I just got a Graflex flash on Ebay for $62 by working the system.

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by James Kenobi 1138, Jul 8, 2015.

  1. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Back in 2008 I was lucky enough to score a complete 3-cell Graflex at a flea market for $25. http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=34195

    I was going to use it to make a new Luke ANH as my old one still has the 6 rubber grips and the 2 hole d-ring on the bottom. That $25 Graflex is still unconverted :(

    Since then I have picked up a Graflex Clamp and a Grafflex 3-cell bottom off the RPF. All I was missing was the top to make a second complete one.

    I had been meaning to pick one for a few years, but losing my job in 2013 and moving in 2014 kept me and my money busy. I had been trolling ebay on and off and the prices for a complete 3-cell Graflex were down to about $200. I had put off buying one because all I needed was the top of the flash, I kept waiting for one to be for sale in the JY.

    Next thing I know the second SW EP7 teaser comes out and we all see the Luke ESB Graflex saber. I went to ebay the day the 2nd teaser came out and suddenly Graflex flashes were $300 to $800 depending on condition. I was kicking myself, I couldn't believe I had waited too long and missed out.

    I spent the last few weeks doing alternative searches, such as 'vintage flash' and 'antique camera flash' hoping to find one that no one else was looking for. Weeks of daily searches, no luck.

    Then I got an idea.

    I found this auction:
    [​IMG]

    Graflex 2X3 Medium Format camera BIN $299. Not a 3-cell but it did have a 2-cell in great shape. The Camera was in excellent condition and had lots of extras.

    I bought it. When it arrived it looked like this.
    [​IMG]

    I switched out the flash handle with an old Heiland I've had for about 10 years, back when we thought the Darth Vader saber was a Heiland and way before Parks was making MPP replicas. I don't remember what I paid for it but it wasn't much and it was so long ago I'm not counting it as money spent in this deal.

    I removed the Graflex flash, added the Heiland flash, took pictures and re-listed the camera right back on ebay.

    I could have probably listed it at $299, the same price I paid, but I wanted to guarantee it would sell so I listed it at BIN $250.

    How it looked when I sold it:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So here's the math.

    Camera was $299 plus shipping ended at $318.06.

    Listed camera back on ebay wiht $250 BIN and it sold, total with shipping was $289.40.

    I paid the $318.06 to purchase the camera and shipping and also paid $33.66 to ship it to the new buyer. But I received $289.40 when I sold it (including shipping).

    $318.06 + $33.66 = $351.72 - $289.40 = I'm out $62.32 for a 2-cell Graflex flash.

    And since I really only needed the top I see it as $31 for the top shell and $31 for a Graflex clamp. Best prices I've ever paid for either.

    I might do this again, as I regularly see complete 4X5 Graflex cameras with a 3-cell flash for $500 that could easily be re-sold back for $500 for a free Graflex flash.

    It seems the people selling only the flash know what they have and want $600 for just the flash handle. The ones still attached to cameras are being sold as cameras and you would be buying the whole thing for the same or less then just the flash. If the sellers realized how much they could get for just the flash they would sell the camera and flash separate.

    It's still a gamble, if the camera doesn't sell you're stuck with it and out the money. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
     
    mugatu, Romans Empire and Wes R like this.
  2. Wes R

    Wes R Legendary Member

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    Makes me want to rummage thru all the old cameras we have now lol. Sadly dad won't part with them as they were his grandfather's. I can see why folks would do this though, they'd rather sell the complete camera than part it out and risk not getting rid of the thing.
     
  3. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice work...

    One of these days I want to get a Graflex 4X5, working or not, but it would be nice if it came with the flash as a little extra.
     
  4. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    congrats! beautiful pieces you found. I did the same thing with an entire kit in a trunk. Came out with 2 slaves and a 3 cell. :) nice work!
     
  5. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    One can never have to many G R A F L E X clamps ... in the stash bin :wacko

    Chaim
     
  6. Scott D

    Scott D Sr Member

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    Well done. :thumbsup

    Don't remember the screen name, but another RPF member here recently did the same thing. He bought the whole outfit that came with a minty 3 cell for around $400.00.

    Given the current Graflex fever, I was shocked when the auction didn't end higher than that. I'm sure he'll end up in good shape when/if he sells the camera.
     
  7. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    I've bought multiples of many things just so I could piece together the best parts.
     
    Sym-Cha likes this.
  8. Jedioz

    Jedioz Active Member

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    I did the same thing late last year (2014) got a camera and a 3 cell from the US for $265 (when the Aussie dollar was worth real money) came with a bag and some cool flyers from the Worlds Fair , the flash was in excellent condition as was the camera I sold the camera and bag to an antique store here in Oz for $150 ,flash ended up costing me $110 inc shipping .\
    I don't think I will find a deal like that again .
     
  9. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm only bummed it took me so long to catch on to something other RPFers have been doing for a while.

    Still, this makes it all worthwhile:

    [​IMG]
     
    Sym-Cha, mugatu and NeoRutty like this.
  10. mugatu

    mugatu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    *! Congratulations, James Kenobi 1138. Executed like a true eBay bounty hunter!
     
  11. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Well to be honest ... all my G R A F L E X flashguns are still in their original state apart from a D-ring ... so I need to catch up with some of the 'newbies' that have finished theirs eons ago ... so James you're not alone :wacko

    Chaim
     
  12. scottjua

    scottjua Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice!

    I've done this numerous times, and buying a whole camera kit to get the flash, and then re-selling the camera back on ebay.

    It's also how I got one of my MPPs.
     
  13. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I can't believe it took me so long to think of this.
     
  14. NeoRutty

    NeoRutty Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm lazy about ebay... I'm worried I would end up with a huge camera collection, heh.

    It just seems like such a pain to put up an auction.
     

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