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armentor1@mac.com
9-Nov-2017, 11:03
All, is there any reason to not buy the fuji lenses coming from Japan on ebay? Does anyone know what the import charges would be?
According to a few forums i've been on it sounds like if less than $2000 and a legal item it should not cost anything.

Im looking for at this fuji 135 CMW 5.6 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujifilm-CM-Fujinon-W-135mm-f5-6-lens-Copal-shutter-from-Japan-221766/263307818605?hash=item3d4e5e766d:g:LxoAAOSwL5BZ0jgH)

thanks -
dave

Drew Wiley
9-Nov-2017, 11:22
I've personally had excellent results with Japanese dealers or camera stores. There are no import duties. As usual, carefully read item desciptions and shipping policy.

armentor1@mac.com
9-Nov-2017, 11:28
Great, thank you Drew.
just wanted to be sure I wasn't over looking a detail on importing fees.
best-
da

Ted R
9-Nov-2017, 11:35
I have imported some lenses from Japanese ebay (perhaps $500), no duty, no special fees. To avoid disappointment I urge careful study of the terms of return policy and the condition of the item.

dentkimterry
9-Nov-2017, 12:45
I have bought several Fujinon lenses from eBay sellers in Japan and have never had a bad experience. They ship through the mail system and I've never had to pay a duty. In fact I'm waiting for one now!
Terry

Alef Papas
9-Nov-2017, 13:34
Lenses from Japan tend to be accurate and true descriptions. Mostly in excellent condition at a low price. Several of them have my colleagues, I have one great Fujinon-T 8/300. He came into a new state. Unfortunately in Europe we pay tax and cduty ...:

consummate_fritterer
9-Nov-2017, 15:10
For the most part, Japanese sellers seem to be more truthful and honest than others... even in the good ol' USA. At any rate, it doesn't matter because eBay jealously protects its buyers.

Greg
9-Nov-2017, 17:24
Have bought several LF lenses from dealers in Japan on EBay. Conditions were exactly described or even better and like new. If you're buying a lens from a Japanese dealer, just don't rush. Usually took me a month or so to acquire the optic I was looking for. Waited for one in mint condition at a substantially lower than average price and always eventually found one. Just had to buy it immediately lest another EBayer beat me to it. I live in Connecticut, and the lenses I purchased from Japan always arrived before packages from California via the USPS... haven't got a clue why.

Two23
9-Nov-2017, 17:53
I've bought several items of camera gear from Japan. Each item was nearly perfect and the price was great. I think there are a lot of photo gear collectors there who are getting older and are downsizing their collections with few local buyers. There is no "duty" for items coming into U.S. Sellers from Japan are now my most preferred.


Kent in SD

JMO
9-Nov-2017, 18:27
My experiences with eBay sellers of MF and LF gear from Japan over the last several years has been similar to the above responses - ALL GOOD. Most of the sellers I've dealt with have 98-99% favorable ratings from eBay purchasers, and I've found their descriptions of item condition, along with their photos provided, to be scrupulously honest and fair. As for taxes or customs duty for purchase of used (or even new) gear from Japan to the US - there is none. As mentioned in posts above, the best shipping method I've experienced is where the seller in Japan sends you the item(s) by Japan Post, which means you'll receive here in the US from USPS. As for prices, the Japanese eBay sellers are not afraid to ask for top prices for items in VG to EXC condition, and they are willing to wait for some time for the market to respond. If you see what you are looking for in VG to EXC condition, it's up to you to decide whether the asking price is acceptable. Don't hesitate to make a reasonable offer. In my experience, if you are willing to pay the asking price of several hundred dollars for a nice LF lens the seller will often agree to a request to forego charging you the $20-30 shipping cost indicated in the eBay listing.

Peter Collins
9-Nov-2017, 21:10
bought a 300mm Nikkor M earlier this year. better price, including shipping, than on this forum. seller had high # transactions and high buyer satisfaction. was an excellent experience. i am a small sample size.....

Keith Pitman
9-Nov-2017, 22:14
I’ve bought a few lenses from Japan and have been satisfied with each transaction. I’ve found that most of the “descriptions” are useless. Sometimes the seller clearly does not know what he is selling. Pay attention to the seller’s feedback and review the pictures carefully. Take your time in shopping—there are a lot of lenses for sale from Japan. I have found after sale follow-through to be very good.

Toyo
9-Nov-2017, 23:17
I've bought several items of camera gear from Japan. Each item was nearly perfect and the price was great. I think there are a lot of photo gear collectors there who are getting older and are downsizing their collections with few local buyers. There is no "duty" for items coming into U.S. Sellers from Japan are now my most preferred.


