Advice re: 500C/M sale and 120mm makro-planar
First post on APUG and I've already got a conundrum on my hands...
Today I called a man who was looking to sell his Hassy equipment for what I thought was a very good price. We made an appointment for tomorrow, agreed on a price, and discussed on a meeting place. I thought I was finally getting my MF setup, something that I've spent countless hours researching and studying in my spare time over the past 6 months.
500C/M with recent CLA
Eye level finder
3 A12 backs
and what was supposed to be an 80 f/2.8 T* (for only $350)
Total was $900
I can also pick up a polaroid back and a WLF for $50 each.
This evening I received a call from the seller saying that the lens had been bought, and promptly paid for, on eBay during the course of the day. He had intended to take down the listing when he finished his shoot, but it was already paid for so it would be complicated for him to cancel the sale (despite sounding like he felt really bad I wasn't getting the lens). Instead he's offered me a 120mm f/4 makro-planar for only $400 (so $50 more than I planned on paying). While I can find use for the 120mm, I was really planning on just having an 80mm for my Hasselblad kit, funds being tight and all.
Should I take the 120mm for $400 and maybe try and sell it/trade it for an 80mm later on or should I just pass on it and pick up a used late model 80mm f/2.8 T* from a nearby camera shop for $675? I don't mind the focal length, but there is a major versatility discrepancy between the 80mm and the 120mm in terms of using it as a walk around/environmental portrait lens.
I was so relieved to have finally had my MF setup all taken care of, but the news this evening has thrown a wrench into things.
Any advice on how to proceed is appreciated, but I don't have the luxury of sitting on this deal unless I decide to wait for a better one since I've got some travel next week that I was originally going to rent a 503+80mm kit for.
Sounds fishy to me! How did you come in contact with this person? To have agreed upon a price and date and time to meet and then uh oh, whoops, "I sold that lens, but conveniently, I have another lens which I'm sure would fit you just fine!" If this were me, I'd continue looking; try KEH or one of the more reputable sellers on e bay or APUG's own classified. Good luck and proceed with caution. (remember the old tv show Lost in Space? "Danger, Danger Wil Robinson...."
Advice re: 500C/M sale and 120mm makro-planar
While it could be fishy, these things do happen too. A search of completed eBay listings would answer that part of it at least.
The Macro-Planar is worth more than $50.00 extra to the 80mm, so the deal is good, as is that lens. Could be a good starter or as a trade against the 80mm later on.
When you say Macro-Planar 120/4 I assume it is a CF? If yes, then this would be a good price indeed. Was the 80/2,8 only C T* or CF?
From personal experience, I´ve found the 120mm to be more suitable as an environmental portrait lens than the 80mm. It is heavier and bigger though... I would take the waist level finder too, since lugging around the prism can be tiring.
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If a projectionist screws up his projectors and has to cancel a movie, all the customers in the house get a free movie next time they come back.
If a bartender pours a drink that the customer didn't order, it's "Bartender's Mistake"... the guy gets a free drink.
If a grocer advertises canned goods on sale at BOGO (Buy One, Get Oone) but he doesn't have enough stock on hand, he has to allow the customer to substitute goods of equal or greater value for the same price. (In some places, by law.)
So, if you agree to buy a camera at a set price but the seller can't deliver the agreed-upon goods, what should happen?
This guy posted the goods on Ebay but then made a face-to-face deal outside of the auction? Now he wants to give you a lens that you didn't ask for? That's his mistake, not yours. (Bartenders Mistake! )
He advertised goods for sale but didn't have stock on hand? That's just like the grocer's mistake.
If you ask me, the guy should sell you the 120mm lens in place of the 80mm for the same price.
Either that or he should throw in that Polaroid back for free.
Just like the theater manager, the bartender or the grocer, this guy made a mistake. It should be up to him to make things square with the customer.
(Oh! BTW! If the guy did successfully cancel the auction and sell that lens to you before a bidder put down money, wouldn't he have avoided some fees from Ebay?)
If you can check out the equipment; for example take three rolls of film and use the equipment the develop or have the film developed to be sure the camera, lens and backs are working correctly, you have an out. KEH and other established sellers usually have a return policy while it could be a problem with an individual. Buyer beware!
