Buying on eBay

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by tse_sung_wu|7, Aug 12, 2000.

  1. Sorry if this is a repeat- I could not find it on a search on photo.net or here.

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    I notice there are scads of M6's for sale on eBay. Would this be a wise place to start an M system?

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    TIA
     
  2. I have bought many used M series cameras, (as I'm sure most users
    have in the begining of their M user days), and I can say that I have
    always handled the camera in person first. I have owned 5 used
    cameras... but have rejected at least twice that many due to obvious
    defects noticed while I inspected with it.

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    The rangefinders can be checked quickly, shutter operation can be
    watched and listened to as well a general condition. Sometimes the
    best looking cameras had the most problems...(probably from lack of
    use.) I would buy a camera with some problems if the price was low
    enough for me to send it to Leica for a tune up... but again, based
    on my observation of the camera... not taking someone else's word.

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    Buying from a store usually means a good "in-writing" return policy.
    If you buy from an individual via the net... you may be in for a
    problem if the item was represented as better than it really is.

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    This is just my opinion... others may feel otherwise. The purchase
    of an M Leica is never cheap... I just want to be able to make the
    best informed choice. For me, that means hands-on inspection.
     
  3. I find that the M6's on e-bay sell for within $50 or $100 (both
    higher and lower)of what a good, reputable dealer sells them for who
    includes full return rights and no hassels. E-bay isn't the place to
    get a deal on anything very popular, and even things go for higher
    than market quite often on desireable equipment.
     
  4. Actually, I've had pretty good luck. I've found that prices are about
    66 - 70% of a brick & mortar dealer, and the equipment is usually as
    described. Ebay's selection is huge, and you can often find what
    you're looking for. The local dealers rarely have this sort of
    selection.

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    Check out the seller first. If they have negative or very little
    feedback, be wary. Always email the seller first, and establish terms
    for return (usually, you pay the postage both ways). Make sure they
    they are in the phone book, and have a street address.

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    Pay with a postal money order if they won't take visa. The Feds will
    go after the seller if they welch on you if you do, it's postal fraud.
    Descreetly let the seller know the consequences of welching.

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    I've never been burned <yet>, but no doubt about it, it's more risky
    than a regular camera store, but you should be able to get the item
    for about 10% above wholesale. Don't overbid.

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    If you really want an item, a good strategy is to not bid on it until
    the last minute or so, so it will be very difficult for someone else
    to top your bid.

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    Good luck.
     
  5. A 135mm elmar m with fungus on inner elemnents (easily cleanable
    the seller says-not really)and some scratches on the barrel just went
    for $270 on e-bay, when mint condition examples at several of the
    Leica mail order houses are listing for $299. I find this kind of
    thing very common, and pretty funny. E-bay sure is great for the
    sellers. Before I bid on anything on e-bay I ask very specific
    questions to the seller, and save their e-mail response. If they don't
    answer my questions, I never bid. I also ask about returning the item
    less shipping and e-bay fees if there is some hidden problem. Most
    will agree to this. By the way, I just checked some completed auctions
    for M6 cameras, and right now most of the cameras seem to be sold with
    a lens, which is a better way to get a deal. The used camera dealers
    always split everything up. Because of this, you probably can save up
    to several hundred dollars on a camera lens combo - at least right
    now. One last bit of advise, if you have never handled an M6 or tried
    taking pictures with one, go do so before buying one long distance.
    Many people can not get used to the finders and focusing and end up
    selling the cameras. Even if you have used an older Leica like an M3,
    you will find the camera handles a bit differently, and has a differnt
    view through the newer style finder. I didn't care for the M6 that
    much, (although the meter is handier than my top mounted one), and
    liked the earlier cameras better, especially the M3.
     
  6. Good advice from Andrew and the others! I always buy Ebay photo
    equipment from sellers who have a history of positive feedback. Some
    of them are camera dealers and offer money back guarantees if the
    equipment is not as described. Of course, if someone sells a worn out
    Leica M3 for, say $300 (!), I would buy it immediately because I know
    I can get it CLA'd and fixed by Leica USA or Sherry K, and still end
    up with a barg
     
  7. Ebay, for all its faults, seems to me to be a good place to buy
    Leica equipment. I have been able to buy new bodies and
    lenses, some USA/Passport, some grey, at prices well below
    the retailers' prices for similar gear popular with buyers on
    Photo.net. I have never had any problems with anything I have
    bought there, either. You should consider the feedback rating of
    the seller when bidding, of course. There are some benefits you
    don't always get buying there, convenient return of items that you
    decide you do not want is one of them. But for the careful buyer,
    there are some good deals.
     
  8. FWIW I doubt there is such a thing as a "worn out" Leica!
    My M3 has probably had about 2,500 rolls thru it,in 33 years.It required a major service 4 years ago.Mew shutter curtains and drum.The viewfinder masks also replaced.It was expensive repair.So just about any Leica is ok.Allow for CLA. My back up M2,hardly used was CLA`d due to non usage..
     

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