Posted by: In: Camera Equipment, Hardware 23 Apr 2013 1 comment Tags: , ,
See the Fuji X-E1 on Amazon

Fuji X-E1 in black with the kit zoom

So as you may have guessed from my buying second hand gear post, I’ve sold off all my DSLR Equipment and bought into the Fuji X System. It was a tough decision, but I’m not getting any younger and the weight of a magnesium alloy body and either the 24-105 or the 70-200L were just too much. I’d done a lot of reading here, here and here and read the reviews here and here (link overload!!) as well as many others and the glowing review of the X Trans sensor and the new lenses really sold me on the Fuji system. Oh – and the cameras look gorgeous!!

X-E1 vs X-Pro 1

This is a tough decision. The X-Pro 1 is a bigger and heavier camera (all-metal). It feels more substantial in your hands. It has the (hybrid) optical viewfinder (OVF) as well as an (EVF) electronic (the X-E1 is purely electronic but reviews state it’s “better” than the X-Pro 1). It has a slightly larger LCD than the X-E1 and it has a PC Sync port as well as a locking shutter speed dial. Downside – it costs 67% more than the X-E1. I tried both in the shop and really couldn’t justify the price difference. If you’re in the same dilemma, and used to OVF with a DSLR for example, I strongly suggest you try both before committing. The X-E1+18-55 kit deal makes this price difference even wider. I went the “try-before-you-buy” route, preferring to pay a bit more for the customer service and physical handling of the camera rather than going the internet route. God help me – I’m English and it would just be plain rude to try the camera, leave the shop, then buy from someone cheaper. As it happens, Chester Camera Solutions price-matched the 35mm against Amazon and WEX prices. Their X-E1 kit was only £50 more than the cheapest online option, so I didn’t end up paying that much extra in the end. For me, I preferred the physical customer service and the guys in Chester are wonderfully helpful!

Hardware

So I walked away with the X-E1 body and the kit 18-55 lens as well as the 35mm f1.4 and the 14mm f2.8. If I hadn’t promised to shoot my daughters prom in May, I may well have taken the X-Pro 1, the 35mm f1.4 and the 14mm f2.8 and plumped for the cashback deal but the versatility of the kit zoom tipped me over the edge.

The Camera

The look of the X-E1 is simply gorgeous. It’s truly a beautiful camera and I actually care about it, unlike my feelings for my bulky plain 50D. It’s got proper nobs for Aperture and Shutter Speed (though the lack of Aperture markings on the kit zoom is a bit of a let-down). The instruction book is..well.. an instruction book. It helps when you’re looking for stuff in the menu, but to be perfectly honest, the menu structure is far more user friendly than my 50D was.

The camera feels solid in my hands, if a little small. But downsizing was one of the reasons I switched to this, so complaining about the size seems ridiculous. Having used the camera for a while, I have got used to it, although I think I’ll benefit from a grip just for a bit more stability. Button access is great, but I’ve noticed one problem straight away. I was very used to having aperture and shutter speed at my thumb-tip on the 50D, and if you’re in full manual mode on the X-E1, you need to look at the camera top down to change the settings. This changes my shooting style and slows me right down – which is a good thing. I have found a few ways around this to speed things up though and I’ll discuss those in “thoughts from a manual user” below.

The X-E1 Lenses

35mm f1.4

Link to Amazon for the 35mm

Fuji 35mm f1.4 lens with hood

The lenses are beautifully crafted as you’d expect and the 35mm f1.4 is perfectly sized for the camera but I miss the focus distance scale. However, if you’re not a zone shooter, I doubt this will bother you. The added benefit of an on-screen distance meter is handy to replace that though. The lens hood is good quality and looks quite spiffy. Looks aren’t everything though, as the hood won’t reverse and slip onto the lens for storage. It’s a bit annoying because the lens cap is difficult to add/remove with the hood on, so you’ll find yourself removing and adding the hood quite a bit. Quality wise the lens is amazing. I rarely shot wide open on my Canon 50mm f1.4 mainly because focus was so hard to hit, but the AF on this camera with this lens seems lovely. It doesn’t matter to me, because I love hearing the shutter “snick” without the mirror slap so I take a few in case I missed my focus. I’m shooting far more at f1.4 than I thought I would because the images produced are so beautiful. Some people have stated that the AF on the 35 is slow. As an amateur user, I haven’t noticed this to be honest, but if this is a potential issue for you – I’d suggest further reading.