Kent in SD

Agreed.
Honesty is a national trait with the Japanese and they take great pride in presenting their sales items well.
Service is always excellent.
T

Jim Andrada
9-Nov-2017, 23:19
As everyone else seems to say, no problem buying from Japan. They usually send by EMS through Japan Post. Our friends in Japan often send us stuff that way as well. It's surprising how cheap it is to send stuff to the US from Asia compared to how expensive it is in the other direction.

locutus
10-Nov-2017, 00:26
All, is there any reason to not buy the fuji lenses coming from Japan on ebay? Does anyone know what the import charges would be?
According to a few forums i've been on it sounds like if less than $2000 and a legal item it should not cost anything.

Im looking for at this fuji 135 CMW 5.6 (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujifilm-CM-Fujinon-W-135mm-f5-6-lens-Copal-shutter-from-Japan-221766/263307818605?hash=item3d4e5e766d:g:LxoAAOSwL5BZ0jgH)

thanks -
dave

The description of that item says it has mold in the optics that would explain its low price.

Otherwise, yes japanese sellers are very honest, reliable and the prices are good.

armentor1@mac.com
11-Nov-2017, 12:51
Thanks everyone, i pulled the trigger on a beautiful Fuji 125 CMW 5.6.

pendennis
11-Nov-2017, 17:19
I've bought lenses and camera systems from Japanese dealers. I've generally found that they really underrate the quality of their merchandise. Their "good" condition would be between "excellent" and "mint" over here.

A year ago, I bought a complete Mamiya 645 Pro TL, 2 lenses, 3 film backs, extension tubes, power drive, AE prism, for just over $500, including shipping. The dealer described the equipment as "good". When it arrived, it looked as though it just came out of the original boxes. It's worked perfectly.

The Japanese remind me a bit of KEH, who underrates their gear.

consummate_fritterer
12-Nov-2017, 02:46
I intend no offense to anyone but, IMO, we could learn much from societies like the Japanese. Honor, integrity, honesty. Of course they, as do we all, have their faults too.

mdarnton
12-Nov-2017, 08:43
I have bought quite a bit from Japan, and have never been unhappy with what I got. Many times the items have arrived faster than they would have had I bought them in the US, which I don't understand. The descriptions have always been excessively safe, and of course you need to look at the photos of the object carefully.

I wish I had known from the start about the extra-size covering power of the inside-letter Fuji LF lenses. Instead, I have an unfortunate quantity of doubles in focal lengths--other lenses, then the Fujis I bought later. I have absolutely no disappointment with any of the single-coated early Fuji lenses. And their prices from Japan are excellent!

JMO
12-Nov-2017, 09:29
During 3 business trips over the years to the Yokohama area, and one vacation of 2+ weeks with my wife across several cities and parts of Japan, I saw hundreds and hundreds of bicycles being used and parked wherever. But I never saw a bicycle lock!

Ari
12-Nov-2017, 09:48
One of our members, Kumar, is in Japan, and regularly sells Fuji lenses.
It's a good idea to contact him as well for anything coming out of Japan, not only lenses but LF camera besides and accessories.

Dan Fromm
12-Nov-2017, 09:59
To add to the chorus, I've bought from Kumar, who is first rate, and also from Japanese sellers on eBay. Fuji lenses, Horseman exposure meter. I discussed the meter with the seller before buying it, he assured me that it had been properly tested and functioned correctly. It works well, as he reported. I wouldn't hesitate to buy from a Japanese seller on eBay.

David Karp
12-Nov-2017, 10:33
I have purchased several Fujinon lenses from Japan. All were in great condition, better than described. I have also purchased a camera from Kumar. I recommend him highly. If you are looking for something in particular, consider contacting him to see if he can find it for you.

Alan Gales
12-Nov-2017, 11:40
I bought a Fuji 180mm lens from Japan and am very happy with it.

erian
22-Dec-2017, 14:05
My recommendation is, Japanese or not, that you ask about the smells before bidding or buying. I have not yet seen this information described adequately.

The issues might be, but are not limited to, the following

1) smell of cigarettes because the previous owner was a smoker and smoked at home or near equipment or both,
2) smell of mold or mildrew due to the storage conditions,
3) other weird smells like smell of dead animals etc.

Perhaps we have forgotten but smoking was much more socially acceptable when a lot the older equipment saw its glory days. Equipment stored in the moldy storage will also acquire the smell and the older the equipment the more likely it is that it has been store in a such location.

I have experience with two Japanese sellers.

One seller described after request very honestly that the camera I was interested in had cigarette and mold smell and he did his best to remove it but some smell still remained.

