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Where Can You Buy And Sell Used Photo Equipment

November 23rd, 2011

Today Nestor, from some place in Hawaii, asked me for some advice about where to sell his used Canon Xti and a Canon 10-22 lens and what to ask for it. He’s decided to move up and want’s to use the cash from his old equipment for his new gear.

This is a great subject. There’s no reason you have to use new gear. There is plenty of great quality used gear out there and there are plenty of people out there that will buy your used gear.

I’ve always used Ebay to buy and sell used gear and my son has bought and sold more stuff on Ebay than I have. Just a few months ago I gave him all my old Nikon film bodies (Nikon 6006s and Nikkormats and all the glass that when with them) and he sold them all on Ebay. I did save my first  black body Nikkormat  and the 55mm Macro lens that I purchased in 1972 as a keepsake.

There are a couple of  other sites worth mentioning that are useful for trading used camera gear. They are:

  1. Keh.com – Keh buys some used gear and sells it as well. They won’t buy everything. Keh is a great place to find Nikon SB-80Dx flashes.
  2. Fredmiranda.com – Fred Miranda has a forum where you can by and sell gear.

I believe Ebay still has the most gear traded. Since Ebay became popular in the early 2000s there have been an number of other copycat auction sites but I don’t think any place trades as much camera gear as Ebay. I believe that since Ebay supports PayPal (they actually invented it) it can be used any where in the world.

The one feature on Ebay that I love is that you can search closed transactions. So if you have a Canon 10-22mm lens and want to know what this lens has been selling for you can search all closed transactions on Canon 10-22m lenses and see that someone sold one on Nov 14 for $560. That is the lowest price on record and you can see what all the other transactions have been. There have been at least 21 Canon 10-22mm lens sold in just the last week between $713 and $560.

What is others experiences with buy and selling used equipment.

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16 Responses to “Where Can You Buy And Sell Used Photo Equipment”

  • I’ve found craigslist to work very well for me, plus it’s free and I tend to get a little more than what the same item would go for on ebay (it seems that the convenience of being local is worth something to people). Cash is paid in hand and I don’t have to mess with shipping.

    I use ebay on occasion, but find it to be a bit of a pain to set up the auction, deal with shipping, etc, so I save it for items that may be more difficult to sell locally.

    Something else I’ve done is posted accessory items on brand dedicated forums (in my case Nikon, Olympus and Sony/Minolta). I still have to ship, but I no auctions to hassle with and sweat through.

  • Ditto Casey’s comments. All my Craigslist sales have been local without the need for shipping, at great prices and folks show up with cash. Buyer’s are pleased to be able to personally inspect the equipment before purchase and it helps insure there won’t be misunderstandings later regarding condition. Just be sure to meet prospective buyers at a safe neutral location.

  • I know this off topic but adobe has a 30% sale on photoshop and lightroom during black Friday.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
    Abraham Walker

  • Craigslist is great for reasons mentioned above, but it’s important to qualify buyers on the phone and make them come to you. Otherwise it’s easy to burn time and money running around for “lookers.”

  • Think eBay bought Paypal – didnt invent it – could be wrong

  • Craigslist all the way for selling. Amazon for buying.

  • Just be careful and ask for a serial number. There’s a lot stolen equipment being sold like this. Also beware of the warranty of the product.

    The all mighty and very useful for us nikon 14-24 f2.8 lens is often sold by pros with loads of money because it can’t have a filter (at least without expensive or DIY solutions) and often gets scratches on the glass. So when they fell it’s not in 100% condition they sell it and buy another one brand new. Considering the lens is superb and costs $2000 you may find some good deals.

    Several photography foruns have members selling their equipment.

    There are great deals around. Sometimes people just sell their kit lenses brand new for whatever reason.

    What I’ve found is that buying in duty free zones is sometimes cheaper then buying used equipment. I save like 30%… it is a lot…

  • a note about “I believe that since Ebay supports PayPal (they actually invented it) it can be used any where in the world.”

    Yes paypal can be used any where in the world but the seller might not ship to everywhere. I’ve missed some good deals because of that reason since I’m in Europe and most good deals are in USA. The weak dollar sometimes makes it very worth it even with taxes and shipping.

    But don’t feel too safe by using paypal http://boycottpaypal.tumblr.com there are some horror stories. You are paying for the service, sometimes exchange rate is outrages. It’s hard to win a dispute sometimes and it takes several months. I took 8 months for retrieving my money due to a counterfeit flash card. Only after a lawsuit they gave up.
    I find paying by credit card is more safe (at least for me since it has an insurance).

  • Regarding Paypal’s dispute process, I had an issue buying a flash from someone in a neighboring state, and Paypal refunded the money after a reasonable period attempting resolution with the other party. I’m a happy Paypal user. Also have had good success with Craigslist buying and selling locally. I just make sure to push on the price when buying, and stick to my price as much as possible when selling.

  • btw this is useful too http://sosfakeflash.wordpress.com it helped me a lot.

  • I recommend fredmiranda.com Buy & Sell forum. I have had great transactions there. I have sold items a lot faster and generally at a higher price on FM than on eBay.
    I have sold many items on eBay and still use their auctions. I personally found craigslist a hassle with so many false and misleading replys – many scams from outside the country. Craigslist is the last on my list!
    Ron

  • Ebay’s been my goldmine. Time of day the auction ends has a lot to do with price though. Living in a small town Craigslist is just not a great option. Can never have enough SB-80’s.

  • Yea, the reason I didn’t mention craigslist as a place to buy and sell camera gear is:
    1-How well it works for you depends on the size of your city.. big cities work best.
    2-Like Ron says, you have to be VERY careful of scams on craigslist. When selling my tandem bike on craigslist I kept getting offers from out of state for people wanting to buy it with a cashiers check and some one locally takes it right away… never do this. Cashiers checks take a week or so to see if they are valid… by that time your gear is gone.

  • On craigslist, you definitely can’t let your desperation to sell an item cloud your judgement; if the transaction seems complicated, the “buyer” wants you to ship it somewhere other than where they are, they are willing to pay extra for your hassle, they want to pay with an MO or via paypal, etc… I can usually spot a scam at the first couple of words. that said, I like to humor the scammers (and myself) and waste as much of their time as possible, having them send me the MO (which are very convincing) and everything… besides for my entertainment, it will hopefully make them decide the effort isn’t worth their time and give up on the practice. Also keep in mind that I’ve had similar scams on ebay, and I’ve also had mentally unstable buyers hassle me after they win the auction wanting me to change the deal, as well as people who receive the items and complain that there is something wrong with it trying to get me to refund the money while they keep the item, and even had a friend that had one damage the item purposefully, saying that it arrived that way, for which he refunded the money on to get the item back useless and un-resellable. This can’t happen in a CL transaction, unless you ship the item.

    As for the size of the city, that’s true to some extent, but CL will automatically include nearby cities in peoples’ searches, which helps a lot… for instance, I’m in Austin and I’ve had buyers from San Antonio, Waco as well as smaller cities within a couple of hour radius contact me, and visa versa when I do searches.

  • I am leary to even sell anything on ebay with all the scammers out there now. I read an article on selling photo equipment on ebay that said before you sell an item you should take photos of the equipments serial numbers before shipping it off as some have claimed product is broken and send you back same equipment but with different serial number. (Switched equipment) – Scam again!

  • I buy & sell photographic equipment on ebay frequently. I am reluctant to use Craigslist as it is too easy to be victimized when selling expensive & portable items. I don’t like the ebay fees, but it beats getting robbed!

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