Buying Equipment from KEH

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by jd callow, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Theo Sulphate

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    How can KEH test and grade items if they have no inventory?

    It used to be that you would see multiple items - for example one Leica R5 in EX+ condition, three in EX, and one as BGN. Now they don't provide that visibility. When I bought my Nikon S2 and asked how many they had, the representative told me they don't indicate that anymore because somehow competitors would use that information to get an advantage.
     
  2. Old-N-Feeble

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    Huh?? Either the owner has gone insane or they hired a moron.
     
  3. williaty

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    The owner(s) are gone and that seems to be the root of the problem. They were taken over by a corporation that knows nothing about cameras and doesn't want to learn.
     
  4. Sirius Glass

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    When did they get taken over? I bought a Hasselblad lens from them last year and the product and the service were great.
     
  5. williaty

    williaty Member

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    I only learned about it in this thread but it sounded like longer than a year ago. If you combine what was said in this thread with the reviews from long-term employees on Glassdoor, it's pretty obvious that the corporation that bought them out has no idea how to run, nor interest in running, this kind of a business and just bought the company to suck what they could out of it.
     
  6. Sirius Glass

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    Based on past experience with other companies, I agree with you. However my last experience with them was excellent.
     
  7. shashinzukuri

    shashinzukuri Member

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    I think that most of their business probably runs along these lines, but that the high standards that built their reputation have slipped, so the edge cases that cause complaints get more frequent and more severe. The complaints seem to fall into three big buckets:

    1 - Lower standards for grading (working EX/EX+ gear that would have been marked BGN in years past)
    2 - Clear evidence of fewer tests and inspection points (oil on aperture blades, shutters not working, etc - one guy I know bought an 'EX/LN' Nikon AF lens that had no working electronics at all)
    3 - General pricing changes - no longer "the best gear at the best price", lower offers on sold equipment, etc

    I would bet that 99%+ of their gear is exactly what the visual/cosmetic 30-second inspection says it is, and the customer gets pretty much what's expected. Their return policy is still the same, which buys them a lot of leeway, but their QA is less consistent and there are a lot more chances to use it. How would you like a camera that developed a 1% chance of waiting a second between pushing the button and the shutter going off?
     
  8. resummerfield

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    Thanks for mentioning this. Until now I didn't even consider checking online sites like Glassdoor. After reading through the posting, it seems the buyout was in 2014. And that explains a lot. Thanks!
     
  9. Helios 1984

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    I bought my Pentax K50 from them for a 100$usd less than comparable cameras on ebay or elsewhere. When I checked the shutter count, it was less than 500 and I found out that the camera was still under the manufacturer warranty for another 6 months (that was 8 months ago). Excellent experience.
     
  10. dabsond

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    Just visited the site. I think the prices have doubled. I worry about the cameras listed as in "Excellent Plus but Sticky".
     
  11. Theo Sulphate

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    "sticky" might be referring to that rubberized material used on cameras from the 1990's which becomes sticky with age.
     
  12. CMoore

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    I do not trust their "techs".
    I bought an F3 that had some major problems...it was rated as excellent, which is why i bought it.
    You can assume those ratings are 80% cosmetics. The other 20% is the meter turns on (no accuracy implied) and the film advance lever (with no film in the camera) works, and cocks the shutter.
     
  13. DWThomas

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    I haven't bought anything recently, but my understanding from comments I've read over the years is that they don't truly test the gear at all, it's pretty much the cosmetics. Especially when dealing with "system" cameras, maintaining sets of known working components for thorough testing, and doing the testing, could be quite an exercise. I think it has always been that they are easy to deal with in returning something that doesn't measure up, although I freely admit if you're in a hurry to get some gear together that can be a PITA no matter how easy.
     
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  15. GRHazelton

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    It's sad to see an icon decline. I've used KEH for perhaps 20 years with complete satisfaction in the past. As an example about four years I bought a Pentax LX body with the hot shoe prism from them in BGN condition - dusty, a little brassing, but works perfectly and the price was about $170.