In another case I made the mistake to not clarify it (because it was more recent lens) before purchasing and discovered at home that the lens had a strong mold smell. While the seller claimed that he did not notice the (strong) smell, he accepted the return anyway (it was also stated in the policy, please verify this before bidding or buying).

What bother me about some sellers, and this also includes Japanese sellers, is listing items multiples over the market value.

Andrew Plume
22-Dec-2017, 14:39
fwiw

I've bought a 11 x 14, filmholder and film + a separate 135mm Fujinon lens, all from Kumar, the experience has been nothing other than 101%, enough said imho

andrew

Dan Fromm
22-Dec-2017, 14:42
What bother me about some sellers, and this also includes Japanese sellers, is listing items multiples over the market value.

If the asking price is too high, offer as much and no more than you think is right or don't try to buy. No one is forcing you to pay more than you think is right.

Patrick Gauthier
22-Dec-2017, 15:40
A required precaution is to always ask the ebay seller regarding certain aspects of the items that are not described in the auction listing. For example, lens condition may be described but shutter condition may not be. The only times I have ever been burned was from damaged/semi-functional shutters. I no longer make the mistake of assuming that no detail/description is indicative of no problem. That being said, while still being inconvenient, a polite and respectful complaint to the seller (from japan) has always led to a timely and fair refund for me.

I have yet to be disappointed with lenses/gear acquired through this forum (from Japan - via Kumar - or otherwise).

You have already acquired your lens from Ebay and I hope you are satisfied. In the future, if you are looking for a particular lens and can only find it in an ebay auction from japan, I'd recommend contacting Kumar to see if he has or can acquire the same lens. Even if the price is the same, with Kumar you can be certain the condition is as described.

Steve Williams_812
22-Dec-2017, 23:27
I just purchased a 240mm Schneider G-Claron from Japan. Was exactly as described and shipped fast and without trouble. I had concerns but a friend who makes his living on eBay said it's a no brainer for a buyer. As someone has already said -- eBay jealously protects buyers. I won't hesitate to purchase from a Japanese seller with a lot of positive sales numbers.

pchaplo
23-Dec-2017, 21:22
I’ve read that for avoiding additional fees for Japan>US purchases, shipping via EMS is preferable. Not Fedex. Others here have more first-hand experience.

David Karp
23-Dec-2017, 21:27
All of the lenses I purchased from Japan shipped via EMS. All went smoothly. Never any additional fees.

asf
25-Dec-2017, 22:26
Ask Kumar first, if he doesn't have or can't find then try eBay sellers

While most of the time you'll be fine many eBay sellers in Japan are basically pawn shops with little to no idea what they are selling. I've had several bad purchases (all taken back without a fight) but it was clear in nearly every instance the seller never saw the item in person. And yes I ask multiple detailed questions before buying and don't go for bargains.

One recent "mint" camera purchase went back to Japan after I saw it had light leaks, a misaligned replacement bellows that protruded into the image, and cleaning marks inside the lens (likely from the same cheap repair shop that botched the bellows replacement). The seller took it back, thanked me for informing him of the faults, then immediately relisted it at a much higher price under another user name (same exact pictures with sn and descriptions as the lot I had bought) and also later relisted it under his user name. There was no way the faults could have been repaired.

People are people. Not all Japanese sellers are angels. Kumar is honest and knows what he is selling.

pchaplo
3-Jan-2018, 21:04
As I shop lenses intensely on ebay every night, I realize that seeing “Exc+++” in an eBay listing title may be meaningless. The lens may even have some spots of fungus when you read the description. Even a “Near Mint” Horseman field camera on eBay from Japan, a fellow forum member pointed out that the hand strap was missing, and folding back was not Horseman-brand, and as the seller revealed — the logo which releases the top for greater movements — was cracked and glued. So much for “Near Mint.” Caveat emptor applies.

David Karp
3-Jan-2018, 22:53
All the more reason to deal with Kumar.

Vaughn
4-Jan-2018, 00:01
During 3 business trips over the years to the Yokohama area, and one vacation of 2+ weeks with my wife across several cities and parts of Japan, I saw hundreds and hundreds of bicycles being used and parked wherever. But I never saw a bicycle lock!

The locks are built-in on most city/utilitarian bikes in Japan -- no extra locks needed. They look a little like caliper brakes...on front or rear tires. The key stays in the lock until one locks it. My son had his bike stolen in Kyoto recently when he did not lock it. He bought another used bike -- I had fun riding it around Kyoto for a week...a very big bike-city! Except in the inner few blocks of the city, everyone rode on the sidewalks -- how the Japanese get that to work is the big mystery! We also rented bikes a few times when we traveled south...only one that really fit me (6'3"). So it goes.

