Rant Warning: Some People Just Crack Me Up...

Discussion in 'Collector's Corner' started by magkelly, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    This guy locally he has another film camera like the one I am currently doing most of my shooting with. Very common camera. Most of them are going for well under $40. I saw it, figured why not ask as it would give me a backup body for school.

    He clearly doesn't even have a clue if it actually works or not, definitely hasn't even looked inside under the lens and inside the film area to see if it's dirty or the light seals need replacing BUT he still wants a sum for it which is actually about 1/3 again as much as what that camera is actually going for in working condition.

    FYI, the battery for the camera is common, about $2-4 depending upon which version regular or alkaline. Since you can't use the camera at all sans one, or even check it out. I suggested to him that he pop a cheap non-alkaline one in and make sure the shutter works at least before he sells it. Common sense, if you're into asking something beyond a "for parts" price for an old camera, you at least need to make sure it works, right?

    His reply was that if he was going to put a battery in and check it out then he would have to charge me quite a bit extra for that just to compensate for his time and the money spent. His "bit" extra was about 1/4 more added to the price of an already overpriced old film camera.

    I'm talking a $2 battery and about 4 minutes to make sure the thing actually fires and he's talking about 1/4 more just because he actually has to do what he really should be doing before he even lists it to sell?

    Of course I said "No thanks." but he really had me shaking my head. I wish I could tell you he's the only person that's pulled this stunt or similar, but he's not. Last guy, I asked him for pics of his SP2? It's supposed to be in VGC, but when he finally sends the pics a week later, on the very day we are to meet, the thing is wicked filthy and literally looks like it's been submerged, I kid you not.

    The shutter was crystalized on the bottom and you could SEE water damage marks on the case. Dropped in the ocean and left to rot in a hot garage about covers it probably. NO way that camera is working or in anything near VGC. Not even worth it for $20, sorry, but he thinks I am perfectly unreasonable for canceling the appt and not buying it and boy he lets me know it too!

    I get supply and demand, and I'm all for people making a good buck, but I'm seeing way too much of this on CL and Ebay and such and it truly bugs me. People attempting to sell camera gear in often awful condition at completely unrealistic prices without even so much as a cursory look at what such items are actually going for on the secondary market. People not even making the attempt to properly check out what they have before they list it and yet still demanding some pretty outrageous sums for gear that they don't even know works?

    I respect people who at least say "Okay, I'm not up on cameras so this one may well not be totally functional so here it is listed for parts." But people who list a 10 year old digital camera for almost what it cost them to begin with when that camera is going at 1/5 of it's former value every day on auction, or people who think that every 30 year old film camera is an antique collectible and therefore valuable when there are 50 million of them out there, most of which are selling for $20 are just NUTS IMHO.

    There may indeed be "a sucker born every minute" but clearly these people think everyone they could potentially sell to is one, including me, I guess. I'm getting very good at just walking away from people like this, but it's still pretty annoying to realize how downright lazy most people really are when it comes to what they're trying to sell.

    I would never put something up for sale without at least checking on Ebay and maybe on a few sites like this just to get a ballpark figure. If I have a way to test it I surely would or I'd at least say that I didn't and offer it up for parts or trade or whatever. Doing otherwise just isn't very nice.

    I would never buy anything, particularly a camera or related gear, though without knowing it's not at least been through a cursory test. Refusing to put a $2 battery in to check the shutter? That's just completely lame if you ask me.

    What about you?

    Do you just shrug these people off or tell them off?

    I get tempted but I do refrain, mostly.

    But the sheer audacity, what some people will say and try to pull sometimes, it just kills me....
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    To be fair some people from the film era who had at least mid to highrange camera bodies and gear might not all apprecaite the massive scale to which they ahve depreciated in value over the last 10 (or less) years since digital really took over the professional and hobby markets.

    So I can have some sympathy for people who are not clued up on the digital age and who might have left the camera unused for the last decade (and thus not really paid attention to the photographic world to apprecaite what has occured).

    That of course does not excuse those looking to pull a fast one by missrepresenting the condition of gear delibratly or who know full well the market and are trying to price way to high. As for difficult sellers, sometimes I do get the impression that people who try to pull an ultra hard bargin either know they have something the buyer despiratly wants and can't (easily) get elswhere or they don't really want to sell - so they charge more than its worth knowing that in the end it probably won't sell - and if it does they've made more than enough to replace it and do well out of the deal
     
  3. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I see it all the time on CL. I just shrug it off as folks desparate for cash without ANY idea at all how to price or sell an item. Many never thought to take the time to research and see what the market price is.

    The opposite happens too. I am often selling an item and people want to low ball you. I usually reply respectufully assuring them and sometimes linking them to other sales so they know where I am coming from on my price.

