Beware Counterfeit 35mm Film on eBay

If you ever turn to eBay to purchase film, you should purchase from sellers that have both a high feedback rating and a country of origin that you trust. Reader Dallas Houghton recently purchased what he thought was 10 rolls of Fujicolor Superia 200 for $28 from a seller based in ShenZhen, China. After the film arrived, he noticed a tiny bit of yellow on the roll. When he gave it a closer look, he discovered that the “Superia” branding on the outside was actually a sticker. Once the sticker was removed the film turned out to be a roll of Kodak 400. He peeled the sticker off another roll and that one turned out to be an older Kodak Kodacolor 100 roll. Caveat emptor.

  • facebook-1234691150

    Is it possible that these are reused canisters and loaded from a bulk roll of Fuji? I used to do that for myself back in the day.

  • Donovan Rekanize Fannon

    I’ve been to Shenzhen, it feels like the counterfeit capital of the world (especially spots like the Luohu Commercial City). I’d never buy anything from there expecting it to be a genuine product.

  • Daniel Austin Hoherd

    The least they could do is get their ISOs correct!

  • Daniel Austin Hoherd

    I had a boss who immigrated to America from Shenzhen.  She’d tell us horror stories of getting ripped off by everybody.  For instance, she’d go to buy live shrimp to cook… they’d scoop them out, put them in a container, then take the container behind the counter to put it in a bag, but they’d switch it with shrimp that were already dead, and she didn’t notice until she was already home.  The classic bait and switch.  I guess it’s a way of life in Shenzhen.

  • Joey Duncan

    What difference does it make? The end result is the same, fake, not real, not what he thought he was getting. Slide of hand, The Canadian penny, a French stand, 

  • Guest

    actually it does make a difference.  he could have still gotten what he was wanting (fuji superia 200).  However, the problem in cases like that (not necessarily this one) is not making the buyer aware of it being in a different container/relabeling.

  • Andysmith315

    The Kodak stock will be worth more soon anyway.

  • Danagonzales

    This makes no sense as you can buy Fuji Superia 200 brand new for cheap at B&H camera.. so it seems like a lot of trouble to make like 50 cents a roll.. I mean if it is really Kodak , I assume outdated it still is worth something

  • Sara

    surprised it was kodak..

  • Rob LaRosa

    “Sleight” of hand.

  • Acros100

    I would like to see a processed roll and check the bar code to see if it was a reloaded roll or just sticker switch.  Similar to what Lomo was doing earlier with selling expired film with their rebrand on it.  Most places would sell expired film cheaper but they charge extra for the look it gives.  

  • VI

    Did he tried to use the film and developed it? On the film rail you can see the brand.

  • Richard Ford

    Oh god – here come all the “it is cause it is China” or “Shenzhen” rants….. I’d also suggest staying away from NYC photo alley shippers as well.  

  • David

    Kodak doesn’t use reloadables.

  • OSAM

    Hard to fault the stereotype when it proves true.

  • Jjjustinnn

    The warning in the article doesn’t make sense:
    “If you ever turn to eBay to purchase film, you should purchase from
    sellers that have both a high feedback rating and a country of origin
    that you trust.”

    The seller linked to this article has a 99.3% positive feedback and although he/she appears to be located in Shenzhen I think it is on the border to racism to start being suspicious and treating sellers from other countries “different”.
    Say what you want about China, but scammers come in all shapes, sizes and colors.

    What you really need to ask yourself (instead of if Chinese sellers are ought to be trusted or not) is how bad you need something, and what risks you are willing to take in acquiring it. Everybody knows eBay is full of “hot deals”, but as with any bazaar in this world it is has its pitfalls and eventually (be it after 10, 100 or a 1000 deals) you eventually fall in one. For every buck you greedily try to save ordering online there is someone just as greedy in the other end, trying to make a buck on you.

  • Guest

    I live in China. I work in China. Call this statement what you will, but you cannot trust businesses in China, period. Such a scam for film is nothing, and par for the course here.  Say what you will about other countries, but China has well earned its reputation for scamming. 

  • strictlyfilm

     lomo never did this…i know the guys who work there. they do sell expired film to people who like to work with it (strange effects, etc) but never labelled expired film with their brand to deceive people. they work with film producers all around the world and only sell fresh film under their brand.

  • peterc

    Has anyone bothered to develop the stuff, if not only to read the markings to verify what it is?

  • Anon

    And no negative feedback about this counterfeit film? At least I couldn’t find it.

  • Garygphotog
  • Garygphotog
  • Garygphotog

    Gary here again.  Forgot to mention it’s only slide film I want

  • Garygphotog

    Gary here again.  Forgot to mention it’s only slide film I want

  • Richard Thomas

    It’s easy to reuse a “non-reloadable” 35mm cartridge, without opening it up. The method, done in a darkroom or a changing bag, is to use a film leader retriever to pull the exposed film all the way out, and then cut it at the end for loading onto a developing reel for manual developing. Just make sure to leave enough film “tail” still taped to the spool inside the cartridge, and then it’s a simple matter to securely tape some bulk-load film to this end and reuse the cartridge.

    This practice is not unheard of with respooled motion picture film (I use Eastman 5222 that is spooled in this manner from 400′ rolls).

    I’d like to know if the film in the cartridges was in fact Fuji 200. If that’s the case, the seller just needs to say this in the ad more clearly.