In Kyoto I went into the camera store -- 5 or six floors of extreme busy-ness! In all that space, roll film was about 2 linear meters of shelf space. Fuji Acros 120 for about $5 each (bought two 5-packs, and a couple rolls of Ilford Delta400...$10 each). I should have bought a few boxes of 8x10 Acros, but could not haul them around with me.

scheinfluger_77
4-Jan-2018, 08:22
I purchased a 180 some time back marked as ‘like new’. If anything it was ‘beyond’ new in condition. I’ve never seen such a clean lens and functional shutter.

pchaplo
4-Jan-2018, 08:29
Agreed. To have a proven resource on the ground in Japan is a great advantage. Kumar is currently searching for camera and lense for me. Horseman FA, quality 120mm-ish lens, & tele extension board. This is the first time I am dealing with him but he has a good reputation here and very responsive.


All the more reason to deal with Kumar.

pchaplo
4-Jan-2018, 08:33
Here is a current “Exc+++” rated lens on Bay this morning:
173312

I purchased a 180 some time back marked as ‘like new’. If anything it was ‘beyond’ new in condition. I’ve never seen such a clean lens and functional shutter.

Sal Santamaura
4-Jan-2018, 09:01
As I shop lenses intensely on ebay every night, I realize that seeing “Exc+++” in an eBay listing title may be meaningless...I too have been looking at every eBay "Large Format" and "Large Format Lenses" new listing daily for nearly two decades. Japanese sellers' descriptions of "Mint" are even more meaningless. I don't believe this is intentional misrepresentation, however. The listings usually go on to enumerate defects of each sample.

My suspicion is that sellers in Japan are culturally predisposed to employ glowing condition rating words as marketing aids to attract ad readers, believing that their subsequent disclosure of defects is how potential buyers learn items' true conditions. This might also be a language/translation issue. In any case, i suggest bypassing offerings that don't include numerous, detailed pictures showing every part of the product. As well as a generous refund policy.

The most valuable thing to have when buying used lenses from Japan is liquid chlorine bleach. High humidity there means I've never purchased one that didn't reek of mildew. Removing front and rear cells from the shutter, then wiping down all inside and outside surfaces using a soft cloth dampened with bleach (diluted 1+1 with plain water) cures the problem. That also prevents fungus from forming in the future.

erian
9-Jan-2018, 12:23
I will add another data point. I received second lens from Japan and despite the seller claim it to be smell free, it smelled strongly of mold.

So 3 out of 3 (first seller informed me before the purchase about the smell issue) times the items from Japan have a mold issue.

asf
1-Feb-2018, 06:51
Recently did some accounting for 2017 and realized 5 of the 6 eBay purchases from Japan all went back to the sellers for various major faults on (mostly non functioning items). I only buy ones listed in top working condition, always ask questions.

One majorly faulty camera was re-listed immediately for a much higher price and recently I saw someone in Philadelphia listed it trying to sell it (after buying it from Japan she realized she “didn’t like it”)

Today I saw an eBay listing with the exact camera set still for sale in Japan … and double the price

I no longer buy from Japanese eBay sellers

asf
30-Jun-2018, 10:11
Well just to add another data point

For 6+ months I had been looking for a certain wide angle lens at a not insane price and finally found one from a Japanese based eBay seller (100% rep) that looked perfect at the price I was looking for and it included the correct real linhof technika recessed board and the correct CF (bonus I thought). As I didn’t think such a deal would last long I pulled the trigger on BIN and a couple days later the package arrived.

All looked great, not a mark on the lens or CF, shutter seemed perfect, the included hard lens case had a smell but nothing too bad.

Mounted the lens on a monorail, did some test shots. Image looked funky on the ground glass (lots of edge barrel distortion) but it focused and the film was sharp. Still something didn't feel right. The standards seemed way too close together. I thought it seemed too wide for its marked length but I didn't have another to compare it with so I thought it's my imagination.

I didn't need it for any shoots for a while so put it away. Several weeks later I mounted to a helical for a tech camera, it wouldn't focus. With the helical at its shortest it was focusing just inches in front of the lens. I switched it to a helical for a wider lens, still it wouldn't focus closer than a couple feet. So strange. This lens looked new, couldn't understand what was happening. Finally I did some comparisons of images of Rodenstock lenses from the series and guess what - the rear element was from a different lens. I contacted the seller, explained what happened, they immediately apologized and told me to return it.

Did they know it was bad? Maybe, maybe not. But it just goes along with my other experiences - they don't know what they are selling.