18-55mm f2.8-4

The kit zoom has a few issues and really the only thing going for it (hardware wise) is the versatility of the zoom. I much prefer the 35mm for standard work and am happy to use my feet. Here’s why. First, as mentioned above, the aperture ring has no markings. You have to use the screen to determine what your aperture is. Also, it’s dead easy to knock while you’re turning the zoom ring which is yet another pain. It’s a diminutive lens, and if you’ve got a reversed lens hood on there, you need nimble fingers to operate the zoom without operating the aperture by accident. I’m sure I’ll get used to it with time, but the lack of markings on the barrel is not fun. Maybe it is designed for people who don’t care about apertures and just want to point and shoot, in which case it’s a decent lens because you can turn everything to auto and let the camera decide.

14mm f2.8

Yum yum. This is my landscape lens and like the other lenses in the range, it looks lovely. One minor user issue was not realising that the focussing ring locks (and ships in the locked position!) so if you’re not used to it (like me) you may find yourself thinking you have a broken lens. Slide the focusing ring back towards the camera body and you’re rewarded with a physical focussing scale. This is a wide angle lens (21mm equivalent) with a relatively small filter diameter of 58mm. It’s quite bulky compared to the 18mm lens in the same range, but that manual focus scale, and manual focus lock are well worth the extra pennies (as well as the extra 4mm). As a landscape photographer, I can set my focus distance to 6 feet, and lock the lens. At f8, I know that everything I point the lens at will be sharp from about 3.5 feet to infinity. Job done.

Image Quality

I came from a 50D which, to be brutally honest, wasn’t that great in low light. I can say that now because the X-E1 is astounding compared to the SLR. Shooting at ISOs over 1000 is “normal” and with the 35mm f1.4 lens, you can shoot in near pitch black with amazing quality. The bokeh on the 1.4 is also beautiful. Lovely soft out of focus areas and pin sharp quality on the resulting images really makes me smile. And that’s good enough for me. I’m not a pixel peeper and am not going to sit and compare RAW images side by side to the 50D.

JPEG vs RAW

I’d read that in-camera jpegs were pretty decent so I broke the habit of a lifetime and started shooting jpegs rather than RAW. It’a  good job really, because at the time of writing, non Fuji treatment of RAW files was getting some pretty awful reviews. Also, I have Lightroom 3.6 at the time of writing, and there is no support (I can find) for the X-E1 RAW files. Shooting in RAW has been my one photographic rule since I started with digital photography, and changing this attitude has once again proved to be a freeing experience. It’s much more like my film experience. Shoot and live with the results. This is all down to personal preference though and so I won’t blather on about this further.

Starting Settings

xe1 shootingmenuxe1 playbackOut of the box and charged up, there were a few changes to make initially. There are two main menu structures in the X-E1. The first is when you’re in “shooting” mode, and the second is when you’re reviewing your images (Playback mode). Both allow access to three “generic” settings menus (the blue ones with the spanner icon). You can pretty much easily get to any setting on the camera very quickly. Some settings are greyed out when they’re not applicable. Image stabilisation for example can’t be controlled without an IS lens on the camera.

  1. I started by disabling the sound (Spanner-1, Silent Mode “on”) but that made it so the flash stopped working. Instead, I went to Operation Volume (spanner-2) and turned the volume down to zero. It had the same effect but my flash now works.
  2. Then I updated the firmware! Fuji firmware applies to both lenses and bodies, so I had three updates to do. One for the body and one each for the lenses. (Link to the Fuji firmware update site)

Third, I went to Camera-3 and went into the Disp. Custom Setting menu. This allowed me to turn off a lot of distracting information in the display. In the interest of removing more distractions, I went into camera-2 and turned Image Disp. off which removed the image preview after each shot.

The rest of my settings were specific to shooting in semi-manual mode.

Thoughts from a Manual User

I shot in Manual on my 50D with shutter speed on the top wheel and aperture on the back wheel. ISO was set (often) prior to shooting. Total control without an eye leaving the viewfinder. I also shot back-button focussing.

Moving to the X-E1 was a real change! However after a lot of internet reading and playing about, I think I’ve found my ideal setup. Sharing here really to help others in a similar situation, but beware that this is not a “standard settings” instructional post – this is what works best for me (so far!)

