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Ouch, KEH
Old 01-03-2018   #1
dogberryjr
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Ouch, KEH

We're in the middle of a move and I started examining all of my accumulated gear to see what I wanted to bring to the new place; it's amazing how the stuff seems to multiply when you're not watching. I donated three boxes of stuff to charity, then assembled a box of the better stuff to sell to KEH. I thought I was evaluating the items pretty fairly, and came up with an estimate that wasn't great, but didn't hurt too much. I sent the equipment off a few weeks ago and got an offer back today that is about 1/3 of what I'd figured. Ouch. But, what am I going to do, ask for it back and piece it out on eBay? 2018 resolution: No new gear, or at least a policy of one in/one out.

No real point to this tale, but it was nice to get away from packing for a minute.
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Old 01-03-2018   #2
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KEH is very conservative in their condition grading, a practice that I love when buying, not when selling to them. They are the best, imo.
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Old 01-03-2018   #3
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Yes, pay the shipping back, and run eBay and RFF ads. Sacrificing two thirds of the value is too much to just write off. Price it maybe 15% under what it's probable sale price would be, take good pictures, and it will be easy.

This is assuming that you have items that people actually want, and I have no idea on that one. That is the largest determining factor......will the stuff sell if it's priced attractively? Is there a market for it?
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Old 01-03-2018   #4
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Well, I think the main lesson, which I've experienced a number of times myself, is to always be prepared to receive an offer from a dealer that's quite a bit below what you expected.
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Old 01-03-2018   #5
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You think thats bad? The B and H used department valued my Rolleiflex 2.8E Planar at $120!
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Old 01-03-2018   #6
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Here's the glass-half-full perspective: that gear was just gathering dust. Its utility value to you was $0.

Going from $0 to whatever amount you got is a good thing.
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Old 01-03-2018   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgeorge911 View Post
KEH is very conservative in their condition grading, a practice that I love when buying, not when selling to them. They are the best, imo.
Agreed.

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Originally Posted by stompyq View Post
You think thats bad? The B and H used department valued my Rolleiflex 2.8E Planar at $120!
Okay, thats just insulting.

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Originally Posted by kxl View Post
Here's the glass-half-full perspective: that gear was just gathering dust. Its utility value to you was $0.

Going from $0 to whatever amount you got is a good thing.
Yeah, Im going with this.
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Old 01-03-2018   #8
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I'd never sell to a shop.

This spring I was trying to sell a book, a Rebus first edition, on commission. The big book shops on Charing Cross Road refused - not sure why. One said he'd buy cash; offered me 50.

When I finally found a shop run by nice people who'd sell on commission, they got 950 for it.
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Old 01-03-2018   #9
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Quote:
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Well, I think the main lesson, which I've experienced a number of times myself, is to always be prepared to receive an offer from a dealer that's quite a bit below what you expected.
This, absolutely. The markup on used equipment is substantial.
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Old 01-03-2018   #10
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they’ve got to make money, right? dealers buying gear at 1/3 it’s going rate is normal. i’m happy when i can get 1/2 just so i can get rid of it fast.
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Old 01-03-2018   #11
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I've had mixed experience selling to KEH. At times, they have offered me more than I expected (and more than their estimate). At other times, they have lowballed gear so badly I just told them to send it back. I can't find a pattern, though. Seems kind of random.

I've never been disappointed in gear I've bought from them, though.
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Old 01-03-2018   #12
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theyve got to make money, right? dealers buying gear at 1/3 its going rate is normal. im happy when i can get 1/2 just so i can get rid of it fast.
Their offer was 1/3 of what Id calculated using KEHs own estimator tool.

I guess at a minimum it makes me more likely to consider BGN and UG items in the future.
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Old 01-03-2018   #13
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Yup.... They buy at wholesale or less, depending on popularity to sell it.

A camera that sells used for $100 will get an offer of $20-30 at best. They will TRY to sell it at $100, but may need to deal and sell for $80... meanwhile, it took up a few hours of sales pitches at "lookers" (hourly paid people) and space in a cabinet.

So, there has to be some meat left on the bone for KEH.... their cost to sell the $30 camera that they bought...... $30 to buy it, $20-30 to sell it, So, $100 dropped to $80-$30 (cost)-$30 (wages)= $20 profit....

