Ebay - Condition ratings by sellers.

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by tony_brookes|5, Dec 12, 2000.

  1. I have bought several items on Ebay and am continually surprised by the difference in condition ratings by US and European sellers. In the UK and Europe MINT means new condition (unused) MINT- means almost as good as new. In the US it seems to mean anything between a condition of between 6 and 9. Occasionally there are some truly mint items but there appears to be a marked difference in enthusiasm for describing items between the US and Europe. Has anyobody had the same experience? I now treat Mint- as grade 8. Even members of the Leica Historical Society get carried away with their descriptions. When I was selling a Leica item at Christies in London some years ago they told me that real collectors regard Mint as an item being in its original packing, and with pre-war items, also in its original tissue. There cannot be many MINT Leica items still around that are not in collections. What do other Ebay buyers and sellers think ?
     
  2. Anthony,

    <p>

    As you have seen the word mint means different thing to different
    people. It is not only Ebay users. Many dealers use this and other
    terms to denote condition.

    <p>

    I have sold several photo items on Ebay. What I do is make sure
    everything works correctly. I then thoroughly clean the item and
    inspect for any marks. I then take good closeup pictures of the item.
    This allow the prospective buyer to see what they are buying.

    <p>

    I figure that if a seller can't take a good picture of the item I
    wouldn't want to buy it.

    <p>

    I give a complete description of the item and the type of equipment it
    is used on. I describe my current use of the item and that it is
    functional in every way.

    <p>

    I then make a recommendation that the buyer use an escrow service.

    <p>

    All the sales I have had have gone smoothly with both buyer and seller
    happy with the deal.
     
  3. I don't pay that much attention to the overall rating. I look at
    whether the seller is telling what is wrong with the item, even it it
    minor. I figure if they list all the minor flaws, then there are not
    likely to be any major flaws to deal with.

    <p>

    To me, Mint means no visible defects with a close inspection with un
    aided eyes, but used. If has the original packing, it may be Mint In
    Box. If it hasn't been used, then it is New or New In Box. And this
    seems pretty common way to look at things.

    <p>

    Anything less than excellent is in pretty bad shape typically. But it
    may just be cosmetics so that doesn't mean that it is not usable, it
    just may not be pretty, but then again it may be pretty bad overall.

    <p>

    If you have any questions, ask the seller before hand.

    <p>

    You might want to check KEH (www.keh.com) to see how they define the
    rating terms.
     
  4. It's an utterly subjective exercise masquerading as something
    approaching science.It's also what dissuaded me from further eBay
    transactions.Close inspection of the few truly revealing shots of
    bodies and lenses usually reveal sufficient brassing, scratches,
    dents, crud, etc. to discredit a seller touting "mint" or "mint-"
    goods.The used photo equipment market in my area is deep enough to
    supply me with what I need, as distinct from what I want.
     
  5. I don't pay attention to an eBay seller's rating. Along with all of
    the above suggestions, I check "sellers other auctions to see if the
    seller specializes in photo gear, and then the feedback chart. I've
    had pretty good results with accessories, but when it came to buying a
    25 year old Pentax KX, I called KEH.
     
  6. Sir Anthony,
    I beg your pardon. "In the UK and Europe MINT means new condition
    (unused)": would you please educate, for example, your british fellow
    "royalbob" who on ebay.co.uk writes

    <p>

    "*MINT* ROLLEI 35 ...
    .... IS IN NEAR NEW CONDITION. ... JUST A TINY MARK AT THE BACK (about
    3mm long),VERY LIGHT SCUFF MARK AT TRIPOD BUSH AND A VERY SMALL DING
    AT BOTTAM REAR (about 2mm)....."
     
  7. And beware of the anything labelled 'Perfect'. Trusting in the
    goodness of man, I got taken in by one seller on Ebay who described
    his Rolleiflex E as having a 'perfect' lens. Upon inspection, it
    revealed slight hazing. He maintained that that that was considered
    'perfect' in his estimation, and that I was being picky. He refused
    to refund my money. It was a very expensive mistake. Perfect, Mint,
    Flawless...these terms mean anything the seller wishes them to mean.
    Caveat Emptor.
     
  8. It isn't just in the US that people describe scuffed items as mint.
    I, a UK resident, have on several occasions driven many miles to
    inspect a mint condition camera body with absolutely no marks only to
    find that the article in question was well used i.e. brassed, dents
    etc despite being assured on the phone that the item was spotless.

    <p>

    I would say that lying toads do not know national boundaries. It's a
    shame.

    <p>

    As an aside I have sold several items myself and have been astonished
    when on each occasion the buyer asked me to mail the item to them on
    receipt of payment. In each case they were satisfied that I had
    described the condition fairly.
     
  9. I've had mixed experiences on eBay. I have used KEH.com many times and have been pleased with their products, and if I've had any problems, with their excellent and generous return policy. Their grading tends to be very conservative, and items listed cheaply as bargains tend to be like some of the mint-, good, etc. you see thrown around on eBay.

    In any case, always ask more questions than you think prudent and look at the answers. Make sure to know more about the camera/lens features and compatibilities, limitations, etc. than the seller, before you buy. Many ebay sellers sell in bulk and mix and match inferior parts to get that wonderful "deal" to you. Like recently, I purchased a Minolta X-700 manual camera and paid about $180 for it. There were other Minolta X-700's available and many with a "Buy It Now" price of only $150-160 dollars, but upon examing the pictures or asking the seller about the lens, you find out it is an older type (Rokkor-X), which limits the camera's functionality just a little bit. Three fellows I trust on eBay that I personally know are 'titterington', 'roblun', and 'gooeyduck'.

    Good Luck.
     

Share This Page

1111