Where is The Best Place To Buy and Sell Photo Gear Online?

November 4th, 2015

Today Paul Gjording in Seattle asked me for some advice about the best place to sell photography gear.

I pointed out that here is on the PFRE I don’t have anything setup to be able to sell gear, but I’d list his gear in this post. Here it is:

  • Canon 5DS $3,400 (with only 5 shutter clicks)
  • Canon 11-24mm lens – $2,600 (used for only a month)
  • If you are interested in either of these contact Paul via his site

I’ve always used Ebay to buy and sell used gear and after some research I found a post on Photofocus.com by Scott Bourne that surveys the various places to buy and sell photo gear and Scott’s experience is much the same as mine. Many others have also told me that ebay has always worked well for them.

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.

Ebay still probably has the most gear traded. Since Ebay became popular in the early 2000s there have been a number of other copycat auction sites but I don’t think any place trades as much camera gear as Ebay.

What is your experience with selling used photo gear online?

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7 Responses to “Where is The Best Place To Buy and Sell Photo Gear Online?”

  • In the UK I’ve always sold via photography forums such as Talk Photography and AVForums. Occasionally I’ve also bought through online second hand shops such as London Camera Exchange and MPB Photographic.

    I remember trying to sell an my first ‘proper’ camera an Olympus C770 via ebay about 10 years ago and it was a pain due to scammers bidding on it and trying to get me to ship it to Nigeria. I had to relist it and go through the complicated refund process to get my fee’s back so have avoided ebay for expensive camera/lens sales since then.

  • I subscribe to a blog: Nikonians.org where I have bought and sold Nikon equiipment. I know Paul has Canon equipment so this blog would not be of help to him. I have also sold camera equipment on Craig’s List and Amazon.com.
    In my listing on Craig’s List, I specified local sales only to avoid scammers.
    Amazon does take a percentage of your sale price, but Amazon reaches a much wider audience than my local Craig’s List.
    Also, all of the Camera Stores will buy used equipment.
    Another suggestion, Paul can post it on any of his social media pages.

  • I have been going through similar with the transition from Nikon to Sony. Hadn’t thought of FredMiranda, but check KEH, B&H, and Adorama for what they would buy it from me. That gives me the baseline, knowing what I could get. Then go to eBay, set up 7 day Buy It Now with high end prices I see similar sales at, gradually reducing over the 3 auto re-listings and may switch to Auction format but usually wait until I manually re-set it up. Typical 7 day setup for auction is Sunday, since the majority of final auction bidding is in the final hour, I want the week to gain followers/bids during the week that Ebay will remind them of expiring auction during the weekend. For auctions, typically start budding at what KEH would pay, so if no bids, go to KEH. Also, don’t use the “Or Best Offer” with But It Now as it only invites lowballers offering below what you could get at KEH. Also, I do check the box prohibiting bidders with 2 or more payment issues – and that was at EBay’s suggestion (as was Buy It Now – Instant Pay) following a fraud issue. Obviously never send camera before payment shows in PayPal, and refuse request to close auction early and private pay outside Ebay. On my D7000 the winning bidder indicated sent to Paypal and when not showing on my side (typically instant) and he was giving me a song and dance about PayPal can take 2-3 days. Suddenly, I get an email from Ebay that they cancelled the auction due to fraud where the individual apparently hijacked another user’s ID.

  • I’ve bought and sold on both ebay and Craigslist. Both have good points and bad.

    Craigslist:
    1) Buying – You can test the gear before you shell out the bucks. 2) Selling – You don’t have to pay a fee
    3) Either way, you have to meet with a stranger who could be a VERY bad person. I would never meet at my home, but rather a corner Starbucks or some other public place.

    As for ebay:
    1) Buying on ebay means you have to wait for the gear to be delivered, but if it’s not working right or in any way “not as described”, you have “buyer protection”. ebay seems to give the buyer preference if there is a dispute. 2) Selling on ebay means you have to pay a fee (about 10%). Most people don’t realize that this fee extends to the shipping charge as well, so you need to add that in.

  • Hi all, Thank you for good suggestions. Thank you, Larry, for mentioning my camera and lens and running this column. I think I will use ebay, my son has worked with one of their higher ups for some time, and the guy told him ebay intel says all 5 day and end all auctions on Monday at 6PM for the most money. I plan to run these that way, with high reserve as there is no getting around I have to get some kind of money from these. My past experience with ebay has been good, but, I have not tried pricey things. I have other gear to sell also, so will be getting it all in one place and doing the photos and ads this weekend. Amazing how stuff accumulates…. Thank you again, all, for great suggestions.
    Cheers, Paul Gjording

  • For selling, I prefer craigslist, and for buying, I like cameta for refurbished, but I have had mediocre luck with ebay (although I have had a few items I bought that I had to return – did have to get ebay involved in one or two of them ). There is a significant amount of camera gear sold on ebay that sellers will buy at estate sales and have no idea whether the item works or not. They expect it to sell for top dollar, claiming it is “mint”, and then when it arrives, you find out it doesn’t work 🙁

    As for Keh, Sometimes I can save several $$$ by purchasing an item through roberts instead of through Keh because Keh charges sales tax for orders sent to California, while roberts doesn’t. (Neither does cameta.)

  • FredMiranda.com’s Buy&Sell forum is quite active (e.g., when I’ve checked out of curiosity it’s always take scrolling through 4 pp of 100 threads per to reach one w/latest post older than a day!), and participants are rated Great/Fair/Poor(?), and “whether the item works or not” is seldom a question –indeed, assertions of quality are a basis for rating (and a Poor rating isn’t going to win a lot of encores). One can see desirable items come up for sale and be sold pretty quickly; and one can get an idea of the going price for various used gear.

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