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OT good grief

j m shaw

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Had to share this one with you, I work in a camera store and we

deal new/used. Today I watched in dissbelief as one of my

co-workers purchased from a silver haired lady her husbands

M5, IIIg, 90ltm,135ltm and a 50ltm for the whopping amount of

$125.00. I wanted to yell "HEY LADY" I will give you double but

had to stand by biting my tounge as the transaction took place.

Still I assume she was happy with the $ and the cameras will get

serviced and go to new homes....just thought I would share. have

a great night. mark

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That's really sad..........and disgusting. There is a world of difference between a person putting their own price on a camera, such as at a garage sale, newspaper ad, market stall etc and what happened here. When someone puts their own price on an item it's their responsibility and they should be happy with that price if they get it. Such a price is fair game if the buyer sees more value than the $ asked.


This " silver haired lady " obvously did not know the worth of her husbands gear. If she did, she would have known to ask for more. She came to your camera store for a fair price. Your colleague was prepared to deal with her dishonestly. In my book this amounts to theft.


Sure, bargains are to be hunted keenly, and sometimes found when luck is with you. But this is not a " bargain " situation......its just dishonest dealing. Your assumption that she was happy with the price is solely based on your belief that she thought she got a fair deal, which she didn't.


Ripping off silver haired ladies has a price. The law of karma applies.

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Gregory you are right it's sad, I DO think she was taken

advantage of...granted the equipment was far from mint and the

M5 had mold on the fungus, it was worth alot more than $125.

this doesn't hapen too often in our shop, they tend to be fair but

this was a sad deal indeed...

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I think its all relative. For example if you give a Leica to a tribal group that have yet been exposed to the civilised world, they wouldn't have a clue of any value for the camera. Likewise the old lady that sold the camera probably couldn't be happier for exchanging cash value for something she has no need for. In fact, in our society, we even go to great lengths to protect ourselves by having lawyers and advisors on matters that we have no knowledge in.....and yet I've heard of cases where the biggest crooks are lawyers.
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What is the difference between what you did (or didn't do) today, and a camera shop that knowingly sells at full price a defective product to a customer as if it were working?


In my opinion you and the shop you work at are as bad as any of the disgraceful NYC shops that readily and happily rip off customers!!!


Please feel free to share the name of the store you work at so I may be sure to avoid it in the future. Maybe you would be better off keeping these things to yourself in the future.



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Henry, I disagree with you. The old lady was ripped off, financially and from a moral and ethical standpoint. The equipment was worth more than $3,000 and she got only $125. It's behavior such as this that accelerates the decline of society, and as good Christians we condone it because it constitutes a legal transaction. I couldn't live with myself if I was in the business of ripping off people. Granted, we all have to make a living, but this is daylight robbery. Give me the uncivilized tribe any day, at least they won't cheat me.
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Erik, it might be presumptuous of you to condemn Mark. This sort of moral dilemma presents itself to us in many ways, I'm sure we all have had our moments. It is difficult, and easy to second guess someone else's actions. The salesman who paid the $125 was a criminal, plain and simple, and a sorry example of a human being, but is it worth Mark to speak up and possibly lose his job in such a situation. Tough call. Maybe we could take up a collection and send a check to the old lady. I really feel disgusted at this incident.
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"In fact, in our society, we even go to great lengths to protect ourselves by having lawyers and advisors on matters that we have no knowledge in.....and yet I've heard of cases where the biggest crooks are lawyers."



My apologies for making the above statement. It was not directed at our lawyer friends who frequent this forum, but rather at a minority of some bad apples in any professions. I was being sued once by an ambulance chaser in an accident injury case. Luckily my insurance company fought it out in court and won the case. The irony were, had they not went to court, at least there would have been some settlement costs, but it this case both the plaintiff and the lawyer didn't get a dime because the insurance company were able to prove the case fraudulent.

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William , you are entitled to your opinion, However I am no

crook...I did talk with said salesman and told him the given

amount was a joke he told me equip needed repair and didn't

want to hear anymore. As for telling the lady, Sure I cold have

said something and wanted too, however I probably would have

been repremanded for doing so...or worse....I do value my $10

per hour job as a recent college grad hoping for something

bigger .... that $10 pays my rent....I felt bad and judging from this

should have just forgoten about it, but I thought sharing would

make me feel bet ter....obviously I was wrong, and now am

getting slammed on this board...gee i feel great now. I will talk to

my manager on monday and let him know that I feel the deal

was unfair and how I feel sure it wont change things but I will

have my say. Erick I will keep these things to myself in the

future, and I am glad I never have to personally give quotes to

customers...Sorry to start such a lousy thread. Mark

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Mark, don't feel too bad about this.

Under the circumstance, you were not in a position to say anything without getting into trouble. The fact that you feel bad tells me that deep down you detest such unethical practice. If you are smart, wait a few years till you reach a status to be able to make a difference, both financially and morally, then you can stand for what you beleive in. As the saying goes, "Don't get into any fight that you cannot win".