In hindsight the deal was a little too good (other Japanese sellers had the same model lens at $150 more without CF) although the price he was asking was in line with actual recent completed sales (again without CF and Linhof board which should add ~$100-200)

End of the story is I got my money refunded and the seller didn't want the lens back so my impression is there's a calculation in their prices to compensate for the rare losses like these (buyers who know enough to realize the problems). I replaced this lens with one from a member here and the new one is perfect, correct rear element, works as expected on the helical, no distortion.

Havoc
30-Jun-2018, 15:55
I find japanese ebay sellers to be excellent. Concerning LF gear I have bought 3 lenses and a lot of film holders. Apart from 1 lens that was described as "as is" all items were conform the description. The as-is lens has a defect but it is hard to spot but still usable and the price was correct.

OKAROB
30-Jun-2018, 22:19
Sorry to hear about your lens purchase experience. I have purchased 4 or 5 large format lenses from Japan and never experienced a problem. They have been well packaged and quickly shipped. Mistakes do happen, I am glad to hear they treated your problem respectfully as we all hope all online sellers would! Kudos to them!

jim10219
2-Jul-2018, 14:28
I love to buy from Japanese sellers on eBay! I've found the Japanese to be the most honest and polite of all of the countries I regularly do business with. They often send a little gift (chocolate, bag of tea, paper crane) and a hand written note in English with any purchase I've made. Plus the US Dollar is strong against the Yen and they still have a strong film culture over there so they tend to present the best values in general.

That being said, I believe that there are good and bad people of all races, religions, countries of origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, and fan of a particular sports team. So I tend to try not to think of sellers in terms of where they're from, but rather how they list their items. Do they provide good pictures and lots of details? Do they respond to questions? Do they have good feedback history? I've had very few bad experiences on eBay over the years, and most of the bad experiences I have had have been as a seller, not a buyer (buyers deciding they don't want something after all, so they break it and claim it was damaged in shipping and demand their money back seems to be a popular trend).

Pere Casals
2-Jul-2018, 14:44
My experiences with eBay sellers of MF and LF gear from Japan over the last several years has been similar to the above responses - ALL GOOD.

+1 , scrupulously honest and fair.

pjd
3-Jul-2018, 08:55
My purchases from sellers in Japan have been positive with one exception, in fact lenses were often better than described. The only bad experience was a crappy 2D bellows I got from Tokyophoto.

I received an enlarging lens yesterday from Japan which looks perfect, it was a heck of a good deal.

consummate_fritterer
3-Jul-2018, 10:04
The only issues I've ever had with any Japanese sellers is them not knowing how to properly check bellows for light leaks. Each time I received one with corner holes the seller made amends. I've never had any problems with used lenses from Japan.

CatSplat
4-Jul-2018, 16:27
Well just to add another data point

For 6+ months I had been looking for a certain wide angle lens at a not insane price and finally found one from a Japanese based eBay seller (100% rep) that looked perfect at the price I was looking for and it included the correct real linhof technika recessed board and the correct CF (bonus I thought). Thought it wouldn't last long so I pulled the trigger on BIN and a couple days later the package arrived.

All looked great, not a mark on the lens or CF, shutter seemed perfect, the included hard lens case had a smell but nothing too bad.

Mounted the lens on a monorail, did some test shots. Image looked funky on the ground glass (lots of edge barrel distortion) but it focused and the film was sharp. Still something didn't feel right. The standards seemed way too close together. I thought it seemed too wide for its marked length but I didn't have another to compare it with so I thought it's my imagination.

I didn't need it for any shoots for a while so put it away. Several weeks later I mounted to a helical for a tech camera, it wouldn't focus. With the helical at its shortest it was focusing just inches in front of the lens. I switched it to a helical for a wider lens, still it wouldn't focus closer than a couple feet. So strange. This lens looked new, couldn't understand what was happening. Finally I did some comparisons of images of Rodenstock lenses from the series and guess what - the rear element was from a different lens. I contacted the seller, explained what happened, they immediately apologized and told me to return it.

Did they know it was bad? Maybe, maybe not. But it just goes along with my other experiences - they don't know what they are selling.

In hindsight the deal was a little too good (other Japanese sellers had the same model lens at $150 more without CF) although the price he was asking was in line with actual recent completed sales (again without CF and Linhof board which should add ~$100-200)

End of the story is I got my money refunded and the seller didn't want the lens back so my impression is there's a calculation in their prices to compensate for the rare losses like these (buyers who know enough to realize the problems). I replaced this lens with one from a member here and the new one is perfect, correct rear element, works as expected on the helical, no distortion.

Funny, I was checking Super Angulon prices on eBay the other night and came across a listing for a 75mm f/5.6 SA from Japan that seemed like a decent deal. Something didn't quite seem right about the lens... a closer look at the auction pics revealed that the "rear" element installed was actually the front element of a convertible Symmar 150/265mm! You really have to wonder about these sellers sometimes.

