Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/08/25

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Subject: [Leica] leica "demos"
Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 11:08:10 EDT


Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2000 07:23:04 -0800

From: "Matt Morgan" <>

Subject: Re: [Leica] "B Grade" Leica gear????

Message-ID: <>



As I am just in the process of buying a "demo' lens, (from a reputable and

known dealer) and want to make sure I'm not a mug, could you please enlarge

on the term `demo'?

If a lens is sold as a demo, should I expect it to have only been used in

the same store for potential customers to just put it on a camera and look

through it? What other use could it have had? Could it be a return?

How much wear would a demo lens expect before it is then sold on?

If it is demo, why would the store sell it, instead of keeping it for quite

a period of time, or are demo's supposed to be constantly renewed?

What are the signs I should look for and check when buying?

Lastly, what is an average discount from the dealer's selling price (not

full-list price) that should be expected for a demo?

Apologies for so many questions, but as I'm spending a lot of money in a

very short time I'd like to save a chunk if I can trust `demo' gear.

However, I'd always rather pay the full amount for new than risk buying

inferior kit.

Thanks, Matt.>>

The problem with the word "demo" is that it can mean almost anything from 
store to store.

I have started to differentiate a bit in my advertising between an "unused 
demo" which is probably just new goods at a discount and a "Mint- demo" which 
is a camera that has been used in one way or the next.

I also try to indicate in my advertisements, or certainly when I speak to the 
customer, which WARRANTY it comes with. If it is unused with passport it is 
in all ways a New USA camera...however, if it is a Leica demo it may have a 1 
year or 90 day warranty...which is different.

Could it be a return? That is again by dealer policy. Why don't you ask them. 
If it has blank warranty cards that certainly is a good sign...missing cards 
a bad sign... I don't call "used" gear a "demo"...I call it used, Mint, Exc+, 
whatever...but if it is preowned then it is not truly a demo in my eyes. I 
have noticed that a lot of people don't like the word "demo" why 
bill it as such if it is not?

What about "grey market" goods. Well, I see grey market items being sold as 
"Factory Samples" in Tamarkin's ads each month. What is a "factory sample?" I 
don't know, but I guess it is like when you get the broken cakes at the 
Enteman's factory store for 1/2 price! <ha> Since there are no US warranty 
cards with many of these items, I assume they are just grey market or 
possibly some code u demos?

As to price, there is no hard and fast rule there. I imagine that some bigger 
dealers get a much better deal on demo gear and certainly more of 
it...because of this they may sell items cheaper.  I generally price demos at 
the same markup as new...which is not much.

My advice to you, is that if you are losing sleep over it, don't get a demo. 
I am always surprised when a customer with a large income will agonize over a 
purchase to save as little as $150 on some items! If I were in their shoes 
(and I have been in those shoes as a photographer/collector many times before 
becoming a dealer.) I would buy the new gear, pay the extra money, and save 
my worry-pills for something that really mattered.

My .02. ;-)