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why KEH rocks my world
Old 10-20-2005   #1
dreilly
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why KEH rocks my world

Before I fell for a beater M3 (and fall from grace i did) I was thinking hard about IIIFs. KEH had two bargain ones on offer. I called and spoke with Ken, he said he could pull them from the warehouse and tell me a little bit more. He called me back about a week later, after pulling both off the website too so they were reserved. Just got off the phone with him, and which one I would have bought it totally clear. I won't buy it (gonna stick with the M3), but I'm also gonna stick with KEH in the future. These guys know their customer service!
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Old 10-20-2005   #2
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Details? Prices? (For those who may be interested in a screwmount.)
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Old 10-20-2005   #3
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He looked at two, both Bargain graded and on sale, one was a IIIC converted to IIIF for about $250. He also looked at a IIIF BD, which was $275 or so. Both should reappear on the website soon. Cosmetically the IIIC convert was rougher, with what sounds like a good amount of brassing and bright marks and perhaps a spot of repaired vulcanite.

The clincher was the RF spot--much brighter in the convert than the IIIF, though he did report a very slight haze in the RF spot of the convert too. Still, much better than the IIIF. The IIIC convert's serial no is 403###.

KEH makes sure the shutter speeds are within a stop. So this really might not be a bad user. No connection to seller, at least, since I hung up.

And you've always got that return policy!
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Old 10-20-2005   #4
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I, too. have had great experiences with KEH. I purchased my Mamiya 645 Pro TL system and 2 lenses from them. Even their bargain-grade equipment is quite good - my metered prism finder was "bargain" because of light scratches on the top of the finder - purely cosmetic and only noticable if you look closely at the camera. And those little scratches saved me $125!

Great vendor.

Robert
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Old 10-20-2005   #5
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so why did you NOT go for that converted IIIc?
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Old 10-20-2005   #6
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Doug, I have purchased from KEH over the last 5 years and they are always first and foremost a customer based organization. Good service and they straightened out a very significant $$ issue for me a full month after their 'warranty' period.

Just picked up some more KEH items today. I'm happy. When I get bad treatment I also let people know. So far I am only talking good things about them.

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Old 10-20-2005   #7
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I've called them on numerous occasions, even purchased some stuff (all great items) but I never had any sense of customer service. They wouldn't haggle prices with me, they wouldn't check up, or tell me anything over the phone. Did no upselling, either. *shrug*
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Old 10-20-2005   #8
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I guess everyone's milage varies. This time they shined. Maybe they don't always go to those lengths.

I didn't get it because I have a beater M3 in the shop that I didn't intend on buying...it just called to me in that voice....
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Old 10-20-2005   #9
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KEH sets the prices and their policy is not to haggle. I have no issue with that. And I suppose their willingness to pull and check an item is realted to the $$$ value of the sale. But what I value the most is their willingness to resolve issues. My Mamiya film back had irregular frame spacing and would jam on the 13th frame. They took it right back and replaced it with another back. And they paid for shipping on the replacement item (I paid to return the defective item). That's better than I've gotten from eBay sellers.

Robert
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Old 10-20-2005   #10
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I have been buying from KEH for about ten years and I have no complaints.
Yes, they are different from most used dealers; that's why I like them.

There's no haggling; the prices are fixed.
In my experience their prices are usually fair.

They will be glad to check over any item with you on the phone,
but it takes a day for them to pull something from inventory.
IMO anything worth buying is worth a second phone call...

Excelsior you fathead!
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Old 10-20-2005   #11
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So, not having bought anything from them before -- has anyone ever bought an item from them in "Ugly" condition? I have heard that "Bargain" often means it's a pretty darn nice item, but how risky is their Ugly stuff? Rarely do you get any detailed description of the item's specific flaws, and the pictures are generic and not of the item in question. Rather a pig in a poke. But frankly, that's the only category where the prices seem like bargains.

I know they have a good return policy, but I'd rather be armed with the information before deciding to buy. Maybe asking them to check out the specific item is the best I can do?
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Old 10-20-2005   #12
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I bought a Hasselblad 500C from them last year. It was rated a BGN. It looked really, really nice. The downrating came from the scratches around the tripod socket. Looks lie it might been a studio queen and never used outdoors.

Bought several other items too over the past 3 years. They have always been painless to deal with.

-Paul
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Old 10-20-2005   #13
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I read in their forum that their ratings address mostly cosmetics, so, at a given moment, "Bargain" rated things show a bit of use, whereas "Ugly" may seem less appealing (more used).

I've purchased only small things from them, like a flash for my Contax G gear, and silly items like a box for my MR meter and a lens cap for my Yashica 44. However, the one time I was close to purchase something from them, it was snatched away by a smarter buyer (I waited too long on it). I may get a camera lens from them sometime... It'd be a Nikon. I've noticed lately that their M bodies (particularly M2 and M3) are very well priced. Tempting...

Thanks for the report on their service!
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Old 10-20-2005   #14
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I've had better results calling than via e-mail. I sent four or five e-mails about various items over a period of a couple of months, requesting more precise info re: condition, accessories, etc. I only received one response and it simply confirmed that one of the items was in stock, which I gathered. The three times that I've called, I've received helpful assistance though there were delays while the items were pulled from their warehouse. Even then, I didn't receive the sort of detailed descriptions mentioned re: the leicas above. Of course, I didn't press the issue as I'd generally heard great things about KEH's grading policy.
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Old 10-20-2005   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon
So, not having bought anything from them before -- has anyone ever bought an item from them in "Ugly" condition? I have heard that "Bargain" often means it's a pretty darn nice item, but how risky is their Ugly stuff?
I've never purchased anything rated "ugly." But the few bargain items that I've purchased were quite nice - just a few superficial scratches that had no effect on performance. You do have 10 days to return an item if it is less than you expected - no questions asked, as long as you return it in the same condition it was in when shipped. But you do cover the postage on the return trip (or at least I did on the one item i bought - but I just changed my mind on a flash unit once I saw how large it was).

Robert
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Old 10-20-2005   #16
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I bought my iiif from them, rated "excellent", and it looks new. I also bought a 50-3.5 Elmar, rated "bargain", and I can't figure out why it isn't rated excellent. The price is worth the peice of mind. Good on the phone, too.
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Old 10-20-2005   #17
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They are local to me and do have very conservative ratings. Their warehouse is in the back of the place and the salespeople are up front. It does take a day or so to get the item and put it in the salespersons hands..They dont have one poor guy running back and forth all the time.
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Old 10-20-2005   #18
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I've purchased some Zuiko lenses from KEH and have been amazed at what they call "bargain". I once bought one rated "excellent" and it looked brand new. Except for the high shipping cost to Canada, I like doing business with them. Because of that, I only use them for major purchases.

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