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neil poulsen
4-Dec-2014, 09:56
You know, KEH just slays me with their indefensible attitude regarding not wanting to answer questions over the phone about their products!!! ;);););)

I just got off the phone with them. They have a camera available marked "As Is", that obviously has something wrong with it, and beyond the two word description "Without bellows," I'd like to know its condition. Does it have additional problems? So, giving them a call, the automated response says,

"If you have a question about a product listed online, please press 1."

OK, So Far So Good . . .

A sales person comes on the line, and after asking my question, and having some back and forth, he declares with exasperation that (paraphrasing), "I can't go clear back to the warehouse, fish it out of the bag, and . . . (Etc.)"

Oh my God, Oh my God (!!!), he'd have to go fish it out of a bag and look at it to respond to my questions. The world's coming to an end!

I mean, after all, the message said that I could press 1.

Without leaving his desk, the sales person did try to help by hypothesizing that marked "As Is", the camera could have broken knobs, or broken locks, etc. He went on, yes, it probably has broken knobs and broken locks. (I can't believe what I'm hearing.)

And of course, "As Is" products have no warranty and can't be returned.

Given their logic (or lack of) and the preposterous nature of their position on this, I suspected that, with further discussion, it was only a matter of time before he'd have to concede. He finally offered to have someone look at the product tomorrow and send me an email. And I'm in luck, this person knows about large format.

Jeepers!

Peter Collins
4-Dec-2014, 10:38
Some people have a really tough time at their jobs. A pity. Not fully present when their body is there.

ghostcount
4-Dec-2014, 10:43
From the KEH Contact Page (https://www.keh.com/page/contact)...

"We want your experience with KEH Camera to be as convenient as possible. We know that you would rather be taking photos than spending time on the telephone or writing emails. Below is our contact information. "

Should read...

"We want your experience with KEH Camera to be as inconvenient as possible. You know that we would rather be doing nothing than spending time on the telephone or writing emails. Below is our contact information." :rolleyes:

Stoogley
4-Dec-2014, 11:12
I've never been able to get them to give any specific information about any given item. Sales and warehouse might as well be on different continents. I've also never ordered from them as I always feel as if its a pig in a poke, regardless of the rating.

Vaughn
4-Dec-2014, 11:14
Well, they could hire a dozen more people, test each camera and keep a detailed report on each camera available for their phone people. But then they would have to charge at least twice as much for everything.

In other words, customers are not paying for such a service, thus such a service is not provided.

Peter Gomena
4-Dec-2014, 12:12
I once managed a catalog photo studio and would have to call around to various vendors for all sorts of materials. You would be shocked, as I was, at the number of times I talked to people (money in hand) and was told something was a "special order item and they couldn't do it." Invariably, I found someone else who could, and gladly. Their names went in the Rolodex. (Remember Rolodexes?)

ghostcount
4-Dec-2014, 12:13
Well, a company is comprised of people and a single person who doesn't represent what the company is about could ruin their reputation.

What KEH states on their About (https://www.keh.com/page/about-us)page...


"Access to expertise to help you understand your options and choices"

"At KEH, you will find we are passionate about helping you find the right equipment for all your photographic needs"

"We make it easy for you to find what you are looking for with our in stock inventory of over 60,000 items..."

"Whether you are buying or selling, we take the hassle out of the experience. Professionals and amateurs alike trust our industry leading inspection and grading system, which ensures you get exactly what you order with no surprises. "

"Our rating of 9.67 on resellerratings.com gratifies us but we will not be satisfied until it is a 10..."


Perhaps the person who answered the call is the 0.33 rating contributor (or lack of).


...test each camera and keep a detailed report on each camera available for their phone people...

I think this information is already available when they buy used equipment. What is missing is providing the information to their phone people.

SergeiR
4-Dec-2014, 12:23
I had hit some rough spots with them , but generally they were very nice and helpful people. May be you got said person away from lunch or something ;)

hoffner
4-Dec-2014, 12:27
Well, they could hire a dozen more people, test each camera and keep a detailed report on each camera available for their phone people. But then they would have to charge at least twice as much for everything.

In other words, customers are not paying for such a service, thus such a service is not provided.

+1!

Oh my God, Oh my God (!!!), you did not get the answer you wanted to have. The world's coming to an end!
Or is it?

