Buying camera from eBay

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Desert_B, Jul 22, 2013.

  1. Desert_B

    Desert_B Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2013
    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    Decided to start a new thread for this.

    Have you bought a camera (new or used) from eBay? Are there downsides to buying a new camera from eBay? I'm assuming the mfr warranty would be valid for a new product bought through this route?

  2. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Depends on your location, if you buy Olympus products, many countries are covered by their worldwide warranty so there will be no problem.

    For panasonic and other major brands though, the warranties are usually only valid at the country the item was bought.

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  3. xvvvz

    xvvvz Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2013
    Everything depends on the ethics of the seller. I bought a new GX1 from Roberts for $20.00 less than through their own website, so it pays to compare. Check a seller's reputation and don't deal with sellers who are new/unestablished or don't have many feedback ratings. Email any questions and concerns before you buy. If in doubt, walk away. Read the fine print. The warranty issue (as the previous poster pointed out) is the most important one and many sellers are very vague with their description of this.
  4. BigOwl

    BigOwl Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2013
    San Antonio, Texas USA
    Maybe I've just been lucky, but I've bought numerous cameras and lenses on EBay without any problems. Have also sold without trouble. If I were in the market for more gear now, I'd probably start with the buy/sell section of this forum, then check Amazon which has connections to many sources. My G5 was purchased from B&H Photo and I was satisfied with that transaction.

    When shopping on EBay, you need to check the feedback of the seller and if you have concerns, don't hesitate to ask questions. For used gear, be sure the photos posted are of the exact item listed and not just a stock photo. Many sellers include a return policy in their listing, others do not allow returns. It's all there in the "fine print".
  5. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I've bought many cameras and lenses on ebay, since I frequently buy used or factory refurbished. I have never had a problem, even buying used from individuals, though I do a very thorough research of their feedback first. Cameta Camera is golden, and both Keh and Adorama sell on ebay. Don't assume that 98% feedback means they are a problem; often they've recieve a negative comment in the last 12 months from some unreasonably crank. It pays to read the comments, not just the numbers.
  6. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I've bought all kinds of stuff on eBay and especially cameras and lenses. If the seller has an excellent reputation and sells a lot of stuff like you're buying you've got a good chance of getting a good item.

    Check their feedback and not just their score. Go to their feedback page and click on the negatives as a seller and see how they do screw up. Due diligence is a good thing and eBay's feedback system makes that a lot less of a chore.
  7. Desert_B

    Desert_B Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2013
    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    If I buy a brand-new Panasonic from eBay, is that considered "valid at the country the item was bought"? Does the location of the seller have any bearing? (For a brand new, unopened item)
  8. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I bought a Panasonic lens from an authorized dealer in Japan with all Japanese paperwork and registered it for the warranty online with no difficulty. I saved a couple of hundred dollars doing it.

    Panasonic is one of the few that warranties gear bought anywhere. Nikon was a HUGE P.I.T.A. in this regard resulting in "gray market" gear that was warranted by the seller rather than Nikon.

    This is why you don't see retailers with gray market Panasonic stuff I believe -- it's not necessary.
  9. Desert_B

    Desert_B Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2013
    Minnesota, U.S.A.
    Terrific information. Thank you.
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    One thing to keep in mind if buying a new camera. Not all of these ebay sellers are authorized retailers, and cameras not bought from authorized sellers may not be covered by the manufacturer warranty.
  11. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    I am not sure what are the experiences of other people. As I only have experience with Nikon regarding this and it will definitely be gray market if the origin of the item is not the same country as where are you.

    Wow!! I did not know this. That's awesome!! I always thought only Olympus have a real World wide warranty.:2thumbs:

    Yes Nikon and Canon sucks at this stuff, sometime ago they won't even service gray units :rolleyes:
  12. dwrk

    dwrk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2012
    i just bought a camera from Biggs Camera off was a demo unit with condition listed as New (other)...and "the camera is complete"...

    well...the camera has a small spot at the base where the paint has worn off showing metal...a spot that looks like dried saliva on the sensor...dusty at crooks and crannies...the lens barrel had two hair line scratch...i've seen used in better conditions...oh and they ship a compatible promaster battery and not the original...not to mention missing a wall plug adapter for the charger

    i've requested to exchange for a like-new original battery...and if they can find and send over the adapter....let's see how this works out...otherwise i might just have to return the whole lot for a refund...

    i hate to send it back as i understand return shipping will be on my account but through no fault of mine...

    just to share my current experience...many others have been easy and painless...
  13. nathan_h

    nathan_h Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 23, 2013
    I've bought and sold lots of stuff on ebay, but it is or can be far more complicated than working directly with a retailer. Sometimes, it's worse than a swap meet. Sometimes, it's like dealing directly with Amazon.

    I guess the thing to remember is: You are not buying anything from ebay. You are using ebay to connect with someone who is selling gear. You can absolutely use research and a little street smarts to avoid the obvious rip offs. But as dwrk's story illustrates, even with all due diligence in place, it can sometimes go south. So unless you are ready to deal with that on occasion, ebay is not your best bet.
  14. Johnny_Alucard

    Johnny_Alucard Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 28, 2013
    Pretty much my whole kit came from eBay, mostly from sellers in South East Asia. I'm in the UK so even with shipping costs included it's nearly always cheaper to buy from the States or Asia. I'm fully aware of the risks regarding warranties and getting stung for import duty, but it's a chance I take. So far I've only had to pay extra duty on 2 occasions, and warranty has never been an issue as I've never had a single faulty lens or body (all Olympus products - well done guys!).
  15. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Completely agree. You are buying from a particular seller with a particular reputation. Ebay and your Credit Card company give you some protections to SOMEWHAT protect you from the worst folks on it, but in general, it's up to you to do due diligence on any seller from whom you are making a major purchase. Buying on ebay can mean buying from someone like Cameta, or Roberts, or Adorama, or Columbus Camera - established going concerns with a franchise in selling photo gear, or it can mean buying from Joe Blow who has no record of prior sales and will take off once he unloads the one defective item he's selling. Sometimes, the amount you might save by buying from a relatively clueless about photo gear seller might make it worth the gamble, but be assured it IS a gamble. But you can also find dozens of reputable, established camera vendors who do some or all of their business on ebay, including the ones I mentioned above.