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VHTF Nikon BL-3 @5x Retail… Such a Bargain!


Last year I purchased a film camera. Yes, you read that correctly, a film camera. Two, actually. The answer to the question “why would you do that?” is coming soon in another blog post. This is about something different. About people and how desperation makes them do strange things.

The camera that I purchased is the Nikon F6. It’s going to be an incredible camera once I finish reading the manual and practicing with it. I also got an motor drive for the camera. The motor drive increases the number of shots that can be taken on a single charge by offering larger battery capacity. It also offers a faster motor for advancing the film. At the time I ordered it I did not order the rechargeable batteries because they were out of stock. When the batteries finally were in stock the chargers were gone. When the charger was in stock the batteries were gone.

Finally the batteries and the charger were in stock at the same time and I ordered them. Only to find out that one very important part was still missing: the Nikon BL-3 or battery cap. This cap is used to replace the battery cap for the motor drive when you switch from AA batteries to the EN-EL4a rechargeable battery pack. When I started searching for this item on the web and in local stores I found out that it, too, was chronically out of stock.

Enter eBay. I have seen several BL-3 auctions over the past few weeks, and all of them have sold for way more than I am willing to pay. It’s probably time to mention that it is a $50 part brand new, and is discounted by most online photography stores to much less. So paying $100 now for a part that I can eventually get for less than $40 is just not something I am interested in. Here is a screen shot of a listing from my favorite mail order source for camera stuff:

What I expect to pay for my BL-3 when it is back in stock

But I still go look on eBay just to see what shows up. Today I found this completed auction:

Actual eBay auction for a Nikon BL-3

That particular Nikon BL-3 sold for $241.38. :shock: Yes, that’s nearly five times the retail price for a new Nikon BL-3. Yes, it’s very hard to find. (VHTF) Yes, it’s new. But paying five times retail price? Seriously, this isn’t a beanie baby we’re talking about here. ;-) I did a search and found more than ten completed auctions for this same item and the average price was a few pennies short of $100. But wait it gets better… here is the best part, at least as far as I am concerned. The feedback that the buyer left for the seller was:

My first purchase. {seller-name} really went out of his way to help.

I should hope so. Being willing to pay five times retail for an item should get you exemplary service from anyone. :)


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