Aperture is set via the focus ring on the lens (manual). I like to have total control over depth of field.

Shutter speed set to “A”. I was concerned about this because it meant losing control, however, setting the shutter speed manually meant losing the Exposure Compensation wheel (it does nothing in full manual mode). Turning the shutter speed wheel with your eye in the viewfinder is also very clumsy. There is minor control on the back of the camera (3×1/3 stop’s worth of shutter speed in either direction) but if you’re moving from high to low lit scenes (bright sun to shade) quickly, or if you’re just lazy, it can be a pain to change settings.

Setting the shutter speed to “A” may sound less purist, but it does allow use of the exposure compensation wheel with your thumb (+/- 2 stops) for better fine control.

ISO set to AUTO6400. Not having this feature on my DSLR, (or I never found it!) I didn’t know what this did. Apparently, the AUTO bit means that the ISO auto adjusts to expose for your scene. If you imagine the “correctly exposed scene” as a set of scales with three weights. ISO, Aperture & Shutter speed. The camera sets Aperture according to what you’ve got on the barrel. It sets the shutter speed to at least the value you’ve got on the shutter speed dial, and the ISO is then set to “balance” the exposure. As an example: I have Aperture f11, Shutter speed 1/125 and AUTO6400 ISO. Point at a sunny scene and the ISO auto sets to 200. Point at a very dark scene and it leaps to ISO 4000. If the shutter speed is set to “A”, then the camera seems to shoot at the lowest shutter speed it thinks is ok in order to keep the ISO down and seems to roughly correspond to the reciprocal of the 35mm equivalent focal distance (so the 35mm lens seems to allow a minimum shutter speed of 1/52sec before raising the ISO)

The problem with this very nifty feature is that the AUTO ISO is set when you half press the shutter (for focus). So if you focus on something dark, your exposure is locked to that too. The only way around this is to set the AE-L/AE-F button to “AE-L” only and make it an on/off switch (AE Lock mode to “S”). So now you can point at your metering point, press the AE-L/AF-L button to lock exposure, recompose, half press the shutter to focus on your subject, then recompose again (if necessary) and shoot. It sounds like a pain but I’ve got used to it quite quickly.

The last thing that’s mystifying me at the moment, is how (and why!) when I set the lens to Manual focus (the 35 1.4) I can use the AE-L/AF-L button to auto-focus! This is back button focus effectively, but my metering method is now broken. Something I clearly need to play with a bit more as I can’t find a way to have AE lock in Manual focus mode.

X-E1 Summary

Shooting with the X-E1 has actually slowed me down with my landscape shooting. With my 50D it was very easy to meter for the grass, focus at 2-3m, recompose then shoot. Not having this as easy on the X-E1 slows me right down and makes me think about my composition. This is really helpful and more often than not, I end up at home with 1 or 2 shots of a scene rather than 10. And those 1 or 2 are far superior. General shooting (portraits etc) is obviously vastly quicker as I can lock exposure, choose the aperture I want and let the camera take care of the shutter speed. It does have a tendancy on AUTO ISO to try and keep the ISO down resulting in lower shutter speeds, but setting the shutter speed on the camera (for example) to 1/125 prevents the shutter speed from falling below that. You do lose AE-Lock though and therefore need to meter for your shutter speed.

It is wonderful having a portable camera again. And I love the design. I’m very much looking forward to the pancake 27mm for ultimate portability and the 23mm f1.4 for that true 35mm feel. I do miss my 24mm prime for my Canon.

Moving down from several kg of kit to less weight than a mug of coffee, I’ve truly noticed the difference. There has also been an upward movement in quality of images, although I have to say – I’m still the same photographer as I always was. The X-E1 won’t make you a better photographer, but it will make you feel like one 🙂

Update (September 2013) : I’ve recently written a new post about my thoughts after six months. You can read it here.

Further Reading

If you want to read more about the Fuji X system and/or find out more specifically about this camera and its foibles as well as keep up on recent firmware upgrades, you could try…

Fuji X Series forums

Fuji X Forum

Free Fuji X-E1 Photographers Guidebook 

Fuji X-E1 Flickr Group

 

My 1st Fuji-X Gallery

Ian.

Image of a home made welding glass filter

10 stop filter made from welding glass (from a popular auction site), plumbing tape, and a cokin filter holder.

