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Camera Shop ebay shenanigans - really not acceptable this time.
Old 5 Days Ago   #1
tunalegs
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Camera Shop ebay shenanigans - really not acceptable this time.

I have had a few experiences of things arriving in not as described condition. Where a seller, either out of ignorance, or carelessness failed to accurately describe an item or tried to hide a defect. You sort of expect this thing when buying something from somebody who has no idea about cameras. Well I'm dealing with a different problem now, which I feel is really indefensible given I bought from a camera shop over ebay.

I purchased a Welta TLR from Berger Bros. Cameras, and it arrived, inexplicably broken. I tried contacting them and got no reply.

Here's the issue, a photograph of the camera that appeared in the auction:


You can see the red window cover is controlled by a large button on the back of the camera. When I unpacked the camera, this button was inside of the viewfinder hood, and the screw was missing. The button wasn't loose in the box, nor was the screw loose in the box, so it didn't come off in transit from rough handling, etc. Whoever packed the camera must have placed the button under the viewfinder. Further, after thinking about it for a bit, I'm sure the screw didn't just go missing on its own. It's fairly likely it was removed (for whatever reason, maybe to use on another camera) before the camera was packed and posted. This seems to be an incredibly low thing to do, and then send a paid for item on its way. They probably know it, or they wouldn't be avoiding answering me.

Problem is, ebay's protection will only refund me if I send the camera back, which I would be very unhappy about doing as I bought it to replace a similar camera which was stolen out of my car a few years ago, and it's difficult to find one with the same lenses this one has.

It boggles my mind that a shop would do this, I wouldn't even expect an novice ebayer, completely ignorant about cameras to break something before sending it, send it anyway, and then ignore the buyer.

I might take it to the local repair guy and see if he can find a screw that fits, but I shouldn't really be hassled over something some other fool did. Has anybody else had something like this happen? Where a camera was obviously broken between the time it was sold and the time it was posted off?
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Old 5 Days Ago   #2
rybolt
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Call them. Ask for Brad. They have a bricks and mortar store and have been around for a long time. Many times a store will have one employee who handles Ebay sales. If this guy screwed this up he may be the one person who is ignoring you. Making Brad Berger aware of the problem could help get it taken care of or at least keep other buyers from going through what you're experiencing.
I'm not defending what they did; simply offering advice on getting it resolved.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
I purchased a Welta TLR from Berger Bros. Cameras, and it arrived, inexplicably broken. I tried contacting them and got no reply.

Quote:
Welta Peerflekta II w/ ROW Pololyt 75mm 3.5 lens mounted in a Vebur shutter (B, 1~1/250sec). Leatherette peeling in lower right corner, focus stiff but working. Aperture blades are free from oil. Please note this camera has not been tested with film. Due to fragile nature of this collectible it is being sold AS-IS.
Well, the guy who probably needed the screw for something else will defend themself that it's not their fault, but the camera's «fragility», I suppose …
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Old 5 Days Ago   #4
aicardi
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^^
If there were missing, or loose parts, it should have been in the description.
Failure to disclose information is no excuse.
I agree with rybolt. Contact the owner.
If they try to get out of it, simply leave negative feedback.
Most likely they will make good.
Personally, if I have to return something because of something like this and pay ANY shipping, they get neutral feedback at best.

Last edited by aicardi : 5 Days Ago at 11:03. Reason: Clarification
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Old 5 Days Ago   #5
tunalegs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aicardi View Post
^^
If there were missing, or loose parts, it should have been in the description.
Failure to disclose information is no excuse.
I agree with rybolt. Contact the owner.
If they try to get out of it, simply leave negative feedback.
Most likely they will make good.
Personally, if I have to return something because of something like this and pay ANY shipping, they get neutral feedback at best.
It's not even a failure to disclose, the photograph in the auction clearly shows the button screwed on like it should be.

I suppose I will give them a call if they don't respond to my second message by tomorrow.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #6
faberryman
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Does the camera work? How much did you pay for it? Is the only issue the screw is missing so the button doesn't stay on? You say you don't want to send the camera back, so what resolution are you looking for? There are essentially four options: 1) send it back for refund; 2) send it back for repair; 3) have them send you a replacement screw; or 4) find a little screw and replace it yourself. You say you shouldn't be hassled and I agree, but all the options except 3 involve hassle. eBay transactions occasionally involve hassle. It's the nature of the beast.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #7
rbsinto
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If all that's missing is a screw, you should take a quick run to the local Home Depot and see if you can quickly replace it. I recently found a screw for an item that was over 60 years old there which cost me next to nothing.
Or try a screw and gear manufacturer.
Yes, I understand that there is a principle involved here, but to my mind much less trouble than screwing around with ebay and a less than eager seller.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #8
tunalegs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
Does the camera work? How much did you pay for it? Is the only issue the screw is missing so the button doesn't stay on? You say you don't want to send the camera back, so what resolution are you looking for? There are essentially four options: 1) send it back for refund; 2) send it back for repair; 3) have them send you a replacement screw; or 4) find a little screw and replace it yourself. You say you shouldn't be hassled and I agree, but all the options except 3 involve hassle. eBay transactions occasionally involve hassle. It's the nature of the beast.
I'd love for them to either send the screw or fix it, but given my experience so far, I can't say I'd honestly trust them to fix it if I sent it back.

Maybe my local shop has a screw they can give me, or sell me, and in that case Berger Bros can reimburse me for the cost. Would that be ridiculous? Or fair? I feel like it'd be fair. But on principle, I still cannot fathom a shop breaking paid for merchandise, then shipping it off to the buyer without so much as a warning or sorry note.

