Anyone out there who's purchased photo equipment from EBAY.COM? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello fellow Large Formatters! Has any out there (or any acquaintances of yours) had any experience purchasing photo equipment off of EBAY.COM? I go there frequently and see some pretty nice photo equipment for sale, but was wondering about any experiences -- good or bad.

Something I've been wondering about is that the bidding basically becomes a do-or-die bidding contest so that whoever ends up getting the item gets it, but at a ridiculous price.

Thanks in advance.

-- Ron whitaker (, January 10, 1999


I have good experiences with e-bay, and have bought all of my LF eq. at auction. If you do not do your homework, you might over pay, but the bid will not exceed what YOU value it at. There is a feature for protecting yourself at the purchase, safe- trade? check out the site and read the details, I have not used it but you may require more security. Good luck

-- Malcolm Matusky (, January 10, 1999.

I have bought several items. I got pretty fleeced once when a seller did not accurately describe the item but otherwise I have been happy. Bid what you are willing to pay and leave it at that. Maybe you'll win. Check out the seller's feedback (but take it with a truckload of salt). I suppose I would never buy anything very expensive on ebay but I think large format equipment is probably safer territory than some others. I read the descriptions very carefully to look for ways the seller might be hiding something, and I nearly always email the seller before bidding to evaluate his response. Several times I have asked specific questions about an item and gotten back a vague answer like "this is a great xyz you will be very happy with it." In those circumstances I do not bid. Make the seller TELL you the shutter works at all speeds, for example.

-- Erik Ryberg (, January 10, 1999.

I've had only good experiences [so far]. Even in the one case when an item wasn't described correctly [in my opinion], the seller gladly refunded my money. Just be careful and, for large purchases you might consider using I-Escrow. It's a kind of pain but offers the ultimate in security - you know what you are paying for!

-- Alec Jones (, January 11, 1999.

I bid on a 65mm f8 SA lens and it went for about $50 less than "low market". My problem was not waiting til the last minute to place a higher bid because I didn't wake up at 11:50PM. Live and learn. George

-- George Nedleman (, January 11, 1999.

I've bought several items on ebay. All my transactions have been hassle-free and the items were as described.

Be sure to have a good idea what the item is worth when placing bids. Don't let the excitement of bidding cause you to bid more than you think is a fair price.

-- Mike Dixon (, January 11, 1999.

My advice is to do your homework on any item you wish to bid on. This means knowing the item, the value, and what questions to ask. Never assume. Your 'fair condition' may be someone elses 'excellent condition'. Also, many of the 'sellers' are more like dealers in that they have no idea if the equipment operates properly (they've never used it).


-- windsor (, January 13, 1999.

I've bought two items through E-bay. Both transactions were with people who had a lot of feedback, and both went with no problems.

Because of the way the auctions work, bidding open for a set time, a lot of people will try to slap in that final bid with 30 seconds left. I don't particularly like that method of operation. A "normal" public auction will keep bidding open until nobody wants to bid any more, so I might like it better if the auction ends when 'N' hours go by with no bids. I have no idea what number N should be.

Both items I bought were old 35mm cameras, not large format multi hundreds of dollar items. FWIW.

-- mike rosenlof (, January 13, 1999.

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