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KEH Grading

  
 
karimnasser
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · KEH Grading


I saw a Leica for sale at KEH graded as Excellent. I was about to buy it when I decided to take a look at their grading system. Apparently Excellent is one level right above Bargain, which I find *very* deceiving to say the least. Although KEH does provide you with a link to see their grading system, I still find the grading system very sneaky. Excellent in any context is excellent, meaning better than good, better than very good, and definitely NOT one level above Bargain. Any thoughts?

https://www.keh.com/shop/grading-system



Sep 12, 2023 at 09:49 PM
RustyRus
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · KEH Grading


You posted the link that shows exactly how they grade. They reference that in multiple areas along the buying process.

They couldn't be more above board. They are open and transparent about it. My thoughts are they are a very trustworthy and excellent resource.



Sep 12, 2023 at 10:52 PM
madNbad
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · KEH Grading


KEH has a longstanding return policy. If the gear isn’t up to your expectations, return it. Returns and refunds take time but it’s an option. The grading system began to change when the Grant family sold their controlling interest. I remember, in the early years, anxiously awaiting the mimeograph sheet with the latest listing.
I just bought a grip listed as “Bargain” for my M4-2, other than not having the original box, it looks new.



Sep 12, 2023 at 11:36 PM
runamuck
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · KEH Grading


I have bought "bargain" in the past and wondered where KEH found a fault


Sep 13, 2023 at 12:08 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · KEH Grading


karimnasser wrote:
Apparently Excellent is one level right above Bargain, which I find *very* deceiving to say the least.


This is normal.

I've bought cameras and/or lenses from KEH eighteen times in the past twenty years (just checked my records). Many of these items were 'Bargain', and not one of them was 'ugly' or unusable in any way.

If you want to complain about something, I suggest you consider how high the shipping rates have become.



Sep 13, 2023 at 06:09 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · KEH Grading


When I bought from KEH > 15 years ago, I was able to get bargain lenses which now would be rated EX or even EX+. This suddenly changed drastically after they moved their facility - the rating system flipped the other way around, now what is rated excellent is often not much better than what was in the past bargain. I pretty much stopped buying from KEH after making a few bad experiences - only smaller gear accessory parts rarely if I can't find them anywhere else. But no lenses nor cameras for sure.


Sep 13, 2023 at 06:57 AM
ottokbre
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · KEH Grading


MPB and Used Photo Pro provide more useful information than KEH for me. But I haven't been disappointed with KEH either. I once bought a Bargain condition Bronica and it was very well used but fully functional and not dented or anything. But I have also bought Bargain condition stuff that made me question why it wasn't rated higher. Maybe its having photos of the actual product.

Leica's are not super common so you find what you can find.

Edited on Sep 13, 2023 at 11:48 AM · View previous versions



Sep 13, 2023 at 11:26 AM
thedruid
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · KEH Grading


The last item I bought form KEH was graded as EXC+, a lens, when it arrived it looked like crap, paint chipped off all over, definitely not EXC+ in my opinion. Of course I could return it but it's a hassle and a waste of almost two weeks. UsedPhotopro has been my go to since, they also include a 5% discount code when you buy something so pays for some of your state tax charge. I've done some MPB too but their shipping seems to go by donkey.


Sep 13, 2023 at 11:47 AM
retrofocus
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · KEH Grading


ottokbre wrote:
Leica's are not super common so you find what you can find.


Leica's used market is actually one of the biggest in photo brands due to their long history and adaptability to even modern cameras. Much more tricky part here is to find "good" deals for gear in very good condition. This takes a bit of searching, being at the right time and at the right place (related to Craigslist and Marketplace), and patience. If it comes to Leica, there are sites I avoid (I mention ebay here for example since deals there seem always at the high end and often more risky) and others I tend to have a regular look at (not mentioning any here for obvious reasons).



Sep 13, 2023 at 11:48 AM
ottokbre
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · KEH Grading


retrofocus wrote:
Leica's used market is actually one of the biggest in photo brands due to their long history and adaptability to even modern cameras. Much more tricky part here is to find "good" deals for gear in very good condition. This takes a bit of searching, being at the right time and at the right place (related to Craigslist and Marketplace), and patience. If it comes to Leica, there are sites I avoid (I mention ebay here for example since deals there seem always at the high end and often more risky) and others I tend to have a regular look
...Show more

Yeah you got a point there.

I got my M4 off Facebook Leica Group. It was very risky but I followed every precaution to a tee and managed to nab one for the price of an M3 DS. It took patience though.



Sep 13, 2023 at 11:51 AM
 


Search in Used Dept. 

retrofocus
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · KEH Grading


thedruid wrote:
The last item I bought form KEH was graded as EXC+, a lens, when it arrived it looked like crap, paint chipped off all over, definitely not EXC+ in my opinion. Of course I could return it but it's a hassle and a waste of almost two weeks. UsedPhotopro has been my go to since, they also include a 5% discount code when you buy something so pays for some of your state tax charge. I've done some MPB too but their shipping seems to go by donkey.


