is this a scam?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by fulcrum.1995, May 24, 2010.

  1. fulcrum.1995 macrumors member

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    San Jose, California
    #1
  2. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a

    seamuskrat

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    #2
    Stolen? Rob you once you get there.

    Who knows. Public place is good. Price seems too good to be true.

    Good luck.
     
  3. fulcrum.1995 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    ive already emailed him and done a background check on the name
    his house is near the starbucks that he suggested and he is a white 24 year old that works as a camera operator for an exploritorium webcast
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #4
    Someone wants to meet in a Safeway to sell you a brand new Nikon D90 at half price? Come on. You already know the answer to your question.
     
  5. fulcrum.1995 thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    well in my defense
    they can be found for 750 new online from large suppliers and the D90 successor is expected soon
     
  6. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

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    #6
    It could very well be a good, legit deal. Did you ask him when he bought it, and why he's selling it? See if it matches his advertisement. If he bought it new, ask him if he has the receipt, and if he ever registered the warranty. You can generally get a pretty good feel for whether the guy actually owns the camera, or came about it some dishonest way.

    Meeting in a Safeway store at the Starbucks cafe sounds pretty safe. Just look the camera over before you hand him any cash, make sure it's as he described, and that it works. Do you have a small lens you can bring to mount on it? That would let you test that it actually produces images.
     
  7. Stevo B macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #7
    Pretty low, but not too much risk in meeting at a public place. Maybe he really does just need to recover some of the cash from the deal like he says. I just got one used through amazon for $690. Only a couple hundred clicks. Definitely check it and make sure it works properly.
     
  8. Stevo B macrumors newbie

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    Jan 19, 2009
    #8
    Pretty low, but not too much risk in meeting at a public place. Maybe he really does just need to recover some of the cash from the deal like he says. I just got one used through amazon for $690. Only a couple hundred clicks. Definitely check it and make sure it works properly.
     
  9. munkees macrumors 65816

    munkees

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    #9
    shame you cannot get a conceal weapons permit, would be ideal for this kind of meeting, glad I moved to washington.
     
  10. toxic macrumors 68000

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #10
    I don't think that price is that far-fetched. you're meeting in a public place, indoors (presumably), which is pretty safe. just bring a friend. if you still have doubts, meet at a bank or government building or something.
     
  11. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #11
    If the price is too good to be true, it's probably not true.

    However, under certain conditions, I'd do the deal:
    (1) Meet in a public place.
    (2) Deal with cash, no money orders or Western Union transfer!
    (3) Insist on receipts for the camera.

    Sticking to these simple guidelines, I've only had luck on craigslist, but YMMV.
     
  12. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    I don't remember SF being Oakland.
     
  13. esaleris macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Even if the product is legit, you might also be dealing with stolen merchandise. Just a thought.
     
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #14
    Glad I live in country with gun control laws....

    In King County, about 12% of gun related fatalities were as a result of a gun being used in self-defence during a crime. The other 88% of the fatalities were a)spouses killed during a domestic dispute b) other family members being killed by the shooter c) other friends and acquaintances of the shooter.

    Sorry... I'm sure I've just gotten this thread bumped to the PRSI ....
     
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #15
    That is just it. The camera is most likely stolen. There is also the possibility that this is a law enforcement sting operation. The fact is that the OP knows or should know that you cannot acquire a new Nikon D90 for $600 off list price. The person who claims to be trying to sell it knows that he can return the camera for a nominal restocking fee. This fee is certainly less than $100. Yet the seller is willing to take a $500 loss? Not jolly likely. If the OP had a lick of sense, then he would stay as far away from that Safeway as possible.
     
  16. squier macrumors newbie

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    Jun 21, 2006
    #16
    The d90 is an $800 camera, not a $1200 one. I agree though that it seems a little odd, why not just return it? Perhaps he is need of fast cash though and is willing to let it go ~$150 cheaper than average.
     
  17. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #17
    Nope

    "There is also the possibility that this is a law enforcement sting operation. The fact is that the OP knows or should know that you cannot acquire a new Nikon D90 for $600 off list price."

    I HIGHLY doubt that.

    Now I don't claim to be an expert (or an amateur, for that matter) in laws and law enforcement, but c'mon.

    The "sting" situation sounds an awful lot like entrapment. Think of the situation: You see a killer deal on craigslist (Not THAT killer, same thing going on amazon used for just $75 more than this guys price) and figure you want to check it out. You buy it, and all of a sudden you are arrested because it should have been obvious it was stolen merchandise? PLEASE.

    What if the seller was just stupid? Or REALLY needed cash? Or got it for a gift and did not know how much it was worth? The law cannot assume guilt.