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If Mark had said anything; the manager probably would have fired him for "ruining a deal". <BR><BR>Yes the lady could have made a lot money more; and should have had her stuff appraised by an unbiased professional. <BR><BR>Older people should have trusted younger friends to help in financial matters; to avoid being dumb with money matters. If she finds out she was really screwed; the store could be sued; for taking way too much an advantage of an older person. The contract/sale can be struck as void; if the seller was not of right mind. Some states have stronger laws than others in this matter; usually the retirement states.<BR><BR> My uncle threw out the mint LIONEL 275 Watt ZW Transformer and its original box; plus alot of other cool train stuff ; the transformer goes for hundreds on Ebay; without the mint box. Probably a grand of train stuff thrown out.<BR><BR>A friends Dad sold his old "obsolete" black body Nikon F with unmetered prism ; Nikkors 105mm F2.5; 50mm F1.4; 35mm F2 to a camera store for 50 bucks; and was happy he got "so much" for the old "obsolete" junk. He shows us the NEW AUTO FOCUS P & S goober brand camera; he got with his 50 dollar trade in CRAP/JUNK plus 50 dollars in cash. He didnt sell his Nikkormat movie camera; which he thinks is valuable.<BR><BR>I helped a girl fix up her 3 year old Ford Pinto; we redid alot of the mechanical stuuf; brakes, tires, etc. She traded it in on a VEGA; of the same year; and took a 3 year 90 dollar car note for the deal. She like the paint job on the Vega; over the Pinto. I really wanted to beat the salesguy up for taking advantage of her. The Vega died before the note was paid off; the typical Vega engine problem happened 6 months into the note. <BR><BR>A local camera store was always trying to by my dads mint Retina IIIc from him; "for a few bucks; since it isnt worth much". This comment made me not want to do business ever with them.
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In 1941, my grandmother gave away for next to nothing a family cottage on Lowber Lake north of Kingston, Ontario, because her husband died and four of her five sons were overseas or otherwise in the service. Guy gave her the money, all the contents were tossed. She did it becasue she was afraid she would get nothing at all if she waited.
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Mark, you were in a difficult situation. It won't be the last time.


By accepting the gear and paying anything for it, the store

assumes the risk of repairing the gear and then finding buyers

among a fairly small group who would appreciate it. You, being

a Leica knowledgable person could probably find those buyers

even here on the forum. But I would hazard a guess that the

store you work at isn't in the business of repairing, and then

sitting on such exotic gear for God knows how long before it



That said, it was still a rip-off if the collegue knew he was

substantually shorting the lady, knew its potential value once

repaired and /or CLAed, and had channels to sell such gear in a

reasonable amount of time.


The moral aspect raised here is an interesting one. What

difference does it make morally that the woman was elderly?

Would it be okay to rip off an unknowing 40 year old?


In every case I've ever encountered, stepping forward to do the

right thing involves consequences. I once was a witness to an

injustice, and the consequence was a week long trial and a

weeks' lost pay.


However, you didn't rip off this lady, your collegue did. Bringing it

up to your supervisor will either get you in trouble or your

collegue depending on the moral slant of the supervisor. It will

most likely involve a consequence as most moral dilemmas do.


The thing to remember is that while small in the overall scheme

of things, this is where a young individual begans forming their

own Ethos that will manifest itself as life throws a person even

bigger decisions to make later. Act as your conscience dictates.

It is usually the best course to take.

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OK all those 'Holier than thou' posters what about this scenario...


You are browsing a charity shop's contents and come across a mint Leica IIIg and Elmar 3.5 in a leather case hanging up with all the other old cameras (box Brownies, plastic TLRs etc) and it is marked $10 because the old dears who take in all this gear from house clearances have'nt a clue. It probably came from some widowed friend who just donated anything remotely saleable to the shop and need the space because they are moving to a smaller house.


Are you going to inform the old ladies running the shop that the camera is worth much more so that their charity can benefit from a proper price or are you going to pay the $10 and come and brag about it here?


I know you would all pay $10 and come and brag. I know I would as well. Lets stop beating up on Mark and admit we are all morally 'selective' when a bargain is around.

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I was going to just watch this thread. Yet with some of the comments I could not just sit back. This post is more about the attitudes posted here, than the moral right or wrong of the situation that Mark wrote about.


What happened to the lady is sad and wrong. What that salesman did is sad and wrong. What Mark did how was not sad or wrong given his particular situation. He did talk with the salesman in question. And he still might talk with the manager.


Some one wrote that Mark should quit. And maybe he should. But given the economic realities of the job market, what kind of job if any could he find? Would those that find his situation unworkable, send him money to make up the difference if he ended up at McDonald's at $6 an hour?


I wonder how many that are "casting stones" would stand up in their day to day life? I have heard more than one story here about garage sale finds. Lets say you find a good example of an M3 at a flea market or garage sale for $75 with a DR Summicron. Do you buy it for the $75, or do you offer the $1000 or so that it is truly worth? Or lets say that a camera store miss-priced that same gear, would you offer more? I know I would pay their price, and walk away. Does that make me a bad person?


How many of you are working for companies that have questionable business practices? How many of you were less than charitable in your dealings with others?


For those that blasted Mark, and even his store; if you don't fit ANY of the above scenarios - that you have never cheated ANYONE in your entire life- that you would rather quit your job than work for a company that you felt did people wrong; even if it meant not making your rent or mortgage - please give me your names so that I can send them to Rome. The world needs some more saints.


What happened to this lady is what happens to us all, if we allow it. Sometimes we have control, and sometimes we don't We are judged and the services and rewards provided are then given by that judgment. A private hospital will turn away those in need, or give them just enough care to get them to the public hospital. Those that look like an easy mark pay more for their car purchase or car repair. Raises and stock options for the owners and senior management, and meager - if any more - money for the rank and file.

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Probably what Marc said. If you can live with your decision then go ahead. If you feel it's better to keep the job but work in a not-so-honest environment then go ahead.


No body seems to be right here. We all make decisions day to day. Just stand by them once there're made.



good luck Mark. ;)

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Since the cat is out of the bag and in order for us to be able to sleep better, I suggest we all help Mark and the lady out. Instead of talking to "right" a "wrong" I suggest we all chip in financially and have Mark reposses those equipment, then return it to the rightful owner.


What's wrong with this picture ?

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