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Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: 2 weeks ago

What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

I sell used camera lenses and for the majortiy of the sales, there's no problem what's soever.

 

BUT, now and again I get a complaint from some buyers that the focus ring is too tight or too loose, zoom ring is too tight or too loose or the corners of the picture is too soft (not sharp), etc.

 

To keep the customers happy, I give them some discount or accept the return of lens and rerund in full including both shipping costs both to and from.  If the customer accepts the discount, it's not too bad, but if they decide to return the lens, the cost of return freight is sometmes prohibitively expensive, especailly from EU countries.

 

Now, for an old, used lens, surely there has to be some tolerance level for subjective issues such as mentiioned above.  I understand if the focus or zoom ring doesn't move at all or very sloppy then it's definitely faulty and responsibility is mine.

 

If I refuse to give customers the reimbursement for return freight for such cases, am I within my rights?  If the cusomer decides to file a complaint against me, which side will eBay take?

Community Member
Posts: 636
Registered: ‎10-22-2012

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

If you are selling used items you have the be VERY clear in your listing about ANY faults, or anything that can be percieved as faults, for your own protection. If you describe them you should be protected, well as protected as any seller can be with Ebay rules.

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Education is what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you get from not reading it.
Community Member
Posts: 263
Registered: ‎02-11-2017

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

Selling used items to overseas markets is very risky on ebay. If the buyer opens a case for something that is not in your listing, as in your example the ring is too tight or too loose, then ebay will side with them and you can decide whether to let the buyer keep the item for free or fork out the cost of the return postage.

Community Member
Posts: 3,102
Registered: ‎07-17-2013

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

Welcome to the Australian boards. Please be aware that ebay policies vary depending on your location. Some advice given by Australian posters may not be relevent to Japanese sellers such as yourself. 

Community Member
Posts: 263
Registered: ‎02-11-2017

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to chameleon54

He probably knew, that was probably why he didn't ask the question in Kanji.

Community Member
Posts: 1,034
Registered: ‎06-08-2012

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

[ Edited ]
in reply to tom1803

Tom, I had a quick look at your listings and noted a couple of things:

 

1. You use a generic condition description - "In "Very Good +" condition cosmetically and in "Excellent +" condition optically."

 

2. You have a templated blurb that describes how you strip and service all lenses.

 

I think if you are not noting any item specific faults for individual lenses, you are opening yourself up to buyers being unhappy if there is anything at all wrong with the lens in question.

 

The old sales adage of Underpromising and Overdelivering is something of a truism.

 

Also, photographers are picky as they are buying a lens to shoot pictures and if that lens is soft in the corners or stiff or loose they will understandably be upset having read the lengths you go to in service.

 

A lot of buyers will also not understand that although you clean and remove fungus etc, that the fungal growth will have destroyed coatings on the intermediate elements and that's probably where the edge softening is coming from.

 

If you have a full frame DSLR you could always try shooting a lens chart for each lens though I don't think that would be a perfect solution by any means.

 

Probably, you'd be better off shooting a sample pic or two on film then scanning a print as illustration for each lens while noting any mechanical issues.

 

You've found a very tricky area to sell in I'm afraid.

Community Member
Posts: 1,034
Registered: ‎06-08-2012

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to dazzledayz

I should add to the above that you also say these lenses are suitable for digital.

 

They are most certainly not, as lenses for digital require a much more parrallel light path than lenses designed for film.

 

Better to say they CAN be used for digital though with subsequent quality losses (more pronounced away from the centre).

 

It would be bad enough with an APS-C sensor but if you stuck one of these on a full frame body it would be very nasty.

 

Lenses like these would really only be suitable for amateur novices shooting film.

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

Thank you all for your responses and suggestions.

 

As I said, I have no problems with majority of my transactions.  It's only the very few, picky customers that cause issues.

 

 

During my final inspection, if I find the rings are not turning quite right, I either re-service or if I feel it's just out of tolerance level, I'll make note of it in my listing.

 

On one recent transaction, I accepted a return from an EU country and it cost me nearly 75 AUD in freight costs, 18 AUD to send and neary 55 AUD for return (both Standard Registered Airmail).  It's very hard to recover that sort of loss wnen working on very low profit margin.

 

My main point is, "What's normal?" and who decides it?

 

Well, it seems the buyer always has the final say no matter what.

 

Community Member
Posts: 636
Registered: ‎10-22-2012

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

To me 'Normal' would be what a person would expect of the item, but it can be subjective so better to err on the side of caution.