StuartR
5-Jul-2018, 01:13
I have had great experiences with Japanese camera shops, both in person and through eBay, but like every store it is important to remember they were probably not out there using it themselves, so they might not be aware of hidden problems.

Regarding the swapped rear element thing, I bought a 150mm Sinaron SE as part of a package from a Norwegian photographer, and I asked him beforehand if it was sharp. "Yes!" The price for the package was very low overall and included a Toyo camera a 90mm Gradagon and other accessories. When I tried the lens, it had a lot of glowing highlights and was not sharp. It was somewhat functional, but quite soft. I sent it to Rodenstock for a repair, and they said the shutter and rear element was from a 150mm Apo Symmar. Whoops. The bellows were also Swiss cheese and needed to be replaced. I asked the seller and he said, "oh, sorry, I only shot 3 polaroids with the kit". Norwegians are generally very honest too, so I think it is important to remember that there are people everywhere who are bad sellers, whether they intend to be or not. In my case the gear was priced low enough as to make it better for my sanity to just ignore it and get on with my life...a 150mm SE was not in the package, it was a Copal 0 shutter with some pretty end caps.

Paul Kinzer
5-Jul-2018, 12:05
I feel a bit hesitant to write this, but I find it odd that folks are commenting on an entire nation's selling habits. Would we say, 'What do you think of USA sellers on eBay?' Cultures do differ, but this just seems odd to me.

I've bought and sold thousands of things on eBay, and have had -- at a guess -- 98% positive experiences. I definitely recall the negative experiences more than the positive ones, and most of them happened early in my eBay experience. I've become, I think, far better at noticing and avoiding poor sellers (some of them crooked; most just ignorant). There are lots of 'tells' that show whom to stay away from. I reported an ad just yesterday, and it was pretty quickly removed. I've often written to folks who had mistakes in their ads, and pretty much all of them responded with thanks.

I've also become more knowledgeable about the things that I am searching for, so can tell, most of the time, if something is what I actually want. Or, if I'm not quite sure, I ask lots of questions. Then, if I still miss something, and the item -- typically a camera or lens -- arrives with issues, sellers are almost always willing to give me a partial refund. I find this especially true of sellers overseas, since return shipping costs are often not worth the effort. Sellers know, or quickly find out, that eBay pretty much always sides with buyers, so getting something is better than getting nothing. Since I repair old cameras, it's usually acceptable to get one that ends up as a parts body. I know that's not true for most buyers.

My biggest problem has not been with sellers, but with buyers. My own ads are way more descriptive and complete than most on eBay because I've learned that this is the best way to avoid buyers who expect perfection and complain when they don't get it. But even this has not been that big a problem. One reason I buy and sell on eBay is that I meet lots of great folks. The few jerks do grate on my faith in people, but they're made up for by the enthusiastic folks who are glad to deal with someone honest and interested in the same things they are.

Of course, this is all just my own thoughts and experiences. If I had seen a post like this at another time, I wouldn't have been so positive.

Helcio J Tagliolatto
5-Jul-2018, 12:10
+1 , scrupulously honest and fair.

I totally agree.
Near all my MF gear came from Japanese Ebay sellers, most of it brand new at affordable prices.

StuartR
5-Jul-2018, 12:43
Paul I think that is a very fair point to make, and of course it is potentially very problematic to start rating countries and people by where they come from and so on. For example, I met a Nigerian photographer who complained about how difficult it was for him to buy and sell gear over the net. That said, there are real cultural differences throughout different nations, and they tend to gravitate around certain norms and standards of behavior. I studied Russian and Japanese history and have lived in both countries, and now I have lived in Iceland for the last ten years. All three countries have quite different attitudes about how to buy and sell goods. If I had to pick one of them to buy from, it would certainly be Japan! I do not mean that as a slight against Iceland, Russia or the US, all of which are also close to my heart. The reason is less about trustworthiness than about the approach towards handling, maintaining and resprenting gear. In Japan it is culturally important to care for objects deeply and maintain them scrupulously. Knives are sharpened and cleaned of patina after every service in restaurants etc. In Iceland, the national motto is "țetta reddast" which means "it will sort itself out". Most have a pretty laid back attitude about things, and the emphasis is more on creativity and independence than on expectation and duty. Gear is functional and used up and then sold on at the best price they can get. I think Russia has had some problems with scamming partially because of a long tradition of prioritizing close relations over those of people they do not know (as was pretty critical if you wanted to flourish in the Soviet period). If you are friends with a Russian they will cut their arm off and hand it to you if you asked them to. All of these are generalizations and do not mean everyone behaves that way, but they are general "flavors" of behavior that you are likely to encounter. Again, just my experiences, certainly not meant to paint with too broad a brush.

