Quote Originally Posted by mark View Post
I know what he was saying, I guess I did not communicate it well. Damned internet. He was saying that customer service at some places makes you feel that way.
Yes, this summarizes quite well what I was saying. I fully recognize that if KEH manages to stay in business, it must be doing something right, and this is confirmed by the responses here, all from satisfied customers, albeit many of whom have had to return goods (benefiting from the compay's generous return policy). What I was also saying was that:
1) I personally would rather buy equipment which has been checked, even if it costs more
2) Given the fact that goods may need to be returned to KEH quite often, I feel it does not make economic sense for me in the UK to buy from this company.

I can see that it does make sense for others, primarily, it seems, people who live in the US and don't like e-bay. I'm the other way round on both counts! I would only observe that APUGers are routinely scathing about e-bay sellers who say "I don't know much about cameras but this one looks OK" and as far as I can see, KEH doesn't tell me much more than this either. For me, and I emphasize I speak only for myself, and am not criticizing others for what they do, my general preference is to buy on e-bay, making sure that I pay trade price (the price that a full-service dealer would buy in for). In the case of a typical Leica, for example, this might mean that I pay 200 - 225 for a camera that the dealer would sell for 450 to 500. I buy only cameras which are definitely described as working, without physical damage (dents, etc.) and with totally clean glass (I have learned the hard way that having scratched moldy lenses overhauled is not cost effective). Almost always, unless the camera is question is described as recently CLA'd, I send it to Newton Ellis in Liverpool for servicing.

This way, I end up paying mid-way between e-bay and retail prices for a camera which has been fully serviced and will be reliable for quite a while, and is in fact much better than the typical camera from a dealer's shelf. In the case of lenses, I only buy specimens described as totally clean - if they're not, they go back. I have upset quite a few sellers in my time by telling them to inspect their lenses with a torch ("How CAN anyone be so fussy?" they obviously think) and have done so without a qualm. My lifestyle and workload are such that I very much begrudge any time spent testing cameras, diagnosing faults and making returns, no matter how accommodating sellers may be.