Jim Galli
4-Dec-2014, 12:37
They're competing with e-bay mainly. On ebay I get ali-baba and the 40 thieves who says it's as - is and I don't unnerstant it or know nothin' about it (he's the guy who used it for 40 years). But at least you get some pictures. Sounds like KEH is the 40 thieves with no pictures.

(no harm or dis-respect intended for persons who either live in Persia or are of Persian descent)

neil poulsen
4-Dec-2014, 12:41
Well, they could hire a dozen more people, test each camera and keep a detailed report on each camera available for their phone people. But then they would have to charge at least twice as much for everything.

In other words, customers are not paying for such a service, thus such a service is not provided.

They inspect each item to determine condition. It would be pretty easy for them at that time to write a description and post a photo. No photo with this item, either.

Bill_1856
4-Dec-2014, 12:49
If you don't like the way they do business, then trade somewhere else, and save yourself and them (and us) about the bitching and moaning.

Randy Moe
4-Dec-2014, 12:58
KEH is fine, if you pay attention, use search and only buy what you know is returnable, I have never returned anything to them, usually buy EX and find prices for what I buy cheaper than the gambling site.

I have also sold them digital cameras I would not sell to my enemies and I have a few. Buyer beware goes both ways.

neil poulsen
4-Dec-2014, 12:58
+1!

Oh my God, Oh my God (!!!), you did not get the answer you wanted to have. The world's coming to an end!
Or is it?

I'm raz'ing them a bit, and I think they deserve it. I'm pointing to the incongruousness of KEH in this case, selling an item that's inadequately described, actually hardly described it at all, and their unwillingness to allow an inspection and possibly accept a return.

Randy Moe
4-Dec-2014, 13:28
My problem with KEH is they simply don't have much analog anything.

They are not worth visiting any longer.

That's why I use their search and get in and out real quick.

hoffner
4-Dec-2014, 13:38
I'm raz'ing them a bit, and I think they deserve it. I'm pointing to the incongruousness of KEH in this case, selling an item that's inadequately described, actually hardly described it at all, and their unwillingness to allow an inspection and possibly accept a return.

I think we all got that. Does it give you, in your mind, the right to push down their reputation? Because that's what you want to do, don't you? In my mind, you have a pretty weak case. But that is, of course, my mind.

Taija71A
4-Dec-2014, 14:44
I'm raz'ing them a bit, and I think they deserve it. I'm pointing to the incongruousness of KEH in this case, selling an item that's inadequately described, actually hardly described it at all, and their unwillingness to allow an inspection and possibly accept a return.


Incongruousness? Looks pretty straightforward to me...

TOYO 8X10 810G BLACK VIEW CAMERA BODY.

Without Bellows. $199.00
"AS IS" means useable for parts only. Equipment may or may not work.
No warranty or return privileges.

https://www.keh.com/254405/toyo-8x10-810g-black-view-camera-body


The KEH 'Return Policy' (*Even for 'As Is' items)... Also looks to be pretty standard -- As per Industry Norm.

I certainly, don't see anything unusual or totally unexpected therein.

https://www.keh.com/faq/returns

_________

dsphotog
4-Dec-2014, 17:12
"If it can't be fixed with duct tape, apply more duct tape."

Rayt
4-Dec-2014, 17:27
Just buy EX or above. BGN will have problems may or may not be relevant to picture taking. The last BGN I got came with front coating removed but that is part of the surprise when you see something listed for $200 when you know should be $500. Most of my stuff came from KEH and I have no problems with their business model.

Dan Fromm
4-Dec-2014, 17:39
Guys, I've had the same frustration with KEH as the OP did. I probed a little, learned that at the time I went through all that their call center wasn't co-located with their warehouse. The customer service reps can't get to the warehouse and back in a reasonable length of time.

That's how they want to run their business. Those of us who don't want to take risks when buying from KEH should buy only returnable items. Their return policy is very generous.

Oren Grad
4-Dec-2014, 18:29
Their return policy is very generous.

Indeed, it has served me well in the past, and I continue to buy from them. FWIW, they have recently refined the policy, adding among other things the following clause:

Customers with a high return rate of working merchandise may be subject to incremental restocking fees or other further action.

koh303
4-Dec-2014, 18:38
If you don't like the way they do business, then trade somewhere else, and save yourself and them (and us) about the bitching and moaning.

+1.
There are no magic or miracle deals out there.
What they are trying to tell you with AS IS: it might not work, and you cannot return it. buy at your own risk.