As for finding a screw at a hardware store, forget about it. Who even knows what standard the thread could be, I might not even find a good fitting one from a camera repairman.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #9
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Like I say, you have four options. Pick one and get on with it. The camera won't fix itself by complaining on the internet about the travails of life.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #10
tunalegs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faberryman View Post
Like I say, you have four options. Pick one and get on with it. The camera won't fix itself by complaining on the internet about the travails of life.
But I suppose you complaining about other people having problems nets some positive effect for the world?

Beyond that I don't actually know if I have four options, that depends on what Berger Bros. decides to do, if anything, and certainly, you're not the one in control of that anyway.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #11
KoNickon
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Send it back. You will find another -- more easily than finding the correct screw to fit it. Cameras use all sorts of small screws that you simply will not find at a hardware store, and even a big place like a Home Depot will not have it. I wouldn't know where to turn in terms of 1) finding a place on line that carries small machine screws 2) being able to order the exact size replacement online (much less one that has the same finish and head) and 3) being able to buy just one.

How much did you spend on the camera? Getting the right replacement screw will cost a a fair amount, I think, when all is said and done.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #12
tunalegs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
Send it back. You will find another -- more easily than finding the correct screw to fit it. Cameras use all sorts of small screws that you simply will not find at a hardware store, and even a big place like a Home Depot will not have it. I wouldn't know where to turn in terms of 1) finding a place on line that carries small machine screws 2) being able to order the exact size replacement online (much less one that has the same finish and head) and 3) being able to buy just one.

How much did you spend on the camera? Getting the right replacement screw will cost a a fair amount, I think, when all is said and done.
In worst case scenario, I buy a junk camera just to get the screw. But I have been watching for a long time to find one of these with the Pololyt lenses in decent shape, which is why I wouldn't want to return it just because somebody stole a screw.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #13
rbsinto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
I'd love for them to either send the screw or fix it, but given my experience so far, I can't say I'd honestly trust them to fix it if I sent it back.

Maybe my local shop has a screw they can give me, or sell me, and in that case Berger Bros can reimburse me for the cost. Would that be ridiculous? Or fair? I feel like it'd be fair. But on principle, I still cannot fathom a shop breaking paid for merchandise, then shipping it off to the buyer without so much as a warning or sorry note.

As for finding a screw at a hardware store, forget about it. Who even knows what standard the thread could be, I might not even find a good fitting one from a camera repairman.
Determining the pitch and diameter of the screw is easy enough.
A tool and die maker could tell you in about 10 seconds, and carefully trying screws (as I did at Home Depot) made that unnecessary.
For me, this boils down to what you consider the problem to be, which then leads to the possible solution.
In my mind, it's not about fighting with a seller for an amount of money that isn't worth the effort, but rather easily replacing a missing piece so the camera will work.
Based on that, I know which route I'd take.
You'll have to decide for yourself which path you'll follow.
Good luck.
Robert
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Old 5 Days Ago   #14
KoNickon
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Who knows a tool and die maker? And hardware stores don't have gauges small enough for the kind of screws that cameras are made of. So trying to find a replacement screw (or spring, for that matter) can be a real quixotic affair. Believe me, I have been down this path before. You need a donor camera.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #15
tunalegs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbsinto View Post
Determining the pitch and diameter of the screw is easy enough.
Of course. If you have the screw. It's a little different when you just have the soft brass hole the screw is supposed to be in.

All of which is still rather beside the point of somebody taking my money, breaking what I bought (or stealing a part off of it?), then sending it to me without so much as an explanation about why that would happen. Maybe the real problem isn't the screw.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #16
Emile de Leon
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Find the screw..or re-tap in a larger one if possible..and call them for a discount..
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Old 5 Days Ago   #17
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Appears they owe you $44, $39 plus $5 shipping.

Let us know if they offer to refund the $44.

I would find it annoying.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
Who knows a tool and die maker? And hardware stores don't have gauges small enough for the kind of screws that cameras are made of. So trying to find a replacement screw (or spring, for that matter) can be a real quixotic affair. Believe me, I have been down this path before. You need a donor camera.
I didn't until I Googled "Tool and Die makers-Toronto", and lo and behold a bunch of them came up on the screen!
But this isn't about replacing a screw, so this is where I leave this discussion.
Robert
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Old 5 Days Ago   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoNickon View Post
Believe me, I have been down this path before. You need a donor camera.
I have thrown away many cameras, but I have never thrown away any screws, I stripped them all down to the last screw. After 40 years or so, a lot of little screws!
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Old 5 Days Ago   #20
tunalegs
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Well they have replied after 3-4 days. They will try and find a replacement screw. Might be a little hard without the camera I think... but at least it's a response.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post

All of which is still rather beside the point of somebody taking my money, breaking what I bought (or stealing a part off of it?), then sending it to me without so much as an explanation about why that would happen. Maybe the real problem isn't the screw.
Its also possible the screw has been loose for a very long time, and unfortunately it could have fallen off just recently. How long was it listed for sale online? If the screw has been loose all along its equally likely it could have fallen off while a customer was playing with it in the store and whoever packed it for shipping didn't even realize its disappearance was recent.
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Old 5 Days Ago   #22
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You don't need the cover. Don't worry about it. If you feel you want it covered, just place a piece of electrical tape over it and pull it up a little when you roll on to the next number. Lots of cameras never came w/ that cover in the first place.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #23
KoNickon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
Well they have replied after 3-4 days. They will try and find a replacement screw. Might be a little hard without the camera I think... but at least it's a response.
Yes, I agree on all counts. Good luck with this. I completely understand your frustration.
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Old 4 Days Ago   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
You don't need the cover. Don't worry about it. If you feel you want it covered, just place a piece of electrical tape over it and pull it up a little when you roll on to the next number. Lots of cameras never came w/ that cover in the first place.
It's likely not about wether the camera's still usable. It's about false advertising.
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