So you will never get "retail" when you sell to a dealer who needs to pay wages to sell it and subtract the cost that has to included in their new selling price. (Watch Antique Archaeology on the History Channel... These pickers have to buy at a lower price than what the retail is, or they go out of business if they make no profit).

$120 for Rollie F 2.8 is nuts.
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Old 01-03-2018   #14
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I'd ask for it back and sell it at half retail value. You'd still be waaaay ahead and also make some buyers very happy.
Win win.
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Old 01-03-2018   #15
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If you want to trade used stuff in you typically make a much better deal than asking for immediate cash from the reseller. Still better than cash now is to give it in for commission and wait until it sells and get the cash after the sale ... this can take some time though...
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Old 01-03-2018   #16
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I sold my whole lot of Canon FD equipment to B&H back in 1996 and felt I got a fair price, it might be different now. I have on two occasions attempted to sell items to KEH, and both times I felt they WAY lowballed me and I turned down both offers.

I find the classifieds here work well, as well as a few other photo forum sites. Last resort I go to the auction site.

I understand that shops like KEH are looking to make something off your gear, and have overhead costs, and that's one reason why I like to sell on my own. If I have a piece of photographic equipment that I think is worth $500, I'd much rather it go to someone on this site or one of the other sites I frequent, at a loss, say $300, when I know that loss means someone I generally know is getting a good deal, than for it to go to KEH or some other shop, where I would get the same $300 and they'd resell it for $500.

Good luck with your sales, I really hate selling equipment.

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Old 01-03-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogberryjr View Post
Their offer was 1/3 of what I’d calculated using KEH’s own estimator tool.

I guess at a minimum it makes me more likely to consider BGN and UG items in the future.
ouch, indeed. i suspect the problem is that their definitions of condition ratings aren’t very precise and reliable. they really should make a visual dictionary for cosmetic and mechanical condition.
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Old 01-03-2018   #18
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Put the stuff on eBay with an opening price of whatever KEH offered you plus 10% (to cover the fee) for a 10 day sale. You'll soon find out whether KEH's offer was reasonable. However you come out you'll know what to do next time.
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Old 01-03-2018   #19
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I feel like they purposefully lowball with the hope that you won't want to deal with waiting for them to return your gear and sell elsewhere. They really need put prices up that faithfully reflect what they are willing to pay. 1/3 of the estimator just seems way out of line.

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Their offer was 1/3 of what Id calculated using KEHs own estimator tool.

I guess at a minimum it makes me more likely to consider BGN and UG items in the future.
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Old 01-03-2018   #20
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I feel like they purposefully lowball with the hope that you won't want to deal with waiting for them to return your gear and sell elsewhere. They really need put prices up that faithfully reflect what they are willing to pay. 1/3 of the estimator just seems way out of line.
Of course they do. I dont know any companies anymore that have integrity and treat customers fairly. Not sure why anyone would think otherwise.

This has been the trend the last 40 years in the US. It is pro business first and customer and employee satisfaction second.
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Old 01-03-2018   #21
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they actually pay the return shipping to you if you dont come to an agreement
I had the same experience sent stuff in they gave me a total about 1/3 of the online calculator
I called them and they were not able to separate values out for the items -- they valued it as a whole everything was bargain or lower in their opinion
I sold the l1 canon here on rff and the buyer said it was one of the nicer canons he had seen
when they had buyers come to the local camera store or show their offers were really fair
someone bought them so thats it
I purchased a 28mm leitz bright line from them it arrived with the inner glass pieces smashed and rattling around inside
so my experience hasn't been great in the last two years
to be fair keh will always take it back and pay the shipping
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Old 01-03-2018   #22
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If you got the time and room to hold the items for a while, try ebay or RFF. Otherwise, if don't have the room for them, sell them to KEH. That's what I have done in the past.

Ebay holds an insanely big market so big chances you get a decent price for your stuff (keep ebay and paypal commissions into account, about 15-20%)

RFF is a more specialized so I would sell the more expensive/rare/desirable stuff in here. High chances to find someone that want the item.

