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General Photography

A beginner's guide to ebay descriptions.

Posted by: Kit. on Thu Mar 14, 2013 01:39   (2249 Reads)
 
A short guide for the ebay novice.
 
 
If, like me, you enjoy finding a good bargain to add to your Pentax photographic equipment, you may be tempted to see what ebay has to offer.
Ebay of course, is a huge source of... Well, just about anything, really... But especially used camera gear. I myself have assembled most of my collection of cameras and lenses from ebay purchases.
There aren't really any spectacular bargains to be had anymore, but good deals can still be found now and again. However.... Care needs to be taken when reading seller's descriptions. One can easily become unstuck by being too trusting. The canny bidder must learn to read between the lines, occasionally. A novice runs the risk of becoming the hapless victim of a cunningly worded description.

As an old hand at ebaying... And having made my mistakes in the early days, I thought I would set down here, for the benefit of beginners, a brief guide to the often vague language of ebay listings.

Below, in capitals, I will give examples of commonly seen seller descriptions, and under each, in brackets, a translation of the actual meaning.


UNTESTED.
(It doesn't work.)

IN NEED OF ATTENTION/TLC.
(It definitely doesn't work.)

FOR SPARES OR REPAIR.
(It's a pile of useless junk, but I still want you to give me money for it.)

I HAVE NO BATTERY TO TEST IT WITH.
(It doesn't work, but this sounds like a plausable excuse to cover my arse.)

WAS WORKING WHEN LAST USED.
(It was last used when Harold Wilson was Prime minister and has been in a leaky garden shed, ever since and almost certainly doesn't work now.)

SLIGHT MARKS TO SURFACE.
(It is covered in dents and deep gouges.)

MINT.
(It's covered in sharply smelling green stuff.)

SLIGHT FUNGUS. EASILY SORTED.
(There's a bleedin mushroom farm, inside.)

WAS OWNED BY MY FATHER/GRANDFATHER/GREAT UNCLE.
(I'm invoking the image of an elderly relative to make you trust me.)

SOLD STRICTLY AS DESCRIBED.
(It's rubbish, but you're definitely not getting a refund.)

I DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT CAMERAS/LENSES.
(I know this is crap, but I'm pleading ignorance.)

CLEANING MARKS ON ELEMENTS.
(Lens has inumerable bad scratches.)

SELLING FOR A FRIEND.
(You're getting a load of junk, but I don't want the blame.)

OWNED FROM NEW.
(I found it in a skip last week.)

NO RESERVE.
(I've started the bidding at twenty quid, so there IS a bloody reserve!)

LOMO.
(This a piece of Soviet, plastic shite, but adding the word Lomo somehow makes it more desirable and greatly inflates the value.)

RARE PANCAKE LENS.
(Just about any standard lens shorter than 3 inches long.)

LOTS OF EXTRAS.
(Theres a split case and a filthy brush.)

LOW START PRICE.
(Yes, but I'm charging £10 for Second class postage, for something that really costs £2.70 to send First class.)



So, dear reader... The above will give you a good grounding for your ebay adventures. As you become more experienced, you will discover more examples of creative descriptions.
Please don't allow this little piece to put you off bargain hunting on the world's favourite auction site. It's really not that bad, and One does sometimes find that rare, longed for item.... And, if you know what you're doing, it can be well worth the many hazards.

Happy bidding!
 
 
 
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All 4 Comments

A beginner's guide to ebay descriptions.   -   Leave a Comment
Re: A beginner's guide to ebay descriptions.   -   See entire comment I keep finding the following:

"Shutter fires but no lights in viewfinder" = Last owner left batteries in which turned into interesting green slime ...  more
Re: A beginner's guide to ebay descriptions. :lol: absolutely fantastic article - love it!
Re: A beginner's guide to ebay descriptions.   -   See entire comment Thank you Sas. - It passed an idle hour before going to bed.

DM.
I don't know why it's here, either. I posted it in articles only... Maybe doing s ...  more
Re: A beginner's guide to ebay descriptions.   -   See entire comment Comments on articles are placed in the Forums, so that they are easy to find and no-one has to learn to navigate yet another structure.

But I don't ...  more
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