Ah, a lesson I have learned. I once bought a Yashica AF230 from a seller 'turbo-jacques' (no longer trading) who described it as "working last time I used it, but no battery to test now". As you've already guessed, it was DOA. He was reluctant to take it back ("I don't see why I should"), and tried to sell me, off-auction, an AF270, which he asserted did have a battery and was tested working. Now, the Yashica AF SLRs all take the same battery... A quick check of his listings showed that he was trading almost exclusively in photographic gear, so he knew what he was selling. I never made that mistake again.
Originally Posted by Wolfeye
There are those who say that there are bargains to be had from auctions of the "don't know much about it" type from people who really don't know what they're selling, but that's not a risk I'd spend money evaluating.
I'd avoid Shutterblade, personally
Not to hijack the thread, but keep in mind that even "reputable" sellers are often clueless as to what constitutes "fully working" condition. Case in point, an EOS 1V I recently bought from Shutterblade came with a smashed hotshoe. While they were willing to take it back, it's obvious they didn't test it to see it was working fully. Too much trouble to actually try and slip a flash onto the hot shoe.
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
It's amazing how many people will snap the shutter three times and if that goes ok, assume the rest of the camera is in great shape.
In life you only get one great dog, one great car, and one great woman. Pet the dog. Drive the car. Make love to the woman. Don't mix them up.
the olde saying goes: you get what you pay for ...
A thrift store is, in essence, a kind of gambling operation designed for charity. Instead of just asking for donation outright, you pay some money on the gamble of your choice in the hopes of getting something at least useful, hopefully very cool. But if you don't, then you don't.
I wouldn't (and have not) ever purchase anything mechanical (camera or otherwise) from a thrift store, pawn shop, camera show, etc,, that I couldn't satisfy myself was fully functional before I bought it. If it "needs a battery", but doesn't have one, I have to pass. Usually, that's enough. Oh, there was that Zorki that worked fine at the show, but then exploded the next day at my house, but the seller should have told me ... :rolleyes:
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I wouldn't say a thrift shop is a type of gambling operation.
It just takes all sorts of people to make the world go round, that's all.
But now and again you come across nice people instead.
This summer I bought a Nikkor 105/1.8 on a Swedish auction site. It was advertised in bold letters as BROKEN and the picture showed in three pieces.
I know a good repairman so I decided to take a chance and got it for the equivelant of $80. I went to pick it up since the seller lived close to me.
He gave me the lens in a bag, smiled and told me that if I could not get it together he would refund my money!
I pointed out that I was fully aware that the lens wasn't working and that it was bought as a non functioning lens.
We discussed this for a while and then I left him to go to the repairman.
The repairman took a look at it and told me that he couldn't guarantee that it would be ok.
I asked him to make a try and I would pay him for his efforts.
When he gave me the receipt for the lens he explained that naturally it wouldn't cost anything if he didn't succeed..
Sometimes people are just nice.
It goes both ways. I got my Rolleiwide in near-mint condition in a thrift shop in a metro area of 13 million people. Not only is it a one-in-four-thousand camera that could be sold for thousands of dollars, but it is also one of the cleanest cameras I have ever seen. The point is that people have no idea what they are giving to thrift shops, and thrift shops have no idea what people are giving to them.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
Originally Posted by Wolfeye
Ironically enough, my experience is that on ebay with cameras, cluelessness significantly outnumbers outright fraud. I'd say that around 2/3 of the time, the "I don't know if this works or not" is a true statement - and the item either actually does work - or they really couldn't find the right battery.
And as for the other 1/3, usually, asking enough questions about the item can glean enough info to give me a heads up that I'm dealing with someone who is being intentionally dishonest.
The trick is to make sure that you're saving enough - relative to a known working sample of the same item, to make the gamble worthwhile.
Wow, I posted this late last night and just a few hours later this thread is up to 4 pages!
Seems to be a consensus that it's a lottery buying from these places. Yeah, I'm starting to think so too. I guess I'm just grumpy about the person who donated that Trip - there's no way it took photos and yet they gave it to the thrift store to sell to some poor unsuspecting person?? What's up with that?