Thursday, October 28, 2010

Some Things Are Too Good To Be True

Hello readers, sorry I haven't written anything new in a while; for now I'm just trying to finish my incomplete posts (did you notice the addition of a few photos?).

Since I want better camera equipment (what photographer doesn't?) but don't have the money to simply go out and buy whatever I want, I've been looking for deals on Craigslist.  
There were three incredible-sounding deals I was interested in since seeing them several days ago:
1) A dubious-sounding listing for a new Canon 7D with an EF 25-135mm lens and extras for $550
2) A slightly less-dubious-sounding Canon EOS Rebel XSi for $200
3) A Canon 650 film camera and a Canon EF 50mm Mk I lens

The first is probably a hoax; I'm not sure how I'd have paid for the camera if it had turned out to be the real deal, since it was a South Carolina listing, but $550 for a kit that should cost more than $1500 ($1800 on Amazon, minus some of the stuff that the listing included) is a bit far-fetched, there was no photo, and the "seller" didn't get back to me.  Here's what the listing said: 
NEW Canon EOS 7D DSLR Body+18-135mm Kit +16GB CF+Gifts 
I suppose the "+ gifts" part is one of the strangest and most suspicious parts about it besides the price.
Some say, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is," and they're often right.  However, there's always the possibility of the once-in-a-lifetime steal...yep, this one would have been awesome...the 7D is an excellent camera (that I probably won't have the money to afford for a long time), takes HD video, and if I had the 18-135mm EF-S lens, I could sell my kit lens with my XS body.

The second one was also strange, although a used XSi camera body for $200 isn't quite as strange as the first one - I've seen a few listings for various items on Craigslist that were quite a bit cheaper than the others.  There also was no photo included with the listing, so I don't know much about that one either.
The description didn't sound as odd as the first one:
Canon EOS Rebel Xsi Body in excellent condition. Comes with case and neck strap-$200 obo response from the seller.

The third listing seemed quite plausible; here's what the seller wrote:
We have an old (20+ years) cannon [sic] EOS 650 camera with a cannon [sic] EF 50mm 1:1.8f lens.  Honestly I'm not certain if the camera works, but I assume the lens alone is worth at least what we're offering. $35 or best offer. 
Naturally, I wouldn't care about the 650 - I don't use film; the lens is what I was interested in.
When I first saw the listing, I thought the lens was the common 50mm 1.8 Mk II lens, and I thought that it was an excellent price, for a lens that sells for about $100 new.
Photo of 50mm 1.8 Mk I lens from Craigslist listing
However, I later looked over the photos again and realized that the lens is the 50 1.8 Mk II lens, an older, rarer, and better built lens than the Mk II version (newer is not always better), and one I'd recently found out about and wanted to get because it might feel like less of a toy than the Mk II lens and the 50mm 1.4 USM is too pricey for me to get for quite some time.  Plus, it's kind of rare, and having a rare item is kind of cool, I think.  Anyway, I looked at the photos, saw the focus distance "window" and metal mount ring and realized that this was the Mk I lens.  
Later that day, after seeing if we might be able to take a trip out to the Cary and Raleigh areas, where the sellers of the 50mm lens and XSi were located and getting an affirmative answer, I e-mailed the seller who had the Craigslist anonymous e-mail address.  
Make a guess what happened next.  You guessed it; absolutely nothing. 

Now if I had at least gotten a response from any of the sellers, telling me the item was sold, no longer for sale, etc., etc., I'd be disappointed (well, probably still really bummed) but not unhappy with the sellers.
As it is, I am displeased with what I consider to be a lack of common courtesy on their part to respond to my multiple e-mails expressing interest, as well as quite disappointed with the fact that I don't have the items (not only could I have used them, but I could have made money by selling my camera for, say, $350) and I probably won't find deals like that in the near future.  

Id there's one thing to learn from this, it's this:
If you have posted an item/items for sale and it is longer for sale due to it being sold (or whatever reason), mark it as sold if possible and reply to people who e-mail you expressing interest.   
-Max out

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