Any tips for buying 2nd hand cameras off ebay?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by keller, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. keller

    keller TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking at buying a secondhand camera from ebay (film SLR). There seems to be heaps of cheap SLRs with price tags below $200.

    My main worry is the "little things" that are overlooked. Stuff like vital components missing, fake brands, etc.

    Does anyone have any tips for suspicious things I should notice when buying secondhand from ebay? Or any questions I should ask sellers before buying?
     
  2. Mitica100

    Mitica100 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would check the reputation of that seller first. Read the comments other people made about him/her. Check what kind of items he/she sold before and if there were many cameras and lenses then you know they're serious about selling that kind of merchandise. Also look for the return policy, sometimes they will accept the goods back (at your shipping expenses) and that's something you want to see in the ad.

    If you need me to help you with that I'd be more than willing to do it, I bought/sold a ton of collectibles on E-bay and never had a bad experience.

    PM me and we'll take it from there.
     
  3. kfoster

    kfoster TPF Noob!

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    Early last year I bought a Nikon F100 and a Nikon 300mm f/4 off ebay. I must say that I felt I was lucky with both purchases. Both items arrived in "as described" condition and worked perfectly. Both purchases were nearly $500, so I was risking a fair amount of money.

    I agree with everything that Mitica100 said. Check out the seller. I also only bought from guys that had detailed pictures of the actual item theyre selling. Dont buy from people who use stock photos of the items. Make sure the photos show all aspects of the camera your looking at, including up close pictures that show nicks and scrapes or other damage. I also picked one that came with the original box. I figure anyone who keeps the box is probably the kind of person who takes care of his stuff. My F100 looks like brand new.

    By the way, what camera are you looking at?

    K
     
  4. 'Daniel'

    'Daniel' TPF Noob!

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    Yep, just remember that most people are people just like u trying to sel or buy stuff. They aren't out to con you. having said that there are the few like in anything who try and cheat the system or scam you in some way.

    Mayke sure that the pictures they have are actuall pictures and don't look like company product shots. If it's from a big Platinum Seller, one springs to mind but I don't know the name then they may well have a business of selling cameras and so the pcitures wont be those of a camera on a bed or on some carpet somewhere. Don't be put off as ong as you can verify it is the actual camera being photographed.
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    All of the above. Plus, if you're not sure about anything at all, ask the seller. If they're genuine, they won't have a problem answering questions, and if not and they say it's fine when it isn't then you have evidence that they misrepresented the item. With an SLR, ask if the shutter speeds and the meter are accurate. With lenses, ask if the lens is clean, and if they just say it 'looks clean' ask them to look at the inside of the lens while shining a flashlight through it - remember, to the seller, 'clean' might simply mean 'no big chips or scratches'. Sellers may not be intentionally trying to con you, but many may be selling the items for other people or otherwise not know anything about photographic equipment.

    Always read the small print. Example, one listing I was recently listing stated that "the meter works and has not been tested with film". I would have thought "the meter works but has not been tested with film" would be more appropriate; that seemed a bit sneaky to me, as if trying to fool people who don't read it properly that it had been tested. Of course, that too could have been an innocent mistake. In any case, I'd be especially concerned about anyone who refuses to accept returns, unless they specifically state that the item is faulty. It's important to make sure the seller will accept returns (ones who offer to refund postage costs are rare but obviously even better) as eBay and Paypal will be no help whatsoever. It seems eBay's attitude has always been and will always be simply "most people don't have any problem with eBay", which I've always thought is a bit like the police refusing to catch muggers on the grounds that "well, most people don't get mugged".
     
  6. cbay

    cbay TPF Noob!

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    Yes, just make sure you check the seller's feedback and make sure the product is what you are looking for and read the whole description as soem put text in small print at bottom stating certain problems then you have no come back at the seller as they did tell you, not very well but they did, thats what they will say anyhow!

    Good Luck with buying off eBay, i am a great fan, hense my nickname :p
     
  7. Dave_D

    Dave_D TPF Noob!

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    Avoid auctions by sellers stating " I don't know anything about cameras and I'm selling this for a friend " or any other variation of that type of disclaimer. Doesn't matter how good it looks; it's a chancey proposition under those terms.
     
  8. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    I've gotten all 4 of my cameras off of ebay, but have also gotten very lucky because only one was actually guarenteed to the work.
     

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