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Old May 7, 2004, 9:21 AM   #1
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What are the dangers of purchasing Digital cameras on EBay? Many say NEW NEVER USED, not a refurbished product.
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Old May 7, 2004, 9:47 AM   #2
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Big question.

I'll start with the assumption that you've decided what type of camera you want and had the opportunity to handle it in a shop, but been put of by the price.

I've only bought one item viaeBay andthe things that I checked for were about the supplier, namely -

1) How long had the companybeen trading ?

2) What was their feedback like ?

3) Did they have a "bricks and mortar" presence or were they web only ?

4) Were they knowledgeable in their responses to my questions ?

So lets turn the aboveround and say that the main danger is falling foul of what I would calla cowboy outfit. eBay can offer some protection against them (Escrow agreements for example), but the key thing is to check their trading record.

If they have a long track record of auditable fair trading at sensible prices andyou then have a problem, you can have a reasonable expectation of them responding in a reasonable manner. I'd say that applies to new, refurbished or second-hand. Similarly, do some checking up about the product you're thinking of buying and test their expertise. OK, they may have read the same website, but many will fall at that first hurdle.

Regards, Graham.

Please visit http://www.pbase.com/grahamcheckley

p.s. the firm I used were called Cameraboerse in Germany. The item was a Nikon 500mm telephoto lens (secondhand) and I'm very happy with it.

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Old May 7, 2004, 11:10 AM   #3
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Go here (below)to check any firm:

They have comments from folks who actually made (or attempted to make) purchases from the firm.


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Old May 7, 2004, 11:56 AM   #4
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I've purchased from Ebay vendors, but you have to be very careful.

Also, you may not have the protection a "reputable" vendor provides (i.e, return policy). Ditto for warranty (are they an authorized dealer, does it come with a U.S. Warranty, etc.).

For used, Ebay can be a good resource (but be very careful who you buy from). Usually for new, I'll stick to a reputable vendor with a good return policy.

As for refurbished, I have no problems with refurbished products, provided that they are really "factory refurbished/reconditioned", and come with a factory warranty (typically 90 days).

BTW, some of the manufacturers sell refurbished products directly to the public. Nikon is one. I've purchased this way before, and the camera came in perfect condition -- packing, software, camera, cables, etc.. I could not distinquish it from a brand new camera in any way. Here is the link to the current Nikon offerings:


Note that sometimes the deals are better than other times. For example: Nikon just dropped their retail prices on some of these models, and have some rebates, so it could be better to buy new. Other times, you'll see models at up to 50% off of suggested list.

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Old May 10, 2004, 7:25 PM   #5
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I have purchased at least four digital cameras off EBay and I have no complaints (new and used from individuals and vendors). Check the sellers feedback and be sure you check the price as well. I have seen people bid more than the item can be purchased for at the local store.
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Old May 11, 2004, 7:48 AM   #6
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Remember that unless you are buying from a company that does business online, you are dealing with an individual. Just like you, they may make honest mistakes in listing their item, and if it's not specifically mentioned in the auction, send them an E-mail requesting the info you need!

I've bought many items on eBay, and if the obvious stuff checks out (feedback rating, accepts PayPal, etc.), my experience is that most folks out there are the same as you, just trying to sell their item at better than yard sale prices. Here's some specific points in looking for a used digicam:
  1. If items aren't specifically listed in the auction, ask! For example, if you know the retail box comes with batteries, charger, USB cable, A/V cable, instruction manual and software CD, lens cap and camera strap, ask specifically about any items you are expecting to receive.[/*]
  2. Pictures should be of the actual item; if they don't contain pictures, you might want to ask yourself "why not?" If a canned, or commercial photo of the camera is used, ask the seller if there is any problem with the appearance or functionality of the camera that isn't specified in the listing.[/*]
  3. Keep in mind that used items have some normal wear and tear- maybe there's a little minor scuffing on the exterior of the camera body, or the controls are slightly worn. If it takes great pictures, works the same as a new camera, and costs a lot less, it's probably a good investment. Look out for cracked/damageld LCD viewfinders, broken levers, zoom doesn't work, won't power up, and avoid these like the plague.[/*]
  4. Lastly, if you do decide to purchase an item, remember that E-mail doesn't work instantly. Keep in close contact with the seller, but realize that just because you send an inquiry on Friday, he may be out of town and not respond for a few days.
Good luck, and happy eBaying!

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Old May 11, 2004, 8:13 AM   #7
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Hi SoCopasetic

Here are some things to consider re an Ebay purchase.

The only "danger" is you will be out some $$$ without resolution to any post sale issues that come up.

I echo another forum member's comments to check feedback.

Also, you can check a vendor at www.resellersratings.com.

Finally, I suggest you email any seller re a camera that you are considering.

Then, evaluate the response.

Ask yourself:

Did the seller address you by name?

Did the seller "sign" his email?

Was the response timely?

Did the response answer your question(s)?

If it sounds too good to be true, then it is....caveat emptor (buyer beware)!

If you do have a post sale issue with seller, do not bring Ebay into the loop. Though they have some protections in place, resolve it directly with the seller if at all possible.

In any event, I hope you purchase a model you like soon. You are missing some great photo ops!

Good luck
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Old May 11, 2004, 9:52 AM   #8
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In addition to everything being said here I would like to add,as a verteran e-bay buyer/seller, the following. I don't know where you are located but in Canada you want to make sure that the camera was purchased from an authourized Canadian Nikon dealer - just in case it needs servicing. Arguing over Nikon policy re out of country purchases and gray market cameras can give you nightmares later. Find out when the camera was initially purchased, if the buyer has the original receipt and if they will give it to you as part of the deal - again this is a great help for service. See if there is any warranty left on the camera. On the last one I bought it came with 21 months left on the guarantee. Always use PAYPAL (a buying method through E-bay) and a credit card.If the worst thing happens you havesome recourse to get your money back. You can also instruct your credit card company to reverse the transaction costs.I have only had two bad experiences out of 200 and they both worked out in the end (with a lot of persistence on my part). Hope this helps.

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Old May 11, 2004, 12:31 PM   #9
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I have never dealt with ebay, but I've watched some of the problems and seen a trend.

One thing that I would watch out for is prices that are too good on very new items. This is something used to catch people who are too greedy and lack enough common sense. It was often done with digital SLRs (because the profit margin makes it worth the risk) but maybe its being done with digicams now too? I don't know.

Some good advice above, pay attention to the other posts as well!

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Old May 13, 2004, 6:29 PM   #10
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there are no dangers as long as they're a reputable seller. checking that out is easy enough.

I buy and sell on ebay all the time. I've never had a serious problem. the majority of people (and businesses) are cool and will issue a refund (minus shipping usually) if you're not satisfied with the product.

ask questions and check feedback and you shouldn't have ay problems.
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