Olympus Refurb camera hell... suggestions?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cynthia P, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    This is my first purchase of a refurbished camera of any sort...
    barring a few flea market finds of the past where I was able to
    inspect the camera (Zeiss Ikonta, Yashica Mat-124).

    Anyway, to be on the safe side, I bought from Olympus America auctions
    on eBay.

    First C-5050 camera kit arrives.

    Marks on the front element of the lens
    Missing hot shoe cover
    Lens cap string broken
    Incorrect remote included

    I send it back, because I don't want a lens with marred optical
    coating or scratches if I can avoid it. Not for $470 at any rate!.

    Second C-5050 kit arrives.

    Badly scratched viewfinder (the main issue)
    Tiny marks on the front element of the lens
    Missing RM-1 remote entirely.
    Alkaline batteries substituted for a set of NiMH rechargeables that
    the camera is supposed to come with.

    I posted here before I decided to buy refurb... and most people seemed
    to have had good experiences and also felt that at least any refurb
    camera would have been inspected. But at this point, I'm beginning to
    have my doubts about that. Or, if the cameras are being inspected, the
    kits sure as heck aren't!

    So, my question is, does anyone know a place I can find an Olympus
    C-5050 new for around $550 or less? If I can find a new one, I might
    be willing to go that route and return my Olympus auctions kit for a
    refund instead of another exchange even though it costs me more.

    Or should I just keep exchanging until I get a decent camera?

    Will Olympus stop letting me exchange at any point? Their policy is no
    questions asked, but you have to wonder if there is a limit. Plus,
    with them sending me TWO kits so far that have had missing items,
    might they think I am taking the stuff?

    It's disconcerting to say the least and very disappointing. Yet, I've
    been very happy with the Olympus cameras I've owned in the past and
    currently. But all of them were bought new.

    Or am I just being too picky on a refurb camera?

    The auction ads say the refurbs will be functionally like new... with
    perhaps some scuffs or marks on the body. To me though, lens,
    viewfinder, LCD are all items that contribute to function and should
    not be damaged.

    Cynthia P, Dec 30, 2004
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  2. Cynthia P

    Ryadia Guest

    Refurbished must surely be the most abused word in the English language.
    The stuff is second hand. It comes from the pile of junk gotten from
    replacing people's cameras with new ones under warranty. Some trainee
    Technician is let loose on the pile to see what he (she?) can get working
    again and then they put 'em up on Ebay because they are not new anymore...
    Just trying to recover something - anything - from a warranty replacement.

    Whoever told you you'd get a bargain this way lied. If they worked for
    Olympus they committed fraud. Send it back and get a refund. If they give
    you a hard time about it, call your card provider and tell then the
    tracsaction is disputed because the goods don't match the description.
    They'll get the money back for you. You got had. Ripped off. Lied to and
    cheated. It doesn't get much worse, does it? And regardless of how good the
    new Olympus might be, ask yourself is this the brand you will be comfortable

    Buy a new camera. The few bucks you *might* save on the (ab)used one just
    isn't worth it.

    Ryadia, Dec 30, 2004
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  3. That's probably one of the best descriptions I have ever read about refurbs.
    While I agree with you and feel Cynthia's pain, I still have to say there
    are still great advantages of buying refurbs if you know what you're getting
    into and have a basic understanding of working with or around the problems
    associated with refurbs. The problem buying refurbs on eBay is that many
    people don't understand the concept of what a refurb is and tend to overpay
    for the item.
    I too would be inclined to send the camera back for a full refund unless it
    was attractively priced making the deficiencies worth the price/aggravation
    After putting things into proper perspective, that might very well be the
    case. Sometimes it's worth waiting a little longer to find a new camera for
    a few dollars more.

    Rita Ä Berkowitz, Dec 30, 2004
  4. Cynthia P

    Tom Scales Guest

    What's the ebay ID. If it is OlympusUSA, that is NOT Olympus.

    Tom Scales, Dec 30, 2004
  5. Cynthia P wrote:
    Lens viewfinder and LCD are items that contribute to function. However
    they may not be like new and still function just fine.The only functional
    issue you seem to have documented is the remote and you did not even list
    that on your list of those things you consider important for function.

    Did you try using the camera? Did it function?
    Joseph Meehan, Dec 30, 2004
  6. Whoever told you you'd get a bargain this way lied. If they worked for

    Well....I don't like being called a liar at all! I am one who advocates
    buying refurbs for the savings. My feeling is that the apes on the assembly
    line are more likely to let a problem get through than someone who is
    checking out one camera at a time. That being said....I have not bought an
    Oly camera that way....and there have been other complaints about the way
    Oly does it's Ebay sales.
    Gene Palmiter, Dec 30, 2004
  7. Cynthia P

    nick c Guest

    Send it back and get your money back. The C-5050 is a very good camera
    and you should be able to find on in very good shape. Have you tried

    I just looked on KEH and there is a C-5050 "Like New" for $325.00

    nick c, Dec 30, 2004
  8. Cynthia P

    Jim Elbrecht Guest

    Is the 5060 a step down in any area? Amazon & Target have them for
    $460 new.

    I think I would have lost faith in the current supplier, but if I was
    forced to deal with them [even to save a few bucks] I'd be talking to
    an upper level supervisor to expedite things and make sure the next
    transaction was the last.
    What is the ebay iD? Are you really dealing with Olympus or someone
    with a similar ID?


