Buying And Selling Used Gear On Amazon

January 30th, 2013

CanonXTiIn the last year or so I’ve started recommending folks getting started in real estate photography purchasing used gear rather than new gear to save a bunch of money. This works best with DSLRs and lenses.

Most people think of when they think of buying and selling camera gear but you may have noticed that you can both buy and sell DSLRs and lenses on Amazon. Here are a few example:

  1. New Canon Rebel Xti  – $899
  2. Used Canon Rebel Xti – $149 to $268
  3. New Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens – $479
  4. Used Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM Lens – $375 -$441

Notice that on some items there will be a “Sell Us Your Item” dialog box just under the “Add to Wish List” box where you can get immediate cash for your similar item or further down there will be a “Sell on Amazon” button that will allow you to add your item for sale quickly and easily. Some people will like this immediate style of selling better than the auction style of selling on

Of course purchasing used gear is best done with an understanding of what types of gear people are wanting to sell. For example right now 5DMKII are a great deal used because many people are upgrading to 5DMKIIIs. Typically you are going to be able to save more on a used DSLR than a lens. My examples above illustrate that.

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20 Responses to “Buying And Selling Used Gear On Amazon”

  • Nothing wrong with used if you can make sure it has been maintained properly.
    As always, save money on the body and spend it on the lens.

  • I have purchases used gear many times. Other resources are B&H Camera, KEH camera and Adorama, all of which have rating or condition scales.


  • I’d go with KEH over any other resource, without question.

  • Refurbished (rather than used) is a great way to go. In the past I purchased a Canon 5dII and a 16-35mm lens (one from Canon’s website, the other from Adorama) and they arrived without a single blemish. Much “refurbished” equipment is nearly-new that the owner returned for whatever reason…….but it’s been likely been carefully checked over (as opposed to a new unit off the production line). I saved hundreds of dollars on both purchases.

  • The other nice advantage of Amazon (or Adorama, B&H, etc) over ebay is that the items are usually returnable should they not meet your expectations. I’ve also noticed that many of the camera stores and at least Nikon, sells refurbished items.

  • @Scott- yea, actually KEH has a store front on Amazon as does Adorama and most other retailers except B&H see:

  • Slightly of topic but same principle, tt should be noted this works well if you are purchasing anything from Apple. I assume we have some Mac users here!
    I almost always buy from Apple’s refurb section of their online store. Save 20% and it still comes with 1 year warranty as new products do. All externally facing parts, (such as case/screen) are replaced so it is indifferent from a product of the same generation.

  • Larry,
    I’m purchasing my first DSLR and I found what I think is a good deal. what’s your opinion about this particular camera? Brand NEW! Very Complete DSLR package: Pentax K-x, 18-55, 55-300, Professional Flash, UV Filters, Remote Control and 8 Gb SD Card
    thank you!

  • Check this website/forum from Canon:
    Just sign up and there is a whole list of all kind of used equipments.

  • I’ve had a couple of really bad experiences with Amazon and would never recommend them. For two separate purchases I got scammed (one was a counterfeit item and the other was damaged) and I had no support from Amazon for either case. Was told to work it out with the seller (who, in both cases refused to deal with me). For used gear I’d go eBay or KEH. With eBay you at least have recourse through PayPal for situations like this and I can’t imagine anything like this ever happening with KEH.

  • Buying used has always been good for me but selling my used gear has been a ton of headaches.
    The biggest pain being the legions of would-be buyers believing that your three year old camera should be in a condition akin to new with all the manuals, receipts, warranty cards, packaging (even down to the silica bags) and still pay 30% of new prices. I now take my stuff to the local camera store and trade it in with a no hassle transaction and buy THEIR used stuff.

  • I buy lot’s of used stuff. Unfortunately photographic equipment is very expensive and by buying and selling used stuff you can get great deals and buy gear that otherwise you couldn’t have.

  • I’ve purchased used from B&H and Adorama with no problems. I just got two SB-80dx speedlights from Adorama yesterday and have been playing with them today. Great condition. One for $139 the other for $169. Feel I got a good deal. Here’s the Adorama returns/guarantee on this: “The item you purchased is covered by our 30 day return policy. If the item becomes defective after 30 days after you received the item, it will be covered by our 6 months warranty.” It’s about having a few good vendors to choose from because they don’t all carry the same items.

  • From todays NYTimes tech page: “Amazon Still the Most Amazing Company in the World Best description of Amazon: a charitable organization run by the investment community for benefit of consumers.” – Damon Darlin, referring to the fact that today Amazon reported decreasing profits on increasing revenue. For details see:

  • I buy & sell on ebay frequently. I prefer using “buy it now” instead of the auction format. Be careful about “gray market” equipment tho!

  • I have good experiences buying refurbished lenses and cameras from Adorama. An added plus, is that you can still purchase a Mack warranty with a refurbished or open box product. There have been occasions where I was very glad that I had those warranties! Plus, they guarantee the condition of the equipment. I recently purchased an open box high end camera from Adorama that had issues and they let me return it with no hassle.

  • Larry I think it would be very helpful if you could make post with a list of websites that sell used gear as well as some advices like how to test equipment how to avoid scams etc.

  • It’s too bad that Amazon has such poor customer service. I too had problems with the return of an item in which I wasn’t credited for, and Amazon told me to “deal with the seller”, which didn’t answer their phone. I always shop for the lowest price, but if B&H is a little bit more than Amazon, I’ll gladly buy from them. My friend bought a 7D not long ago, I told them to get it from B&H. They did, got a bad one, and got an exchanged 7D in less than 3 days. I’m always impressed with B&H. Just like RE photography, I think we all strive to deliver the best customer service and keep our customers because of it.

  • I do buy and sell quite a bit on Ebay, but only after I’ve tried the Buy/Sell forum on Fred Miranda.

    Although I often buy new, I constantly sing the virtue of buying photo gear used from reputable forums, especially when it comes to lenses.

  • I’ve used Fred Miranda and the Canon forum many times to both buy and sell–had very good experiences every time.

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