Buying glass on Craigslist?

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Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Mon Mar 22, 2010 12:11 am

Don't see a thread about this yet, so here it is. A bit of snooping on the local Craigslist produces, at any given time, about 20-40 Canon EF or EF-S lenses for sale, including some rather nice kit with IS and USM. Most of the asking prices are realistic -- i.e. a bit less than online retail. Most seem legit as well, pro and intense hobby photographers swapping out gear they've duplicated or outgrown over time, and a smattering of newbies who decided this wasn't their hobby.

What are the pitfalls to look out for? I suppose the obvious one is to take your own camera body to the sale location and run a few frames to be sure you like the results (and to be certain the glass is clear and the focusing is working), but what else?
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ludi
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:07 pm

ludi wrote:What are the pitfalls to look out for? I suppose the obvious one is to take your own camera body to the sale location and run a few frames to be sure you like the results (and to be certain the glass is clear and the focusing is working), but what else?


Nothing much to worry about. Ironically craig's is alot safer than most think for the above reasons. Of course you are meeting a random stranger so you might want to bring a buddy along for safety reasons.
phez
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Mon Mar 22, 2010 5:16 pm

The main thing is to look out for anything that looks stolen and inspect the glass.

Overall, it's a nice way to get used stuff. You can inspect before buying and don't have to trust a stranger to ship to you.
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:06 pm

mattsteg wrote:The main thing is to look out for anything that looks stolen and inspect the glass.

Yeah, that's one of the perenniel worries with Craigslist in general. Other than something really obvious (say, a flawless L-series lens for one-third of retail out the back of a white van), what else might indicate stolen photography gear?
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:16 pm

ludi wrote:
mattsteg wrote:The main thing is to look out for anything that looks stolen and inspect the glass.

Yeah, that's one of the perenniel worries with Craigslist in general. Other than something really obvious (say, a flawless L-series lens for one-third of retail out the back of a white van), what else might indicate stolen photography gear?


Not to sound like a douche but who cares? I mean, there's nothing much you can do if it was stolen merchandise - there's no way for you to know. If you have that mindset, you might as well not purchase anything off of cg.
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:21 pm

Folks who bought it new may have copies of their receipts and the original packaging.
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Mon Mar 22, 2010 6:37 pm

phez wrote:Not to sound like a douche but who cares? I mean, there's nothing much you can do if it was stolen merchandise - there's no way for you to know. If you have that mindset, you might as well not purchase anything off of cg.

Thieves can't eat most of the stuff they steal, so if they can't fence it easily, it isn't worth their time. Also, tough luck to you if the original ownership is somehow traced, it goes back to the rightful owner and the guy who sold it to you is too busy serving his five to be concerned with offering refunds. I'm not paranoid but I do use my nose on CL, within reason. Same with pawn shops. I've worked with cars and electronics long enough that I have some idea of what is likely to get swiped and the ways it might reappear in the market. But I have very little knowledge of the situation in photography, and want to pick up on whatever I can.
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:37 am

ludi wrote:Also, tough luck to you if the original ownership is somehow traced, it goes back to the rightful owner and the guy who sold it to you is too busy serving his five to be concerned with offering refunds.


This is true. Though again, the chances of the lens getting traced is how high? The situation can apply to almost any online [personal] sale - ads, auction, forums, etc. The best you can do is request the original packaging.
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Tue Mar 23, 2010 5:16 pm

Just to show how easy it is to find your stuff if you're smart and the criminal is dumb(often the case).

I'm positive this isn't the usual case, but a woman on a photography forum I'm a member of had about $9000 worth of equipment stolen from her car and posted the news on the forum. 10 minutes later someone had found her stuff listed on Craigslist, and after reporting it to the cops, she had her stuff back a day or two later. Of course, this all happened before the crook could sell any of it so I'm not sure how it would have turned out if that weren't the case.
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:07 pm

bobboobles wrote:Just to show how easy it is to find your stuff if you're smart and the criminal is dumb(often the case).

