Experience selling used equipment to KEH - Beware

My Experience Selling to KEH:

I recently sold a lot of Canon camera equipment. Some I sold to local camera club members, or other friends. The rest I split up and sent to KEH, B&H and MPB.

My experience with KEH was not good. Here’s a summary.

Problem 1: I received an offer once the equipment had been checked, but all I received was one number for the total. No itemized values at all. That’s a terrible business practice. I had to call to get and itemized list.

I sent a total of 9 items to KEH with my grading. Just as a reference I sent 5 other items to B&H, and 4 items to MPB that I graded. The payments for both B&H and MPB were exactly as expected with no need for further interaction.

7 of the 9 items from KEH were downgraded, NONE of the items sent to B&H or MPB were downgraded so I do have a very good sense of the condition and value of equipment.

The worst was the Canon 500mm f/4 which I graded as Excellent and KEH graded it UGLY saying it had fungus on the lens elements. I live in New Mexico with a relative humidity that rarely exceeds 20%. I also had the lens cleaned and checked by Canon Professional services before sending to KEH. There is ZERO chance it had fungus on the lens. I just got it back because of course I rejected the offer. I have once again looked at it very carefully with a light, with a magnifying glass, front and back and there is ZERO fungus or marks of any kind on the glass. So instead of a valuation of $2120, KEH insulted me with and offer of $650. I know KEH would simply turn the lens, mark it as Excellent and sell it. A current example on their site in Excellent condition is $3567.

Canon 5D Mark IV. I graded as Excellent Plus, KEH downgraded to Excellent and then offered $100 less than it says on their own website for Excellent. When I asked the claim was that the control dial needed a $100 repair. I just got it back and have checked the camera and everything works perfectly, just like it did out of the box new.

To add just a little insult, my Canon 1.4x converter was downgraded from Excellent plus to Excellent and then another $4 was taken off. I asked why and they said the case was not included. That is simply not true. The converter was in the original Canon Box with caps, case, warranty card. Yes, KEH fixed that, but good grief, it simply shows how careless KEH is with dealing with equipment.

I will never deal with KEH again .

The final insult: After talking with Jake at KEH to tell him I would not accept the offer for the 5D Mark IV or the 500mm f/4, he said he would have those sent back and process the offer for the rest of the equipment with an updated quote. One full week later, I had not received the offer. When I called the answer was “I guess I forgot to process the payment”. You forgot? Wow. That is some customer service. Finally the payment was processed after 8 days of waiting when I was told it would have been processed the afternoon I talked with Jake.

Deal with KEH at your own peril.


Sorry to hear this update, Keith. It’s been years since I bought and sold to KEH. I never had any issues at all. In fact I had one bad lens from them and they immediately exchanged for a better unit. Like many places KEH is suffering with losing experienced help with age & Covid losses. That caveat I would add to ANY exchange. I just bought a tripod repair kit from Feisol 3 weeks ago. I’ve written 2 emails…not a word. Thankfully it was a mere $35 tab. I’ve yet to contact Paypal as I’ve NEVER had a purchase thru that service go bad. The world is not the same anymore I’m afraid.

@Paul_Breitkreuz - sadly interactions with businesses has certainly taken a hit with the pandemic. I get that, and feel fortunate that I didn’t have to work through the pandemic since I’m retired.

That doesn’t excuse the kind of service and treatment that I received. I was blatantly lied to. I had pictures of my equipment before it left and I’ve now taken even more detailed pictures since. When I spoke with the purchasing rep (Jake) and told him there was zero chance there was fungus on the the 500mm lens, his response was don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger, I didn’t inspect it.

I’ve contacted KEH and asked for a member of their management team to contact me. Not because I want, nor expect, to change the outcome, but because they need to be made aware that their business practices are unethical, and that having a member of their team “forget” to process a payment is probably not a singular occurrence with my experience. Very sad state of affairs indeed.

I hear you, Keith. Hopefully you will be able to communicate with a manager. As a manager myself for many years during my working days I had very few calls that were negative customer complaints. However, I did deal with the bad calls too and was able to resolve them in a positive way. …good luck !

Keith, looks like I have to man up on Feisol . I just received my parts after just over a week even with the holiday in there. So, the emails I sent probably got there after the parts had already shipped. It was truly excellent service from them… :cowboy_hat_face:

1 Like

That sounds miserable! I have only bought once from them and that was fine. Interesting business model they have going there.

Yes, it was miserable. I too have purchased from them in the past. Didn’t have issues with that transaction, but this sales transaction was a complete disaster. Their responses back have affirmed my opinion that if you try to sell to them, be prepared for the worst. As of today, despite me sending them pictures I took after return of the 500mm f/4 front and rear elements under great lighting, they still are trying to claim the lens had fungus growing on the elements. The glass on this lens is as pristine as the day I bought it new. I couldn’t grow fungus here in New Mexico if I tried :slight_smile:

Sorry that you had such a miserable experience with them. I made three pricey purchases from them last year, a GFX50R with two GF lens. I had some issues with the GFX50R, sensor pixel related and later noticing inconsistent auto W/B. Long story short, I was thankfully able to get a full refund after owning for roughly half a year due to various reasons and constantly reaching out to their sales manager. I really enjoyed that camera when I had it at hand, however had to send it back to KEH twice in a 6 month span while owning it. It was frustrating as I was constantly traveling and hoping to use it. I’m not that familiar with grading equipment, but feel that for at least one of my lens, it should have been graded less than what I had purchased it for as it had some noticeable dust in the lens and the rubbers weren’t as “fresh” compared to new, if that makes any sense.

I’ll be much more cautious in the future if I were to go them again.