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Buying Lens on E-Bay - nutty world out there!

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by NJDJ, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. NJDJ


    Apr 15, 2006
    Okay here is my rant: a few years ago I bought most of my lenes off of Ebay. I paid what I think are "reasonable" prices for used items (although in perfect shape) and that allowed me to assemble some great glass. I don't think I would have such great glass if I had to buy it at new prices. Anyway, my observation of late is that Ebay prices aren't really a bargin anymore. I was hoping to pick-up a 1.4 TC this weekend. I was watching bidding on several and this was typical: a 2 year old TC in good shape but without papers or box, just closed for $306. Are these folks nuts!? A brand new one (grey) sells new at B&H for $339! I will gladly pay $33 for 2 years less use, a box, papers, and the ability to easily return it if I want.

    Deals no more, I guess. :frown:
  2. It's called 'lack of common sense'. The person is probably only focusing on the fact that they saved $33. They aren't looking at the fact that it will not have any warranty, they can't exchange it if defective, can't return it if they change their mind, and it's had two years' wear and tear on any tiny moving parts. Let them pay these prices - it keeps the resale value of your used lenses and gear up there! :biggrin:
  3. Jonathan


    Jun 11, 2005
    Southern Maine
    Agreed. Between the prices and people bidding like mad, and often way above retail even; and let's not forget it's now almost overrun with scammers and thieves.

    I joined ebay in 1999, and almost never go there anymore.
  4. Dennyd80

    Dennyd80 Guest

    Ebay is great if you know what an item is worth. Many bidders don't have a clue how much to pay for an item or how much it's worth. That's what makes ebay so treacherous.

    Look at the 18-200 VR lens. People were paying as much as $1100 for a lens with a suggested retail of $749. Paying 42% more than suggested retail is downright stupid if you ask me.

    The scammers are easy to avoid if you do a little investigating before bidding.
  5. bruceh4


    Jan 16, 2006
    Loudon, TN
    I agree completly with the above quote from dennyd80. One thing that has also happened with ebay is that retailers are now using it as another way to move product so there is no price break at all. The other thing that you have to watch is the shipping charge. In order to avoid paying ebay there commission sellers are putting a low price on an item and then upping the shipping charge to make up for the difference. ebay only is paid on what the item is sold for. Then take the problem of counterfeit items such as memory cards. At least with a place like B&H I dont have to worry about if the item is real or not.
  6. sylwesterski


    Jul 25, 2006
    What about SB-800s that are selling for over $320 all the time.
  7. slappomatt


    May 13, 2006
    San Diego CA
    its simple. buy here. sell there.
  8. Donzo98


    Nov 10, 2005
    Merrick, NY

    EXACTLY!! It is a great place to sell.
  9. ZBaum

    ZBaum Guest

    Looks like you two are thinking the same way I am :wink:. Although, I just sold a lens on eBay and I ended up getting the exact amount of my reserve price (which was about $150 lower than what other lenses had been going for). Ah well, at least I didn't lose money on it.
  10. Watch Prices!!

    I am an Ebay shopper. but since I live in Canada I have learned to only buy from Canadian sellers because of custom fees and large shipping costs. I purchased my d70 on Ebay from a guy in Toronto for $600. It came with a
    18-70mm kit lens, bag, three batteries, 3 1gb memory cards and 2 dvd learning guides. I had to email him alot of questions before purchasing. When my camera came it was in mint shape and so was the lens even the batteries were charged. I think I got a great deal with that. Now my flash
    sb-600 is a different story I purchased it for $175 us dollars and $10 shipping but what bit my behind was the customs fees of $50. So really with the flash I could have bought a brand new one for the same price. Oh well live and learn!! There are good deals still but you really have to watch for them and be patient.

  11. adrianaitken

    adrianaitken Guest

    One thing to remember is that the UK/USA exchange rate is 2 dollars to the pound. Buying from US sellers results in massive savings for UK buyers. The OP mentioned a 1.4 TC for $306 - current UK price is approx GBP290 (thats a whooping US$580) - even taking a chance of getting caught for VAT/import duty (maybe 20-25% in total added) it's still a bargain. For some reason most of my lenses are US sourced :smile:
  12. Ray C.

    Ray C.

    Nov 7, 2005

    I know one thing, if I ever do decide to switch to Canon, I'm going to visit some buddies in England and unload my Nikon gear there...I could probably pay for the flight, quite a few pints and still have close to what I paid in USD leftover. Camera gear prices there are astronomical.
  13. Sarah, this is an easy one. There are no customs duties on photography equipment so they should mark the customs sticker as thus. Also, NEVER EVER EVER have them ship the item with FedEx or UPS. They charge astronomical brokerage fees to clear it through customs. Always have them ship via USPS and Canada Post will deliver to your door, charge you $5 for clearing customs, and then whatever sales tax is owing on the item.
    I've bought lenses and gear from B&H in NYC via this method many times. Just remember: Postal Service only!

  14. Thanks I will have to remember that for next time.
  15. AirTimid


    Feb 17, 2006
    Nova Scotia

    I can see the fees if you were using Fedex or UPS. USPS is the way to go. Were you charged tax on top of the fees or was it included?
  16. I think I was charged tax. Can't really remember. Kinda want to forget that incident!! Ya the seller used UPS to ship. Got here really fast but not $50 fast!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2007
  17. Dawgneck


    Apr 25, 2007
    So Cal

    You are correct. In the three years I have searched Ebay, I NEVER found a great deal. I guess I'm not lucky.

    On the other hand, I have found several scammers there and on other "for sale" websites.

    I've had success with internet/Ebay purchases AND I got burned a few times....

    Now I only purchase equipment locally by utilizing Craigslist, Nikoncafe, and a few other sites. If I can't inspect used item in person before laying out the cash, I don't buy it.

    Everyone out there is not as honest as Nikoncafe members.

    Also, I will only purchase certain photography items used...

    I purchased my 17-55 DX used via Craigslist but decided to purchase my 70-200 VR new via B&H because I fear the VR system might malfunction in the future....

    ...And I don't want to chase the original owner down and ask him to help me get it repaired under Nikon's warranty, which is in his name.
  18. Its been that way for some time IMO. Its great for sellers, bad for buyers. When it comes to exspensive stuff its either close to full price or really cheap and more than likely a scam. Smaller items are good but anything big is a no no as fr as being a buyer is concerned I think.

    All the camera equipment I've sold in the past, Nikon F80, Coolscan IV and my D200 sold for within about %10 of brand new prices!
  19. adrianaitken

    adrianaitken Guest

    Not a lens, but I 'won' an auction for the D2Hs battery charger. Seller was in Japan and charged GBP8 for postage (half way around the world!!!) - starting price was GBP0.01 and I was the only bidder in 7 days. This is what eBay is all about was my feedback (or words to that effect).
    As an indication, in the UK it goes for approx GBP130-150 (US$260-300) so saved myself a pretty penny.
  20. I was able to catch my wonderful D2H with only 6000 shots (= like new) for a reasonable price. But of course, if there are buyers bidding like mad the auction will go in favor of the seller :smile:
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