Anything better than or equal to KEH and ebay?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by michael_bacon, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Hello! I'm planning to buy the following items from KEH or ebay and am curious if anyone has any suggestions for a better place to buy. By "better" I mean of an equivalent or lower price than KEH. If the price is equivalent, then the shop would be better if it had a better return/warranty policy.
    At KEH:
    D5100 cost = $350
    40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro cost = $225
    Total = about $588, including shipping, from KEH.
    Thanks very much for your time and help!
  2. I've bought and sold equipment to KEH. Excellent experience. I have bought equipment on eBay. Be very careful and know exactly what your are buying before you make a purchase. There are major camera retailers also selling equipment on eBay. I would think that they would be OK if their retail store has a positive rating.
  3. I wouldn't presume to rate how "good" a particular price for this item is, since that is so dependent on variable such as the the time and tides, and other imponderables. If you search for "Sold" items on eBay you will get the recent prices actually paid for items for comparison.
    Sometimes some person is extraordinarily lucky and gets an item for a fantastic price. Sometimes that very lucky person never actually receives their bargain camera, having paid with a money order to Transylvania.
    I have bought both new and used equipment from KEH. Typically, their prices are equal to the normal prices paid on auction sites, sometimes even lower.
    Their quality ratings on used equipment are very conservative, and when something does go wrong, they respond immediately and make it right.
    On the other hand, out of over 500 purchases on eBay, I have only got stung 2 or 3 times, mostly eBay and PayPal have come through for me. To get good prices for items on eBay you have to be very patient and wait for your day to come. Always check KEH and other used dealers before you bid up an item, by the way.
  4. IMHO, KEH is much more predictable and reliable that ebay. You may pay a bit more, but I think it's worth it. KEH will stand behind everything they sell.
  5. Are there any used dealers equal to or better than KEH?
    JDM: I'm currently following your last suggestion. Waiting patiently with eBay and only bidding lower than the prices on KEH and only on sellers with very good ratings.
  6. When you take into account the cost of selling through ebay no wonder there are so very few deals. Scammers paradise if you try and sell through it, never again.
  7. Simon: We weren't discussing selling anything. I'm trying to buy equipment.
  8. Yes I know Michael, but if you take into account that you need to add at least 15% to the cost of anything you need to sell on Ebay to achieve your price then there might be cheaper options for you as a buyer?
  9. Simon: You didn't say anything about 15%. What do mean? What cheaper options are you suggesting?
  10. KEH includes a 6 month warranty on the items they sell. Don't know if anyone else can match their prices and provide a warranty as well.
  11. Elliot: Yeah, I've been thinking I should probably only buy cheaper if I'm buying noticeably cheaper, due to the warranty KEH offers.
  12. I've had comparable results with KEH and B&H Used Dept.
  13. I've had luck with both KEH and Ebay. Sometimes you find an item costing less on ebay. But you also have more risk. I generally prefer to go to KEH first for the following reasons:
    1. There prices for used equipment have always been very fair. So you somehow find your kit for 20 bucks less, but without a warranty, or return policy and unknown track record of matching product description with the actual wear and tare on a product. (see 2 below)
    2. Their rating system is the most trustworthy I"ve come across. An E+ at KEH, will be like some sellers Mint or Like new, this, to me is really an important factor, you have no way of knowing what a sellers representation is on ebay, whereas you have a long established history to KEH.
    3. They stand behind their product, if there's is a problem they sort it out. For example, one time a camera came without the advertised lens cap. I called and was told the one I bought didn't come with one. I ask them to check the website and indeed I was told I was right and the cap came 2 days later. Point is, any vendor can make a mistake, but I like the way KEH takes responsibilities for theirs.
    4. They have a good return policy and warranty.
    They might not be the only place that operates this way, and their price may not always be the very very lowest you can find if you are patient or lucky on ebay, but they are usually pretty close, and you will get the product you paid for with a warranty and a stand-up operation behind it.
    No I don't work there or know anyone who does.