So my time has come! I’ve got to that age where lugging around a DSLR and big Canon L lenses is just too much for me now. I have quite a collection of  lenses and I want to downsize. but how do I best go about that?

There are several routes to consider, and in the interest of impartiality, I want to state up front that none of the links in this post carry any affilliate marketing. Buying and selling photographic gear can be difficult when you read reviews that want you to jump a certain way. My caveat here is that all prices will likely fluctuate as this post ages. This is more about the process than the price, so please bear that in mind!

Buying

Photographic gear is expensive once you move into the realms of detachable lenses. It’s undoubtedly also a minefield… What are your options? It depends on what you’re buying. Are you after a camera body, a lens, a tripod, or other gear? When looking to save money, sometimes it’s possible to come up with solutions that are a little cheaper than buying the expensive good stuff. My example here of an ND filter made from welding glass (I think it cost £1), some plumbing tape to cut out the light, and a cokin p series filter holder shows how you can spend a lot less than £90 for a “Big Stopper”.

Image of a home made negative scanner

Neg scanner made from a 50mm f1.8 (52mm filter size essential!), extension tube, toilet roll tube and some paper…

Likewise, my other illustrative image in this post is of my neg scanner. A 50mm f1.8 (great, good value, prime lens for photography) an extension tube (the cheap man’s macro alternative), a toilet roll and some creative origami can save you a lot of £££’s. Of course, I had the 50 and the extension tubes lying around, so I was lucky.

Of course there is no true home made solution for a Canon 85mm f1.2 prime lens, so there is no real option but to pay the money!

Buying from a physical shop

This is what we did in the olden days. The only way to buy something was to go out to a shop and part with cash to receive the goods. The advantage of buying in a physical shop is that you can get advice before you buy, and you can generally actually touch what you’re going to buy. Many many people will say that if you’re buying a new camera body, go to a shop and see how it feels in your hands. Weight, ergonomics, usability and build quality are all hard to quantify on the internet! Also, if you’re undecided between several products (Canon or Nikon for example) getting your hands on the item makes all the difference. The difference in weight (for example) and build quality between a Sigma lens or a Canon lens might make a difference. You could also take a memory card down to a shop, and shoot some images to the card with different lenses/bodies then go home and pixel peep to decide for yourself which is the one for you. Finally – if something goes wrong, you actually have people you can go and see about it.

Of course – buying from a shop has disadvantages. It might be inconvenient if you have to travel a long way, and almost certainly will be more expensive. Physical shops have overheads like sales staff, business rates, shop rental, heating and other expenses. They have to make more of a profit than an e-shop because they have more costs. This “expense” is often why we see so many camera shops shutting down, and only the big guns like John Lewis, and PC World can keep going because of their diversity. Poor Jessops. I like buying from a shop. I know I’m not getting the best price, but I am getting a service from a real person, and I don’t like to see the high street closing shops left right & centre. That said though – an extra £20 for a tripod head in a shop isn’t too bad, but an extra £200 for a top of the range DSLR is a little more serious. As a buyer, you need to weigh up the benefits and disadvantages.

Buying from a UK based Photographic Retailer

Camerapricebuster.co.ukThere are several online retailers that specialise in photographic equipment. Some are extremely good, and some are terrible. Some will pass themselves off as UK retailers when in fact they are not – and are just PO boxes for far eastern companies. It can be a bit of a minefield out there, so research is your friend. Simply typing in the company and the word “review” into your favourite search engine will, more often than not, deliver results that are informative.

My starting point (in the UK) is Camerapricebuster. It’s an excellent resource for price comparison of photographic equipment and tries to list UK stock suppliers rather than “grey” importers. Clicking on on the item you want will bring up a list of suppliers along with the price. It’s an extremely handy site – not just for finding cheap prices, but for getting an idea of the range of prices you can expect to pay for your gear. It also gives you an immediate rough evaluation of your own kit too.

If you are planning to spend serious money, it’s well worth setting up a spreadsheet to keep track of everything. I tend to have a list of items down one side of the sheet, with columns for each vendor and their prices. As someone who is about to start selling quite a bit of 2nd hand gear, and buy a new camera and lenses, keeping track of all the prices really helps.

