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What's going on with used prices?
Old 07-23-2019   #1
sanmich
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What's going on with used prices?

I think the prices for most used Leica M bodies have seen a steep jump in the last year.
This is while I don't see much change for MP/M7 prices.
M6 classic are now sold between 1500 and 2000 USD.
Clean M2/3/4 above 1k$
Anything to explain this?
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Old 07-23-2019   #2
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I think they are becoming more rare. Especially in great condition.
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Old 07-23-2019   #3
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Supply and demand.
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Old 07-23-2019   #4
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Fair amount of greed but also not many coming around for sale.
Something is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it and currently, people are accepting the high prices.
I had this discussion with a local camera shop this past weekend when an M6 arrived as trade it. £1500-1700 was the intended resale price but a year ago it was £1000-£1500.

The market will only accept so much price increase before they start falling again so I'm holding out a little longer. There were plenty of M6 cameras made. They're all out there somewhere. :-)
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Old 07-23-2019   #5
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Scarlett Johansson wore one throughout the last King Kong movie and it’s the Scarlett Johansson effect.
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Old 07-23-2019   #6
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Scarlett Johansson wore one throughout the last King Kong movie and itís the Scarlett Johansson effect.
Except it was Brie Larson .
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Old 07-23-2019   #7
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More and more younger individuals, usually ages 20-30, are trying out film. Sometimes due to nostalgia, other times to try something new. Modern technology has made cameras so advanced it doesn't take much thinking to use them. There is little satisfaction with being able to continuously eye-AF at f/1.4, though in a professional setting it gets the job done quick and better.

Couple that with celebrity and YouTube promotion for certain cameras generates unbelievable demand. Take the Contax T2 and T3, or the Yashica T series for example. I remember selling my mint Contax T2 many years back for $400 when the market price was around $200-300, thinking I got a good deal out of it. Nowadays, T2s go for twice that.

However, I believe Leica Ms speak for themselves. The build quality and smoothness of the Ms make it really hard to go back to SLRs. Others prefer being able to see outside your frame or not having a mirror slap. All this in addition to the resurgence of film in the younger generation has greatly increased demand. When demand increases and supply is stagnant or decreased, the commodity commands a higher price...
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Old 07-23-2019   #8
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Originally Posted by Ionex56 View Post
More and more younger individuals, usually ages 20-30, are trying out film. Sometimes due to nostalgia, other times to try something new. Modern technology has made cameras so advanced it doesn't take much thinking to use them. There is little satisfaction with being able to continuously eye-AF at f/1.4
And sometimes simply to be fashionable. I see many necklace cameras out there. Also, thinking about photos happens within the framing device most importantly... not by choosing your settings. Too many people think manual exposure is rocket science.
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Old 07-23-2019   #9
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I see many necklace cameras out there.
John,

I love this expression you coined. LOL.

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Old 07-23-2019   #10
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I have seen the same thing with the plentiful Yashica Electro35 series on prices. Kind of amazing! Don't plan on selling mine because it was passed on to me by my dad. Still shoot with today!
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Old 07-23-2019   #11
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The film M cameras kept their value over time. I am not surprised.
I kept my film cameras and I did not sell them because I appreciate very much the craftmanship and beauty and usefulness of such cameras in photography.
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Old 07-23-2019   #12
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Greed? Really?

One could in theory offer up an M6 for say $3,000 simply because of greed, but that doesn’t mean someone will accept the offer.

M6s have hovered around $1000-$1200 for the last decade for those in good condition, with TTL a bit higher. Prices are definitely up, as the supply up for sale is the same (or less) and the demand is higher. In any case the D/S ratio is higher.

What's amazing to me is how low the Hexar RF is, considering it's the only M body with 1/4000, and how high the Zeiss Ikon has gone.

Both situations are supply/demand, but if I were in the market I'd get a Hexar.
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Old 07-23-2019   #13
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What's amazing to me is how low the Hexar RF is, considering it's the only M body with 1/4000, and how high the Zeiss Ikon has gone.

