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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by jd callow, Mar 20, 2008.
I was able to get passed the pain and exercise my credit card.
FYI: Around the time of the website change, KEH was bought by a private investment firm in New York (you can check out stories on their Glassdoor page). The original owner and most of the original staff are no longer there, the new owners care about short-term profits more than the decades-spanning reputation, and it shows.
I buy most of my equipment from KEH. I have never received anything that wasn't as least as good as described. Shipping is free for orders over $99 and quick. Prices are a little on the high side, but I just wait for one of their regular sales to purchase when the prices are quite reasonable.
I rely on B&H for almost all my non-equipment purchases. For the things I buy, their prices are good, the items are always in stock, there is no sales tax, and two day shipping is free for orders over $50. Let me give you an example. I went down to the one remaining bricks and mortar store in my town to pick up some Ilford DDX film developer. They were out of stock but said they would reorder. Two and a half weeks later it still hadn't come in. I ordered it from B&H and had it two days later delivered to my front door.
I'd heard about the ownership change. I've dealt with KEH for perhaps 20 years and until only recently been very pleased. A new owner unfamiliar with a business and feeling the need to make changes is a bad combination. The new site is perhaps aesthetically more pleasing, but is for me far less user-friendly. I much preferred the old website; it made shopping pretty intuitive. When I placed an order by phone the rep seemed to echo my unhappiness with the new site; he said he had to straighten out confusion caused by the site for many customers.
That explains a lot. I read the Glassdoor pages - very sad.
A once good company - now losing the qualities and people that built its reputation.
That's true of many formerly-good American companies.
The 1%-ers are determined to ruin this country while making an insane profit as reward for their actions.
I've seen it happen personally. I've worked in such companies - which were in the top 50 best ranked places to work. They're not anymore. They don't have the long term view of Asian companies. Toyota and Honda would not have survived the first few years here if they had such a short term greedy philosophy.
But whereas these people may be among the 1%, their actions are not typical of most of the 1% (and I personally know more than a few), who I believe create good companies, products, and jobs, or who are outstanding in the work they do.
When was KEH sold? Just curious 'cause I haven't bought anything from them since the website changed. The new website is a pain to use if you are just browsing.
And in addition to being a pain to use, the annoying pop-ups wanting you to subscribe are aggravating. I really liked KEH back when it was a family owned business... now - not so much. There was a time when you could call with questions about an item and get answers from folks who knew their equipment and were really customer oriented.
Darn. They were my go-to place for used gear. I had uniformly good experiences with them. I'm not a fan of "investment" companies, but I understand how they can be very attractive tp a family business going through a dry period or a generational transition.
I'm likely to still buy from KEH for one or two things "I just gotta have", but I'll look more closely at its rating since I believe KEH's equipment ratings are no longer as conservative as they used to be.
Their new web site is good if you have a specific item or can provide a few search qualifiers, but the halcyon days of just idly browsing through categories are gone.
thats too bad they changed. i haven't bought from them in a decade, last thing was a "bargain"
olympus stylus for 19$ ( i think ? ) shipped, it was new and never been used. i bought a handful
of lenses from them over the years ( my first being in around 1995 ) always "bargain"
always was better than expected and better than described. from what i remember
the founder invented the camera equipment grading system that is common today, not just at their store
but other places too ( became the standard ). thankfully my buying days are over ..
Well, what's written here sure goes a long way towards explaining the total train wreck that my current order with KEH has turned into.
You folks who still buy from KEH -- do they have stuff to buy? No,seriously -- every time I look there for, oh, say, Leica M bodies, where they used to have dozens, a whole slew, the whole range, they now show maybe half a dozen, tops.
Ditto anything else. They had a few really big sales on used gear a while back -- I picked up a Mamiya 645 body for 40 percent off -- and I have the feeling they were purging and are not re-stocking, having decided, I guess, that most used gear is not worth the hassle any more.
They used to have a separate "collectible" section, where one found the vintage Leica gear I lean towards. What happened to that?
Fortunately a lifetime of GAS has left me with more cameras than common sense, so there's very little i actually need. Then again, there's little chance, browsing through KEH, of being hit by the GAS bug again. There's nothing there.
Actually I have noticed the same thing
Same thing at MPEX. They used to have quite the large selection of used gear in everything from 35mm to 8x10. I went in a month or two ago to check it out and was shocked. They had a single (broken) 4x5 camera, no MF at all, and only a single shelf of used Nikon lenses. That was the entirety of their used camera department. Hell of a fall from where they were in 2000.
Huh, interesting to see others' perspectives here. I had noticed that they (KEH) seem to have less available and at higher prices. I didn't know about the buyout. Makes perfect sense once the VC / PE firms move in on a business...
I think the inventory problem is partially because the big film sell-off by people who either inherited these cameras or those who switched to d*gital is over and mostly those who like to shoot film aren't selling their cameras much.
If you look at the amount of stuff circulating on forums, Craigslist, and eBay, that clearly isn't true. There's a ton of used gear but prices have fallen so far that there's not a lot of money to be made. It'd be even worse for a retail outfit like KEH that may well have paid owners more for the camera 3-5 years ago than what the Japanese are dumping the used inventory in their shops for on eBay. I can pretty consistently match domestic (KEH/B&H/Adorama/etc) pricing on VG+ to EX- stuff by buying from Japan and getting EX+ to Mint stuff for the same price including international shipping.
If the US resellers are assuming the market might fall farther, then having stock on hand is the worst thing they could possibly do.
I have bought three cameras from them in the last year:
1. Canon A-1
2. Nikon F3
3. Nikon F2S
The first two i bought Because They Were in great shape Cosmetically.
I bought the S Because it was an S, but also was in great shape aesthetically.
For some reason, NONE of these had a body cap on them. When i got the A-1, i was surprised they would ship a camera without a cap. I emailed them, and they said there was no cap in the pictures and no cap was included.
I bought #2 and asked them to put a cap on it before shipping...i will pay for it. NO reply, no body cap.
I Just Bought #3 and said the same thing again, and again, no reply. So i called them. They said no cap was included. I said, but i emailed you guys and told you to put one on.
I told them...You guys are a CAMERA Store, you have boxes of these things laying around, they are an $0.08 item. PLEASE install one, i will pay for it....... "We only provide what was in the pictures"....... is all they could keep repeating.
I love their cameras, but i hate their employees.
I remember watching a segment on 60 Minutes (MANY years ago) about the auto industry, and why the Japanese were doing so well with selling cars in "America".
The guy being interviewed was a Detroit Insider. He said:
"If the usa was going to insist that cars got a minimum of 25 MPG...Japanese auto makers would spend One Billion dollars to develop the motors, and that usa auto makers would spend Five Billion to lobby congress and try to defeat the proposed legislation".
Shipping a SLR without a body cap is appalling. Surely they must have a junker lens which could stand in for a body cap, if they truly don't have the real thing. Back in the day the KEH staff really knew what they were doing; from the last post it sounds like some of them may have been pushing shoes at WalMart last week.
KEH has no inventory. Hard to buy when they got nothing. Is this part of a revolutionary new business plan?
That's one of the only phrases provided by their translation program.
they have no inventory and yet I get many emails a week from them asking to buy my old stuff. when they would be at camera shows they used to offer fair buying prices considering they had to sell them later. Now they offer 25 cents on the dollar for the equipment hoping to make a much higher return. I can get more selling on craigslist or fleabay. Sad. they still are great with returns, but it seems like more people are having many more issues with them