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Old December 10th, 2010, 05:21 AM   #1
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Would you buy a pro camcorder from eBay?

I think I'm going to settle for the Panasonic AG-HMC151 as my first pro camcorder purchase. It's the same price in the UK as it is in Bangkok from a retailer, (2,900 ukp) but obviously much cheaper by mail order.

Somebody told me they had seen it on eBay for 900 pounds (used once) but I have never bought anything mail order in my life and I don't know if that's wise or just paranoia. can't see it on eBay anyway, but i'll try Amazon.

What do you think, is mail order secure or is it better to pay more and go to a proper retailer?
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Old December 10th, 2010, 06:06 AM   #2
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With eBay, you take your chances.

Usually if something looks too good to be true, it is. It can be hard to want to purchase the genuine model from a brick-and-mortar store when it's advertised so much cheaper on eBay or Amazon or some shady-looking website, but really what you are paying for is peace of mind.

Don't look at is from the perspective that you have to pay $1000 or however much more to get it from a reliable local seller (or reliable, trusted online store). Look at it from the perspective that you are gambling your money - you could bet/pay $3000 for a possible win/saving of $1000 over the MSRP, but you could also lose the whole lot. Would you bet $3000 at a Casino for a possilbe win of only 33%?
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Old December 10th, 2010, 06:52 AM   #3
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Yeah I have to agree with you here. At the end of the day, if you want/need something you should pay what it costs and not focus on trying to get it ridiculously cheaper. I wasn't intending to buy it mail order but would be interested to hear from anybody who has.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 07:58 AM   #4
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Agree with John,
when you buy from ebay, even when seller claims the item is new it might be not; so it's kinda a lottery :)
but from the other hand, i bought quite a few cameras/camcorders from ebay including FX1, A1, HF S10 and TM700 with no problems whatsoever ;
seller's feedback score is a good reference.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 08:05 AM   #5
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Good Morning,

A few thoughts.

I have had 100% success buying from E bay. I always check out the source first and then make the decision. I would not spend more than what you are willing to lose however!!! It is possible and I have heard horror stories though I have not been burnt!!!

for buying a camera, in particular, I prefer to purchase locally if at all possible. If you have troubles with the camera you have real people to deal with.

When I am spending thousands of dollars and I can't get it local I personally go through B&H which is also a dv info sponsor. they have been 100% for me!! and their prices are always competitive!!!
Dale W. Guthormsen
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Old December 10th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #6
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I agree with the advice thus far. The only thing I might add is to utilize the F.A Ebay section of this website:
F.A. on Ebay Forum at DVinfo.net

Or for that matter, the Private Classified:
Private Classifieds Forum at DVinfo.net

In both cases you are dealing with people willing to put their DVInfo reputation on the line. In my experience, it's an excellent filter on the ebay listings.

Also, in case you haven't come across it, B&H has a used equipment section where you can get a 30-day warranty.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 08:50 AM   #7
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From eBay you should buy only small accessories, like camera hoods, filters, lights , maybe DSLR batteries e.t.c Never buy Camcorders, Cameras. My view at least.

My Blog: http://steliosc.blogspot.com
"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free" Nikos Kazantzakis
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Old December 10th, 2010, 09:27 AM   #8
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I won't say I've "never" had a problem with an eBay buy, but for the most part, I've had good luck, and as a buyer, they now back you up pretty well on the purchase (but it's made it stink to be a seller).

With ANY purchase, you need to make sure who you're dealing with (DVi classifieds is good!), and you should consider warranty issues if that's a concern - lots of "grey market" out on the internet, and service may be impossible or expensive, offsetting any up front "gains" IF something happens or your purchase suffers a failure.

I find if I buy from someone who checks out, and a piece of electronics has been working and checks out on arrival, it's usually pretty reliable - slightly used equipment can save you a substantial amount in the long run, and you can sometimes pick up things from dealers clearing stoick (including great deals from B&H!).
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Old December 10th, 2010, 12:49 PM   #9
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Things sell for too much on eBay. I have bid on a lot of things but only won a few auctions. I just can't believe the high prices people pay for things there. For example, for many months I have been shopping for memory that would fit an older motherboard I have. the memory is available new at newegg.com for $90 a pair delivered. On eBay those simms usually sell used for $75-80. I'd rather buy new that have such a small savings.

Things selling for too much on eBay would mean that it is a good place to sell your stuff. I think there is a case for this but the selling fee is not small. You end up with a sale that was probably worthwhile but nothing really great.