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Education is what you get from reading the small print. Experience is what you get from not reading it.
Community Member
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎06-24-2013

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

[ Edited ]
in reply to tom1803

Your problem really is you are selling second hand items that are not in' as new' condition. They don't have to be.

 

Most likely some buyers would accept what they get, but there will definitely be others who look for the slightest fault and a chance to claw back some of their money.

 

The things you're describing sound to me like a bit of a grey area, but when in doubt, I think ebay tends to side with the buyer.

 

If a buyer describes something to ebay as faulty, and says the items were not doing this or that properly or to the standard they would have expected from reading the ad, I suspect there is a high chance ebay would allow a return in most cases, unless you could prove the issue was clearly mentioned in the ad.

 

Another part of your problem is you are selling overseas so any time this happens, the postage charges are going to hurt.

 

I think you probably need to decide it selling second hand items overseas is worth it. If you decide it is, put a little extra on the price to cover the occasional problem.

Apart from that, I'd do what someone else suggested. Describe in detail, list every little potential fault.

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

Thanks to everyone who has participated in this discussion.

 

One simple solution would be to describe all my lenses as "Junk.  No warranty." to avoid any claims but then who's going to buy them?  LOL

 

I think I will need to amend my listing to include some more cluases to cover myself, but the trick will be to do so without scaring off any potential buyers.

 

Community Member
Posts: 1,034
Registered: ‎06-08-2012

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

Tom, I don't know if you use it at all but I've found stiff focus rings usually respond well to white lithium paste.

 

A good dab to the helical grooves and a lighter smear to seals and rings usually does the trick.

 

I applied this to a Sekor 80mm  while back and it's behaving itself quite well now.

 

Just don't overdo it on PushPull style zooms or they'll continually droop when pointed downward.

Community Member
Posts: 22,596
Registered: ‎07-23-2006

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

I have had an even longer association with Pentax cameras than you have............

 

In late 1957 my father bought a second hand Asahi Pentax to take on a trip to New Zealand.  I was 12 and still happily using a Box Brownie so felt very grand to be allowed to use the Pentax occasionally.

Eventually the Pentax was given to me and I in turn gave it to my daughters.   Same camera has just returned from a trip to the USA with my granddaughters.

The biggest problem is getting the film processed and printed.

 

In the meantime I was married to a professional photographer and later, my second husband owned a chain of camera stores so my current film camera is a Canon EOS with all the accessories.....which has not seen the light of day for years.

 

If I was buying a lense from you the question I would ask would be how loose/tight are the focus and zoom rings?  Are they within normal parameters or tighter/looser than normal?

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to lyndal1838

Thank you for your message.

 

I would respond by saying, "It feels normal to me but your opinion may differ."

 

This is the whole point.  What I consider normal may not be within YOUR parameter of normal.  Unless there's a published specification for eech lens, giving the minimum and maximum torque forces that is considered to be within manufacturerer's tolerance and I actulally measre it, it's all subjective.

 

As I mentioned above some people like it a bit tight, some prefer it a bit loose. 

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to dazzledayz

Thanks for your message.

 

I don't have any problems with actually fixing the stiffness.

 

Cheers.

Community Member
Posts: 10,732
Registered: ‎05-25-2010

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

If it's a "your mileage may vary" kind of situation, is it possible to just include some information in the descriptions, and / or packages detailing how to fix them to their own liking? 

 

eg Need to adjust XXX? Here's how... 

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: 2 weeks ago

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to digital*ghost

Thank you for your message.

 

Adjusting the torque is not a trivial matter for an amatuer.  Besides, it would require disassembly of the lens, thus voiding any warranty.

Community Member
Posts: 3,102
Registered: ‎07-17-2013

Re: What's considered to be within acceptable tolerance?

in reply to tom1803

I think you hit the nail on the head with an earlier comment. " The buyer is always right " on ebay. Ebay's policies are heavily weighted to keeping buyers happy, often at the expense of sellers. Selling used items which are subjective as far as condition etc. goes is always going to be tricky.

 

If we sell those types of items, we need to accept we are going to lose out from time to time and factor that into the profit margin of every item. If there is not enough meat on the bone to cover a few losses, the product line may simply not be viable on ebay long term. It helps if you can adopt an easy come, easy go attitude as getting upset every time something goes wrong can make selling on ebay an unpleasant experience.

 

I try to factor all of this into pricing and postage costs, run on very high profit margins ( minimum 500% ) and usually just cop it sweet and move on when things go wrong. ( unless a buyer is blatently trying to steal or lie. )