Drew Wiley
5-Jul-2018, 13:14
There is simply a lot more of certain items in Japan than here, and logically quite a number of dealers too. Let's face it - they're major manufacturers of
cameras and optics. I've had excellent results with Japanese dealers. But like anything else, you need to carefully check descriptions and image details of potential purchases. Mistakes in description do sometimes occur.

consummate_fritterer
5-Jul-2018, 14:00
I feel a bit hesitant to write this, but I find it odd that folks are commenting on an entire nation's selling habits. Would we say, 'What do you think of USA sellers on eBay?' Cultures do differ, but this just seems odd to me.

I've bought and sold thousands of things on eBay, and have had -- at a guess -- 98% positive experiences. I definitely recall the negative experiences more than the positive ones, and most of them happened early in my eBay experience. I've become, I think, far better at noticing and avoiding poor sellers (some of them crooked; most just ignorant). There are lots of 'tells' that show whom to stay away from. I reported an ad just yesterday, and it was pretty quickly removed. I've often written to folks who had mistakes in their ads, and pretty much all of them responded with thanks.

I've also become more knowledgeable about the things that I am searching for, so can tell, most of the time, if something is what I actually want. Or, if I'm not quite sure, I ask lots of questions. Then, if I still miss something, and the item -- typically a camera or lens -- arrives with issues, sellers are almost always willing to give me a partial refund. I find this especially true of sellers overseas, since return shipping costs are often not worth the effort. Sellers know, or quickly find out, that eBay pretty much always sides with buyers, so getting something is better than getting nothing. Since I repair old cameras, it's usually acceptable to get one that ends up as a parts body. I know that's not true for most buyers.

My biggest problem has not been with sellers, but with buyers. My own ads are way more descriptive and complete than most on eBay because I've learned that this is the best way to avoid buyers who expect perfection and complain when they don't get it. But even this has not been that big a problem. One reason I buy and sell on eBay is that I meet lots of great folks. The few jerks do grate on my faith in people, but they're made up for by the enthusiastic folks who are glad to deal with someone honest and interested in the same things they are.

Of course, this is all just my own thoughts and experiences. If I had seen a post like this at another time, I wouldn't have been so positive.

Did anyone witness the suffering from the recent Japanese tsunami after the 9+ earthquake? We saw no one looting even when they were suffering horrifically. Where else in the world would we see that kind of honesty and restraint?

Jim Andrada
6-Jul-2018, 01:36
A lot of folks here know this already, but for those who don't...

I lived and worked in Japan from the late 80's to the mid 90's. Somewhere along the way I tricked a lovely young Japanese lady into marrying me (and we're still together 30 years later!!!) I've spoken Japanese at home and at work for over 30 years. I've also had prints in several group shows at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art.

With that as background, I can say that one characteristic of Japanese in general is that they are kind to their possessions. They don't bang on computer keyboards, or toss stuff around or beat their cars to death, and cleanliness is a national sport. No feet on the table, no walking around eating (they'll stay near a vending machine and properly dispose of their trash in the waste baskets provided) no graffiti. But bicycles and umbrellas are often regarded as sort of community property. There's a reason there are locks on umbrella stands. I discovered this when my wife and I were surprised by showers on leaving a hotel restaurant and I noticed her shaking the locks on the stand. She fessed up that she'd never actually bought an umbrella in her life - just liberated them from an unlocked stand. With few exceptions most people will ride their bike on the sidewalk - bikes are regarded more as pedestrian accessories than as vehicles in their own right.

Anyhow, the general attitude that things like cameras are to be scrupulously maintained results in usually getting gear in very fine condition. Most Japanese are not do-it-yourself types and will usually opt for professional maintenance of their camera gear. When I buy on ebay I actively try to find listings from Japan - I've had very little trouble with them.

Paul Kinzer
6-Jul-2018, 07:54
Very interesting personal experiences with other cultures!

Havoc
7-Jul-2018, 00:33
Just received an SWD 90 from japan. Looks and works like it just came out of its box.

Pere Casals
7-Jul-2018, 02:10
Just received an SWD 90 from japan. Looks and works like it just came out of its box.

My swd 90 also came from jp. You will find that this is a great glass, just take great images and enjoy !

RobertJSherman
16-Oct-2018, 17:27
I'm not asking what lens to buy . . . I am wondering if:

(1) Have you purchased lenses from eBay?

(2) If *yes* Then, did you buy from a seller in Japan?

(3) If *yes* Then, what was your experience?


