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Thread started 07 May 2011 (Saturday) 00:06
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I'm thinking my days of buying used lenses is ending

 
dog ­ rocket
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May 07, 2011 00:06 |  #1

In the last year, I have traded a lot of photography goods. Very infrequently have I run into any issues whatsoever- almost never in fact. Usually, items are at least as good as described and packed very well for shipment. However, 2 of my most recent dealings have me thinking this may not be worth the small savings after-all, especially for lenses.

The first was a very expensive, out of production lens that was faulty in a trade. The seller did not know about the issue and has been great and we've been working it out, but I've lost a couple of months using any lens of that type while helping the seller find a suitable repair facility. The experience with the seller has been great, but the deal has been wearing on both of us.

The most recent is a lens that is in beautiful condition from appearance but upon receipt has an inordinate amount of debris on the inside of the lens (large dust particles and fibers). I mean a lot! I told the seller it looked like a petri dish! ha. I was hoping it was superficial, but it was very apparent in my test photo's. I'm talking a 1/8" dark spot for the worst case example, but many spots of various sizes throughout the frame. The seller claimed that he told me prior to the sale that it had some dust which is normal for the age of the lens and I agreed, but what I saw was not normal from my experience. He confessed he did not think they would show up on the photo's.

Now, mind you, I did not ask for a refund and I never intended to. I told the seller that I was going to go ahead and send the lens to Canon to be cleaned and that I didn't feel the lens would give me satisfactory results as it is. I'm doing this on my own dime without a fuss. However, I wanted to make it a point to tell him that a great majority of the buyers would have balked and asked for a refund. I simply asked that he be more diligent in his dealings here. I have come to trust trading with others here and explained that this is a community of some kinship with photography as the common bond. I wanted him to acknowledge the issue of diligence so that none of you have a similar experience with him in the future. I spoke with him on the phone prior to the sale and he seemed like a very cool guy and I still believe that he is. However, his response to me expressed a total lack of responsibility in the matter and this 'over the fence' mentality has got me thinking that no matter how diligent I am in making sure a transaction is a good one, there's always bound to be conflicts now and then.

Since 'minty' lenses are regularly going for 80-90% of new prices on the used market, I am now seriously wondering whether this is worth the risk anymore. Up to now, it's been great trading and finding just the right setup suited to me without losing a lot of money in the process, but the simple fact is: we all have different expectations of condition and value and just one or two transactions like this can make you weary and leery in a hurry.

I just sold 3 lenses myself. Now I'm holding my breath while the buyers are waiting for them to arrive...

Your thoughts?


Randy...

  
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texascaoboy
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May 07, 2011 01:17 |  #2

You make good points. Sorry to hear about your second experience. I'm with you, I like to pay a little more for new and justify it with the warranty and peace of mind.


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tkbslc
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May 07, 2011 01:30 |  #3

We all decide how much risk we can live with. Buying new is less risky, although not immune from challenges.


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seattle1
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May 07, 2011 01:31 |  #4

I agree with your points and think that buying a used lens from a private seller to be a fairly high risk. I normally purchase used lenses from a local shop that has a 60 day warranty. I also have purchased refurbished lenses online and have been very happy with them.




  
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dog ­ rocket
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May 07, 2011 03:26 |  #5

tkbslc wrote in post #12363367 (external link)
We all decide how much risk we can live with. Buying new is less risky, although not immune from challenges.

Ha! Good point. I actually came back to this thread shortly after posting but POTN was down for maintenance. Was going to delete the thread and sleep on it. But since it's now been replied to, it's gotta ride. Sorry if it sounds like whining.

Turns out 2 of my 3 sold lenses arrived today and got feedback from 2 very happy buyers (over on FM). Feeling a bit better now. :cool:


Randy...

  
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mpix345
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May 07, 2011 07:01 |  #6

dog rocket wrote in post #12363674 (external link)
Ha! Good point. I actually came back to this thread shortly after posting but POTN was down for maintenance. Was going to delete the thread and sleep on it. But since it's now been replied to, it's gotta ride. Sorry if it sounds like whining.

Turns out 2 of my 3 sold lenses arrived today and got feedback from 2 very happy buyers (over on FM). Feeling a bit better now. :cool:

Randy, your points and concerns are certainly valid. I've come to trust my gut on these things, and I eliminate a lot of ads that just don't pass that test. I don't try to find ways to convince myself that they are OK. That is hardly foolproof, but for me it has worked so far.