Buying from a UK stockist means that you don’t have to deal with import duty and you get a full UK warranty if anything goes wrong. Internet based shops are usually cheaper than physical ones because of lower overheads. One of these overheads though is usually staff, and some online shops don’t have a great customer service. Here – a search engine is your friend as you can research those companies with better service. More often than not – their prices will be slightly higher. Some physical shops also have an online presence, and this can be a bit more reassuring for a nervous buyer. Again though, their prices may not be as competitive as other purely-online outfits. Lastly, it’s always worth checking some big named, but not primarily photographic retailers. Places like Asda, Argos and Tesco all sell photographic equipment and sometimes will clear their stock to free up space. There has been an occasional bargain to be found! (Asda selling a 650D + kit lens for £483 for example)

Buying from a non-UK Retailer

Buying a “grey import” (a non-UK model) is awash with controversy. You’re getting your gear at (for example) Hong Kong prices and paying a UK fronted company in £’s. Research again is your dear friend here, as there are several potential pitfalls alongside the far superior prices you might expect. Some companies do very well selling “grey” stock and have an excellent reputation, but it’s a definite case of “buyer beware”. Small print exclusions such as the buyer possibly having to pay for import duty may increase your costs beyond your expectation. It’s another case of risk vs cost and my personal experience of buying “grey” was not good. I was lucky because I paid for my goods with a credit card and was able to get my money refunded through them. If you are considering using a popular auction site for your purchase, you may also want to run the seller through a search engine first. Feedback ratings can be misleading!

Buying Second Hand

Second hand is a great way to get hold of both accessories and lenses & bodies. People upgrade or downgrade all the time, and if a new camera or lens is released that already has an existing “version” that sells well, you may find a glut of people trying to offload their old version so they can have the new shiny. Auctions sites are a go-to for this sort of thing, but many online and physical camera shops sell second hand equipment (usually at inflated prices). There are also photography forums that have “classified” sections where it’s possible to pick up some great bargains. The only thing to be wary of with second hand gear is that you really don’t know how it’s been used and in many cases don’t get any guarantees. All the warnings of buying second hand gear apply here!

Part-Exchange

If you’re dumping old gear and replacing, part-exchange may seem like good value. It certainly removes the hassle of selling your own stuff, but usually, you will be paying shop prices for your new gear, and getting second hand value minus shop profit margin for your stuff. Prices also vary WILDLY across various different part-exchange companies. My Canon 70-200 f2.8 (IS) mk 1 had offers from £350 to £850 from different shops! Yet another reason for setting up a spreadsheet for your buying/selling if you’re buying a lot of gear at once, or you buy and sell frequently.

A Real World Example

CameraPriceBusterAs I’ve been looking to buy a new camera recently, I can show a real-world example of this. Let’s take a Fuji X-E1 with a kit 18-55 lens. Camerapricebuster has this at £938 including postage & packing. It’s always good to check the top result if you’re considering it so off we go to Mathers to discover it’s a real shop in Lancashire. A dummy purchase taking me through to the checkout though shows me that they actually charge £15.95 for postage!!! (a bit cheeky, but still the cheapest out there) So that’s £945 from a UK dealer with UK stock. It’ll be the lowest risk.

The next check is with my local camera shop. It’s Sunday and it’s in Chester which is quite a drive, but I’m fairly sure it’ll be more expensive than the top 5 in the list. If I decide to go over there and look at their prices, I’ll make a decision then as to whether their service is worth the extra. A very brief check on one of the largest online shopping sites (has a river with the same name) shows the price as £949 delivered. Not a massive difference from the price above. For a laugh, I’ll see what our local PC World is doing it for and it’s up currently for £1,049. Not as bad as I expected!

Auction sites are the next step, and I’ll be checking second hand prices as well as new. I generally only use one auction site, and it’s the biggest. Filtering by “UK Only”, I get a couple of second hand prices. An auction currently at £760 for an “it’s just not for me” person and a “Buy It Now” of £825 for someone who won his in a competition. I want brand new, so looking further down the list I can see that the only brand new UK stock is going for £949 – £999. This is no cheaper than buying from Amazon, so I’ll stick with the big boys for now.

Unclicking the “UK Only” option lets the importers into the mix and immediately I start to see price improvements. a Hong Kong import for £738. The small print  states that I may be responsible for import duty on this which doesn’t bode well. Looking through the negative feedback and I see one person who left bad feedback because they did get caught. Other negative feedbacks all have the same response of “it was a system error, sorry”. The exact same response!

