watch e-bay carefully
watch craigslist, I've actually been able to email and buy things w/ Paypal from people listing things on C-List around the world, farthest one was in England!
go to camera fairs(if you have one locally). You never know what you'll find. Dealers show up with the weirdest, and sometimes, unseen gear. I like going to the buyer's booths, even KEH's booth when they're there. Sometime you get to see funky stuff that might be worth bookoo bucks!
Originally Posted by waynecrider
Given the list of idespread financial setbacks noted above, people are selling film cameras and equipment. There's a liquidation.
The loss of the local mini-labs locally has absolutely killed interest in film. I see it mentioned in local ads repeatedly and have picked up and flipped a lot of gear lately as a result. No major outlets sell film anymore, nor process it (not Costco, Wal-Mart, nor any similar outlet such as drugstores; the bottom has completely fallen out of the market). Only 2 dedicated photo stores will have anything to do with film, and then it is relegated to the low-profile, back shelf.
One owner says by next year all commercial lab film will be mail order and dry scanned printing; nothing in-house for C-41 even. He's basically looking at a franchise drop box similar to what they have for recycling inkjet cartridges to handle his remaining film customers. His staff will only oversee the paperwork and bulk mailing for processing, and they'll be FTP's the Frontier scans for local printing. He gives that process maybe 4-5 years maximum before he will not be able to cover that cost, but he also thinks within the next 2 years he will no longer be able to stock film at all. The refrigeration costs alone are too much for the return. He used to sell a 25-40 instant cameras per day in summer for the beach and lake crowd; last month total he sold 8. He has a very large clientele of older folks who have been customers for years, often with excellent film gear, and he says that they are also switching to digital.
At over $20 per roll for 135/36 processing and prints, the cost of using film is far beyond accessible for the average middle class household, pretty much anywhere. Even the local hipster store that had a lot of Lomo gear last year is hardly stocking anything new because there is no local processing and film + processing + shipping = $32. You cannot move camera stock at those prices. Film photography simply cannot even co-exist alongside digital at those prices.
With no obvious source for film or processing, the average prosumer user cannot participate in the market. So film users dump their capital investment in the face of such an enormous increase in their operational cost. What applies to business is a factor in every household as well.
The OP's complaint about prices is the flip side of the fact that film photography is going back to being a wealthy person's hobby.
Everyone already invested in equipment and darkrooms here is so tied up in knots about the survival (and pricing) of film that overlooked is that the demand is driven by the mass market for cameras and processing. The latter is disappearing extraordinarily fast and the former's manufacturing base is almost totally gone from the mid-range market.
You have to look at it this way: Every person who processes and prints their own is a customer also lost to the local lab, pro or mini. But the market has been entirely driven by cost-shifting where prices for all were pushed down to margin by the mass market sales to the mini-lab crowd. Take that away and prices can only go up, up, up. The operational cost between film and digital has reached a severe delta that goes far beyond the cost of manufacturing and distributing film alone.
The prices I've seen for trackable shipping have been insanely high. Am I looking in the wrong places?
Originally Posted by CGW
What I've noticed here in the Philippines is that some of the digi shooters are going back to film and local prices for 2nd hand stuff are outrageously overpriced.
My view is that there are maybe three main factors at work, and not all in the same direction.
1. There has been an over-accumulation of film camera equipment in recent years as people who were not really collectors bought things they liked but sold little. With money tight that trend is perhaps slowing or even reversing.
2. The impact of reduced film usage has resulted in many processing labs (whether quality or not) shutting down their business or that part of their business. Even printing from digital files is diminishing as people are just viewing stuff on their computers or posting on internet forums and galleries. It's a vicious cycle that continues to work against people maintaining or starting up an interest in film. An additional factor is that prices of film and processing has risen substantially.
3. The US economy is not in good shape. People are being careful with their discretionary spending. However, point 4 relates -
4. The US dollar is weak against many other currencies and so buying from the US is now quite attractive for people overseas. China and Japan, for example. Australia, too, but we don't have the population to make any sort of dent in the demand curve!
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You must be looking in the same place that I am. Last and only camera I sold on ebay cost me $55 to ship and insure for US delivery. I'm sure it was more expensive to send internationally.
Originally Posted by moose10101
More importantly, I didn't want to sell internationally because not only does it usually equal more hassle with customs, shipping, etc., but you end up making less money for it once Paypal takes it's extra cut. So more hassle for less money?
As far as buying stuff on ebay, speaking as a US buyer, I can usually find much better deals in forums than I can on Ebay. Heck, I can find much better deals at used camera stores on the internet than I can on Ebay.
I can (and have) found better deals on APUG than on eBay!
Originally Posted by Tim Gray
And with more trust between forum members.
Locally I can see and touch before committing. That's important.
The lack of affordable lab processing has become the biggest impediment to using film. The at-home lab is only economically viable if it is supported by the affordable lab ecosystem. When people see that lab processing is unaffordable they dump their film gear. It's an affordability issue and not a quality issue.
I agree. But USPS First Class International is a bargain; cheap and surprisingly fast. However it's not trackable and you can't insure the package. I've shipped that way to China, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and Canada without a hitch (at least not one yet). But generally low value (<$100) items. It does require a trip to the PO though.
Originally Posted by moose10101
Unfortunately, ebay's recently policy change to base their fees on the total (item sale price plus shipping cost) forces sellers who did not inflate shipping prices to increase the shipping cost to recover that "hit".
I've primarily sold items on ebay recently; usually items that garnered no interest here on APUG or on CL. And more than usual have gone to overseas buyers. You can still find good deals there but it's a funny market. I recently bought a 50mm AF lens that I wanted, with a N2000 body, cheaper than the typical price for the lens alone.
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer
I rarely buy off e-bay any more because the prices are generally outrageous. Occasionally when I decide to bid on something the dealer will not take anything but"rip-off pal". In those cases I walk as far away as possible. Once burned is enough.
[FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]
USPS/Canada Post mesh very well re: tracking. I resent being charged a flat "international" USPS rate that's wildly out of line with rates on the USPS site for PMI that's insurable, trackable and reasonably priced. Some shippers are too lazy to find out the actual rate, charge way more, then pocket the difference. Most US sellers I've dealt with were honest about this and charged the metered rate.
Originally Posted by moose10101