Both situations are supply/demand, but if I were in the market I'd get a Hexar.
Thatís because the Konica has a terrible reputation for reliability. Hamish at 35mmc.com mentioned this before he bought one thinking it was just one of those things blown out of proportion. Then his too bricked.
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Old 07-23-2019   #14
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Originally Posted by splitimageview View Post
Both situations are supply/demand, but if I were in the market I'd get a Hexar.
I think the problem with the Hexar is reliability, ZI is a relatively simple camera compared to the Hexar. I have owned the Hexar AF and tried a Hexar RF and both had faults whereas my ZI works flawlessly.

Edit: Reading later posts I see that I'm not the only one thinks this is the reason.
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Old 07-23-2019   #15
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Just for perspective, I bought a used M6 in 1991 for around $1000... and it was the current M at that time. Surely such a great camera with the Leica badge will sell for more as less are on the market and just due to simple inflation.
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Old 07-23-2019   #16
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Just for perspective, I bought a used M6 in 1991 for around $1000... and it was the current M at that time. Surely such a great camera with the Leica badge will sell for more as less are on the market and just due to simple inflation.
That is correct, inflation might be a bigger factor than most people think. Between 1991 and 2019 there was an average inflation rate of 2.28% per year. That $1000 M6 is $1,880.64 in today's dollars.

Obviously the price explosion in recent years isn't solely due to inflation, but the $800-900 mint M2/M3 you saw in 2010 can easily top $1k in 2019 after factoring inflation in.
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Old 07-23-2019   #17
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Is a price bubble really a bubble of it doesnít burst? Iím not so sure prices for film cameras will come down again. I think it will just level off at this new high.
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Old 07-23-2019   #18
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Originally Posted by Ionex56 View Post
That is correct, inflation might be a bigger factor than most people think. Between 1991 and 2019 there was an average inflation rate of 2.28% per year. That $1000 M6 is $1,880.64 in today's dollars.

Obviously the price explosion in recent years isn't solely due to inflation, but the $800-900 mint M2/M3 you saw in 2010 can easily top $1k in 2019 after factoring inflation in.
Patrick,

For me you gave a good example of how a "hard asset" works as a store of value.

It is said today that the U.S. dollar is overvalued, and some say that the U.S. stock indexes too are overvalued or inflated in price.

As far as a "commodity" a used M-body does seem to be a store of value.

BTW I think one of the best times to have bought Leica gear was around 2007-2008. This is when people were selling their treasures to raise cash during the "Credit Crunch." People who were flush with cash found great deals on the cleanest gear.

I speculate that the next downturn might be similar. Keep some ammo dry as they say.

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Old 07-23-2019   #19
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Yes I noticed it too. That's why I get Nikon FE's. M7 goodness for a $100.
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Old 07-23-2019   #20
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Yes I noticed it too. That's why I get Nikon FE's. M7 goodness for a $100.
If you think an FE = M7, then a Leica RE > M7 for only $100 more.
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Old 07-23-2019   #21
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I worked in market research for many years, and have been a member of eBait for a decade or two. I don't think the prices today mean too much. They go up, and they go down, and not always for a visible, rational reason.

It's just a short term event. eBait especially has a ton of unscrupulous, incompetent and unprofessional sellers now (buyers are even worse!!!) as good sellers like myself and others get fed up and drop out, only to be replaced by some sorry people. I read somewhere that if the auction site loses a member, they get replaced with 10X more new sellers.

Prices here are high, but they have always been high. One assumes that a camera bought here is sold by someone that understands cameras, has probably invested in having them tested, often CLA'd, and is described accurately.

It's just a time when people are trying to get the maximum amount of money from a sale. The Japanese collectors did that some time ago, only to drastically lower their prices later when things didn't move.
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Old 07-23-2019   #22
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And in the U.S., there is a wealth effect happening again. The stock market is soaring, so even those not in the stock market are feeling wealthy. Credit is easier to get, so folks are buying more houses and cars and...old film cameras. After you've put a 4K television in every room of your new house, you gotta find something else to buy!
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Old 07-23-2019   #23
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And in the U.S., there is a wealth effect happening again. The stock market is soaring, so even those not in the stock market are feeling wealthy. Credit is easier to get, so folks are buying more houses and cars and...old film cameras. After you've put a 4K television in every room of your new house, you gotta find something else to buy!

