Friday, January 28, 2011

Anatomy of a Craigslist Ripoff (Part 6)

Now that the D700 is getting on in years, the D7000 seems to be picking up the slack as the choice bait of scammers:

Nikon D7000 Body ONLY BNIB Never used - $900 (Vancouver)

Date: 2011-01-28, 12:57AM PST

Nikon D7000 BODY ONLY BRAND NEW Never used All accessories and software are still in their plastic wrapping, the box is still sealed, zero actuation count.
Price is firm at $900

CASH ONLY transaction 

So the first thing you have to ask is... if it's brand new and the seller didn't want it, why didn't he just refund it? The post gets around this by offering a rather low price; this baits the people with more greed than brains. Retail for a body only D7000 in our town is $1279. Most legitimate posts of near-new equipment peg the price at just under retail. What happens is that the buyer saves on the tax, which is 12% for us. So it begs the question, why would anybody leave that much money on the table, especially for something that is in short supply? Body-only D7000's are still harder to find that kits as I write.

This also brings up another issue. It goes without saying, but Craigslist purchases of near-new equipment doesn't offer much value. (BTW, the only legitimate reason is if the return period is expired. There's no reason why something that is still returnable should show up on Craigslist.) For the little mount that you save, you'd be missing out on the warranty, which is almost never transferable for camera equipment.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Other People's Cities are Interesting

Pasadena City Hall, Pasadena, California

I took this a couple of years ago when I went to visit an old buddy of mine. The funny thing is, if I lived there, this wouldn't have been such an interesting shot... I would know in my head that city hall is very scenic, but if I lived there, I think I would have struggled to see if as photo worthy. During that trip, I stumbled across two very interesting public art installations, and commented to an acquaintance how much I loved Southern California because of all of the interesting things that go on down there. His answer? He struggled to find something interesting to shoot in a town he had lived in all his life. Something for me to remember... Vancouver is a tourist town, after all, and all of those folks from other parts of the world with cameras around their necks can't be wrong.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Used Lens Market as a Beauty Pagent.

NPR's "Planet Money" podcast never fails to make the weekly download (twice weekly, actually) onto my mp3 player. Recently, they ran an experiment to test one of the classic theories of economics. And all you had to do was to pick the cutest animal.

For the record, I picked the kitten. The results of the experiment were broadcast in this follow up podcast:

The trick to the experiment was that participants were divided into two groups. One group picked what they thought was the cutest of the three animals. The second group was asked to pick what they thought other people would pick as the cutest animal. Of the first group, 50% picked the kitten as the cutest animal. With the second group, 70% of the respondents said that other people would pick the kitten as the cutest animal.