. New models were introduced first in Japan, volume sales in the US to bring down production costs and high profits elsewhere.
As a consequence the proportion of decent cameras per head of the population is much higher than the rest of the world in the US.
There's another factor, Europe made a big switch to 35mm and MF before WWII, particularly in the amateur market, after the war almost no amateurs used large format, the US was quite different, a much slower pace of change they didn't suffer the material shortages that affected all of Europe.
That's just a tip of the iceberg.
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This past spring I sold via Ebay a Voigtlander Vitomatic, Kodak Retina IIIC and a Rollei 35 tessar and all three winning bids were in China. Maybe it's the emerging Chinese economy, people finally can afford collecting classic cameras.
One problem is all these seller/yard salers listing 35mm junk as Vintage with the obligatory "I don't know much about cameras but will answer questions to the best of my limited knowledge" or some crap like that.
The market is saturated here in the US for mechanical film gear.
Right now there is a OLYMPUS OM ZUIKO AUTO-T 135/2.8 PRIME LENS for sell on ebay and the three questions to the seller are from Australia, France and Spain. They are all about shipping.
1. The economy was decimated by the housing bubble; Banks tightened up credit and raised interest rates before consumer protection laws took effect.
2. People lost alot of money in the market 2 years back and then bailed out instead of buying.
3. We all know digital has been killing off film cameras sales, which for a time gave us alot of deals on good lenses in dead brands till 4/3rd's came along. Now their just as expensive as ever, if you can find the good ones.
4. Shipping and handling became expensive. Many sellers on Ebay became a little too greedy with their rates.
5. Many older cameras need a cla and when you cost that in the price is much higher.
6. I believe buyers (if any) that are on the sidelines are worried about films continuance. Too many film is dead articles.
7. Labs are dying, processing fee's went up, and mailing film out is not cheap if you have to pay rates like $17 a 36 exp roll printed at pro labs. With mailing back and forth and handling you've got an easy $25 a roll cost for the enthusiast. Local labs are of course is best, doing your own better. Now the cheap route is Costco.
8. The dollar lost value, gas is expensive, home insurance shot thru the roof if your near the hurricane coast, and food prices are up up.
Really, I'm surprised anything sells in the U.S. concerning film cameras. Accessories and lenses go, but bodies(?) why, we all have drawers full.
Originally Posted by Mr.3D
I'm getting there. There are a couple of lenses that I want in the $500 range and a couple of lenses in the $1000 range. I already have all of the commonly found lenses that I want.
"She's always out making pictures, She's always out making scenes.
She's always out the window, When it comes to making Dreams.
It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up, It's all mixed up."
From It's All Mixed Up by The Cars