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Buying lenses on eBay? Your experiences please!
I noticed that lenses often go for much less sold on eBay than it would buying it at a retailer. But ofcourse, buying on eBay has a certain risk with it..

So I am curious to know if there are people here who have experience with it and for example how did things work out with world wide guarantee offered by the lens manufacturer...

Comments (19)

Without knowing the details, have you looked at Adorama or BHPhoto?. I had a problem with a lens purchased from Adorama and when I called to see what could be done the service rep interupted me and said "send it back, we'll send you another". Done..

There are plenty of stories about people having problems when they try to go too cheap...

Comment #1

I bought a Nikon lens from Cameta Camera and was very happy with the purchase and would buy from them again. A couple of weeks ago I bought a used lens from an individual. It turned out that the lens he owned did not match the description. He said that he bought the lens off ebay and that was how the lens was described when he purchased it. (AI-S v non AI).

I also purchased on the same day as the lens a P&S which also did not match the description. The seller said that the description was based on the box the camera came in and not the contents of the box (the camera). (A little on the fraudulent side imo.).

Other than Cameta Camera I am very leary of ebay at this time...

Comment #2

I've bought at least a dozen lenses in the last year through Ebay. A couple of the at less than the cost of shipping. Only once did I get a lens that was less than described. It was said to be fungus free and when I got it there was a small patch of fungus that was very hard to see..

I have not bought any digital lenses though..

I'm gonna have to sell some of this stuff so I can buy more stuff! Mummm, more stuff!..

Comment #3

Ericinho wrote:.

I noticed that lenses often go for much less sold on eBay than itwould buying it at a retailer. But ofcourse, buying on eBay has acertain risk with it..

So I am curious to know if there are people here who have experiencewith it and for example how did things work out with world wideguarantee offered by the lens manufacturer..

Hi.

For many ebay may be the only way to get something they want (rare) or can afford (cheaper).if you want something in 4 or 5 days, a local ebay sale may be just the thing..

I have yet to buy from one of the US on line shops though I may do if they have something I want..

I am in Australia, I have had problems with 3 things on ebay out of 80 or so, but none that are related to photography and one was a newby mistake (brought from a fraudster with no track record), the other two where probably delivery errors thatgot sent back to the black hole in Sydney as unclaimed..

If you buy from people with great feed back it is usually the same as buying from a shop second hand, sight unseen and in many cases that is exactly what you are doing..

You run the risk of getting a bad copy though....that risk will always be the same for any lens you buy without testing it..

This is the risk I worry about the most from ebay with lenses as that is the way many bad copies go (can not imagine anyone taking a lens out of circulation because it was a poor version)..

Photographically, I have broughtA dlsr from the US (saved several hundred dollars at the time)..

A Tamron 17-35 2.8-4 lens from Hong Kong (was worried about this....while good copies of this lens are very good, many bad copies exist)...this was an as new demonstrator in Pentax mount...turned out to be a excellent copy (whew!!)..

A Tamron 300 2.8 adaptall lens from the US ...great buy, great value..better than described..

A Nikon 85 1.8 described as a ugly user from Canada....got it very cheap to experiment on my Pentax cameras...the outside is as described...the glass is excellent.

These three lenses are my favoutes out of the many that I have..

I also got a Tamron zoom that is great for the price ($27 plus postage..Australian purchase)...they usually go for 2 or 3 times as much as I paid...niot used often but a bit of fun..

I hope to get another cheap one to night...ebay rules (if you are careful)..

Neil..

Comment #4

As a general rule skip sellers with less than 98% feedback, there are too many less risky sellers available and just wait a day or two if you don't see what you are looking for. I have 100% with over 250 transaction since 1999..

I've sold 1400.00 guitars and several laptops up to 1000.00 items. Just deal with perfect feedback folks for private, for lenses they have been generally above average. Seems photographers like to keep things clean and dust free .

I'm bidding on a few right now in fact ( no you can't have them ! ).

Is there something specifically you are looking for advice on?..

Comment #5

Hi,.

There's no carved in rock answer. Some people selling privately will post the thing minutes after you paid and it will turn out to be exactly as described and a bargain and some won't. There's no way of knowing beforehand. I've experienced both..

Equally some large firms are just as fast and effective and others have a lot of "off" days but you don't know because of the percentages. Again, I've experienced both..

Of course, buying it locally in a proper shop means you can look at it and try it out and walk away or hand over the plastic. That might just be worth the premium and there's no delivery charge (another source of a lot of swindles - think about secondhand wrapping and a stamp for a fiver...) and no chance of delivery damage..

And the shop will be there when you want advice and/or something else. And you speak to the sellers face to face - quite an advantage if you've built up a rapport with them..

S, you make a choice and see what happens....

Sorry I can't give a better answer..

Regards, David..

Comment #6

Bought a Nikon 85mm f/1.8 on eBay for about 1/2 the new price - came fine and the lens is great, pretty well mint..

I have also bought a Leica M-lens via a Leica forum..

But I wouldn't buy an expensive lens on eBay..

Alex.

Http://alexandjustine.smugmug.com/..

Comment #7

Everytime I look at lenses on ebay they are going for prices close to new. Not worth the risk..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #8

Friscovoyager wrote:.

Without knowing the details, have you looked at Adorama or BHPhoto?.I had a problem with a lens purchased from Adorama and when I calledto see what could be done the service rep interupted me and said"send it back, we'll send you another". Done..