I'm currently looking to pickup a lens, a starter - a 150 or 180 lens for my camera. So far, it seems like the Japanese sellers
have quite the selection of lenses . . . and they are all [Mint] or [Top Mint] (I'm kidding, but seriously folks).

I appreciate your thoughts, thanks a bunch.

andrewch59
16-Oct-2018, 17:37
I have bought all of my modern lenses from Japan, I have found them a most horourable people to deal with. On one occasion I even had a few small gifts thrown in. If you do find a fault, as I did with a second hand tachi, they are quick to return funds. Like every culture there may be the exceptions, but I have not encountered any.

pjd
16-Oct-2018, 18:30
I think a very similar question was asked a while back, might be worth searching for that thread. If I recall correctly, a number of buyers said Japanese sellers are great, salt of the earth and whatnot, another group complained about a smell of fungus and weak descriptions.

My experience of Japanese sellers has been very good with the notable exception of the Japanese bellows manufacturer, who I would avoid like the plague.

Two23
16-Oct-2018, 19:14
I'm not asking what lens to buy . . . I am wondering if:

(1) Have you purchased lenses from eBay?

(2) If *yes* Then, did you buy from a seller in Japan?

(3) If *yes* Then, what was your experience?


.

1. Yes.
2. Yes.
3. Excellent every time. I actually prefer buying from Japan.


Kent in SD

Jim Jones
16-Oct-2018, 19:18
My somewhat limited experience has been excellent.

pepeguitarra
16-Oct-2018, 19:19
I trusted Japanese sellers with all my purchases on eBay. The quality of the good was always better than described. However, the last purchased included a lens with a shutter that did not work, the speeds were off. It would cost $100 to do a CLA. The lens was immaculate. I contacted the seller and told him that I was willing to pay $50 for the CLA if the paid the other $50, otherwise, I would return the item. The seller apologized and reimbursed $50. So, I still believe in buying from Japanese sellers.

Peter Collins
16-Oct-2018, 19:19
I bought a Nikkor M 300mm on eBay from a Japanese seller, my first purchase (and so far, only) from Japan--and the seller had a good rating. The lens was attractively priced, too. The lens arrived exactly as described. I'd say 9.5/10. Couldn't find a single ding, blemish, or signs of use. Really.

Sandro
16-Oct-2018, 23:46
Absolutely YES to the three questions.

I bought 90% of my equipment on eBay and a large part from Japan.
Most of the time japanese sellers are:
- more conservative on descriptions than other
- make excellent packaging
- ship immediately
- are very reactive to complains and make additional discount, or complete refunds.

The only trooble buying from Italy are the custom fees and local taxes, but this applies to all countries outside European Union.

Per Madsen
17-Oct-2018, 01:40
I have bought lenses from Japan a couple of times.

And the description have been accurate, the packaging excellent and EMS shipment with tracing.

Expect to pay custom fees and VAT on everything.

RobertJSherman
17-Oct-2018, 04:21
I think a very similar question was asked a while back, might be worth searching for that thread. If I recall correctly, a number of buyers said Japanese sellers are great, salt of the earth and whatnot, another group complained about a smell of fungus and weak descriptions.

My experience of Japanese sellers has been very good with the notable exception of the Japanese bellows manufacturer, who I would avoid like the plague.


I did a handful of searches, before posting - I gots nothing ... perhaps I didn't dig deep deep enough ? :/

Thanks for the answer, though ;)

scheinfluger_77
17-Oct-2018, 05:25
I'm not asking what lens to buy . . . I am wondering if:

(1) Have you purchased lenses from eBay?

(2) If *yes* Then, did you buy from a seller in Japan?

(3) If *yes* Then, what was your experience?


I'm currently looking to pickup a lens, a starter - a 150 or 180 lens for my camera. So far, it seems like the Japanese sellers
have quite the selection of lenses . . . and they are all [Mint] or [Top Mint] (I'm kidding, but seriously folks).

I appreciate your thoughts, thanks a bunch.

Yes!
Yes!
Better than described.

pjd
17-Oct-2018, 07:31
I did a handful of searches, before posting - I gots nothing ... perhaps I didn't dig deep deep enough ? :/

Thanks for the answer, though ;)

http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?142621-Ebay-lenses-from-Japan

Almost identical to your question - you might get better search results using Google than the in house search engine.

Oren Grad
17-Oct-2018, 09:22
Threads merged.

Patrick Gauthier
17-Oct-2018, 20:01
(1) Yes
(2) Yes
(3) mostly good, varies from seller to seller. Be careful with shutters. Ask very specific questions regarding condition if they are not explicitly mentioned.

talk to Kumar on this forum. He has an established reputation for consistently good service

hope this helps