Five years ago I bought a Canon GL-2 at eBay for $1,500 which was a good price. The camera worked fine except that it would not rewind tapes without jamming. I don't use my camcorders for rewinding anyhow so I didn't let it bother me much but the seller should have volunteered this up front.

I think it is a mistake to buy high ticket items at eBay. There are some VERY sophisticated scams out there that I have seen reports on where astute buyers were taken to the cleaners. Try googling "ebay high ticket scams" and I bet you will get an education.

About the only times I have had success buying at eBay were when I was able to be online at the moment that the given auction closed. Bidding in the last 30 seconds works sometimes because it seems that most eBay buyers only want to increase their bids when they have been outbid. They will nickle and dime an auction thinking that maybe they will get an item valued at $100 for eight bucks and seventy-five cents. Five minutes before the end of an auction I will figure out what is the most that I want to pay for the item I am looking at. I'll then key in that value and wait for twenty seconds to roll past me when I will hit the "confirm bid" key. Three days ago I got those simms I have been looking for for months. New from newegg.com the four simms would run $184 delivered. I placed a max bid of $120.05 twenty seconds before the auction's end and won the autction for $116 delivered. Half the time I get outbid even when I do that, though, because people just pay too much at eBay.
Wesley Cardone
www.WCardoneProductions.com, Detroit and Lansing, Michigan
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Old December 10th, 2010, 01:19 PM   #10
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"and service may be impossible or expensive"

Wise words,

When I bought my XL1S I called canon to make sure the vendor was an authorized dealer. Glad I did, the representative acknowledged that only purchases made by the original owner from an authorized dealer carried a warranty. So no matter what anyone states, check the manufactures list of dealers and whether their warranty is transferable.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 03:52 PM   #11
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I have bought a brand new camera from eBay before (an FX7, for a saving of about $2500 over the retail price in Aus) and it worked out OK. It was an Aussie seller but the package came via Hong Kong so I assume it was a grey market import. It did have an Australian charger though, and the local Sony service centre even honoured the warranty. However, I was very nervous in the five weeks it took to arrive.

Despite getting a good deal and everything being in order, I don't think I'd do it again (espescially now that the ridiculously over-inflated Australian camera prices have dropped more in line with world standards). It's just too much of a lottery and you might end up with missing parts, malfuntioning equipment, no warranty, etc.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 06:40 PM   #12
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I have had as many problems with "reputable" on line retailers as I have had on EBAY purchases. A good buy is where you find it, there are no guarantees of a good, hassle free buy just because you select a particular source. Seems no matter where you buy, you might as well be prepared to fight to get what you bought. As for used equipment from Adorama or BHPHOTOVIDEO, I have bought from both, and my experience is that the don't check things out 100% before they ship them to you, YOU are their inspector, so good luck with their USED departments, too.
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Old December 11th, 2010, 02:22 PM   #13
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My sister in law has highly recommended Amazon - which has the camera I want, though only with a 12 month warranty.

Panasonic AG HMC151 | Camcorders Prices, Buying, Test and reviews - Kelkoo
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Old December 13th, 2010, 12:10 AM   #14
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four or five years ago I purchased a Canon EOS20D camera, a battery grip, some CF cards and a couple of lenses through eBay. When they arrived it was clear that it was new but surprise, surprise, no warranty cards with any of it. I contacted the seller but as you can imagine, it turned out to be a grey-market import.

Thankfully, everything still works perfectly and I never had to make a call on the warranty but once bitten, twice shy. Since then I have steered well clear of eBay for anything other than small, inexpensive items.

I purchased my new XDCAM EX1R online, but from a bricks and mortar dealer. You've got to have the peace-of-mind.


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Old December 13th, 2010, 05:53 AM   #15
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Someone correct me if I am wrong but it seems that dealers all have the same bottom dollar price. I think that is why special offers can't be advertised, they have an email price or see in cart price. Here in the U.S. all the big stores have virtually the same price. Ritz camera is usually more expensive than everyone else but that apparently isn't against the rules. There is peace of mind knowing you can drive a few miles and talk face to face with the person that sold it to you. Mom and pop stores in the past have gone the extra mile to help people, but sadly, as the customer stopped being loyal so did they. I would choose a reputable dealer, how much can you save on ebay anyway ??

My vote is B & H. NewEgg seems to be getting out of the high end video business.

P.S. Amazon may not be amazon, amazon has subvendors, you never really know who your buying from. I see statements like "shipped from amzon supplier" or something like that. Makes me mad, and when the "perv" book was published, it changed my sentiments about amazon.
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