    OP: sounds totally legit to me. Bring a friend with just in case. Dont let him touch any cash until you fire off about 50 shots, try all the settings, try it with a few of your lenses, turn it on and off a few times, etc. Make a list of things to do in advance, before you go to meet him.

    Good luck and have fun with your cheap new toy!

    [edit] - I have bought 90% of my camera gear off craigslist for similarly discounted prices. Including a Canon 50D for a savings of about $300, a Canon 17-55 f/2.8 for about $350 off, and all of my flashes for dirt cheap. Everything has worked wonderfully and I have not had ANY problems. Then again, I live in Minnesota, land of the kind.....
     
  18. carlgo macrumors 68000

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    #18
    He is in as much danger of being robbed or worse as a buyer is. He may just want to conclude the deal and move on. I like the suggestion of taking a lens and a card to test it.

    As others have said, there is a new model coming out and refurbs are available, so the price may be realistic for a fast sale.
     
  19. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #19
    Even at that, the "seller" is letting it go at a $100 loss in the most optimistic scenario. You forget that he is supposed to be in business. You don't stay in business very long if you lose $100 per transaction.
     
  20. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    "New in box" is still "Used" in the eyes of any business that buys equipment from random locals, not to mention those that do it by mail. Never expect full price for used equipment. For a used camera that is about to see an upgrade, selling it at a $100 loss is already an optimistic scenario. His job is a camera operator, not manager of a camera equipment distributor, so making a profit off of used equipment isn't a top priority, although cutting his losses probably factors into his decision to sell. The decision to go through CL rather than eBay probably stems from wanting do deal locally.

    Then again he is probably crazy and dangerous and the OP should bring armed guards with him and a +2 longsword.
     
  21. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #21
    You are making a huge assumption and extrapolating some far-reaching conclusions based on your assumption. As for the "seller's" story, it has more holes than a colander.
     
  22. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    No, you're right; I'm sure that any reasonable equipment distributor (camera or otherwise) would pay full MSRP for merchandise from a stranger instead of at a reduced price from a vendor, not to mention buying equipment that's about a year and a half old (because electronics, esp. digital cameras, fully retain their value over time, esp. when updated models are released every year).

    On top of that, it was fallacious to assume that someone wouldn't get robbed/murdered in a Starbucks inside a Safeway. I know that whenever I get my coffee, I'm strapped with at least my Glock, if not my .45, and I'll knife any fool who tries to take my tall iced mocha. And the meeting is obviously a setup: going to a Safeway is a transparent ruse to lower his defenses, to make him feel, you know, safe. Little does the OP know, supermarkets are where 99% of all crimes occur, and 100% of all murder. (And 110% of grand larceny. Am I right, people?)

    Thank you for keeping my irrational extrapolations in check. My brain is has more [feature]s than a [kitchen appliance].
     
  23. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #23
    Sarcasm is not your strong suit. FWIW, I could care less about the physical danger of going to a San Francisco Starbucks inside a San Francisco Safeway supermarket. The OP's story makes no sense. These are the things that we are supposed to believe:
    • A person in the photography business used his own money to purchase a midrange DSLR for one of his customers.
    • The customer changed his mind, leaving the photographer stuck with the camera.
    • This photographer placed an ad on Craigslist.com offering to sell the camera at a price substantially less than he paid for it.
    • The photographer offers to meet his potential buyer in a high-traffic public place to consummate the sale.
    This scenario is does not pass the Laugh Test. Neither does it pass the Smell Test. The most likely explanation is that the camera is stolen. It is also possible that this is a straight-up scam.
     
  24. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Yes, meeting in a public place is preposterous. Nobody does that. I know that I'd rather have random Craigslisters know exactly where I live.

    I didn't pay enough attention to your previous posts to see that you weren't the person saying that the OP should bring a concealed weapon to the meeting. My apologies.

    In the much more likely possibility that this is a police sting operation, as you suggested (and they happen all the time; I had one at my house last Thursday, something to do with fake watches), I'm sure that the OP will thank you once it's revealed that some hapless person looking to buy a D90 was shot dead in the crossfire of a gun battle at the Safeway Starbucks as authorities attempted to subdue a ring of international camera thieves.
     
  25. jwhazel macrumors regular

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    Sep 22, 2005
    #25
    I *always* take craigslist posts with a grain of salt and take the proper precautions when buying and selling. However I'm not so sure that this one is so obviously a scam. People who work for Nikon dealers/distributors can purchase the d90 body brand new from Nikon for a bit under $650 through a personal purchase program. I'm not saying this is definitely the case here, just that it isn't an impossible price.
     

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