talk buying in the US of A. eBay has a lot of Nikon stuff on
sale. Mostly it's over 1.000 items(!) You can find lots of lenses
there, mainly older ones, but also lots of new stuff. Camera
bodies are also plentiful (as I checked today, May 21st 1999,
there were four F5's and six F100's, all in excellent condition
parading in folklore clothing on the "Heimattage"
in our little city Huefingen/Germany 1995.
F-401, AF Nikkor 35-70 cheapo-zoom on Agfa Ultra ISO 50.
sellers starts with a redicilously low price, such as 1 USD
or 9,90 USD or so. They then hope that lots of people will bid
on their goods (and people do - you can easily find goods with
bids from over one hundred individuals). The price rapidly increases
and you will very likely never be able to get, let's say a fully
functional F90X for something like 200 USD (that would
be a bargain!).
sellers are often companies (even if eBay is supposedly a "private-to-private"
auction) and they dump a lot of their used stuff on eBay. I'm
not sure if what they sell sometimes might be "grey market"
equipment, but I guess so. AFAI understood it, "grey market"
means "not through normal sales/distribution channels".
This doesn't equal to illegal stuff. Most sellers seems
serious to me. There are crooks out there though. If
you feel insecure, check out the neighbor
to neighbor area at Philip Greenspun's photo.net,
where a lot of sellers and buyers are listed with comments from
other individuals (mainly praises, but also beware comments).
are a couple of the things I look at when buying at eBay
1. Is the price interesting? See the price calculation scheme
below. If it's not, I don't need to bother about this item.
Is the seller willing to ship to Europe? Some folks don't want
to sell their stuff outside of the USA.
What kind of rating does the seller has? (they are rated by
former buyers). I would be a bit wary about someone selling
expensive equipment with no history record available. Most sellers
have a huge rating record though.
How is the feedback on this seller? (the buyers sends feedback
on the sellers).
Is a picture provided? I like pictures of the items I am about
to buy. It's a plus if there are close up shots of items so
one might be able to detect dents and scratches etc.
If there's anything I want to know about the item which isn't
described, I send the seller a short e-mail with the questions
before placing any bid.
the item looks good after the above evaluation, I might place
a bid - if I am seriously interested in it. I normally don't
place a bid much higher than the current maximum bid. This means
that I can get a screen telling me that I'm outbid directly
after placing it. This is because many people have their "robots"
or "agents" automatically increasing their bids for
I'm outbid - and if I'm not too emotional about the whole affair
- I rethink the whole thing before placing a new bid. It's easy
to end up bidding on stuff which is no more interesting - compared
to the prices here in Europe.