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Archive 2013 · Lens authority... Anyone?
  
 
hijazist
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Lens authority... Anyone?


I just came upon their selection of used lenses and was wondering if anyone has dealt with them before. They are affiliated with lensrentals.com which I had good experience with. However, I am wondering about their rating system and how it compares to other used dealers (ex: KEH, B&H, etc...).

They have a neat website with a very thorough description of their used equipment. Although something struck me as not very professional while I was reading their returns section (I totally agree with their premise, I was just surprised by the wording!):

"For every transaction we process, we owe a roughly 3% fee to the credit card processor. Even when we refund the transaction, we do not get this 3% fee back. Because of this, we reserve the right to charge a 3% restocking fee for repetitive or abusive returns.

What does that mean, you ask? It means, unless you are a jerk, you won’t be charged the fee.

Who is a jerk, you now ask? If you buy 6 different copies of a single lens, intending to look at them all and return 5 of them – you are a jerk and will be charged the fee. If you’ve bought 10 things from us this year, and you’ve returned 7 of them for no apparent reason – you are a jerk and will be charged the fee."



Sep 04, 2013 at 02:06 AM
harvey steeves
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Lens authority... Anyone?


I totally agree with them - you want to cherry pick, pay the price.


Sep 04, 2013 at 03:09 AM
hijazist
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Lens authority... Anyone?


harvey steeves wrote:
I totally agree with them - you want to cherry pick, pay the price.


I totally agree with them as well, however, their wording struck me as bizarre to say the least for a professional website. Although it could prove to be a smart marketing decision, i.e. transcending formality with the customer and thus having more appeal.



Sep 04, 2013 at 03:16 AM
Aloicious
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Lens authority... Anyone?


Isn't Roger a member on here? I totally agree with it too.

I don't think the wording is too bad, it is definitely informal. I would have probably phrased it differently if I wrote it, but I don't mind informal stuff like this on sites like that. I may not have used the work 'jerk' but from his point of view, someone who depletes his stock to cherry pick will not only cost him the lost transaction fee, but also the loss of his time for packing/shipping, loss of other potential sales of the depleted stock during the time that it is gone, etc....IMO that would qualify as a 'jerk'...and honestly a 3% restocking fee is nothing, if I were in his shoes, I'd be charging like a 20-25% restocking fee for those people due to the lost income, and lost time, and to discourage that behavior...but that's just me...

After all, he's a small business that deals with a very specialized customer-base, sometimes informal explanations of a formal statement like this add an air of humanity to things, it makes me think that someone took the time to actually think and write their policies and took extra time to explain them in non-legalese, rather than copy and pasting it from somewhere else. I do this in my business sometimes too.

I haven't purchased from them, yet...but I very much like their evaluations of their items with specific data, and pictures. I never liked how KEH and other places just use general EX, LN, or 8, 9+, etc, without much, if any, specific info. (though I've never had an issue with KEH and they are usually in better condition than expected with good service, but still...I don't like the 'unknown' factor when buying used gear)



Sep 04, 2013 at 09:37 AM
hijazist
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Lens authority... Anyone?


Aloicious wrote:
Isn't Roger a member on here? I totally agree with it too.

I don't think the wording is too bad, it is definitely informal. I would have probably phrased it differently if I wrote it, but I don't mind informal stuff like this on sites like that. I may not have used the work 'jerk' but from his point of view, someone who depletes his stock to cherry pick will not only cost him the lost transaction fee, but also the loss of his time for packing/shipping, loss of other potential sales of the depleted stock during the time that
...Show more

Thanks for your input, I agree that the informal approach kinda works; at least for me. I also like the layout and very detailed description of the equipment in addition to the pictures. As you said, that's always been KEH's weakest link.



Sep 04, 2013 at 09:48 AM
Aloicious
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Lens authority... Anyone?


FWIW, I recently e-mailed them about the availability of a lens I'm thinking of getting and was responded to in a timely manner, with a direct, clear, and informative response. They seem pretty good, I don't think I'd have any issue buying from them...

the only thing I don't like too much is that I can't filter their products any more than brand or camera mount...not much of a problem to scroll through all the products as it stands with their current stock, but not very future proof when their stock expands and we can't filter the results by lens/body specs....but I'm sure they'll re-code things once it gets to that point, I'm just nit-picking as a fellow business owner/customer who has to deal with stuff like that myself...



Sep 04, 2013 at 09:58 AM
RCicala
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Lens authority... Anyone?


Lensauthority is spin off - the rental part is much larger and we felt like sales belonged in a separate area where people could concentrate on just that.

The end-of-rental-life process is pretty different from rental: some lenses get sold on the site, others may get taken apart and the parts sold, etc. It needs it's own staff (which I'm part of).

We eventually plan to expand it into other things - offering optical testing for personal lenses, maybe certain repairs, and stuff like that. The Lensrentals blog will probably move over to that site, too, or at least the gear-head posts from the blog.