Just to be clear, and for those outside of the US, this is true for maybe the top 10% of the country. Most of the rest, this is either delusional dreams ("temporarily embarrassed millionaires") or simply has no relation to their lives. The economy continues to bifurcate at a rapid pace. I think even Veblen would be shocked.
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Old 07-23-2019   #24
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Just to be clear, and for those outside of the US, this is true for maybe the top 10% of the country. Most of the rest, this is either delusional dreams ("temporarily embarrassed millionaires") or simply has no relation to their lives. The economy continues to bifurcate at a rapid pace. I think even Veblen would be shocked.
Dan,

Your point is well taken.

About half the population in the U.S. by one report today owns no stock, so for about half the country there is no wealth effect.

While in the top 10% the incomes are high, depending on which city you live in, you might not be able to afford buying a home due to the costs of living.

Overall though I use the top 20% of incomes as a gauge of wealth, because household incomes at this level generally have more income than they need, can max out their 401K's and save, and have disposable income to buy luxury goods.

One Money Manager calls the top 20% "the Protected Class."

"A rising tide does not raise all ships," as they say.

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Old 07-23-2019   #25
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A Ferrari or Lamborghini?
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Old 07-23-2019   #26
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A Ferrari or Lamborghini?
Raid,

For some a Leica is a Ferrari or Lamborghini.

Read in John's post "camera necklace."

Also in November is film will be release "Ford Verses Ferrari." About Ford's challenge involving Carrol Shelby, development of the Ford F40, and the race 24 hours at Lemans. Matt Damon plays Carol Shelby.

I love the trailer for his film which has Carol Shelby (Matt Damon) ask if this Ford exec is ready when he does a zero to one hundred to zero while manuvering to terrorize a passenger in a suit who knows little of racing.

An earlier film was called the "Twenty-Four Hour War." The time periond was around the mid 60's.

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Old 07-23-2019   #27
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I think the discontinuation of the M7 is also part of the reason for the inflation in prices of used M bodies. People are realizing that Leica is probably not going to make film cameras forever.
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Old 07-23-2019   #28
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I think the discontinuation of the M7 is also part of the reason for the inflation in prices of used M bodies. People are realizing that Leica is probably not going to make film cameras forever.
A,

Your speculation is very valid I think.

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Old 07-23-2019   #29
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I think the discontinuation of the M7 is also part of the reason for the inflation in prices of used M bodies. People are realizing that Leica is probably not going to make film cameras forever.
Older models will always be discontinued, digital or film, as repair parts run out.

They're still producing film Ms: the MP and MA, and I believe they will continue to do so. My guess is because Leica no longer has the capability to repair the M7, coupled with the fact that the M7 is electronic and will be more prone to failure over time, they made the decision to discontinue it. Same with their digital Ms, like what they are doing with the M240 right now.

With each discontinuation creates a price gap. A new MP or MA goes for nearly $5k with tax. Used market prices for the two fetches a hefty $3.5k+

When people are looking for used Ms, this is not the price some people are willing to pay (for a film M at least). Hence the reason to turn to the M2/M3/M4 etc., increasing demand. The rest is history
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Old 07-23-2019   #30
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They're still producing film Ms: the MP and MA, and I believe they will continue to do so. My guess is because Leica no longer has the capability to repair the M7, coupled with the fact that the M7 is electronic and will be more prone to failure over time, they made the decision to discontinue it.
I dont think itís that at all. The vast majority of people interested in film Ms want a fully mechanical kamera. The demand for new M7s dried up while everyone was buying MPs and MAs. They wanted a traditional Leica not something that needed batteries.
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Old 07-23-2019   #31
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Older models will always be discontinued, digital or film, as repair parts run out.

They're still producing film Ms: the MP and MA, and I believe they will continue to do so. My guess is because Leica no longer has the capability to repair the M7, coupled with the fact that the M7 is electronic and will be more prone to failure over time, they made the decision to discontinue it. Same with their digital Ms, like what they are doing with the M240 right now.

