Fraudulent D800 sale

Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
773
Location
Orlando, Florida
I recently purchased a "new" D800 on ebay. It was an awesome deal at $2,199 which included a 16gb SD. It was however stated that it was a non US / International version which did not carry the US warranty. The seller had a decent reputation so I decided to pull the trigger. Long story short, I did not receive shipping notification until I messaged the seller. Conveniently, the company had "just fired two of their shipping employees" which was the cause of not being notified. I got the camera via UPS in a box that looked like it had been through multiple shipments (with the previous shipping labels to prove it). I opened the D800 box and everything seemed to be as it should with a brand new Nikon DLSR. It wasn't until I attached the neck strap, opened the provided SD card, and started playing with the settings that I noticed some problems. For one, the LCD protector was already attached to the screen (I thought that in previous cameras I bought from Nikon the LCD protector was packaged separately). The protector also had some fine scratches on it which seemed like more than just factory incidents. For the most part, this was the only apparent problem I saw. After taking the first picture (in raw) I noticed the file name was "_PBP6518." Obviously this camera had been previously owned, was at least 6,517 actuations from new, and the file naming had been changed from default _DSC to _PBP. I contacted the seller and this was their response :

We have had this issue twice before over the last few months from Nikon. Both times we have contacted Nikon about pictures being taken on the camera and they have claimed that this is a normal occurance and that it happens because their cameras are tested before being shipped to dealers. This camera was never used, aside from possibly being opened to show in our store. As for the battery charger I can have a replacement sent out tomorrow along with an extra memory card for you for the inconvenience. Unforunately that happens routinely with all of our camera vendors and we do not always catch the error before the camera is shipped.
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I can't believe that I have made it this far in the Nikon world and never heard of the company doing this. There is no way that Nikon would test a D800 for 6K+ shots, change the file naming to _PBP, then send it out without resetting the numbering system. I would love someone to counter my thoughts on this and tell me otherwise. As far as the camera goes, I don't want to send it back since I don't see anything necessarily wrong with it and it is more of a hassle than I want to deal with. The seller is aware of this but also knows my view of the situation :

Dear ccr810,

I have purchased multiple cameras throughout the years from Nikon and have never run into or heard of this issue. I have been an active member on Nikon forums since 2002 and still have never once heard of this happening. I appreciate the additional memory card however it is not an equal compensation for a blatant lie and false advertised product. Nikon does not send out "new" cameras that have been tested for 6,000+ shots along with changing the file naming system and not resetting the file numbering after doing so. It is obvious that the previous owner (PBP) had a business and was most likely named "Paul (or equivalent male name + middle name beginning with the letter B) Photography." I feel that more compensation is needed for this error. All signs point to fraudulence. I received no notification of sale, other than directly from ebay. I had to contact you in order to find out that coincidentally "two shipping employees were fired in the previous days" which caused the lack of shipping notification. Once the package arrived the box was in disarray. The box looked like it had been used multiple times and had been turned inside out with previous shipping labels attached to the interior of the box. After opening the box I found a missing charger, scratches on the LCD screen protector (not to mention the lack of clear film that normally comes attached to the LCD screen with new Nikon cameras), and an overall dull body appearance in comparison with brand new Nikon DSLRs. There is no getting away from the fact that this camera had been used for a good period of time before being sold to me under the condition of "New in the box." Nikon would not allow a camera meeting the above specifications to be sold as "new" condition. If there is a dispute on this, I can contact Nikon directly and forward you their response in regards to this situation.

I will be spreading this conversation among my colleges at the Nikon talk forums I frequent online.

Any input or suggestions on my next step?
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
14,975
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Just lodge a complaint with Ebay and you should be covered. If the camera was advertised as new, and it isn't the case is in your favor. Only problem is that the dispute should take several weeks before you get your money refunded.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2008
Messages
1,400
Location
Middle of Nowhere, Ontario
I would think that you should be covered by the consumer protection laws in effect, however the camera may have come from a different state from the one you live in, so that could be problematic. Personally, I would not keep it for a number of reasons : a) they lied to you, b) with 6000+ shots, how good a deal is the price, c) you have no warranty, at least not US, & I'm not sure if Nikon will touch it.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
5,725
Location
Annapolis
Did you format the memory card in the camera before taking a picture and checking EXIF? If you didn't this can give an erroneous shutter count. If you feel the shutter count is accurate just file and eBay dispute. Don't waste your time dealing with this seller. And hopefully you paid with a credit card?
 
Joined
May 20, 2005
Messages
9,393
Location
Hazlet Township, NJ USA
The card does not indicate how many shots where taken by the camera, you need to shoot a jpeg and use a program like Opanda or Photoshop to see the actual number of shots on the camera! I personally would never buy an expensive gray market D800 because Nikon will not touch it and good luck selling it. B & H has plenty refurbished D800 for less.
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2011
Messages
1,176
Location
Ireland
"As far as the camera goes, I don't want to send it back since I don't see anything necessarily wrong with it and it is more of a hassle than I want to deal with. The seller is aware of this but also knows my view of the situation:"

So, if you want to keep it - move on and use it - and learn from this experience- yer spoiled for choice in the states for used warranted gear don't know why anyone would resort to ebay.

If you want to return it my suggestion, based on experience, is open a dispute with PayPal not ebay. ebay will give you the runaround PayPal take you seriously. If you open a case with ebay you cannot then open a case with PayPal.