On the dirty lens it sounds like you didn't ask for any compensation toward cleaning? I think it is great that you tried to "educate" the seller, but ultimately he is not held accountable for an unacceptable transaction.

I had a very minor situation where I bought an item that turned out to be a refurb (to my surprise). Not a big deal to me, but I told the person that they should really disclose refurb status as it is a big deal to some folks. He acted like he got my point, but now I see him selling something that I know is a refurb with zero mention of that fact in his ad. My point is that talking may not do the trick. If I had asked for a 10% discount or a complete refund or something it may have had more of an impact.


  
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snyderman
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May 07, 2011 09:17 |  #7

Randy:

Firmly support your point that buying new would be in your best interest. I come from years and years of buying and selling really high-end guitar gear. Imagine the surprise when buyers buying USED gear expect factory new condition upon receipt of an item then demand a post-sale discount, or an out-of-warranty service to be reimbursed, or state the the item 'isn't for me,' and 'can I ship it back for a full refund!'

If you expect new, buy new. Issue solved.

dave


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dog ­ rocket
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May 07, 2011 11:38 |  #8

Dave, I sell as much as I buy, so I know of what you speak from the flip side.

Yup. There will always be different opinions of condition even for like-minded folks. Yesterday was yesterday and today I'm OK with that.

For example, the most abused word - without question - on the B&S forums is MINT.

I laugh every time I see an ad saying mint, then disclosing the imperfections. lol. :)


Randy...

  
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dog ­ rocket
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May 07, 2011 11:48 |  #9

mpix345 wrote in post #12364021 (external link)
I had a very minor situation where I bought an item that turned out to be a refurb (to my surprise). Not a big deal to me, but I told the person that they should really disclose refurb status as it is a big deal to some folks. He acted like he got my point, but now I see him selling something that I know is a refurb with zero mention of that fact in his ad. My point is that talking may not do the trick. If I had asked for a 10% discount or a complete refund or something it may have had more of an impact.

Hmmm... you and I are like-minded. I would have done the same. This is even worse than my situation - it is not subjective: refurb is refurb and definitely must be disclosed otherwise that seller is dishonest, plain and simple. Why? There is a large difference of actual value between a refurb and not. Refurb lenses regularly sell new for less than a used non-refurb (in newish condition).


Randy...

  
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snyderman
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May 07, 2011 13:22 |  #10

dog rocket wrote in post #12364939 (external link)
Dave, I sell as much as I buy, so I know of what you speak from the flip side.

Yup. There will always be different opinions of condition even for like-minded folks. Yesterday was yesterday and today I'm OK with that.

For example, the most abused word - without question - on the B&S forums is MINT.

I laugh every time I see an ad saying mint, then disclosing the imperfections. lol. :)


Yessir. Personal perspective ranges widely. Glad your sales went off without issue. :)

dave


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K6AZ
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May 07, 2011 15:13 |  #11

Which lens did you receive that has a lot of dust in it? Some lenses are nothing but dust collectors by design and need regular cleaning. A good example is the 100-400. Mine was spotless when I got it eight months ago but is now showing a good accumulation of dust. As soon as it starts to show up in images off to Canon it goes for cleaning.


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tkbslc
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May 07, 2011 16:48 |  #12

dog rocket wrote in post #12364939 (external link)
For example, the most abused word - without question - on the B&S forums is MINT.

I laugh every time I see an ad saying mint, then disclosing the imperfections. lol. :)

"This lens is totally minty fresh except I dropped it and it won't AF anymore."


Taylor
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I'm ­ Sasquatch
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May 07, 2011 18:43 as a reply to  @ tkbslc's post |  #13

I agree 100%. I've been fortunate to find a few steals on lenses but my last one, the one I really want, is an elusive deal. I'm hot for a 24-105 and can't see paying 900+ for a lens with no warranty when I can scoop up a refurb from Canon for just a pinch more. The risk does not outweigh the benefits on this one IMO.


Have a wheelie nice day!

  
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kenwood33
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May 07, 2011 21:02 |  #14

perhaps try buying used locally so you can inspect before paying?


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pdrober2
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May 08, 2011 05:39 |  #15

I buy new and sell used. I worry too much to trust a stranger with something that costs so much


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I'm thinking my days of buying used lenses is ending
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