Luckily keh does not end at the web site. I have always first checked their site to see if they have what I want and then called. You can ask the sales rep whatever isn't supplied by the vague website . It isn't quite as good as dealing with a store clerk in person, but keh prices are almost always cheaper and the product as good or better than my local camera shop's used section. If all else fails they have a generous return policy -- that I have never had to use -- which still may not be enough to offset the long distance postage. I haven't checked, but it might be that the exchange rate would be an additional reason to reinvestigate KEH.
Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
KEH does such a high used equipment volume and high turnover rate that they simply can't manage individual photos of every used item. They'd have to hire a large number of photographers and web editors just to keep up. They have travelling reps that buy out used stock in bulk from camera stores all over the US. The last time I went in to the local pro shop looking at used gear, KEH had just come through and cleaned them completely out. They do way too much volume to operate as you would prefer. The added advantage for purchasers is that they grade conservatively and have excellent prices that would certainly have to rise significantly if they spent time doing web photos and individual descriptions for each item.
I was recently given a batch of Nikon lenses and a couple of bodies. I ordered an extension tube from KEH that arrived as described with the exception of a missing mounting flange screw. I emailed, asking for them to ship a replacement screw rather than go through the expense of return shipping. They got the replacement screw to me very quickly and refunded 150% of what I paid for the extension tube to my credit card without my asking for any compensation.
In practice they certainly don't have the attitude you ascribe to their web presence.
In my expierence the way Keh grades.
Excellent would be called new by many shops or at the very least mint.
Bargain can range from a scratch on the camera base to a good user item. Bargain grade always works but if you're worried about looks the higher grades are nicer. OTOH I really have bought bargrain grade that needed a loupe to find the scratches.
IMHO Best part about KEH is they are REALLY honest. I bought a shade that didn't include the mounting bits. Pretty useless. Some shops would have shrugged. KEH gave me a quick refund with no questions asked. They've shipped the wrong hole size lensboard and just told me to keep it and then shipped the right one at their cost.
How much is shipping to Europe?
Originally Posted by Nick Zentena
I hear what you say, but this is a business model of which examples can be found in many industries in which the customers are the quality control department. I have experienced enough of these where the response to complaints is two words, the second being "off" (Amstrad, Ericsson and Leica UK come immediately to mind!). In the case of KEH, any metaphorical rough edges are smoothed away by an apparently super-generous returns policy, which for all I know may well apply to foreign sales too - as a very rough guide, sending a 35 camera and lens from the US to me in England will cost $50 express with insurance - plus I will have to pay around $25 import duty (tax-deductible) and 17.5% sales tax (VAT - reclaimable in my case). Even assuming KEH would pay 2-way freight in the case of a justified return, I find it frustrating and time-consuming to unpack, check and return goods.
David, buy from them if you want don't if you don't want. I can understand the feeling of being told to basically ^^^^ off. Ever try to return an item to Adorama? But, just because their business model does not suit you and you have been obviously bitten a few times it does not mean that we are all lying.
IMO KEH is more than honest and quite helpful to talk to on the phone.
Mark, David was not told to f&^k-off, that was how he internalized his perception of KEH's website. If a person wishes to twist things around to suit their own rational for not dealing with someone that is their business.
I have dealt with KEH for a number of years and have nothing but praise for them. If I am interested in an item I call and we go over the condition of several examples of the product and I make my decision based on that.
I've always bought bargain and have always been extremely happy with the merchandise. I've basically given up on eBay as I can usually get it for the same price + or - from KEH.
I can only speak for myself, but my experience with KEH has been stellar.
i too like to buy things from keh, and have had nothing but good experiences.
My Experience with KEH
I have been buying from KEH for years, and yes they are very fair and conservative with their ratings.
I decided to send them a Pentax Spotmeter V a few years back. I had purchased it used several years ago. The gentleman at KEH received it and called me with a fair offer, which I accepted. He then called back about two days later and advised that the meter was one internally modified by Zone VI (it had no external Zone VI markings noting this).
He offered me a much higher amount.
That was service!!
I find their website quite easy to use, their customer service very good, and their return policy very flexible. And have never seen it say f*ck off anywhere on their site. I think the difficulty with using them from overseas has to do with forces quite beyond their control. Is there no such business anywhere in the UK or Europe? Perhaps there's a market that needs to be filled?
I've bought about a thousand dollars worth of stuff from KEH over time, and usually been quite happy about it. At the moment, though, I'm about to return an LF lens that was rated EX, but turns out to have a dented filter ring, so I can't attach a skylight or UV filter that I use on every lens to protect it. BUT....the call I made to their service department was very satisfying. Not only will they let me return the lens, but they will exchange it for one that has both front and rear caps this time (the one I received didn't). So...if all goes as I hope and expect it will, I'll continue to be a satisfied customer.
(Interesting to read jd's account of more stuff than is listed on their website. I'll try calling the store next time I don't see what I'm looking for on line.)