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View Full Version : general advice for ebay digicam shopping?



Teddy
09-23-2007, 08:00 PM
How do some of you feel about buying cameras on ebay? I'm looking to pick up a Canon Powershot A610. I've seen some on ebay from sellers like 2ndTurn electronics, AuctionDrop, staplesgm, etc. Any tips would be appreciated.

I read about Adorama on previous threads -I'll be watching it for sure.

I'd like to upgrade to a better camera, but I've got the underwater casing for the A610, and buying something new like an A650, plus the underwater casing, is a little daunting.

Thanks!! Ted

Rhys
09-23-2007, 09:03 PM
How do some of you feel about buying cameras on ebay? I'm looking to pick up a Canon Powershot A610. I've seen some on ebay from sellers like 2ndTurn electronics, AuctionDrop, staplesgm, etc. Any tips would be appreciated.

I read about Adorama on previous threads -I'll be watching it for sure.

I'd like to upgrade to a better camera, but I've got the underwater casing for the A610, and buying something new like an A650, plus the underwater casing, is a little daunting.

Thanks!! Ted

Buy from a brick and mortar store - not from an online retailer.

Why?

1. With a brick and mortar store, if it doesn't work, you can return it easily and quickly and get a replacement the same day.
2. You're keeping the local economy active - your dollar will help some guy keep his job in a local shop.
3. There are so many internet scam shops that if you don't choose one of a select few, you'll lose your money and have nothing to show for it. Unless you know the web well, you won't know which are the good shops.
4. Ebay is for flogging junk that you can't offload in your garage sale - what makes you think you can buy anything decent there? Rule of thumb - never blow on ebay more than you can afford to write off.

Teddy
09-24-2007, 05:37 PM
Thanks Rhys, for the thoughtful response.

ebay does make me a little nervous, as I don't know it real well. I also agree with keeping the brick and mortar alive -no doubt I have gained a lot over the years by talking to people at local camera stores.

I'm just trying to figure out a cheaper alternative to buying all the gear new -I do feel a little frustrated that everything has to be so "throw-away." (Like $$$ underwater casings that only fit one model of canon A-series...)

Thanks again -Ted

D Thompson
09-24-2007, 09:14 PM
Not everybody on ebay is a scammer or selling junk. There are legitimate sites, you just have to do a little homework.

However, you should have good luck and good pricing at either Adorama, B&H, or Beach Camera online. All 3 are very reputable and have close to the same deals.

Good luck.

Teddy
09-25-2007, 08:39 PM
Thanks Dennis!

I will definitely keep an eye on those sites.

Ted

jayfixit
09-27-2007, 08:58 AM
A lot of the eBay sellers you mentioned sell broken cameras. I buy from a lot of those sellers to use the parts off them. So, if you go used, read the full description. Most auction house sellers don't list the camera as broken, except for a short sentence. They also typically use "stock" photos, not the actual camera. AuctionDrop uses actual photos, but don't ever pay too much for the auction. Notice their shipping is usually $20-$25 which is excessive.

That said, I've gotten very good, and bad cameras off eBay. Just read the description carefully, and never overpay. There are a bunch more for sale the next day, or even the next hour.

Teddy
09-27-2007, 11:28 AM
jayfixit -thanks for the sound advice!

The use of stock photos is actually something that encouraged me to post this thread, along with statements like "camera tested and appears to be in good working order," which I think could be interpreted a lot of different ways.

Rhys
09-27-2007, 11:58 AM
"Refurbished" is a meaningless phrase. A lot of sellers say an item is "refurbished" when all they mean is the outside has been cleaned and polished and it's supplied with a photocopied manual.

Teddy
10-01-2007, 08:13 PM
Refurbished eh? Interesting.

It's funny, I don't see a lot of A610s around for sale (two or three on ebay at a time). I think they are a pretty sweet camera, and maybe people tend to keep them...

Thanks for all the thoughts! Ted

Dave Dilks
10-01-2007, 08:51 PM
I've bought numerous cameras off eBay and have been tickled with every one. That said, there are certainly scammers out there that prey on the ignorant and/or greedy. Carefully review the sellers feedback (look for a long history of positive feedback selling similar items), and pass on items that look the least bit suspicious. It helps if you aren't in a hurry, because some times it takes awhile for true deals to show up.

mcenut
10-01-2007, 10:54 PM
I have bought six digital cameras from eBay and only once did I get scammed with a non functioning camera. It was actually the first one I bought and I have since learned from my mistake. (BTW, I did resell the defective camera on eBay and recouped over have my original purchase price. But when I sold it, I made sure to include the list of defects. It still sold.)

Here are some pointers:

There are two types of sellers on eBay, large and small. The large operations are the ones that you have to fear the most because they primarily sell the defective cameras at unbelievable low prices. Sure they have the numerous negative feedbacks to prove it but some buyers fail to read them before bidding. Some large sellers limit their liability by describing the camera as "Excellent cosmetic condition" but fail to describe that the camera doesn't fully work. But hey, it looks great.

Small sellers most times are more honest. Not always, but I have never been scammed buy a seller that is only selling their own stuff.

There are two large sellers that I trust and have bought repeatedly from:

Fastcashpawncom (http://myworld.ebay.com/fastcashpawncom/)
dealtree-techstore (http://myworld.ebay.com/dealtree-techstore/)

A picture is worth a thousand words. Never is this truer than on eBay. Stock photos are a good indicator that the seller is hiding something. Good photographs give you some security when buying a used item.

Simple descriptions are better than lengthy legal ones. Reading the fine print in long descriptions may reveal that the camera is defective. Get out your reading glasses.

New sellers are to be treated with suspicion. We all have to start out sometime, but established sellers are more trustworthy because they have a reputation.

Look for auctions that end on Monday thru Friday to find the best prices. Auctions that end on the weekend have higher prices. That is why when I sell I sell on the weekend. But when I buy, I look for auctions that end on a weekday.


The PowerShot A610 is pretty new. There were 10 up for auction on eBay when I wrote this. Looking at all of them, I wouldn't buy most of them. There was only one that I would even think of buying and even then I wasn't 100% sure it was to be trusted with a high bid.

Your best bet to get a good quality A610 is buy from a site like B&H or Adorama. Both have used equipment sections and certify the quality of the items they sell. Though I have not seen a used A610 for sale yet on either site.

Amazon's used equipment portal is just like eBay. Amazon does not certify the items they sell. So buyer beware.

Teddy
10-04-2007, 09:20 AM
Wow, awesome responses! Thank you.

I went into this hoping to score something fairly quickly with a few tips. But I think, like you said Dave, it helps to have some time.

I really appreciate the detailed response, mcenut. Cool. It sounds like you have it down to a science. Get out the reading glasses...

By the way, this has been an awesome thread! I've learned a ton about ebay shopping.

Thanks again!