    Jim Elbrecht, Dec 30, 2004
  9. Cynthia P

    RustY© Guest

    Not if you used paypal they won't. Your card company have done what you
    authorised and paid paypal to transfer money for you, not some greasy
    rip-off camera shop.
    Try getting a refund off paypal if you think you're hard enough !
    RustY©, Dec 30, 2004
  10. Cynthia P

    Jeremy Guest

    Consumer Reports warned against buying "refurbished" cameras, because their
    prices were typically not that much less than a brand-new one, and their
    warranty periods were usually much shorter than that of a new item.

    They also warned that many of these allegedly refurbished units were given
    only a very superficial inspection before being repackaged and resold. It
    appears that your purchases fit that description.

    Maybe you can find a USED camera on eBay that meets your price point. Often
    the sellers have taken very good care of their items while they owned them.

    There is an element of Russian Roulette when buying refurbished units. I
    personally don't find them to be good value. How does one put a dollar
    value on all the inconvenience that you've experienced with your purchase?

    All I can say is that, virtually every time I tried to cut a corner
    somewhere and get a bargain price, I've ended up unhappy, and often ended up
    paying more over the long run than I would have paid, had I just bought
    brand new, factory sealed, with full USA warranty.

    While I concede that this is somewhat subjective, I would suggest to you
    that there is often a big difference between "price" and "value."

    Have a look at this link:

    Jeremy, Dec 30, 2004
  11. Cynthia P

    Jeremy Guest

    I vaguely remember seeing a sign posted over a very expensive vacuum cleaner
    in a shop, that read something like this:

    "The price is soon forgotten
    The value is remembered for years."
    Jeremy, Dec 30, 2004
  12. Cynthia P

    Jeremy Guest

    I would be interested to know why some sellers will accept PayPal only if
    the funds came from a debit card, rather than from a credit card?

    I thought it was to avoid credit card chargebacks.
    Jeremy, Dec 30, 2004
  13. ===========================

    6 + 1 +1 + 1 = United Kingdom
    Pink & Perky sing the Blues, Dec 30, 2004
  14. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    Nope this is Olympus America... I don't remember their exact ID
    offhand, but the phone number goes right to Olympus.

    I'm not worried about getting a refund. I paid them with credit card.
    I'm more worried about finding this discontinued model new from a
    non-sleazy source.

    They are cheerful about exchanges... but their auction wording really
    doesn't let you know quite what is going on. I don't think the first
    camera was even so much as inspected... the second one had a label on
    the bottom that made it look like someone might have looked at it, but
    quite certainly neither kit was inspected for correctness and
    intactness of contents.

    If I had realized that it was a lottery, I wouldn't have bothered. I
    guess many folks aren't picky about their lenses, but I'm one of them.
    And I've got 20 and 30 year old lenses here that are in better shape
    than the ones I've gotten on the refurb camera.

    Cynthia P, Dec 30, 2004
  15. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    The first camera seemed to have some issues regarding setting the

    The second seemed to function fine.

    To me, reflections off a scratch... and remember, this was a long,
    deep scratch, is a functional issue. I really don't want to be dealing
    with that in my viewfinder frame if I don't have to.

    As for the lens on the first one, there were definite marks in the
    optical coating, very visible. The second was better, but the tiny
    marks (a small cluster of them) could still make for problems.

    The remote was missing... I figured if that was the only problem,
    they'd be willing to replace the remote. I hope.

    At any rate, I posted because this is my first refurb camera
    experience and I just wanted to see if I was out of line on expecting
    good lenses and optical components.

    Cynthia P, Dec 30, 2004
  16. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    For me, yes. What I like about the 5050 is the fast lens. I do a lot
    of indoor shooting and that comes in handy, allowing me to handhold
    shots (I've got steady hands) where I mightn't be able to.

    I have an aging cat I'd like to get some good natural light pix of.
    Preferably without moving to the noisier ASA 200/400 settings.

    I've been talking to Paul Fishman... but he only says he can put a
    note on the order and cannot control what the shipping department
    ships. I have no idea who his superior might be.

    But yes, I've lost faith in Olympus refurb at present.

    One good thing... I did clarify that the 90 day warranty was not being
    used up by the delay in getting a good camera, apparently it starts
    each time when I receive the replacement camera.

    I am looking to try and find a place with a new one in stock though.

    Cynthia P, Dec 30, 2004
  17. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    My search came up "no match is found".

    Cynthia P, Dec 30, 2004
  18. Cynthia P

    Cynthia P Guest

    Whoops, I found it! THANKS!

    When I searched before, it must not have included the digital store.

    I took a chance and bought it after looking at the grading and seeing
    they go several steps down before they mention problems with the
    glass. I just hope shipping without a lens cap won't be a problem.

    Seems to come with battery and charger and CD. I guess it is missing
    cap, strap, manual, remote and manuals... but I have the RM-1 remote
    with my C-3030 and caps and straps shouldn't be hard to come by. I
    won't miss the XD card, I already have a larger one and a good compact
    flash card.

    And I understand that the real manual is on the CD anyway.

    It looks like they won't ship until the 3rd... but that should still
    give me plenty of time to inspect and then decide whether to keep the
    KEH camera or keep playing games with Olympus refurb exchanges.

    Cynthia P, Dec 30, 2004
  19. My experience indicates that most of all those scratches etc on a lens
    do not transfer to any real issues in the results. Your mileage may vary.
    Joseph Meehan, Dec 30, 2004
  20. PayPal charges you to accept money; they charge more if they have to
    pay credit card fees.
    Scott Schuckert, Dec 30, 2004
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