I don’t use eBay often, but when I do, it’s usually to sell kit I don’t need or want to keep. It’s proven very safe and reliable over the years.. until last week!
I bought the Sony RX100 mark V. After encountering many articles and videos extolling the new features (especially the super fast 315 phase detect auto focus points) over the mark IV, I decided that I could take one more hit and bought the thing with the intention of selling the mark IV.
What a flipping nightmare! I’ve sold much more expensive kit on eBay and haven’t had a single problem with it. But initially the mark IV refused to budge. The price for a new mark IV on Amazon is about £100 less than what I originally paid for it six months ago. So given the age of the device, and how that it wasn’t used very much and kept in a case, I thought £100-£120 less than the current price would be fair. No dice. I had a few too low offers, including the person who would eventually buy the thing. At one point I took the listing offline, revised the description to add as much information as I could from the questions that were being asked, and settled to a figure of £600. And that included the breakdown and accidental cover insurance for three years.
On Sunday night I went to bed. During that time, the buyer submits questions before buying the camera. It is stipulated in my listing that it can take up to two days before I ship the item. This is because as I work full time, and I work in middle of nowhere, and that I also work a shift system, the ability to get to a post office is somewhat limited during the week. The earliest I would have been able to get to a post office is today (Tuesday) after work – and that’d be around 5pm. Given that I choose to ship Next Day Special Delivery (with the right level of insurance), that would be not have made a Wednesday delivery.
So what I do get when I ask the buyer for the details so I can start to arrange the transfer of the insurance? She needs it before Thursday as she’s heading off to South America. Talk about leaving things a bit late! I’ve basically said that given the current timescales, I couldn’t do it, so I refunded her and cancelled the order. It would be better to buy from somewhere like Amazon’s used marketplace – these are usually professional sellers who can ship next day guaranteed. I’m just an individual just looking to sell a camera in my spare time. She told me that she couldn’t afford those prices.
If I had been told all of this before the order went through, I could have very probably made prior arrangements. But the number of questions (and two different, much lower offers – the listing was set-up for a fixed price only) preceding all of this had slowed everything down. Least of all I did not know it was urgently required.
Needless to say, the subsequent email exchange (through the eBay system) did not go too well. I was always polite, but firm, in that I wasn’t going to work outside of the eBay guidelines to get this thing to her – she wanted to arrange a courier which would very likely invalidate that because if things went wrong, PayPal and eBay would not be able to assist me if she were then to put in a claim – they would side with her, and I’d have lost both the camera and money.
So in the end, I got my first ever negative feedback – after I left her a positive for the quick payment, but this was before I knew about her deadline). The comment she left was that I was uncooperative and rude. I was never rude. Rude, by her definition, is that she simply did not like what I told her. I was never aggressive or impolite. If she only organised herself better, was upfront about her expectation on delivery times, and made the decision to buy within a sensible timeframe, she would have had the camera yesterday. Today at the latest.
I’ve decided to keep the camera. I’m not sure I can bring myself to sell it just yet after all that rigmarole. I’m trying to decide how it will fit in with my existing trips, but I’ve been looking at what other people do with multiple cameras and I’m coming up with some (cunning) plans.
At the time of writing, my camera kit now looks like this:
I’ve gone a bit mad on audio kit. This stems from my time shooting Imagineer System’s marketing video. Having good quality microphones is a must. Though at the time of making the marketing video, I had little knowledge of audio gain control – the result was that a lot of audio was very fuzzy. I’m not making that mistake again. The AX53 camcorder replaces my ancient Sony DCR-PC100e, which was a lovely miniDV unit. Alas, it’s dead and I haven’t any way of playing anything I recorded unless I take them to a specialist who can take transfer them to DVD or external hard drive. The AX53 uses fast SDHC memory cards which I can import footage into Final Cut Pro on my Mac.
(BTW, my first ever digital camera was a Sony DSC-S70 – it was super chunky, only offered 3.2 megapixels, was super expensive, but the quality was absolutely brilliant – which perhaps explains why I returned to Sony products after a brief spell with Cannon)
I still need to get a couple of small tripods. I’ve settled on Joby Gorillapods which will enable me to wrap the arms around objects as well as act as a stand and grip. BTW, the case that you see is an Amazon Basics camera backpack. Super light too. The case also has lens cleaning kits and all the manuals (which I also have in PDF form on my iPad). You can’t say I’m not prepared.