If you don't have much room, then sell the bulk of it to KEH and the rarer stuff here. I've sell stuff here that sold in 2 days

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Old 01-03-2018   #23
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Nothing wrong with using craigslist either. It's my first go to because it's free and super easy to post up. All my recent sales have been through them, including one last night where I sold an SLR Magic 50mm T0.95 lens.
No need to pack anything, no need to ship. If it's a big ticket item they can pay u via paypal gift right in front of you, including in the notes they directly received whatever it was (including serial #). Once you see it come through into your account, you hand over the item.
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Old 01-03-2018   #24
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Unless you're desperate, like moving overseas immediately, then sell individually. You get to go through everything this way; triggers memories, maybe you use them one more time. At the very least it will prevent you from buying anything new, until at least some of it is gone.

I've been selling my vinyl collection online. It's been a year and I have 1/3 left. The records have gone all over the world and each one was listened to, dusted, reflected upon prior to mailing. It's been great. Zero regrets for selling it on. And I've made a ton more money than selling to a dealer.
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Old 01-03-2018   #25
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Ask for it all back!

I sent them a 90mm Elmar collapsible a few years ago to try out their purchase system. It was in almost mint condition. 9/10, absolutely, including caps, case, and hood - online estimator said $325 for an EX lens. They came back and offered $50 and said it was "full of fungus." I told them they were full of it and to send it back. I sold it to a very happy person on a forum for about $350 (it was bundled with another lens, hence the "about.").

Seemed to me like an attempted "scam" that I didn't fall for since I know what I'm looking at and knew it was pristine. I don't like to say such things about a company but they seem to have really gone by the wayside in the last few years. The few things I've bought in the past couple of years were in worse condition than their usual "above grade" stuff - In other words, gear that I would think they'd grade as BGN sold to me as EX. I don't buy from them anymore - spent a lot of money there though back some time ago.
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Old 01-03-2018   #26
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There are two sides to this.

The seller side, yeah it 5ucks. They need to make money on it and if it's not HOT then there is the cost of flooring it (the cost of money sitting around not doing anything). So if it doesn't sell for a year the cost of purchasing the item increases. Like LOTs of other folks have said, sell it here.

Then there is a the Buyer side. While I'd rather buy here what I'm looking for when I have the need/cash doesn't always align.

B2 (;->
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Old 01-03-2018   #27
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But, what am I going to do, ask for it back and piece it out on eBay? 2018 resolution: No new gear, or at least a policy of one in/one out.
I would ask for it back and piece it out--here, or on eBay. I insist on a fair deal.
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Old 01-03-2018   #28
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Nothing wrong with using craigslist either. It's my first go to because it's free and super easy to post up. All my recent sales have been through them, including one last night where I sold an SLR Magic 50mm T0.95 lens.
No need to pack anything, no need to ship. If it's a big ticket item they can pay u via paypal gift right in front of you, including in the notes they directly received whatever it was (including serial #). Once you see it come through into your account, you hand over the item.
I use Craigs too, others may be surprised how easy it is and safe if you are careful. I meet buyers at the bank for safety (a zillion cameras there), collect the $ from the buyer, and put it directly into my bank account.

E.g., I listed my Leica 35/1.4 Asph Summilux for $3000 on RFF INCLUDING PP and shipping. Not one bite, and I relisted it over 2-3 months. Also listed on GetDPI, no interest. EBay is my last resort, and now they want %10 of your final price as a fee. Effing ridiculous.

So I put it on Craigs for $2800, and sold it within a week at my asking price.
Go figure. Keep your $ local, its better for your community.
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Old 01-03-2018   #29
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I've been dealing with KEH since 1979 and in many ways they're like Goodwill in the fact they take everything sent to them. Amongst the gems, which are fewer and fewer, there is a lot of camera detritus which they are stuck with and takes time and effort to sell. Some buyers are better but I do miss the early days when you would call, listen to them rustling through the boxes to find what was on the mimeograph sheet. Anything of value should be posted here, the rest to KEH.
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Old 01-03-2018   #30
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I purchased a 28mm leitz bright line from them it arrived with the inner glass pieces smashed and rattling around inside
so my experience hasn't been great in the last two years
to be fair keh will always take it back and pay the shipping

This has to be factored into their buying price too. Chances are they won't claim such damage with the carrier if the value is only a few hundred.



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Old 01-03-2018   #31
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I sent them a camera and some lenses a few years ago. Got an offer I didn't think was up to snuff and mentioned that to them. A little back and forth and my offer to have them send the stuff back got the offer up enough that I took it. All quite civilized and calm on both sides. The price they offer depends on how much the demand for the item is, some obscure stuff might sit there for years.
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Old 01-03-2018   #32
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Selling to KEH has been one of the possibilities I've mulled over the past year. I know what kind of prices they would offer, so it would be a last resort kind of thing if I sent it their way.