  14. My experience is identical to Barry's. If your time is at all valuable, go KEH.
  15. I've had many dozens of good experiences buying used Nikon photo gear from KEH, B&H and Adorama. My auction site purchases of Nikon gear from sellers with positive approval ratings of 99.6 % or better have been quite satisfactory.
    Beware of auction site sellers with lower than 99% positive feedback or sellers that do not allow unconditional returns for at least a few days after the merchandise is delivered.
    Condition ratings on the auction site can be inflated compared to those from KEH, B&H and Adorama -- "minty" condition, for example, can be worse than KEH "bargain" condition.
    Some honest sellers on the auction site inadvertently misrepresent photo gear because they do not know very much about photography.
    Much of the photo gear I've seen listed on the auction is overpriced compared to KEH, B&H and Adorama.
  16. Conrad: You're right, it's clear quite a few of them don't know much about camera equipment, and most items are weirdly overpriced.
  17. You can look at Henry's
  18. I've had excellent luck with KEH, but generally buy from eBay on this kind of stuff. Downside is I am rolling the dice with ebay, where KEH is maybe slightly more but gives a no-questions asked guarantee. THIS is the time of year to get best prices on used camera gear though. Buy/Sell boards on the larger Nikon forums can also be good places to look.
    Kent in SD
  19. Dave: I know. They're pretty overpriced though, so that's not relevant.
  20. Kent: Which forums would you recommend?
  21. The forum here can be pretty good, and also fredMiranda has buy/sell. I'm sure there are others.
    Kent in SD
  22. KEH has its own store on EBay, I have had a positive experience with them.
  23. Kent: I posted in's forum now. Thanks!

    Jim: Thanks, I took a look at them, and they didn't have what I'm looking for at the moment, but I'll keep them in mind.
  24. 1. How do I know if someone in forums is scamming me? I don't see a rating system and someone just emailed me rather than keeping the conversation in a public forum. That seems pointlessly lacking in security, so maybe I'm missing something?
    2. Is Cameta Camera okay?
  25. I bought both of my items on KEH. (I've been looking elsewhere for a few days and looked at eBay's sold items as well. Didn't seem worth the wait and risk.) Thanks for the help!
  26. "How do I know if someone in forums is scamming me? I don't see a rating system and someone just emailed me rather than keeping the conversation in a public forum. That seems pointlessly lacking in security, so maybe I'm missing something?" -- Michael B.

    How does someone sending you a note translate into "pointlessly lacking in security"?
  27. Michael, I'm just curious as to what kind of deal you are looking for on that particular kit?
  28. Another great source in my opinion is, the used equipment offshoot of You get very thorough descriptions and and lens even have resolutions checked. In some ways, a used lens from is a better bet than a new purchace.
  29. Parv: that's not how this sort of thing is done these days. Now we use seller/buyer/trading rating systems so that it can be possible to reference other people's opinions about whether or not a person is trustworthy. Changing this to an email-based system is very insecure because it encourages scam artists to use the forum, since there is no reason to protect your reputation.
    Barry: I bought it from KEH today. The deal I was looking for: the best one available for equipment with no functional problems. I'm fairly sure that KEH turned out to be the best answer.
    DL Anderson: Good information, but they don't have the lens I was looking for.
  30. I have purchased from KEH; never sold anything to KEH. Without hesitation and/or reservations, I would prefer KEH over eBay. The KEH price is comparable, and their grading is a benchmark for used equipment - very conservative. Some of the items I purchased were graded at EX (mechanically and cosmetically); when I received the item, I would think it is LN (Like New). I have not had a negative experience with KEH. The grading on eBay is very subjective, and often made by the seller. I must also add that eBay would have a vast range of equipment relative to KEH, and KEH would not have every item in their stock. Their staff is also excellent.
  31. Roy: many people in various forums have said things similar to what you said, which is why I chose to order EX rated equipment at a lower price instead of ordering a higher quality. Thanks!