Either way hurry up you only have a small window to take action.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
773
Location
Orlando, Florida
The card does not indicate how many shots where taken by the camera, you need to shoot a jpeg and use a program like Opanda or Photoshop to see the actual number of shots on the camera! I personally would never buy an expensive gray market D800 because Nikon will not touch it and good luck selling it. B & H has plenty refurbished D800 for less.
I have checked the exif data and it is as I suspected. It was about 6,800 actuations in when I took the first picture.

As far as why I went to Ebay, I have never had a problem buying gear from there before. I wasn't planning on buying used and figured new would be fine from ebay.

I think I am going to end up keeping the camera just because I don't want to deal with sending it back, waiting for a refund, then getting another camera all while I have shoots in the near future. The camera really looks fine, it looks pretty much brand new and don't know if I would be able to tell a difference between it and an actual brand new one. It isn't as dull as I made it out to be, could just be my eyes playing tricks on me and thinking it is supposed to look different than it actually does. I'm not completely decided on this yet but as for now, I am leaning towards keeping it.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,559
Location
Massachusetts
Real Name
David
Nathan I would file a complaint and return it without question.

It looks fine, it seems fine, but consider it might be one of the early D800s that was found to have focus issues. Maybe the prior owner got water inside and they "fixed it" but that fix might only last so long. Maybe he dropped it and they replaced the scratched/bent part.

You've spent over $2000 on something that is not what it should be. Do you have $2000 that you don't mind putting in a magnesium / plastic box and setting it on fire to see if the box will hold up to the fire?
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
773
Location
Orlando, Florida
I have officially opened a dispute with paypal and am going to be returning it. In the meantime, I have purchased another one that is 100% an unopened USA version.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
773
Location
Orlando, Florida
Nathan I would file a complaint and return it without question.

It looks fine, it seems fine, but consider it might be one of the early D800s that was found to have focus issues. Maybe the prior owner got water inside and they "fixed it" but that fix might only last so long. Maybe he dropped it and they replaced the scratched/bent part.

You've spent over $2000 on something that is not what it should be. Do you have $2000 that you don't mind putting in a magnesium / plastic box and setting it on fire to see if the box will hold up to the fire?
I tested out the left focus issue on this camera and it definitely had the problem. That is what pushed it over the edge for me. I am returning it and getting a refund.
 
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photogramps

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I have officially opened a dispute with paypal and am going to be returning it. In the meantime, I have purchased another one that is 100% an unopened USA version.
Glad about that, as I was reading down I was afraid you were going to keep it!
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
3,185
Location
Westchester County, NY
There is a lesson to be learned here. Count me in the crowd that would never, ever, buy something as sophisticated as a digital SLR from an Ebay seller. There are so many options from reputable dealers that taking a chance with an unkown entity makes no sense to me. You claim you got a good price on the camera. Did you? I think not. I stick with reputable dealers. If you see something on Ebay selling for less than what B&H, Adorama or KEH sells it for, alarm bells should go off. I imagine that there are instances where an honest seller needs quick cash and will offer a "good deal", but my default reaction to a product online anywhere that is below the going rate is going to be trouble.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,559
Location
Massachusetts
Real Name
David
There is a lesson to be learned here. Count me in the crowd that would never, ever, buy something as sophisticated as a digital SLR from an Ebay seller. There are so many options from reputable dealers that taking a chance with an unkown entity makes no sense to me. You claim you got a good price on the camera. Did you? I think not. I stick with reputable dealers. If you see something on Ebay selling for less than what B&H, Adorama or KEH sells it for, alarm bells should go off. I imagine that there are instances where an honest seller needs quick cash and will offer a "good deal", but my default reaction to a product online anywhere that is below the going rate is going to be trouble.
There are some dealers on eBay that are fine. Sorry Nathan but (if I have the store correct) a seller with a zero feedback score because they have no transactions in the past year would probably not been on my list.

Roberts and Cameta have some refurbished bodies on eBay in the $2300. I've dealt with both before. I actually had a problem with one of the bodies I got from Cameta. Call them up, they shipped me another with a return sticker for the first one they shipped, no question, had it within 2 days.
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
773
Location
Orlando, Florida
There are some dealers on eBay that are fine. Sorry Nathan but (if I have the store correct) a seller with a zero feedback score because they have no transactions in the past year would probably not been on my list.

Roberts and Cameta have some refurbished bodies on eBay in the $2300. I've dealt with both before. I actually had a problem with one of the bodies I got from Cameta. Call them up, they shipped me another with a return sticker for the first one they shipped, no question, had it within 2 days.
Thanks David. I should have looked more closely at their feedback score. I just had glanced at the number of transactions they had been involved with and thought it would be ok. The one I ended up with, also from ebay, should be legit. I did get it for a good price which made me worry a little but they have a picture of the camera still in the Nikon bag/packaging and guarantee that it is brand new, has manufacturers warranty, and is the USA model. The sellers feedback is also 100% positive.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261574344145?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2648

This is the first time that I have ever had an issue with an ebay purchase. Too bad it had to be such a large item.
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
3,559
Location
Massachusetts
Real Name
David
Looks fine, I always ask a fair number of questions from sellers, normally in at least 2 groups. I like to see how fast they respond and what they say. I've actually ended up having long conversations with several over the years.

Mainly I start with the:
Why did you buy / why are you selling?
Original owner?
Smoke free environment?

Then I see where those answers take me.
 
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