24 Feb To Market, To Market To Buy A Fat Lens…
Did goe to the Photographic Markets yesterday and was greatly entertained.
The view from the seller’s side of the table is different than from that of the buyer’s. It reminded me of diagrams I have seen of the circulation of the blood – the individuals representing the red corpuscles drifting by. Occasionally pausing, and sometimes aggregating. Which is a nice way of saying acting like clots.
For the most part people are very nice. They look at the gear, hoist it round, put it down, move on. Or ask the price. I have learned to make a large sign with the price on it, so that we are both able to see it – it saves a deal of misunderstanding.
Of course, the nature of a market being what it is, some wish to bargain it down. I am not offended by this, though I generally pitch my prices low enough that this is not necessary. And I have learned to politely maintain my pricing…it works out well in the end. I have also learned never to offer anything that is not good value for money, nor anything that is unreliable. Better to throw it away at home than offer to sell it if it is going to disappoint someone else.
A couple of words of advice to those who would be buyers…you will get better reception for your bargaining if you do not attempt to talk down the equipment you are bargaining for. In the case of gear that has been personally owned and used by the seller, they understand it far better than you, and have at least some residual interest in it. If you pooh pooh it you are effectively criticising them…they may take umbrage.
Likewise do not try the old trick of bad ears…where you ask the price and then echo it but subtly alter it down to something that sounds the same but is 10% lower…hoping that the seller will be confused and agree. Particularly don’t try this is you have a large printed sign in front of you…it won’t work. Not even if you do it in a heavy accent.
When someone has no price tag on an item, you can legitimately ask “What is the price?” or ” What will you take?”. You cannot use this latter question if there is a printed sign – you would be asking the seller to start bidding themselves down while you stand back. By all means haggle – but do your own haggling and don’t expect them to do it for you.
Are you free to offer advice to other buyers while you are standing there on the buyer’s side about buying or rejecting something on offer? Yes, it is a free country. Of course the seller may then suggest that you are doing this for your own benefit, and raise suspicions of you being either a shill or vulture. If the feathers sound like they fit, be prepared to wear them…
All the above being said, the morning can be fun. The people who purchased some of my surplus equipment are intelligent and artistic people who will benefit from their purchases. I will benefit from the return of cash. We are both happy. And the coffee stall always has some very good home-made baked goods.
Baked goods are also necessary for the circulation of the blood.