I've seen the eBay listings for their other items and spoke to both the seller and his son (who is managing the listings) throughout the day, so I'm not too worried about the deal going sour. Further, he's driving an hour south from Indianapolis to Bloomington to meet me at a coffee shop across the street from my graduate school building...
As for the lenses- the 120 is CF. The 80/2.8 was C T*.
The WLF he's selling for $50 is the one with a loupe and diopter adjustment. He also has another body (in admittedly lesser condition) with a popup finder ($275).
I'm moving to MF because there's a certain look, achievable by virtue of the physics of a larger neg, that can't be done on 35mm. Planar rendering is also something that contributes to this look, but it's not as much of a requirement.
As for Worker's response- The deal wasn't face to face, it was over the phone and through text. For a contract for sale of goods, such means of acceptance are generally sufficient in the formulation of a binding contract. This issue is not so simple, though.
While I acknowledge your described remedies and which things were this simple-
The deal is an aggregation of individual components. The 120 was listed for $490 and he's dropping the price to $400 because he wants me to get a lens; we had a long talk about my intended use, my desire to get into MF, etc. Further, I'm not under any obligation to buy the lens nor is the deal contingent on my purchase of all of those parts. He received payment for the 80mm almost immediately after the other buyer won the auction so canceling the transaction would require a visit to the eBay Conflict Resolution Center (or whatever they call it) which additionally requires the buyer's consent to cancel the sale. The buyer has no reason to do this as the final price for the 80mm was only $354.20 which as we all know, is a steal. Obviously the sellers would rather get the lens to me because there's face-to-face delivery at a price higher than what they'll receive through the eBay purchase, but the funds were already received by Paypal. I have no reason not to believe that the sellers would rather the lens go to me considering such a deal would mean they had more money in pocket (literally) than completing the deal on eBay.
If we want to get legal on this- and mind you this is a cursory and possibly flawed analysis- there was an offer and there was acceptance of that offer. There was ALSO an offer and acceptance by the other buyer (through eBay). That buyer, in getting his funds delivered before I did, thereby completed the offer and formed a binding contract for sale of a good before I did.
My act of going to the bank and withdrawing cash could be viewed as consideration towards the formation of a contract for sale of a good, but can I say that I was "injured" or "wronged" by this? Not so much that there emerges any judicial remedy. Some courts might decide that the seller has to make good, but a greater amount of reliance is necessary. Yes I "relied" on this offer and acted upon this reliance, but not to my actual detriment.
The issue here is that just as the seller failed to deliver upon a deal we made, if he cancelled that sale to the eBay buyer, he'd be doing the same thing to him. Considering the amount of Buyer protection that eBay has, I don't know that a few texts and phone calls between the seller and I would hold up against the contract formed via eBay sale. I wish I remembered more of Contracts, but I forgot most of that after the final- the above assessment seems right (enough) to me, though.
Anyway- I think I'll tell him to bring down the polaroid back or see if I can't get him to give me the pop-up WLF off the other body... I have no reason to give him a tough time, but I'm not pleased with how this situation was handled and can hopefully leverage whatever pathos there is in this situation to my advantage.
I'm also drafting a contract for sale of goods that will give me the option to refund for full value should the equipment fail to meet the promised conditions and fitness.
It wasn't my intent to get all legalese. I just wanted to point out that, if you were in a movie theater, a cocktail lounge or a grocery store and a situation similar to yours happened, most people would expect the business to make it up to the customer in some way.
As a matter of fact, I think most good businessmen would offer these things to the customer without being asked, simply out of good faith.
I would not go in with guns a-blazing but it is certainly within your right to ask for "a little something" to make up for it if you are polite about it.
The finder or the Polaroid back would be a fair offer if you ask me. If I had my pick, I think I'd ask for the finder.
I think if he already offered a 90$ drop on the 120/4 this was already a very decent offer. 400$ is quite a good price for a 120/4 CF (if it is in good condition). It´s definitely a lot better than spending 350$ on a 80/2,8 C T*. KEH has listed some 120s in the 750-900$ range. It is a superb lens for portraiture, though not so well suited as an allround lens, since it is more like 75mm on a 35mm camera. I would not judge before I´ve seen it though...