it's really about the money

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by mysteryscribe, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I saw a camera on ebay. It was a duoflex by kodak. Most of you won't have a clue, but its a plastic point and shoot, 620 camera from the fifties probably. Value on a really, really good day is five bucks plus reasonable shipping and that's a very good day.

    So why was it selling for 53 bucks yesterday. Some person explained in his advertisement that he getting ready for a union lock out on his job. Selling off his camera 'collection'. I think it was the sympathy buyers who bid it way up past all reason.

    Soooooooo, I go to thinking. I have a set of nostalgia notecards ready for the printer. I just never bothered to have them done because there was no market plan.

    You guessed it. Im going to market them as the poor disabled photographer's retirement cards. Not too whiny I hope, but enough for the sympathy buyers.

    OKay it's a cheap trick but I'm not going to hide behind the it's the priniciple of the thing, It's about the money. No I'm not eating cat food, and I do all that I want to do, but then I don't want to do much. It's about the ego I guess.

    Anyway Just thought I toss this out for discussion what is a fair business practice? Is it fair to create a technically true, but basically false illusion to sell your product.
     
  2. celery

    celery TPF Noob!

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    Not that I have anything against what you want to do, but I doubt it was sympathy bids that go the price so high.

    What tends to happen with certain (what I would consider "crappy" camers) is that they become insanely popular to the art crowd.

    For example, say some artist uses the lamest camera he can find (has light leaks, plastic lens and fixed focal length). He picks it up for 50 cents from some garage sale and does a series with it. All of a sudden it's "hip and cool" to use that camera to show how you can be an "artist" because you use a piece of crap.

    It happens all the time. Art students get affected by this a lot. It's like a fashion trend for artists.


    But if it works, let me know. I'll make auctions for "starving college student artist" needs to afford tuition! lol
     
  3. zombiekilla

    zombiekilla TPF Noob!

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    ohh! Im poor maybe I can con people into buy my crap too!
     
  4. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    well there were three other cameras for sale of the exact same kind offered at 3 and 5 dollars no bids at all.

    lets ask one of our collectors in residents, I would bet that five bucks is too much to pay let alone 53.... There is nothing wrong with wanting to help you fellow man at all.

    I think charity is a good thing. My wife is the contributor in our family and there are letters showing up all the time. I have no problem with it or what the guy said or did.

    Am I really going to do it, I dont know. I just found it rather interesting. And I still might go for the sympathy sales approach.
     
  5. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Duoflex cameras are commonly available at flea markets and antique malls for $5 to $15. I've got 3 or 4 that were just given to me. It would have to be a pretty clean one for me to spend $5 on a Duoflex. $53 is definately charity.

    I try to be honest and straight forward with the buyer, but I think most of advertising in America (if not the world) is about using false illusions to sell the product. Sympathy sales might work on some buyers, but turn off others. If I want to sling some BS to drum up more sales I go with the "fine art" strategy, and find some foreign, exotic sounding words to describe what I'm doing/selling, such as "giclee". ;)
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Any way you want to approach it is fine. Personally I would go in the opposite direction. Maybe along the lines of "world Class photographer Offers a book from his archives".
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    ah but would they pay 53 bucks for a five dollar camera from a wonderful artist lol.... I just sold a duoflex pinhole (which is why i saw the charity one) and it sold for 4 plus shipping. I billed it artist camera.

    Artist is worth very little.... sob story x10.... aint life grand.... Im not going to do it because with my luck it would be cat food the next week.. It was just something to think about.
     
  8. rmh159

    rmh159 TPF Noob!

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    From a business point of view I would say anything within the legal limits is fair game.

    Let me ask this... if someone is willing to give you $50 for a $5 wouldn't you be the bigger fool for not taking their money? It's not like you're forcing them to pay that much or stealing their money.

    Even the question of ethics in using flashy words or the sympathy plea... how many stores claim to be the "Best in Town" or have the lowest prices? It's called common sense / buyer beware.

    It always surprises (or doesn't surprise me maybe) when people get upset with businesses for aggressively going after money. It's a business, that's it purpose. If people hate companies Wal-Mart so much stop pumping millions of dollars into their business.

    Bringing it back to the Ebay example I would simply say if customers are creating a market where they're willing to pay $50 for something that's a $5 value I don't think you should lose any sleep over taking advantage of it.
     
  9. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Actually I agree with you. As long as it isn't a lie about the product (ie this will cure cancer) and you don't have a problem with it, then I don't see a problem. Actually I wasn't critical of the man who sold the camera for ten times its worth... It might have gone even higher before it sold...

    I just wondered how other people felt about it. I do mention that I'm retired after thirty years in the business all the time. I doubt that it ever matters to a buyer of anyone else. I usually send them to my ebay feedback instead, but I have no cumplusion about telling the truth, shaded any way I want.

    I just believe in Karma... If I say save me from eating catfood, and suddenly I am reduced to it, I would always know that's what did it. Too much Baptist raisin' I 'spect.
     

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