Question: Is it wise to buy lenses on ebay or amazon? Is it too risky?
First of all thank you for asking this great question! In short answer format, yes it is safe to buy from both Ebay and Amazon. In fact, I’ve brought 2 lenses (Canon 50mm 1.8 and Lensbaby composer), a Canon speedlite 580EXII, 3 camera bags and a camera strap from Amazon so far with no issues (touchwood).
To give you a little more detail, every time before buying camera equipments I always check a reputable stores such as BH Photo and Adorama to make sure I am getting a good deal. 90% of time I found Amazon to have the same price compare to other stores. However, once a while I do find a BETTER deal at Amazon but it does not happen frequently. To sum up, I’ll give Amazon a green light to buy your camera lenses and other equipments.
With Ebay, I’d be more careful buying lenses from this site. Not to say it’s a bad place to buy but you will need to do your due diligence before hitting the buy button. Here are my 3 reasons:
1) You’re not dealing with a company so any damages to the item during shipment are hard to justify.
2) Seller sometimes hide flaws of their lenses pretty well. Either by using another angle to take the shot or showing you the standard product picture. If you received a sub-par item the seller may use the pictures against you saying pictures were listed and you made the final decision to purchase it.
3) You may ended up buying a grey market lens which do not have manufacturer warranty.
These are just extreme circumstances when you ended up with a bad Ebay seller. In my opinion Ebay is still a great place to buy and you just need to do the research before buying the item. If you are buying a brand new item, I’d choose Amazon before Ebay. But if you are going to stick with Ebay, make sure you ask the seller questions within the Ebay system before you buy. So far I have not yet received bad items from Ebay and certainly do not hope you end up with any bad experience as well.
I hope this answer your question. If you have any comment or suggestions please list them below. See you next week at TKE!