Beware of the main digital camera sellers on eBay!

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There are a few eBay traders who sell dozens of cameras per day, many with excellent buy it now prices. If you are in the market to buy a digital camera then you MUST read the item description fully, and here's why.

Although the item might be titled something like 'uk spec', 'unopened maufacturers packaging' or 'with warranty' etc. etc. etc. Several of these retailers are mainly selling reconditioned goods. They don't describe them as refurbished in either the item title or the main part of the description. You need to scroll past all of the item info, the manufacturers description, the sample pictures etc and get down towards the bottom. It's down here that you will find the true nature of the goods that you are bidding on. Typically within a section either described as 'Item condition and warranty', 'Manufacturers warranty' or even just 'Package contents' you will find the only mention of the item being refurbished. They've tucked it away, right at the end because they know that having put in such long item descriptions, it's likely that the majority of buyers will not read down this far.

Here is an example of the sort of thing I mean. It's taken from a genuine auction, held by a Power Seller with 162000+ feedback (99.6% positive), I wonder how many of these people never realised that there purchase was not new but reburb? Rember this is right at the end in what seems to be the innocuous postage details etc:

Package Contents Panasonic DMC-TZ1 Digital Camera (Silver) Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery Pack Battery Charger USB Cable A/V Cable Strap Software CD-ROM Instruction Booklets Panasonic Warranty Bonus: 2GB SD Card (£ 129.99 value)   This product is manufacturer refurbished to new condition, factory refurbished box, unopened, everything is keeping in the original manufactory status. This package includes the following warranty: Warranty Length: This product comes with 3 months warranty. Coverage: This warranty covers repair or replacement of defective product. Provider: Warranty provided by Panasonic . Service Location: Should you require service, please contact Panasonic .

Note that the much advertised (in the item title and description) manufacturers warranty, is not a full warranty, it's a 3 month one and many people are reporting that even this is only valid in the US, so not much use at all! The item having being reconditioned does not mean that it will not work or that it is no good. It simply means that it's real value is below that of a new item, and if all you are saving is £30-£50 off genuine online UK retailers (check kelkoo, Pricerunner, Amazon etc) prices then you might want to just buy from them. You'll get a brand new item, with a full and valid warranty plus all of your statutory UK rights. That's got to be worth 30 quid of anyones money. Don't be fooled by the flashing lights, pretty pictures and pyro-techniques of the auction, especially not by offers of free memory cards etc. (most of which are very low grade quality).
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