As to the wording, it originated as an inside joke when someone called Drew a jerk because he refused to ship him all six copies of a certain lens we had for sale to pick out the one he wanted unless he paid the $360 in credit card fees we'd get charged for the transaction.




Sep 04, 2013 at 10:42 AM
DGC1
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Lens authority... Anyone?


In todays market, 3% is dirt cheap as most retailers and wholesalers charge from 10-20% on average.


Sep 04, 2013 at 11:40 AM
hijazist
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Lens authority... Anyone?


Thanks for the explanation Roger & good luck with the website. I must say congrats on the lens description and the neat simple layout


Sep 04, 2013 at 12:19 PM
BenV
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Lens authority... Anyone?


If I was Roger, I'd increase the percent.


Sep 04, 2013 at 12:40 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



RLDubbya
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Lens authority... Anyone?


BenV wrote:
If I was Roger, I'd increase the percent.


Me too. And I'd call it an a$$h0l3 surcharge. Which is probably why I've never done well in business.



Sep 04, 2013 at 01:03 PM
williamkazak
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Lens authority... Anyone?


Cherry picking your "used" lens from six copies. Wow. Some folks know how to make a guy miserable. Where is the coffee?


Sep 04, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Jonathan
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Lens authority... Anyone?


"For every transaction we process, we owe a roughly 3% fee to the credit card processor. Even when we refund the transaction, we do not get this 3% fee back. Because of this, we reserve the right to charge a 3% restocking fee for repetitive or abusive returns.

Looks like a more than fair system to me. Some people get obsessed with the "Good Copy" jitters.

"Trying" a lens several times is just wrong.



Sep 04, 2013 at 03:07 PM
RCicala
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Lens authority... Anyone?


hijazist wrote:
Thanks for the explanation Roger & good luck with the website. I must say congrats on the lens description and the neat simple layout



Thank you. It's still a work in progress, but I like being able to show really large photos of the actual lens for sale (if you haven't noticed, clicking on the image will give you a nearly full-screen jpg of that view). A close-up picture of a scratch is so much better than a verbal description of a scratch.

My goal, if we can pull it off, will be to also include actual Imatest or bench MTF of the lens. That's some months away - I've been traveling for the last month looking at some amazingly cool equipment. Now if I could just find some amazingly cool affordable equipment.



Sep 04, 2013 at 06:01 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Lens authority... Anyone?


RCicala wrote:
Lensauthority is spin off - the rental part is much larger and we felt like sales belonged in a separate area where people could concentrate on just that.

The end-of-rental-life process is pretty different from rental: some lenses get sold on the site, others may get taken apart and the parts sold, etc. It needs it's own staff (which I'm part of).

We eventually plan to expand it into other things - offering optical testing for personal lenses, maybe certain repairs, and stuff like that. The Lensrentals blog will probably move over to that site, too, or at least the
...Show more


WOW, some people (Drew in this example) certainly have a feeling of entitlement ...



Sep 04, 2013 at 06:31 PM
BenV
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Lens authority... Anyone?


The prices are nice too. A 70-200 VRII for $1670 and a 14-24 for $1250.


Sep 04, 2013 at 06:45 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Lens authority... Anyone?


hijazist wrote:
I totally agree with them as well, however, their wording struck me as bizarre to say the least for a professional website. Although it could prove to be a smart marketing decision, i.e. transcending formality with the customer and thus having more appeal.


The wording doesn't seem bizarre in the least to me... I think you are getting bothered over nothing.

Jim



Sep 04, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Micky Bill
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Lens authority... Anyone?


I think it's a great idea, not an abusive amount like 10-15% but enough to slow down the lens fetishists. Taking 6 "copies" of lens out of stock to "test" for who know how long is silly. I have probably owned more than 100 lenses over 25 years and one was bad....the store took it back, no problem.

I didn;t know about lensauthorites but I will check it out when I am looking for equipment.

A long time ago I saw a post on some forum: Most lenses are better than most photographers.

I also think we all know what he means by 'jerk'



Sep 04, 2013 at 07:10 PM
John Skinner
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Lens authority... Anyone?


If you are a business owner and take credit cards, I think the majority of people would be floored to see the charges placed on that business for that ability by the processing companies, and or banks.

It one thing to do a sale and it's done. It's a whole different thing to have to charge, re-charge, return an item on a whim of someone not liking a piece of rubber etc..

I would be of the opinion that although this charge, and the related wording is perfectly fine.. (As this guy is being pretty open as to what he's charged, and how he's going to handle it.) The life on these lenses just has to be at it's very end..

Otherwise why sell it? Just keep it renting out.. Just my opinion.



Sep 04, 2013 at 07:43 PM
RoyC
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Lens authority... Anyone?


RCicala, which is worse on your rentals, the customer or two trips with the "Dropped Twice Kicked Once" shipping company for each rental?


Sep 04, 2013 at 08:07 PM
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