UsedPhotoPro has been my #1 choice for many years until it was hyped up online by YouTube influencers. Good deals since have faded and prices went steeply up. But I agree, service and reliability is still very good there. Bought many lenses there, and only had to return one where the aperture ring was misaligned to the wrong f-stop.



Sep 13, 2023 at 11:51 AM
thedruid
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · KEH Grading


Another issue with KEH is no photos of actual item and no clicks on bodies, how they get away with today is beyond me. Imagine buying a used car with new stock photos and unknown mileage 🤨


Sep 13, 2023 at 11:55 AM
Steve Spencer
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · KEH Grading


thedruid wrote:
The last item I bought form KEH was graded as EXC+, a lens, when it arrived it looked like crap, paint chipped off all over, definitely not EXC+ in my opinion. Of course I could return it but it's a hassle and a waste of almost two weeks. UsedPhotopro has been my go to since, they also include a 5% discount code when you buy something so pays for some of your state tax charge. I've done some MPB too but their shipping seems to go by donkey.


I think your experience is fairly unusual. I actually find Bargain rated lenses at KEH to be an overly broad category with everything like the lens you describe to lenses that seem in fantastic condition. My take has been they don't want to spend much time evaluating lenses or arguing about the rating so they rate lots of lenses as Bargain condition so they don't have to put much work into grading them nor have to worry about people complaining. I am quite surprised your lens was not rated as "Bargain," which it sound like it was. Still if if functions as I would expect with no impact on image quality I wouldn't send it back either. I can live with an ugly lens or two as long as it produces the images I want and I have no immediate plans to sell it.



Sep 13, 2023 at 01:01 PM
thedruid
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · KEH Grading


The lens was a Leica 35mm f2 cron recent version rated Exc+ and came with paint wear and chips on the barrel. Upon calling I received a pleasant sorry about that send it back, which I did. I've been around the used photo market here for over 30 years and bought and sold dozens of items privately on B/S forums and via KEH,Usedphotopro, B+H, Adorama and MPB.

When I'm paying above market price, as they charge compared to the competition, I expect the grade to match the condition. This lens was not available at the time anywhere else so I ponied up the extra $. We can only go by our own experiences, just like reviews saying a restaurant has always been top notch, but I go and get a bad meal.



Sep 13, 2023 at 01:22 PM
genjy
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · KEH Grading


KEH is very good with its return policy. It really is no hassle... you just say you wish to return the gear and it will send you a shipping label. I find KEH to be best for those obscure, rare-ish accessories.



Sep 13, 2023 at 01:46 PM
BPsmith511
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · KEH Grading


ottokbre wrote:
MPB and Used Photo Pro provide more useful information than KEH for me. But I haven't been disappointed with KEH either. I once bought a Bargain condition Bronica and it was very well used but fully functional and not dented or anything. But I have also bought Bargain condition stuff that made me question why it wasn't rated higher. Maybe its having photos of the actual product.

Leica's are not super common so you find what you can find.


That's one of the reasons I prefer MPB. Prices just as good or better and actual photos of the items.



Sep 13, 2023 at 01:59 PM
thedruid
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · KEH Grading


Try hiring some eager kid, like me when I was 16, wow that would have been a dream job, to photograph your inventory. Show me a few images of the condition of what I'm buying. Helps rule out unwanted returns, streamline to grow, a catchphrase used at a place of employment back in the day.
Not a lot to ask for a business that deals in used gear only.



Sep 13, 2023 at 05:19 PM
theHUN
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · KEH Grading


runamuck wrote:
I have bought "bargain" in the past and wondered where KEH found a fault


This is what I keep reading - that KEH ratings are very conservative.



Sep 13, 2023 at 08:45 PM
theHUN
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · KEH Grading


thedruid wrote:
Another issue with KEH is no photos of actual item and no clicks on bodies, how they get away with today is beyond me. Imagine buying a used car with new stock photos and unknown mileage 🤨


That's what the return policy is for.

An example from another used vendor: MPB sold me an "excellent" A7R3. When I sent it out for monochrome conversion, the vendor performing the conversion pointed out that the inside of the body had significant corrosion, likely from water damage.

Dealing with used gear is difficult.



Sep 13, 2023 at 08:52 PM
genjy
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · KEH Grading


thedruid wrote:
Try hiring some eager kid, like me when I was 16, wow that would have been a dream job, to photograph your inventory. Show me a few images of the condition of what I'm buying. Helps rule out unwanted returns, streamline to grow, a catchphrase used at a place of employment back in the day.
Not a lot to ask for a business that deals in used gear only.


KEH's Ebay store shows photos of the actual items... and it has thousands of listings going. Not sure why the main www site doesn't do the same.



Sep 13, 2023 at 08:54 PM
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