Ebay Tips Page
I have bought four cameras off of ebay with decent success. Three
of the four are now fully operational. The second was a Canonet that
was beyond repair (at least by me). However the covers and battery
compartment were used to replace the engraved covers and a broken battery
compartment on the next Canonet I won at auction. That camera was otherwise
in fine shape. The remains of the second are in my parts bin in case
of future need. Here is some tips on shopping for bargain cameras
I haven't yet, bought lenses off of ebay, so can't comment on that.
- Decide ahead of time whether you want a fixer upper or a nice camera
to start with. If you want a nice camera, check out keh.com, they
back what they sell and they are famous for under rating products they sell.
Ebay is a crap shoot. In my mind, you will be better off looking
for a fixer upper if you want a bargain, even if you end up buying two to
get one that works great.
- Decide ahead of time the max price you want to pay. I start
on the low side based on prices of completed sales of equivalent products.
- Bid once with the max price you are willing to pay. Do not
get involved in a last minute bidding war. If you don't win, just
repeat your bid on the next item that meets your criteria. If you
miss out too many times, raise your max bid a few bucks. Eventually
you will win what you want at a fair price.
- Only bid on products from sellers with very good feedback - 1 in
a 100 negatives seems to be normal for good sellers.
- The following phrases don't mean much to me.
- "speeds sound right" - the slower speeds on SRT's are usually OK
- the higher speeds seem to be more problematic and you can't tell by ear
whether they are accurate.
- "meter moves" - assume it will need calibration or repair, anyway
- "don't know much about cameras, I think it works, but sold as is"
- these guys often have sold dozens of cameras and they are probably
just dumping some fixer upper. If the seller has good feedback and
it looks like a bargain, you may bid anyway. Just don't assume that
it is without problems.
- The best sellers clearly state ALL of the problems the camera has,
rather than hide behind some smokescreen. These seemingly problem
cameras can be the best deals, because all the stated problems scare off
a lot of buyers. Just make sure you think you can take care of the
stated problems or don't care if you end up with a parts camera.
- Bid only on cameras that are complete and assembled. Parts
cameras that are apart might be missing key parts you need and are only
a few bucks cheaper than complete assembled cameras that have known problems.