So there we go. I can now go down to my local camera shop armed with the following knowledge (prices include delivery):

  • Mathers (UK Camera shop) £945
  • Amazon £949
  • PC World £1049
  • Auction Site (new UK) £949
  • Auction site (new import) £738
  • Auction site (second hand) £825

This is sort of what I was expecting. Prices tend to follow the trend of Big High Street Electronics Chain>High Street Photography Specialist>Large Internet Company>Internet Photography Specialist>Internet Grey Importer>Auction site (import) = auction site (second hand). I would expect things that are readily available second hand (the X-E1 is quite new) to be more readily available on auction sites.

In my mind, if my shop can do a deal for £950 – £1,000 and maybe throw in a spare battery or memory card, I’ll get it from them because that extra is worth the peace of mind of a physical shop for returns/problems/servicing as well as the ability to actually play with one before I buy. Plus, I like the people who work there and feel as though shops in high streets are important. If the price is over £1,000 though I’d have to think very hard.

Selling

So how do we fund this money for a new camera? In my case – the only way to fund it is by selling off my gear. We’ve already discussed part exchange and the only benefits to this is the time saved by not having to “list” everything out for an auction site or a forum as well as the pain of postage.

Selling on an auction site

Well it’s popular, that’s for sure! It’s also expensive. If you’re new to selling on auction sites (I’m really just talking about the big one but trying not to endorse it :)) it can be quite daunting. In most cases, the worst that can happen is that your buyer doesn’t like what they bought and they have to return it. I’ve only had that problem once, and we just negotiated a price discount rather than go through the returns policy. It’s unlikely you’ll hit a snag as long as you don’t try to hide any defects in the equipment you’re selling. If you try and sell a lens (for example) that’s got marks or scratches on it, and you don’t mention it, you could be facing a disgruntled seller. Think about it from your point of view – how would you feel to get what you thought was a pristine lens, only to find it dinged and scratched.

There are many schools of thought regarding your strategy when selling. The fear of having something go for 99p that’s worth far more is always a risk, but that’s mitigated by having a “Buy It Now” price, or simply starting your auction at the minimum price you’d accept. 99p auctions get far more watchers though. Lots of people sniffing for a bargain! The best thing to do is check the price of items similar to yours. Let’s work through an example. I am looking to sell my Canon 50D. I have a battery grip and a spare battery which I’m happy to bundle in. I hit search and filter by “Completed Listings” and “Digital Cameras”. Boxed ones are going for £340-£350 and one with a grip (and the kit 18-55 lens) sold for £440 and another with just a grip sold for a surprising £460. At this point, I’m thinking I may get around £400 for mine. My part-ex offer for those of you with a sense of humour was £175!!

The auction site will charge 10% of my final sale price plus I have to pay 3.4% for the payment process that’s not very pal-like 🙁 Out of the £400, I will walk away with £346 if it sells for £400. Of course, I could use a local buy/sell/classified magazine, or even advertise in the post office window. A shopping search on my search engine reveals a lot of camera shops selling second hand 50Ds for anything from £350 to £450, so walking away with £400 might not be beyond the realms of possibility (mine has a grip & a battery!). That means though, on an auction site, I need to get £450 which is unlikely… You can begin to see now that there is a degree of effort involved here. Most of all though, you need to consider the cost of selling on an auction site because when you’re selling high-value items, the cost does mount up and you don’t get to actually see what you sold it for.

All this research is best documented in a spreadsheet of some sort so you can get an idea of the money you’re likely to make.

ScreenShot003The example above shows all my “stuff” listed with the new price, a couple of quotes from second hand dealers who would part exchange with me, and auction site values both before and after fees. This then allows me to determine three different prices. The first is my “offer” price. This is what I start with when advertising locally or on forums. The Accept price is where I say “yes” and if someone comes in with a really lowball offer, the “worst” price is the bare minimum of what I want to get. Anything less than that and I pull the auction, or refuse to sell.

Looking at things in this way gives you a good picture of how much your equipment is worth. It’s also worth remembering that things like flashguns, memory cards, extra batteries, filters (UV as well as specialised ones) can often be used to “sweeten” a deal, or to “throw in” as part of a package. If you’re changing your system completely, you’ll need to be rid of it all anyway.