There are plenty of stories about people having problems when theytry to go too cheap..

I did. but ordering them from Europe adds so much taxes to the cheaper price in dollars (+ the favourable exchange rate to euros) that the difference in price is almost not worth the extra fuzz and risk...

Comment #9

Rickdseattle wrote:.

As a general rule skip sellers with less than 98% feedback, there aretoo many less risky sellers available and just wait a day or two ifyou don't see what you are looking for. I have 100% with over 250transaction since 1999..

I've sold 1400.00 guitars and several laptops up to 1000.00 items.Just deal with perfect feedback folks for private, for lenses theyhave been generally above average. Seems photographers like to keepthings clean and dust free .

I'm bidding on a few right now in fact ( no you can't have them ! ).

Is there something specifically you are looking for advice on?.

Yeah, I was eyeing the Olympus Zuiko 12-60mm F2.8-4 SWD shipped from europe...

Comment #10

Bought one Minolta 70-210 f/4 on ebay right after Minolta folded into Sony..

Was described as A+ mint condition and when received I was happy. Was truely flawless. I made sure the seller was legit though. Profile was years old with lots of sales and feedback. Checked out a bunch of their recent sales and ALL pages of comments to make sure it wasn't a bunch of 1 dollar items/great feedback with a 'he ripped me off for a billion dollars!' buried in there somewhere...

Comment #11

I'll go along with Jake75's comments..

The ones to avoid (but not all the time - as you never can tell 100%) are the ones who know nothing about photography, etc, but have one photo, beautifully lit and great DoF etc. The single picture OOF are usually genuine and the set of six or eight pictures with serial number quoted and shown are usually OK..

But, there's no way of knowing. I've had some great bargains, some ordinary ones and a dreadful mistake or two but only one was a complete disaster. You can only be 100% certain with hindsight..

And if it was a swindle, kick up a fuss, complain about charging a fiver for a secondhand "Jiffy" bag and a 2p stamp. It often works and, if they accept it and refund the money, then give them a star or two for after-sales service but say why..

Best advice is to offer a reasonable price and stick to it and then fight your corner or say thank you. Simple as that..

Regards, David.

PS Talking to a friend a while ago and he offers the opening bid on everything he fancies and then forgets it until something happens. And he "wins" enough at 99p to believe it works well...

Comment #12

I like the 99p idea .

David Hughes wrote:.

I'll go along with Jake75's comments..

The ones to avoid (but not all the time - as you never can tell 100%)are the ones who know nothing about photography, etc, but have onephoto, beautifully lit and great DoF etc. The single picture OOF areusually genuine and the set of six or eight pictures with serialnumber quoted and shown are usually OK..

But, there's no way of knowing. I've had some great bargains, someordinary ones and a dreadful mistake or two but only one was acomplete disaster. You can only be 100% certain with hindsight..

And if it was a swindle, kick up a fuss, complain about charging afiver for a secondhand "Jiffy" bag and a 2p stamp. It often worksand, if they accept it and refund the money, then give them a star ortwo for after-sales service but say why..

Best advice is to offer a reasonable price and stick to it and thenfight your corner or say thank you. Simple as that..

Regards, David.

PS Talking to a friend a while ago and he offers the opening bid oneverything he fancies and then forgets it until something happens.And he "wins" enough at 99p to believe it works well...

Comment #13

Understand. Taxes can make a big difference. In the States, I can order a product from a dealer in another state and not pay sales tax...

Comment #14

I've had excellent experience buynign lenses on ebay, both new and used. Only one time did I get a lens that had a problem - a Tokina whose zoom ring :stuck: halfway into the zoom range and had to be really pushed hard to zoom past that point after which it zoomed smoothly. I contacted the seller who was selling it on behalf of someone else which he stated in the ad. He immediately offered to take it back and refund my money. It was back up on ebay the next week noting that the zoom ring would stick halfway into the range. He is an hinest seller as have the eight others I've bought lenses from.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com..

Comment #15

I have bought and sold many lenses through ebay with no problems.If you are on a tight budget it is a great way to go.You can usually tell from the ads what type of seller they are.For me -I prefer second hand-The same results as newup to half the costs.PJT..

Comment #16

Do you have any eBay photography hardware sellers that you have good experiences with?..

Comment #17

For new equipment, Cameta Camera is my favorite. I've bought lenses from private sellers so I don't see them on ebay on a regular basis.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com..

Comment #18

Just make sure that they have positive feedback. I still dont trust the Hong Kong dealers. I bought a $30 memory card and it worked fine. But I figured $30 compared to $1800 is a higher risk. I bought my 40D and lenses fromebay and had no issues..

I am currently buying replacement gear but used on ebay. I have been an ebay member since 1999 and have not had one issue..

Ask questions and use your CC through paypal. Makes it easier to get your money rfunded through your CC and not instant transfers from a bank account. If you have the money in the bank....put on the CC and pay the CC. You dont have to wait for a bill to pay your CC..

Like anything there are online retailers that are scammers as well. Instead of $5000 in gear I am about to spend $3500 but on better quality lenses..

I like ebay as a buyer, but not as a seller. I usually hit up craigslist when I sell. No fees and I refer to my ebay account for reference since my email and account name is the same with the @XXXXX.com added...

Comment #19

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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