I'm positive this isn't the usual case, but a woman on a photography forum I'm a member of had about $9000 worth of equipment stolen from her car and posted the news on the forum. 10 minutes later someone had found her stuff listed on Craigslist, and after reporting it to the cops, she had her stuff back a day or two later. Of course, this all happened before the crook could sell any of it so I'm not sure how it would have turned out if that weren't the case.


You are talking about a lot of money here. I bet if it was a $50-100 item it would be rather difficult to get the cops to do anything about it plus it would be tougher to monitor on Cl as it wouldn't stand out as much.
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:15 pm

Sure, but what lenses are you going to be buying for $50?
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:16 pm

A kit lens.
A cheap effect lens.
Filters
other accessories.

There is a lot of smaller stuff that can be stolen and put on craigslist. I personally wouldn't buy anything on craigslist without the original packaging. Anything with a serial number can be traced back to you.

However, what are the chances, paying in cash, that they'll be able to find you? I've never had a cop (or anybody) make me show them the serial number on my camera or lenses.
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:54 am

bobboobles wrote:Sure, but what lenses are you going to be buying for $50?


How about my Minolta 50mm/1.7? $45.00 from a pawn shop. In all honesty they had well over 4-5 of the exact same lenses. On top of that if someone did see you using your camera whats the odds they are going to come running up to you to check your lens to see if you bought their stolen goods? And if so, how would they prove that at all unless you bought a 1 of a king rare/expensive item?

As said above, general rules apply to all CL buying (ALL within reason).... beware of cheap items that should be much more, I have however ran across a few older people who don't know what something is worth and just want to get rid of it... Myself being one of them just wanting to get rid of old parts sold off a not working motorcycle for 200.00 of what was worth about 500.00 in parts alone, I also sold a 3-wheeler for 50.00 and had well over 10 calls for it knowing it was worth more. Did I care to hold out for the extra cash... no, I just wanted to get rid of it, first come first serve. When I buy things on CL i'm expecting that people want to just get rid of it (assuming its theirs), and I expect to get a good deal otherwise I would have bought the item new. The only other thing I watch for are creeps, and its why my .44 Super Black-Hawk is never more than a stones throw from myself in case the person I'm meeting up with is a psycho.

Although on a side note, I recently saw a list of 10 things NEVER to buy used...... and I still don't understand why Digital Cameras were on the list. I think this is assuming that your a complete idiot as a consumer and are buying a point and shoot, who knows.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Sa ... yUsed.aspx

Then again, how much stock can you honestly put in the "Experts" over at MSN lmfao......... about as useful as Yahoo :lol:
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:59 pm

Welch wrote:Although on a side note, I recently saw a list of 10 things NEVER to buy used...... and I still don't understand why Digital Cameras were on the list. I think this is assuming that your a complete idiot as a consumer and are buying a point and shoot, who knows.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Sa ... yUsed.aspx

Then again, how much stock can you honestly put in the "Experts" over at MSN

I wouldn't put much in this one. I see only two items on that list which are legitimate no-buys: Car seats and helmets, i.e. critical safety gear with unmeasurable wear-and-tear. Now that bedbugs are making a comeback in North America, the mattress advice is definitely germane, but the rest of the article amounts to "Don't buy...unless you know the item's true value or are getting a really good deal that mitigates failure risk or have a refurb warranty." Which is pretty much stock advice for purchasing any consumer electronics or appliances second-hand, digital camera kit included.
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Re: Buying glass on Craigslist?

Postposted on Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:32 pm

First successful kill: A Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM, which does have the ring-type USM system. Seller was an obvious hobby photographer with some new upgrades sitting on the same table as the older lenses he was selling. Was offering this one for $250 including the 77mm UV filter and 77mm circular polarizer. I had been looking at Canon's two 28mm primes for a while but jumped all over this when it showed up :D
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