January 30, 2012
Before I quit my old job, I gave my old laptop backpack back because it was all broken (Targus bags apparently do not last – it became all frayed from being brought to work in a car for a few years…). I didn’t know what would happen after I started at my new job, would I get a new bag? Would I even need to carry a laptop to-and-from work.
Well the answer is no to both, and really all I needed to bring to work was my lunch (I don’t even need an umbrella due to my short commute). For the first few weeks, I had been using my MEC backpack, but it’s felt a bit odd because I don’t have much to fill it with and it feels like I am travelling with tags and a compass dangling from the back.
So I started shopping around for a bag for work. I didn’t want to get an all leather bag because it just feels too serious at this point – it’s not like I am working at a bank or firm. I ended up deciding on this Fred Perry bag.
Luckily for me, when I was looking for a bag, Fred Perry was having a sale so the price went down from £45 to £22.5. Unfortunately it would cost £12 for shipping and I may be hit by the 17% duty and HST which would end up setting me back about $100 for the bag!
Instead, I started looking for options and happened to find the same bag on Ebay. I ended up buying it there – it was a bit more expensive (about the same after shipping) but at least I didn’t have to pay customs or duty on it!
March 31, 2007
I bought a new lens from eBay, not this one, but a 50mm f/1.8. Yes, if you remember I had bought a 50mm f/1.8 back in Calgary, and even though I couldn’t use it for awhile, it wasn’t broken and everything was fine. So why did I buy another lens with the exact same specs?
Well it’s not entirely the same, this one is older and of the manual focus variety. I can still fit it on my D50, but it only works in fully manual mode; that is it doesn’t do any metering so I have to set the shutter speed and aperture by hand. So why did I buy a worse copy of a lens that I already have?
Well because it’s half the length of my AF 50mm! It’s only about 3 centimeters long, and incredibly light, so I can slip it in my pocket and carry it around with me all the time. Of course the non-AF part is a definite drawback, but I won’t be using it that often. I also got a free UV filter as part of the deal, but it’s worthless. You can actually see scratches on the filter!
For all the talk of not paying custom charges on eBay purchases, I had to pay $8 and change to get this lens. The value of it was only $20USD, but either because the value converted to Canadian currency was greater than $20, or it required signature for delivery, I had to pay duties. The dumb part was that the duty was only $3 and change; There was a $5 handling fee from customs.
March 17, 2007
I’ve been on an eBay binge lately. It all started because I wanted to pick up some cheap MF prime lenses, then I remembered that I had several CDs on my list which I wanted to buy, but were hard to find (not because they were rare or OOP, but more so because no one wanted them!). I easily won auctions for those, but what pisses me off about buying CDs on eBay is that you typically have to pay $5-6 shipping. Then, for some reason during the Auto Show, I shorted out (or otherwise broke) my second battery for my camera, so I bought another. It was cheap too, about $10 including shipping.
I’m still wary of buying expensive things from eBay, I think the most expensive thing that I’ve bought is ~$100 for a laptop power pack. On the one hand I don’t want to get ripped off by scam artists, but I also don’t want to get nicked on custom fees. I think the limit is $40CDN (if they mark an item as gift), so I try and buy lots and lots of things less than $10. Surprisingly, a lot of useful knick-knacks can be found for cheap from China/HK. I, on a whim, looked up the Nikon remote to control my camera, and won one for about $10 shipped.
But being so cheap, it’s difficult to resist the temptation of clicking those Buy-It-Now buttons. I saw a rubber, screw-on lens hood that I barely resisted buying, and I almost bought replacement iPod ear buds. My headphone wires are stripping in sections because I keep folding them in the same manner, and being superficial, I don’t want to wear black ones (i.e. non-iPod ones) around. At least from the pictures, it looks as though the Chinese have ones that look exactly like the real ones (kind of like knock-off clothes I suppose).