If you do not have enough info in order to make an educated decisions - then do not buy.
In the olden days, you would order a BGN LF lens and get an EX+ because either the BGN was dead or out of stock. They had so any of each model it did not matter much to them. Now, BGN might be bad, and if it is - send it back. If it is EX+, dont.

Vaughn
4-Dec-2014, 19:57
They inspect each item to determine condition. It would be pretty easy for them at that time to write a description and post a photo. No photo with this item, either.

My understanding is that their inspection is for the most part cosmetic, quick and fast...it probably does not include running a roll of film through it. But they seem to balance it with a good return policy...and occasional one can find a lightly blemished but otherwise solid camera at BGN rates.

NoBob
4-Dec-2014, 21:59
I recently bought a camera and a lens from KEH. My first LF camera. Am happy.

David Karp
4-Dec-2014, 23:29
I have purchased many items from KEH over the years. I had bad luck with film holders and pretty good luck with everything else. In the old days, the sales rep could ask for an item to be brought up from the warehouse so they could call you back and describe it to you. That was really great and something I miss. I have purchased many items rated BGN and could not determine why any of them were rated so low. Recently, I purchased a BGN LF lens from them and it had a pretty decent scratch on the front element, fairly close to the center. I think it is going to go back. This is quite different than any of the other BGN items I purchased from them. Too bad.

I do think that in general KEH goes over the stuff it receives pretty carefully. I have sold a few items to them in the past. They lowered the price they paid me for a Canon A-1 because they had to calibrate the light meter and do some other maintenance on it.

neil poulsen
5-Dec-2014, 00:26
Just buy EX or above. BGN will have problems may or may not be relevant to picture taking . . .

I think that this is a good idea.

Jeff Dexheimer
5-Dec-2014, 09:15
I've bought many items from them. I would have to agree that in the past BGN would almost always come with no blemishes and look excellent. The last two items I bought from them had schneideritis, but nothing that would impact the performance of the lens. From now on I'll be buying ex or above from them.

Regarding the experience from the OP, if you want excellent customer service you have to pay for it. I love KEH for their low prices. Even with their higher rated stuff it is usually cheaper than their competitors.

ImSoNegative
5-Dec-2014, 10:30
i have really only positive business with keh, I have been to there office a couple of times and the sales people are not even close to the warehouse, seems there would be better method when it comes to answering questions, because it really makes the salesperson look bad, especially since they started the "as is" category, I have only bought BGN and up from them and have never had a problem, actually I have been more than satisfied.

john borrelli
9-Dec-2014, 17:58
The odd thing is that when KEH sells an item on Ebay, they seem to be able to do the impossible. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but they seem to be able to show an image of the actual item they are selling you and they appear to be able to provide a description of that item. However, on their main KEH site they are not able to do this.

Randy Moe
9-Dec-2014, 18:14
The odd thing is that when KEH sells an item on Ebay, they seem to be able to do the impossible. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but they seem to be able to show an image of the actual item they are selling you and they appear to be able to provide a description of that item. However, on their main KEH site they are not able to do this.

They also sell slightly cheaper on Ebay for identical items and with the same guarantee. I was just shopping a rather expensive MF lens and it seemed to be the same lens listed in both places, for $150 less on Ebay.

I have long thought KEH plays games and tries to set the market, after all they are the biggest player in the world. They have deep inventory and move a lot of gear.

koh303
9-Dec-2014, 19:51
I have long thought KEH plays games and tries to set the market
They do, and they do.
Have a look at what they buy used gear for, and they sell it for the same day.

neil poulsen
12-Dec-2014, 07:04
The odd thing is that when KEH sells an item on Ebay, they seem to be able to do the impossible. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but they seem to be able to show an image of the actual item they are selling you and they appear to be able to provide a description of that item. However, on their main KEH site they are not able to do this.

Interesting. And, I've asked questions of KEH through EBay messaging and have received adequate responses. Perhaps the person who supports their EBay listings is in the same building as the equipment being sold.

Oren Grad
12-Dec-2014, 07:39
Interesting. And, I've asked questions of KEH through EBay messaging and have received adequate responses. Perhaps the person who supports their EBay listings is in the same building as the equipment being sold.

eBay pretty much requires photo-documentation of individual items. For their core stock, though, they seem to have moved to a system where they are trying to treat all units of a given item at a given beauty rating as interchangeable - as a standardized commodity. So, for example, they'll have 5 Nikon D7000's at "EX" grade, they'll assume that they're all the same. Of course, in LF it's much more likely that they'll have only one or two of a particular item in stock at any given time.

