Scams on eBay – beware of the too good to be true offer!

It’s always good advice to beware of the so-called “too good to be true” offers no matter where you encounter them, especially on eBay. I’ve alerted eBay about these messages but to no avail. They said that they would look into them but since I still receive them it’s unlikely eBay did much about it.

As you’ll see in these four messages from what looks like legitimate accounts an obvious trend. I’ll add that these messages are for the same item I have listed on eBay and the messages cover about a two month period. The item lists for around $1,800.

ebay msg

ebay msg 2

ebay msg 3

ebay msg 4

I believe that the scammer(s) hijack legitimate accounts that haven’t been active in a while so as to appear to be legit offers. I’ve never responded to any of these and I’ll never do so. Please, never engage a scammer as they are capable of almost anything and may be able to glean something of importance from any conversation that you may exchange with them.

I once had an offer to mail a full-size piano to Nigeria!

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Not what I expected…

Sometimes cameras that I purchase from online auction sites simply blow me away with the overall quality of the item. Sellers that tend to understate the condition of their gear and then deliver something unexpected (“looks good” is really “like new”). Occasionally cameras arrive and my reaction is just the opposite. But I have a wide range of acceptance because I look closely at the pictures of the item in the listing and ask questions when I’m not sure of something. No one likes bad surprises.

One area that I’m completely inflexible on is previous owner’s initials etched, carved, or engraved into the camera body or lens. If I’m told about it and shown a picture of it that’s fine – I can decide if I still want that piece of gear before I bid on it. Often an etching will be on a part of the camera that’s replaceable like the baseplate or even the film door.

Here’s an example of undisclosed damage from an engraving. I received this camera yesterday and it was described as looking like it was unused in the listing. I guess in fairness to the seller a camera can have an engraving and still technically be “unused”. Not in this instance, however.


This engraving is on the camera’s right side near where the strap would go. That side was not shown in the listing photos. Go figure. If you look closely you’ll also see a hairline crack in the plastic just to the left of the “J”. The camera it turns out was very well used (or very well abused).

No worries, the camera is on its way back to the seller and they’ve promised a full refund. If the seller simply didn’t catch that there was an etched name or social security number, or driver’s license number (I’ve received all three on one camera before!) then I understand. But when it’s this obvious and you don’t mention it why bother going through the motions of sending it? Oh well.

Thanks for stopping by! Oh by the way, if you’re looking for accurately described and well taken care of cameras and photo gear, then a visit to my camera shop just might be the place to start. You can find my shop at (Etsy Pattern site). Everything I sell is from either my personal collection of gear or locally sourced cameras. Carol and I are always on the lookout for interesting gear so if you’ve got something you’re interested in selling please drop us a line and tell us what you have. We may be looking for that exact item to add to our collection.


Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.


Maybe this isn’t the best way?

We’re always searching for interesting cameras to review here on the blog – sometimes our searches online lead us to discover cameras that we’ve never heard of.

This is one of those cases. While searching for Topcon cameras, we discovered a TLR (127 film) that struck our fancy. Partly because of the name – Sawyer’s Mark IV… made by Topcon in Japan.

And then… THIS!!!


Would you want to bid on this camera claimed to be in near mint condition? By the way, there is a half eaten donut on the table just behind the camera.

You don’t need a fancy studio to take good images of items that you sell online. Heck we started out by putting our cameras on a clean piece of white poster board and shooting with the natural daylight coming in through the window. Now we use “studio lights” that we put together from utility lights from a hardware store and daylight fluorescent bulbs.

I wish this seller all the best – I hope he continues to do well – just watch your backgrounds man!