Why should I buy a camera from JapanCameraHunter?


by Bellamy /

4 min read

Why should I buy a camera from JapanCameraHunter?
This is a mighty good question that I have been asked a few times recently. So, I thought it would be nice to fill you in on what I do and why I think I offer a good service.

Recently a few people have asked me why they should buy a camera from me. What makes me so special? And why shouldn’t they just buy a camera from e-bay? Well, that is a very good question actually. I am not here to tell you where you should buy anything, but hopefully I can give you some compelling reasons to buy from me.

1. I really really care about what I do
Now this may sound like a trivial reason for you, but this is my life. It is my full time job and for me it is everything. I love what I do and I love finding cameras or lenses for people. It give me a sense of satisfaction when I can find the thing they are looking for. And for me I would never buy something that I wouldn’t buy for myself. I want my customers to have the very best that I can get for their budget, and if that means sending something back or getting it repaired then that is what I will do. I will not see people unhappy with their camera. I know how it feels to get a camera and it turns out to be rubbish, and I don’t ever want one of my customers to feel that way.

2. I am good at what I do
Without trying to blow my own trumpet, I am pretty good at what I do. I have a lot of experience, but more than that I have earned the respect of my peers in Japan. This means that I can get access to the things that may not be available to everyone else. Simply put I can find things that are not always on the market. But not only that, I know my cameras. So I know what I am looking for and what the pitfalls are. I check every single item that I buy and if it is not good enough then I will not sell it.

3. E-bay is a crapshoot
It is a nightmare to deal with. The company makes it impossibly expensive for the sellers, so they often have to overcharge, as they are automatically going to lose 18% of their sale to fees. There are no end of dishonest sellers, who inaccurately describe items. There is no trust at all. You get ripped off on the shipping too, as people seem to think that is something they should be making money on too. And don’t even get me started on Craigslist and all of those. There are some good sellers on e-bay, but they are sadly in the minority. I get a lot of mails from people who have had a crappy E-bay experience and now want to use me to find something. Basically I offer a service that is completely unique and cannot really be compared to E-bay, I am a buyer and I make sure that I take care of each and every customer.

4. You get what you pay for
This old adage rings true, especially with cameras. I cannot deny that some people may find my service expensive, my service costs money. But, I offer a lot for that service. I source the item for you, in a foreign language. I buy the item, check it to make sure it is in good order, in some cases take pictures of it (a perk) and I ship it with the upmost care. I use my experience and knowledge to make sure that you get the very best item for your money. And my past customers have been very happy with what I have found them.

5. Because if you do I can keep on bringing you this site everyday
Yeah yeah, I know that is not really a reason, but if I had a full time office job or something like that I wouldn’t be able to bring you the site, with new bags and items everyday. It would be a part time thing. And I love bringing you all new stuff everyday. So support your friendly JCH and make sure that this site is always there for you :)

So, if you would like me to find you a camera, these reasons might make it a bit easier for you to do so. I am always open to requests and I really enjoy the unusual ones. I try to fulfill every request that comes through, but if I cannot I will try to show you where you can find what you are looking for. I believe in honesty and trust, on both sides. My customers often send me mails saying how satisfactory the service was, I hope you can find out for yourself.
All you need to do is click here and fill out the form. That will get the ball rolling. Oh, and please be as detailed as possible, it makes my job easier and the process a lot faster. The more I know the better I can help you.


9 comments on “Why should I buy a camera from JapanCameraHunter?”

    Witold Riedel July 15, 2012 at 11:29 am / Reply

    So far I have only purchased one camera from you (an excellent Konica Hexar RF), but I am looking forward to the next purchase and the next. It is fun working with you. You know what you do, you care, and you are not pushy at all. A few months ago I tried to source a good Leica M6TTL through you for a friend in Beijing, and the market in Japan was not exactly where the camera could be found. But you gave me an excellent view into the situation and the transparency and comprehensive look into the market at that time made me look forward to the next hunt even more.
    I am very glad you are out there, and I am very glad this site is here. And I am also very glad that your photos (not just of cameras) surface in your flickr stream on a regular basis. Keep up the hunt. Keep up the community. I am certainly looking forward to more. (And yes, more camera equipment too.) : )

    ZDP-189 July 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm / Reply

    Bellamy’s service is not for everyone or every camera. I’m a tight git and a user-collector living in Hong Kong, so the strong yen and the Tokyo premium that dealers there must charge and a Bellamy’s profit margin often means that I end up buying from one of my local second hand dealers or occasionally I’ll take a punt and grab a bargain from eBay.

    However, sometimes Bellamy’s service is exactly what’s needed. I’m a repeat customer of Bellamy’s , having bought two cameras and a lens in the last few months.