Randy Moe
12-Dec-2014, 10:51
I would like KEH to offer an alert system, that sends an email when a desired item becomes available.

tap tap KEH, are you listening?

Corran
12-Dec-2014, 11:04
+1, that would be nice. Not for the pocketbook though...

David Karp
12-Dec-2014, 11:22
. . . Recently, I purchased a BGN LF lens from them and it had a pretty decent scratch on the front element, fairly close to the center. I think it is going to go back.

So, I contacted KEH to make the return and asked them about a similar lens they listed, also in BGN condition. I asked the customer service rep if he could ask them to take a look at it in the warehouse and give him a description. He did that and called me back - even after having been out with the flu! The other lens was in even worse shape, with fungus, etc. He recommended that I return the lens I bought. A totally satisfactory resolution. I agree with others that the BGN rating may now be suspect. A lens with a big scratch near the center of the front element is mor UG to me than BGN, and one with multiple scratches, fungus and other problems should also be UG in my mind.

Corran
12-Dec-2014, 11:25
That's weird. Fungus on BGN??

Two purchases ago, I got a BGN lens that was really ugly. No fungus but scuffs on the glass and terrible wear on the outside barrel. But, on eBay, I bought a UG item (a viewfinder prism) that came and I would've rated at EX! So they seem to be all over the place recently.

HMG
12-Dec-2014, 14:59
I'm raz'ing them a bit, and I think they deserve it. I'm pointing to the incongruousness of KEH in this case, selling an item that's inadequately described, actually hardly described it at all, and their unwillingness to allow an inspection and possibly accept a return.

How did KEH customer respond to your complaint?

I assume that since you're razing them a bit here you contacted them as well. :)

Randy Moe
12-Dec-2014, 15:20
That's weird. Fungus on BGN??

Two purchases ago, I got a BGN lens that was really ugly. No fungus but scuffs on the glass and terrible wear on the outside barrel. But, on eBay, I bought a UG item (a viewfinder prism) that came and I would've rated at EX! So they seem to be all over the place recently.

I believe they have new (read younger) evaluation people, that are not as experienced as those in the past.

John Olsen
12-Dec-2014, 18:55
KEH has been good to me, but I only buy items that are rated in top condition. How can you expect someone getting paid minimum wage to make some critical judgment for you on a lens that is heavily worn? Maybe it's asking too much to expect. I don't even know why they, or anybody else, bothers with equipment that is at the end of its useful life.
Go for quality. If you have less stuff, but it's good stuff, you might be better off.

Sirius Glass
12-Dec-2014, 19:28
They used to pull the equipment and look at it on telephone request but no longer. I have always had positive experiences with them. I only order EX or higher.

Corran
12-Dec-2014, 19:31
Good for you guys...personally I have never ordered anything but BGN!! ;)

Leszek Vogt
12-Dec-2014, 20:00
Couple of things. Randy mentioned alert system. Well, they (KEH) were suppose to contact me when certain lens becomes available. Yes, they agreed to it. Well, good thing I occasionally did check the site and to my surprise 2 lenses (identical) were listed....and I purchased one. Recently I send them an email if they would consider assembling a full camera system + necessary accessories and several lenses. To my surprise, the answer was "yes"....with a caveat that there would be additional charges for each piece....running it via repairs. I expected such and don't object to latter.

But, overall, my experience (or luck ;)) with them has been excellent.

Les

Jeff Dexheimer
13-Dec-2014, 07:11
I recently had another wonderful experience with them. I had some gear that would have not likely sold for much here or over on ebay (besides I hate using ebay). I sold my gear to KEH. Got more than I expected.

I have bought lenses, film holders and a light meter from them. Most items I buy in BGN condition are wonderful, some lately have been truly BGN, but I can't complain because that is what I paid for.

If you want excellent condition gear, buy ex or above. If you can live with less, buy bgn. I think it is silly to have an expectation for bgn to be in ex condition. I also think it's silly to expect their call center to be able to describe an item on demand. They have the lowest prices of any one I have seen. At some point a buyer has to realize there is a reason for this. If you don't like it, quit whining and pay more from someone else.