My local options have been dwindling. Every time I think there is some place I could take them (like a consignment shop), the outfit ups and goes out of business. Ebay is not an option because we all know how one can get screwed by the buyers. I have thought of putting it all up for auction, but it would have to be the right company, as not all of them around here have much experience with photographic gear. My one time before when I sold it all off due to necessity the auctioneer actually asked me to announce all the items as they were presented for bid. That was a painful night.

But anyway, my experience with actually selling to a store was at a camera show upstate where they had some dealer from NYC making offers. I brought some items that were surplus just for kicks. I didn't need the money, but if they funded a camera or lens at the show, then it would be all good.

The buyer looked over my stuff (most of it was Zeiss), and gave me some ridiculously low figure. So I just smiled, thanked him, and started putting the stuff back in my bag. He immediately started to say he wanted to look at it again, maybe he could do a little better. I decided he had blown his first move, and went on my way. He was still asking me to come back as I headed down the aisle. A couple of gents waiting in line behind me also took off after witnessing the transaction.

I don't mind selling at wholesale to someone who is looking to resell it, but when they can look you straight in the face and make an offer that is basically robbery, I don't need to hang around anymore.

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Old 01-03-2018   #33
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I have yet to have a problem either selling or buying on eBay. First and foremost is to use PayPal. There are more protections for the buyer but still plenty for the seller too.
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Old 01-03-2018   #34
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I know they buy at "wholesale" but there's something fishy in my opinion when their own "calculator" gives a rough estimate that they then ridiculously low-ball. Of course there will be folks who send in cameras thinking they are in great shape that don't even work...especially estates or widows, etc. Perhaps they do entice people with the seemingly high purchase price and then hope they will accept the low-ball rather than deal with return shipping and selling themselves.
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Old 01-04-2018   #35
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I suppose it might vary depending on who does the estimate. Can't imagine it's the same person every time so maybe you just got a miserable guy that day!

One in, one out is something I'm trying to do too, but most of my stuff I can't bring myself to let go.

And as was said before, if you'd had the stuff for a long time, your baseline is zero so any money is a gain. Like when you find a fiver down the back of the sofa. It's your fiver, it always was, you haven't actually gained a fiver but it FEELS like you have because without your knowledge of it being down the back of the sofa, it was worth zero.

I've sold camera stuff for a loss before because I'm fine paying for the hours I've used them.
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Old 01-04-2018   #36
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I would just try negotiating with them for a better offer.

They may accept it rather then repack all the items and pay for the return shipping.
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Old 01-04-2018   #37
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Quote:
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Ebay is not an option because we all know how one can get screwed by the buyers.
I would gently disagree. there have been occasional horror stories here, but we wouldn't tend to hear about the thousands of hassle-free deals. Even those horror stories tend to be when someone has posted an item without tracking etc. eBay is a great resource for all of us, which means we finally don't have to take low-ball offers from shops (who as I posted earlier will take a 20-fold markup if they can get away with it!).

Plus of course rff is a wonderful resource, if the OP were to sell the items at that original estimate plus 10% or so he's pretty likely to attract a good number of addicts like us!
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Old 01-04-2018   #38
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We still dont know what OP is actually selling, right?
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Old 01-04-2018   #39
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We still dont know what OP is actually selling, right?
Mostly FD stuff, so probably of little interest to the RFF crowd. I did check KEH's FD inventory at the time and it was fair to middling.

I'll be putting some RF gear up on the classifieds here as soon as I feel confident about being able to get it shipped out in a reasonable period of time.
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Old 01-04-2018   #40
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I really like the idea of pushing back to find a higher value, but don't expect too much.

Another way to look at it is the cost of handling (e.g. boxes, bubble-wrap, labeling, insurance) of individual sales. A few supplies, but how much is your time worth? They are already at KEH, so in addition the to cost of shipping the stuff back, and the cost of individual shipment, waiting for different checks to clear, pay pal to pay, what is that head ache worth?

Total up what you wanted, subtract the cost of shipping back and the cost of individual boxing and stuff, from there, try to find a middle ground.

B2 (;->
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