    But about a year ago I bought a Pentax flash listed as EX. It arrived with a strip of Velcro for some attachment, the bounce pivot a little dicey. KEH exchanged it with no argument, but it wasn't in EX condition; the defects should have been noted and the price adjusted.
     
  16. rockpowered

    rockpowered Member

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    I've had nothing but excellent buys, experiences with KEH. Probably made around 10 purchases over the past six years, maybe 3 within the last year.
     
  17. Theo Sulphate

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    Between 2005 and now, these have been my experiences:

    - About nine years ago, bought an F2S in Ex+condition. It was near mint and the meter worked, but the indexing mechanism wouldn't indicate apertures wider than 5.6 -- they should've caught that. The camera was fine.

    -A few years ago, bought a Nikon F (plain prism) in Ex+. Again, seemed to be mint and worked fine. Later discovered that the exposure counter doesn't advance beyond 29 (!). I wouldn't've expected them to find that.

    -A few years ago, bought a Canon Elan 7NE in EX+ condition. Looks mint and works well.

    -Bought a Nikon S2 this year, EX. Works perfectly, but it's clear someone had the top plate off at one time and bent it slightly putting it back on. EX condition taken literally as described on their site does apply, but I think 10 years ago would've had a lower rating.

    Lenses: I've bought numerous lenses from them - all good and no complaints.
     
  18. Sirius Glass

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    I found over the years that the equipment rating is based on cosmetics. Whenever the equipment needed any work or a CLA, KEH took care of it and covered the costs including the shipping. The last purchase was within this year.
     
  19. Huss

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    I recently bought a Mam 80 1.9 645 lens with no issues and got a great price as I waited for one of their sales coupons.

    I had to return a Voigtlander SL 40m f2 as the ad showed it was the early AIS model which I wanted (with the metering prong and correct issue and rare lens hood), but the lens they sent was a SLII version that has none of that.
    I was super disappointed when I opened the box..
    The return was easy though with no issues.
     
  20. BHuij

    BHuij Member

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    I have yet to have a bad experience with them. That said it does seem like prices have gone up. Used to be KEH would almost always beat eBay for lenses. Now the KEH prices on most lenses seems to match about the high-end of eBay ones that are actually selling. That said, I couldn't be more pleased with the FD 50mm f/3.5 Macro I got from them a year or so ago. Perfect condition, incredible optics, and I think I paid something like $35 for it.
     
  21. GRHazelton

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    Over perhaps 25 years my experience with KEH has been excellent with one exception: a Pentax AF280T flash, listed as EX, but arrived with several defects, none "fatal" but disappointing. KEH accepted the return without a problem, but did charge me somewhat more for a proper replacement. That was balanced out by a LX listed as Bargain, but which had a little brassing, a few scratches on the base plate, and a little dusty. It worked and continues to work perfectly, and the price was REALLY right. All in all I've been very happy with their service.
    Now their new website is another story, it is nowhere as user-friendly, IMHO, as the old one. And so it goes....
     
  22. Theo Sulphate

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    Thinking about it, their new website is actually a Public Service.

    See, with the old website it was effortless to scan for cameras, lenses, and accessories across various brands and formats. For example, I may have started out looking for a Hasselblad 100mm lens and never have been interested in Pentax 67 bodies, but now I'm contemplating them and researching them in another window. After another 45 minutes I've marked a Leica IIIf, a Canon 85/1.4, and a Leica R5. Before the night was over, I'd have sold one of my cars to fund my photo purchases.

    With the new site, that never happens. They are actually saving us money.
     
  23. Sirius Glass

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    I mainly buy from KEH and on the very rare problems, they corrected them promptly. One time they sent the replacement before I returned the original one so I would have one for a trip. Several times they did not have the item in stock at the purchased grade so they sent me one of the higher grade. Last week I bought another R25 B60 filter because mine was separating and now that I have it if I do not buy something again from them soon I will explode!
     
  24. Eric Rose

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    KEH is awesome. My experience with them mirrors Sirius's. Once I started dealing with KEH the only two places I buy equipment from that aren't local is KEH and Photrio. EvilBay is a distant memory.
     
  25. RalphLambrecht

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    I had a similar experience with KEH;good resource!
     
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