Randy Moe
13-Dec-2014, 13:08
I swear I am not a shill, I may be shrill, but not a KEH pawn.

I just took advantage of their 2 day 40% off accessories, not cameras and not lenses. Sale is still current. If it had included lenses, I would have bought 3... I tried.

I wanted all the things I selected, almost all EX, a real variety of little stuff totaling exactly their required $200, which was reduced to $120 with free shipping.

I was looking all over for this gear and even at the $200 total is was cheaper than anywhere else, at 40% off I couldn't pass it up.

ymmv :)

Corran
13-Dec-2014, 17:15
Well now you've done it!

I just bought a motor drive for my F2 for $71.40 + tax. Along with some other odds and ends. Another DK-17m eyepiece for my D700/800 (if you haven't used one, you should try, it's fantastic).

Randy Moe
13-Dec-2014, 17:46
Well now you've done it!

I just bought a motor drive for my F2 for $71.40 + tax. Along with some other odds and ends. Another DK-17m eyepiece for my D700/800 (if you haven't used one, you should try, it's fantastic).

I'm done for the day, I have GIXEN waiting to pounce on a lens tomorrow night.

Randy Moe
14-Dec-2014, 10:53
Today they changed the sale to 50% off.

But they are out of the things I want.

Corran
14-Dec-2014, 11:00
Yeah I saw that, wow! They must want to get rid of a bunch of stock.

Last night there was a Leica Motor-M I was tempted by. It was under $250 with the 40% off, so, it would've been only about $200 today, but someone grabbed it I guess. C'est la vie. I certainly don't need it!

Randy Moe
14-Dec-2014, 11:13
They are in Chicago buying today, but not until it falls from my cold dead hands...

They pay very little for anything analog. Way way lower than even the give away prices that members here sell for.

HMG
14-Dec-2014, 19:32
...They pay very little for anything analog. Way way lower than even the give away prices that members here sell for.

In my dealings with them years ago, I found they paid about 50% of their selling price. Which I considered fair as I did not provide them a warranty. Is that still the case?

Sirius Glass
14-Dec-2014, 20:30
In my dealings with them years ago, I found they paid about 50% of their selling price. Which I considered fair as I did not provide them a warranty. Is that still the case?

My experience too.

Jeff Dexheimer
14-Dec-2014, 21:47
They pay very little for anything analog. Way way lower than even the give away prices that members here sell for.

I sold them my F100 for $60 more than the average selling price on ebay.

Songyun
15-Dec-2014, 14:39
I have a few unfortunate encounter with KEH.
case 1. I bought a lens with EX (or EX+, can not remember now) grade, but in the description, it has FRD, which I have no idea what it means until the lens arrived. It means Filter Rim Dent...
case 2. I bought an Arca Swiss Discovery in EX condition. Only to find out the fresnel screen is missing after open the box, there is no mention of the frensel screen missing in the description. And here is the answer I got from KEH "My technical department has informed me that used, the camera may or may not come with the screen. If the description had said with the screen then we would owe you one. However, your listing did not enumerate that piece of kit so we will not include the Fresnel screen in the purchase price."
case 3: I bought a Sinar back with screen, only to find out the screen is not original...

And there is the usual lens description without caps, then you might or might not receive lens caps with the lens.


Here is my thoughts, sometimes you do get some nice deal on KEH, and their return is easy, however, I get much less return from my eBay purchase than KEH purchase. Maybe this is their business model. It might cost too much for them to list with photo and details, maybe the return is under certain percentage in their business. However, I don't like this approach. When I make up my mind to buy something, I dont usually return it, unless it is not working or not as described. It is kind of waste of my energy and money (sometimes they pay) on the shipping.

Corran
16-Dec-2014, 20:15
Well, I'm glad I didn't jump on this deal a day earlier! This likely would've been the truck to my area... :eek:
FedEx truck overturns, spills packages onto I-75 (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/fedex-truck-overturns-spills-packages-onto-i-75/njTTc/)

Randy Moe
16-Dec-2014, 20:26
Well, I'm glad I didn't jump on this deal a day earlier! This likely would've been the truck to my area... :eek:
FedEx truck overturns, spills packages onto I-75 (http://www.ajc.com/news/news/fedex-truck-overturns-spills-packages-onto-i-75/njTTc/)

Yeh I think my stuff is already far north of that wreck.

How was the driver?

Corran
16-Dec-2014, 20:28
No mention in the article.