With each discontinuation creates a price gap. A new MP or MA goes for nearly $5k with tax. Used market prices for the two fetches a hefty $3.5k+

When people are looking for used Ms, this is not the price some people are willing to pay (for a film M at least). Hence the reason to turn to the M2/M3/M4 etc., increasing demand. The rest is history

I sincerely hope you are correct that Leica will continue to produce film Ms indefinitely. I suppose at ~$5,000 a pop, they can do so profitably at quite small volumes. I just get the feeling that production runs on the film models will become fewer and farther between as time goes by. Also, I believe the film models are still largely hand built. I wonder when the workers who build them are retiring. Will Leica hire and train new technicians to replace them? I sure hope so, but I suspect the bean counters will be analyzing those types of decisions very carefully at some point.
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Old 07-24-2019   #32
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My guess is because Leica no longer has the capability to repair the M7, coupled with the fact that the M7 is electronic and will be more prone to failure over time, they made the decision to discontinue it
After reading this earlier today, I contacted Leica repair in New Jersey. They currently repair the M7 and will continue to for the foreseeable future.

Iíve had my M7 for 15 years and the only issue Iíve had with it is that the DX reader failed. Leica repaired the then 8 year old camera with no charge. I see no reason that it shouldnít last as long as my 1969 Canon QL17, a now 50 year old electronic AE camera.
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Old 07-24-2019   #33
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After reading this earlier today, I contacted Leica repair in New Jersey. They currently repair the M7 and will continue to for the foreseeable future.

Iíve had my M7 for 15 years and the only issue Iíve had with it is that the DX reader failed. Leica repaired the then 8 year old camera with no charge. I see no reason that it shouldnít last as long as my 1969 Canon QL17, a now 50 year old electronic AE camera.
How dare you base your comments on facts and research!
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Old 07-23-2019   #34
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ummm reading this post prompted me to stop selling my Leica M stuff . Sold some of them to finance some medium format repairs and equipment.
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Old 07-23-2019   #35
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The Leica man cares not about such simple things as money..or market ups and downs..
He just buys anyway...lol..
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Old 07-23-2019   #36
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I think the prices for most used Leica M bodies have seen a steep jump in the last year.
This is while I don't see much change for MP/M7 prices.
M6 classic are now sold between 1500 and 2000 USD.
Clean M2/3/4 above 1k$
Anything to explain this?
1. Film usage is on the rise;
2. The comparative price of a new Leica film cameras.

M7 prices are also on the rise. Not that long ago I bought one for US$1,700. Today they run for as much as twice that!
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Old 07-23-2019   #37
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I get the sense (not backed up by anything but my own observations) that genuine demand from a younger audience is driving higher prices of Leica M6, Contax G and premium compacts such as the Nikon 35ti. But other Leica models such as M2, M3, M4, M5, not so much.

M6 "classic" prices seem to be up about $300 right now, but too soon to know if that's just a short-term blip.

I wonder how much is being driven by environmental concerns: Finding one's hobbies in items which were manufactured decades ago is a form of recycling!
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Old 07-23-2019   #38
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I get the sense (not backed up by anything but my own observations) that genuine demand from a younger audience is driving higher prices of Leica M6, Contax G and premium compacts such as the Nikon 35ti. But other Leica models such as M2, M3, M4, M5, not so much.

M6 "classic" prices seem to be up about $300 right now, but too soon to know if that's just a short-term blip.

I wonder how much is being driven by environmental concerns: Finding one's hobbies in items which were manufactured decades ago is a form of recycling!
Jeff,

I find your observations as telling.

It kind of makes sense because the M6 has a built in meter, is newer, and has less of a "vintage premium."

If your observation is correct, that in fact it is a new younger generation alone that is responsible for this spike, maybe/perhaps all by themselves, then I can see why the M6 stands out from the pack as well as the other premium compact cameras.

Now we wait for these newbies to discover medium format to make our "killing." LOL. Kind of predictable.

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Old 08-05-2019   #39
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I get the sense (not backed up by anything but my own observations) that genuine demand from a younger audience is driving higher prices of Leica M6, Contax G and premium compacts such as the Nikon 35ti. But other Leica models such as M2, M3, M4, M5, not so much.

M6 "classic" prices seem to be up about $300 right now, but too soon to know if that's just a short-term blip.

I wonder how much is being driven by environmental concerns: Finding one's hobbies in items which were manufactured decades ago is a form of recycling!
Japan Camera Hunter isn't helping matters either.
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Old 08-05-2019   #40
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Japan Camera Hunter isn't helping matters either.
Dealers who have always sold used gear aren't helping? Weird opinion that one.
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