Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 1999/12/01

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Subject: [Leica] Who drives prices of Leica used equipment.... collectors... hardl y...
From: "Birkey, Duane" <>
Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 10:10:36 -0500

To pin high prices of used Leica equipment on collectors is easy to do...
but I would submit that it is the user market and dealers that primarily
drives prices...  Why???
Well.... a while back I was looking to buy a second body.... I would have
liked to buy another M-6 but a new one was $2000 at the time.... So I
started looking for a M4-P or M4-2 in my Shutterbug magazine.... how hard
could it be... I mean what collector is interested in an M4-2 or M4-P......
well I barely found a handful of them... M-3s there was well over a hundred
of them and 70 some M-2s..... and 40 some M-4's and more M-5's than the M4-2
and M4-P combined

Lets face it... how many Leica collectors are there...LHSA has 500 members
(Help ???) how many of them already have all of the M4s, M3s and M2s they'll
ever need..... There were what 280,000 some M-3s made... it can't be the
collector market that is driving the price of M-3s... granted a truly mint
M-3 is getting harder to find so the price of them is rising... but there
are thousands of other M3s out there and more are showing up on E-bay all of
the time....  Collectors are hoarding M4-2s??? I don't think so.... as the
collective wisdom from collectors on this list is that the M4-2 is well....
not desirable and the M4-P has to have a red dot or other oddities to be
worth a second glance...

My feeling is that Dealers (and collectors) are maintaining an artificially
high price on M-3's at least as there are an awful lot of them sitting on
dealers shelves and for sale in the LHSA catalogue... And others like to
think that if a truly mint M-3 is worth $2000 .... their less than mint one
has to be worth $1200... There are a few people that are willing to pay that
price and that reinforces their idea that they should sell them for that...
("Not that there is anything wrong with that", Jerry Seinfeld)

As far as the M4-2 and M4-P, I think the pricing on them is more pegged to
new prices.... Lets face it, new prices are kind of high and in general used
prices tend to follow new ones....  If a new M-6 were to sell for $1000 used
ones would drop to $600 perhaps.... or if it went up to $3000... used ones
would go for perhaps $2000.. I bought one cause I didn't have the funds for
used M-6....  and there isn't that much difference between the two... 

Either way..... I don't think it is collectors who are driving the
market.... it's people who have always wanted to buy a Leica and are doing
so...  and Dealers who want to make a profit in the process or are hesitant
to lower prices to meet demand and of course you have to add current pricing
for new Leica products in the equation.


***Disclaimer:..... my facts may not be exactly right... I'm not sure of
either the current membership of LHSA and the number of M3s produced.   I'm
not speaking against dealers as they provide a useful service and they have
the right to ask what ever they want for what they are selling...  Besides
being a working Photographer....I also collect cameras as a hobby ( I don't
have more than one example of anything and I have exactly one Leica in my
collection.... a IIIc and 50 Summarit) and was a member of the LHSA and will
probably join again at some point***