Selling Elsewhere

Selling locally can be a little more lucrative and safer. If you receive cash for your goods, you know that if the buyer claims “problems!”, you can’t have the money taken off you. It’s not quite as quick though! In the UK, I used Preloved and Loot to place free ads for my stuff and sold quite a few items with these sites. I’m also a member of a photography forum that has it’s own classified section, but they know the eBay prices and will almost certainly hammer a deal out! One thing to beware of when selling through a system like this is people who want to “transfer” the money to you and get you to post to another country. Typically they will use a system such as Paypal which is heavily weighted towards the buyer and if the buyer claims (falsely) that the goods were broken. One example a friend told me of, was a Nikon lens that was sent to eastern Europe. The buyer paid a large amount of money for postage and to “compensate” the seller for having to post abroad. When it was sent however, the buyer claimed the lens was “broken” so the seller asked for the lens to be returned. The buyer then returned an empty box (which was signed for by the unsuspecting seller) and because there was now proof of return, Paypal refunded the money. The seller lost out on the money and the lens in one swoop.

Lastly, if someone is coming to your house to buy some equipment, offer to let them try it out first. That covers you if they get home and start saying it doesn’t work.

Negotiating

Not something that us Brits are that good at, but when setting a sale price for your item, it’s always worth setting the price higher than the price you’re prepared to accept. This allows wiggle room for negotiating. Don’t be afraid to offer to meet halfway on an offer price, and don’t be afraid to simply say “no”. Stay polite though, and you may find people will be willing to up their offer. Once you have an idea of the 2nd hand prices for your gear, you’ll have a much better idea of how silly or serious these offers are.

If you do have any other tips, please feel free to comment below!

Ian.

Posted by: In: Just Chat 02 Apr 2013 0 comments Tags: , ,

Spam shoes... A two in one deal...I‘ve just been checking my blog for comments and I have over a hundred and fifty comments now in about a week. All of it is spam…

You know what I mean by spam right? These are the comments that make very little sense and are stuffed with links to other websites. More often than not – they are footwear based sites.

Initially, it annoyed me – mainly because I had to go through and delete hundreds of emails asking me to moderate bad comments. That was until I discovered Askimet – a free (for personal use!) WordPress plugin that catches rogue spam. Now all I need to do is have a read through the comments to double check they aren’t spam, then hit the “Delete Spam” button.

So if you’re suffering with lots of spam comments on WordPress, give Askimet a go. After all, reading through all that spam isn’t very interesting is it…? Just in case I deleted some in error though, I thought I’d respond to the ones that weren’t too obviously spam in this post. I’m sorry I deleted your valuable contributions!

The next time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this 1. I mean, I know it was my selection to read, but I in fact thought youd have some thing fascinating to say. All I hear is often a bunch of whining about some thing that you simply could fix for those who werent too busy searching for attention.

I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy my post. I didn’t enjoy your lack of apostrophes much, but that’s ok, we’re all different. I’m so glad to see that you felt better 12 minutes later when you sent this…

Wonderful Post.thanks for share..more wait.

Another reader has recently been on holiday and seems to be regretful that another blogger of similar style is away from his/her computer at the moment.

Last a few years has been to Ibiza, so met a person there whose style of presentation is very similar to yours. But, unfortunately, that person is too far from the Internet!…

It’s hard to imagine being too far from the internet in this day & age. I feel for you sir, I really do.

Thanks designed for sharing such a fastidious thinking, article is fastidious, thats why i have read it entirely

You’re welcome. This reminds me of being at school and in an English lesson, being tasked with the problem of coming up with a sentence with the word “fascinate” in it. Cautiously, I replied – “I have nine buttons on my coat, but I can only fasten eight.” Thankyou again for allowing me to relive that memory.

kidding, who eats donuts?

I do. It’s better than eating paint. Far safer, and at least my sentences make sense within the context of my posts.

They think just like flip-flops. I would really like Hxxxxx Bags reduced i never like they can stoop downward all of the time thus i will need to drag Hxxxxx Bags way up usually. Furthermore, they drag my own footwear downward, some other downer.

The number for emergency services is in your phone book. When you call be sure to have the tablets you took close to hand so that you can tell them what medicines you’ve taken. And no – eating flip-flops can’t get you high.

Have a good Easter!