    Buying a second hand camera is not at all like buying a new camera. There is no warranty, usually no returns and in some cases, the repairs of defects may be impossible or so expensive that you may as well buy another. If you are unfamiliar with a genre, or model, or buying second hand cameras in general, you must buy from a trustworthy source. If you are buying a camera sight unseen from someone on the internet that makes vague statements about whether it works 100%, like “I’m not an expert but it seems OK”, or “shutter fires at all speeds but not tested with film” then there’s a good chance you’re in for some grief, at the very least a wasted return postage. If you are buying a gift or want to spend more time using a camera than restoring it, then you need to find a good camera. I trust that Bellamy’s found the right camera, that it worked on inspection, that all defects are noted and that it’s been shipped with utmost care. The man’s got a reputation and he cares about it.

    But then, I’ve probably bought over a hundred cameras and I collect very specific genres of cameras where I’ve owned or used pretty much everything ever made and read extensively on the rest, so I can spot a duff camera as well as anyone. Going to Bellamy still makes sense, even for the expert. On a purely mercenary basis, sometimes the item cannot be bought anywhere else. Where would you go to buy a Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 Fisheye? One buyer wanted one and incredibly, Bellamy delivered. Whenever I am searching for a camera or lens that’s worth paying a premium for, Bellamy’s the man.

    Japan is probably the richest source of classic cameras in good condition, rare cameras and domestic-market only models. However, camera shopping in Japan isn’t like buying in western countries. I cannot just buy a plane ticket, rock up with an empty duffel bag and hand over my shopping list and a credit card. Some places will not even let a foreigner in the door and others won’t deal with us unless we speak Japanese. The friendlier merchants that will deal with foreigners still treat their favourite customers better than some Joe off the street. This may mean they will keep back their best stock or offer their best prices to their buddies. Bellamy’s their buddy. He gets those deals and sees the best stock first. It takes years to build up that kind of network.

    There will always be people who prefer to shop in a thrift sale or trawl the fleamarkets, some prefer high end boutiques filed will sparkly things, but there will always be a few that want something very specific and are willing to pay a modest premium to send an expert to hunt for him.

      Bellamy July 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm /

      Thanks for the really kind words. It is always a pleasure to get a camera for such a discerning gent.

    Ross July 16, 2012 at 3:21 am / Reply

    I’d love to see some posts highlighting more about your services, state of the market, etc. Maybe put together some ‘Fantasy Bag for the …’ posts, highlighting some creative camera/lens combos or kits, and letting us know the price range for you to put it together.

    Fantasy bag for the landscape painter.
    Fantasy bag for the hiker in the alps.
    Fantasy bag for the traveller to Tokyo.
    Fantasy bag for the daily commute.
    Fantasy bag for the bicycle rider.
    Fantasy bag for the traveller to …

    Loved the camera shots on this post, would be interested which bags you would pair them with. Do you source bags and accessories as well?

    Some other features i’d love: uncoated and coated folders, 3 folder systems, small slr kits, bags to match with certain kits. compact cameras with great lenses, forgotten manufacturers, best feeling cameras, best for sitting on a shelf only, best leather wrapped cameras, best viewfinders in small cameras, etc.

    The Olympus kit you posted looks good, how about compare its size to a nikon or cannon kit with similar focal ranges, talk about size, quality, price difference.

    I, and possibly others, am timid to ask specifics for a camera or system because I’m unsure if I can afford it. Would be helpful to have a good gauge for the cost.

      Bellamy July 22, 2012 at 8:24 pm /

      Hi Ross,
      Those are some excellent suggestions. I will try to incorporate them into the site. The only problem is time, I am stretched for time as it is, so it looks like I am going to have to find some other writers.
      Don’t ever be afraid to ask, I am always happy to answer.

    Justin July 16, 2012 at 10:00 am / Reply

    The best. A great service in the camera world

    Jon July 16, 2012 at 1:02 pm / Reply

    Bellamy’s not just another camera broker in any sense – his love for cameras and for what he does enable him to answer each and every one of my question cheerfully. While most others will grunt knowing that the person may not buy from them, Bellamy’s still smiling and is forever helpful.
    +1 to what Dan said above, if you’re willing to pay a premium for your dream camera, Bellamy’s the man.

    ivan f. July 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm / Reply

    I bought a Leica Elmar 50mm f/2.8 from Bellamy a while back, relying only on solid feedback online. Being a first time buyer and an overseas transaction no less, Bellamy handled my transaction with utmost professionalism and candidness that one expects from a seller of high caliber. Many brick and mortar stores can probably learn a thing or two from Bellamy in the way they deal with clients.

    One might say “well, you bought something of higher value, of course he treated you good”, well I would beg to differ. In my only experience dealing with Bellamy, I figured even if I only bought a Bikkuri case (which BTW when is it going to be for sale again?) I would be treated the same as the customer buying a Hasselblad.

    Welsinki July 21, 2012 at 8:58 am / Reply

    I’ve only bought a Polaroid back from you for my Mamiya RB67 but I remember your shipping was super fast. It felt like you literally shipped the item within minutes of me paying for it. I will definitely be calling on you again in future.

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