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E-Bay: buying a camera= dodgy or not?


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#1 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 03:10 AM

Hello,
I have seen a camera for under 4 grand on E-bay, if it really works as well as the seller says it would be a fantastic deal, what camera buying experience has anyone had with E-bay?
I have never used E-bay at all, so I am wary of shelling-out 4G's and getting a camera with sawdust instead of a mechanism!
Any experiences would be welcomed!
Thanks a lot.
Tomas.
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#2 Tim J Durham

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 06:08 AM

Hello,
I have seen a camera for under 4 grand on E-bay, if it really works as well as the seller says it would be a fantastic deal, what camera buying experience has anyone had with E-bay?
I have never used E-bay at all, so I am wary of shelling-out 4G's and getting a camera with sawdust instead of a mechanism!
Any experiences would be welcomed!
Thanks a lot.
Tomas.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hi Tomas,
For a purchase like that, it might be wise to use one of the e-bay recommended escrow services.
In that case, you send the money to the escrow agent, they inform the seller, the seller ships you the camera, you inspect it, if you like it you tell the escrow agent to release the money, deal done.

You just have to get the seller to agree to it in advance. No reason the should not agree.
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#3 Stephen Williams

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 06:32 AM

Hello,
I have seen a camera for under 4 grand on E-bay, if it really works as well as the seller says it would be a fantastic deal, what camera buying experience has anyone had with E-bay?
I have never used E-bay at all, so I am wary of shelling-out 4G's and getting a camera with sawdust instead of a mechanism!
Any experiences would be welcomed!
Thanks a lot.
Tomas.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hi,

Feedback is very important if the seller does not have 10+ feedback ratings and 99% positive feedback ask yourself why. Also what have their other sales been, $1.99? or $500+. I have made 2 camera purchases in $ 10000 range , but I traded with top sellers, Digital Domain, Edgewood Sudios. I had a friend go down to Digital Domain to check the camera before I bid. If the seller has nothing to hide they can take it to a local repair shop of your choice, you will have to pay mabe an hours labour, but at least you can get some idear of what is on offer. Ask for serial No's, ask how long they have had the camera and from who they bought it from.

Be VERY careful

Stephen Williams DP

www.stephenw.com
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#4 Nathan Milford

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 08:12 AM

I generally regard all eBay camera transactions as dodgy. Once you hit that bid button, that is the extent of your contact with the seller. If the camera requires a major service, it is you who will have to pay for the service, incurred by the sellers use of the camera. This is fine if you're getting it at a very low price, but don't be surprised to pay up to two grand to overhaul some cameras, even if they look good cosmetically. Going through a broker is a better option than eBay because they will have the camera evaluated prior to sale and will distribute the cost of maintenance or repair betwixt the buyer and the seller.

I have half a dozen friends who have purchased cameras off of eBay... a majority of them have had to pay a grand or more to get common cameras (an Arri SR, Eclair and an LTR) running as good as new. Had they gone through a broker, the cost of the camera would ahve been fairly adjusted or perhaps the seller would have shouldered some of the cost.

That said: I had baught my Arri S from eBay and have had nothing but good luck form it... but then again I can service it myself and have access to all the tools I need to keep it running properly.

- nathan
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#5 Steven Budden

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:11 AM

If there are lenses involved really have them scrutinize the lens, because that's where problems usually go unmentioned in the ads. Also, try and get them to say something like... can I return it if it is not as described (I've returned a few lenses this way... some sellers even pay return shipping).

If you can pay via paypal, you can purchase a money return guarantee for not much.

Everything seems to look great in ebay pictures. See if they can email you some so you can view them in higher res.

If it is an incredible deal expect the price to shoot up in the last few minutes (sometimes as much as %50!). If this happens, don't get caught up in the frenzy. Bid with a cool head and drop out if the price soars.

A dealer is much safer, and often cheaper in the long run (though it doesn't seem like that could be true).

On ebay you can get lucky or you can make luck by asking questions.

Steven
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#6 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 24 July 2005 - 02:10 AM

Hello,
Thanks a lot for your input guys!!!
the matter is now void because the camera went from $3,600 (my highest bid) to $6,100 (which someone else got it for in the end).
I missed the final bidding battle because I was on a shoot, fate perhaps?
It was an Aaton LTR S16, plus a bunch of lenses.
I was wondering if you knew how I could contact one of these brokers you mentioned, I am based in L.A.?
Cheers.
Tomas.
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