    One time, someone tried to tell me I was too high, compared to new, but I was easily within the market price for used in excellent shape. Again, I had sources to show where I concluded my price was valid for the market. It was a photographer I sort of knew, and he was kind of snarky in his orignal email before he knew it was me. I hope he felt a bit of shame. Anyway, the point is, that is bothersome too, but I have learned to kindly turn down offers that are too low and obviously not realistic.
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    I think overread's line of thought is mostly what is going on--there are quite a few people who think in terms of the "good camera" schema; years ago, a 35mm SLR with a name brand was a rather expensive, almost luxury item. In terms of adjusted prices, a $550 Nikon F2 from the mid-1970's was a VERY expensive camera, and even a higher-end Pentax Super Program with a 50mm lens and a modest 35-70mm slowish zoom lens was priced at about the same cost as a term of 4-year college tuition in the mid-1980's. To many people, the old mind set of the "good camera" still holds sway, and they have the idea that cameras of that era still hold value. But the market has fallen so far, it's simply ridiculous. Case in point: in the warly 1990's, I bought a Bronica SQ-AM, 150mm f/4 PS lens, 80mm lens, and some backs and a mtered prism finder. The cost was something like $2,500, used. In 2008, I bought a Bronica SQ-A with 120 rollfilm back, WL finder, 80mm 2.8 ZS, and 50mm f/4 Pro Series wide-angle: IOW, a complete body,back,and a two-lens setup. I payed $299 for the entire Mint condition outfit; in the mid-1990's, just the 50mm Pro Series lens was around $1100.
    So, the depreciation on this particular brand and style of camera has been absolutely horrific. Just simply ridiculously extreme depreciation.
     
  5. magkelly

    magkelly TPF Noob!

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    I don't mind the over pricing thing nearly so much as I mind the refusal to briefly check the gear out before offering it up without adding a hefty fee.

    On some things, I'd just take my chances if I could afford the loss or walk away if I couldn't, but buying a camera, even an old one, that can be pricey and if it doesn't work at all, you're screwed. Been there, done that, with a lens I bought in an auction actually and it really hurt losing the $$$ and getting a useless lens.

    I would think the least someone could do is put a darned battery in a camera before they list it at what they think is a fair price, wouldn't you?

    I'll grant you it's not always possible with an accessory. The Minolta winder I put up for sale I couldn't really try out. The camera itself just didn't work even with a battery in. I did try, put a battery in, but I got nowhere. The winder was probably fine, guy said he rarely used it, but I had no other Minolta to fit it, and there was no way to test it and so I just threw the camera into the donation bin.

    But I said that, in my ad, that I couldn't really test it, and that was why I just said I'd take offers on the thing and didn't name any real price for it. I don't know what it's actually worth as is. Don't really care all that much to be honest. I actually expect it probably works fine, but more likely someone will just buy it because they want the lens it came with, and figured why not grab both. I didn't really think it would ad to the value of the lot really. It was just thrown up there with the lens. It was more of a bonus than anything. It's not that think I'll be getting a fortune for them. Minolta kit lenses go for practically nothing, a quick glance on Ebay told me that. I just wanted someone who could use them and who might be willing to spend a few bucks or trade me for them to have them. Better than letting them go to waste, right?

    But any camera I sold. I quite definitely would check it out. I'd look inside all over, put a battery in and even run a roll of film through it and develop it if I had time before I ever listed it for anything other than for parts. That's only fair, I think. You're exactly not talking about a sweater or pair of jeans!

    FYI, this guy wanted like $75 for the camera and the basic kit lens. Not bad I suppose when you think about the fact that the camera once cost $700 to buy, but I am seeing a lot of these going for $30-40 and many have an even better lens. Mine did and it was the supposedly more coveted black one even. But on top of wanting $75 for a non-black camera that's routinely going for under $40 he wanted to add like $15 just putting in a $2 battery to see if the shutter worked? You're talking $90 for a $30 camera with the less attractive lens just because you put a battery in to check the shutter?

    Uh yeah, that was nuts and of course I walked away.

    There are four of that camera, all of which have been checked out apparently on CL as I type locally. All but one have the better lens, or even have 2 or more lenses for the same money or even less. A quick look on CL before he posted would have told him he probably couldn't get $90 for that camera if he hired a hot blond to stand in a bikini winking lewdly at every male passer by for a week!

    I mean get real!

    There is such a thing as low-balling, sure, and I just ignore people like that too, but it's pretty much SOP to check to see what the item, whatever it might be,
    is going for before you decide on some crazy price, and if you are too "busy" to even make a small effort to check out the status of what you are selling then maybe you shouldn't be selling it but donating it to Goodwill and getting a tax write off instead!

    It would be more honest at least, sheesh!
     

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