Where do you buy vintage lenses? (actual stores)

Started Oct 16, 2019 | Discussions thread
fferreres Veteran Member • Posts: 5,943
Re: Where do you buy vintage lenses? (actual stores)

vyoufinder wrote:

It has gotten a lot harder to find what I call "super scores." Ten years ago, I was buying lenses 2-10 at a time at thrift stores and garage sales. I stocked up big-time (as I do at every opportunity.) Since then, I've noticed more and more thrift stores are selling the good stuff (including lenses) on Ebay, via in-store bidding, or simply raising the prices. Thrift stores that do this are not worth my time. Unfortunately, the last time I was carousing Washington and Oregon, almost every thrift store was doing this. My experience with thrift stores is that thrift stores in rich neighborhoods are far more likely to have super scores. When I was in New Mexico (thinking Gallup or Aztec) the thrift stores smell like baby spit amalgamizing with bio-degradable plastic and merchandise is mostly used clothing which I would consider "tattered rags." I've started saving my donations for when I go to very economically challenged areas for this reason, and for buying, I concentrate on wealthier areas.

Now I am finding most of my scores on classifieds online, Ebay sellers not maximizing values, and still managing to find quite a few at thrift stores. Garage sales are starting to turn up more plastic, apres-80's lenses and zooms (stuff I'm not interested in,) but I still find my share.

F.Y.I. though, this month and next month are probably THE best two months out of the year for prices on vintage lenses on Ebay. Come March, the prices will start rising again, no doubt. The same as anytihng else, buying out of season can save you some money.

Yes, for the likely price increase (unless downturn in economy), and yes some scores. My tactic, when I can, is I look only for newly listed, usually counter-timezone, as most of the price differences is lenses cheap in one end of the world but not available in the other. So eg 10pm or 6am is good to see Japanese listings, European is a mix...2am is best ...even just checking, usually many buyers think it twice, and that's your chance to grab it. This only works if you know exactly how much they sell for. The other and very time consuming (and it's good to know how often these come) is wait for bids, and after 3-4, one always goes low. Of course, I don't have such patience, maybe 20% of time, and newly listed has been my primary source, maybe 60% of times.

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