  32. We were discussing the classifieds system here which uses email earlier. For anyone curious about ratings systems for non-local trading/selling/buying forums, here's one of the simplest (but still effective) ones I've seen:

    This is a rating of a trader. The important part is the green (positive) number and the red (negative) number. Every time a trade is finished, users rate each other. If one user has a 6 green ratings and the other has 140, the person with 6 has to send their item first. Then, after the person with 140 green ratings has received his/her item, he/she completes the deal. If no one has been cheated, both parties give each other a green rating. If things go poorly, at least one of them will give the other one a red rating.
    The system at is ineffective because if I wanted to cheat someone, I would simply email everyone who wrote "WTB" and claim I had all or some of what they asked for, take their money, and then stop using that email address (though I really wouldn't even need to give up my email address.) If the trade took place in a forum instead, we could at least notice that a person has been accused of scamming repeatedly and that person would have to go to the bother of setting up a new account. That's not much deterrent, but it's a little bit. A standard ratings system like the one I described or like the one on eBay would make it much safer than a forum.
  33. Conrad Smith[​IMG], Feb 17, 2014; 07:16 p.m.
    I've had many dozens of good experiences buying used Nikon photo gear from KEH, B&H and Adorama.​
    Thanks so much for the Adorama feedback. [BTW all used items from Adorama rated D, E+, E, E- come with a 6-month warranty; V and G with a 90-day warranty - all include a 30-day returns period for refund or exchange].
    Best wishes
    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador
  34. (never mind what I had written earlier)
  35. There are better ways than ebay and KEH is one of them. Good customer service and prices, superb warranty service. I once recieved a camera body from them 22 hours after I ordered it. I did buy a lens that had some problems, was given the option of a return or repair at no cost, not even shipping. It was back in my hands six days later.
    Rick H.
  36. This is an update on KEH, and is based on personal experience. This update has NOTHING to do with KEH products, service, staff, pricing, grading, you name it - EXCEPT their shipping carrier FedEx. After my personal experience with FedEx, I am so full of loathing for this carrier FedEx, I would like to warn/inform KEH customers. I believe KEH uses FedEx - at least, I got FedEx as the carrier after I completed making my payment to KEH for my item. KEH sent me the FedEx tracking number, and it was to be delivered when nobody would be at my residence - I work 50 miles away, and use a van pool. I called FedEx, talked to a live person and explained: I was assured that the delivery person would not leave it at the door, and would deliver it the next day when somebody would be at home. Later, the tracking showed that the item was delivered, and left at the side door. Anybody could steal it and drive away. I was helpless. I called FedEx - they made the usual noises. Fortunately, the package was recovered after 5PM, and I am so relieved. I wrote KEH about this experience, and am waiting for their response. If I purchase from KEH, I will want another shipper (USPS), or I will shop elsewhere. Don't like it?? Shop elsewhere. KEH is not being served properly by FedEx, and customers have to be aware of this. Your purchases can be left outside, and stolen. There are folks who roam the streets looking for exactly such items, and follow FedEx trucks making house deliveries. The FedEx driver who makes the delivery is the loathsome creature who puts the KEH customer at risk.
  37. Re Cameta Camera - I have bought from them and found them very dependable.
    For an idea, just that, look at companies on Be aware that some people try to scam this site, but usually they catch it pretty soon.
  38. Koh's Camera is another good source for used gear. I've bought a lot of gear on eBay and from KEH based on who has what I want at the time. Never a problem with either. But as others have stated, use common sense when it comes to eBay. If a seller has poor or stolen photos (especially Rockwell's), I pass on him. One thing to consider with KEH is that EX grade is really the highest you need to buy for a clean body or lens. I've never noticed much of a difference between EX and EX+ or LN-.
  39. KEH delivered my items Saturday. They're in great condition, but they left out the SD card, so I emailed them about that.
  40. They are sending me the SD card now. They're confused about how to list that the camera is capable of using an SD card and intended to say only that, not that it comes with one. Still, that's great of them to send me one for free (sort of.)

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