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Sunday, January 24, 2010


I've been trying to sell my Canon DSLR for a little while now, and unfortunately have hit a few roadblocks along the way.

Because lenses are really more expensive than the actual camera, a serious photographer needs to stick with the same brand... unless they have unlimited funds and can buy all kinds of lenses for each camera they have. That's not me, though.

So, because I started with Sony and have more lenses that work with Sony, I am trying to sell the Canon. I tried Craigslist first, and because of the area that I live in, there isn't a real big market for that sort of thing here. It's a smaller town. I had plenty of scammers contact me and after being naively excited the first time I got a reply, I realized that it wasn't legit and that I couldn't fall victim to a plot like that. After a week or so, I took it off the craigslist market.

I posted it on ebay next, but since this is my first attempt at an ebay seller, my rating of a big, whopping - 2 - doesn't really attract a potential buyer. However, it DOES attract a potential scammer.

My camera sold at the very end of the auction a few days ago. I was thrilled, and immediately started planning its replacement.

It took only a day for me to get an email from the buyer instructing me to immediately ship the camera to ... Nigeria.

Um. RED FLAG. Not even a red flag - maybe a black flag.

I had read up on Nigerian sales scams during the craigslist plots and a few days ago related to ebay. My email and situation completely matched the tell-tale Nigerian scam.

So. Long story short, I hadn't sold it to a legit person, it was instead bought by a Nigerian scammer. SAD DAY for me.

I've now submitted an explanation of the situation to ebay, so hopefully by tomorrow or the next day, it can get cleared up. I still have my camera, which is the most important thing.

I'm sure that those of you reading this already know the basis behind the scam. But what happens is they tell you that they have sent payment for the item using Paypal. The email tries to look official but the typos give it away, that it is not a legit paypal email. If I go into my paypal account, there are no funds added into my account. They will tell you that the funds are 'waiting to receive the shipping tracking number for the item and then they'll be deposited into your account.' If unsuspecting buyers send the item off and come back with a tracking number, the money never goes into their account, and now they've lost their item too.

Luckily for me, I didn't get that far. I knew about this ahead of time. So I have another shot at selling my camera.

BUT, what a hassle!!!! Such a buzz kill too, to find out that the buyer I was so excited about was actually a fake. A scam.

So, now I just hope and pray that a potential buyer is still out there for my camera. It is a great start up kit or even an upgrade from an entry level DSLR. A 50 mm f/1.8 lens is a great portrait and indoor lens and the external grip holds two batteries, which I am selling too. I am remaining hopeful and optimistic! There is a Sony that is waiting to become my next DSLR!

It's kind of sad that the scammers from Nigeria have given the country such a bad wrap. There have got to be some legit people from there, and because of those bad ones, everyone is looked at negatively. It's unfortunate.

Stay away, Scammers! There's no place for you here!


  1. Have you considered selling it to a camera store? I recently sold my Nikon film camera and 3 lens to B&H (NY) and I believe I got a fair price. Or maybe contact a school who offer photography classes. Good luck. By the way I love your work. Boo

  2. Well thank you! The comment registers an anonymous so I'm not sure who I'm thanking, but regardless, I appreciate the comments on my work.

    I am from a small town, so there aren't any camera stores within at least a 3 hour radius. I've heard and read about B&H online, but I don't know if they'd do sales that aren't in person. That's a good idea about contacting someone in the photography program at the local college... I hadn't thought about that. I'll check into it!!


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