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Where to Buy and Sell Used Camera Gear

Published: 17/08/2018
By: larry

Kiera in California says:

I have been a reader of this blog for many years & appreciate all you have done for this community. Albeit, I am more of a reader than a poster.

I have a severe back injury and have a great set of gear that I am now selling. I will end up buying lighter weight equipment down the road after back surgery.

I was thinking that it could be a great set up for a brand new RE Photographer who happens to be a Canon person too.

Do we have a marketplace here?

Over the years, I have tried several times to allow readers to buy and sell gear here on the PFRE blog but it never works out well. I've become convinced that everyone is much better off buying and selling used gear on sites that specialize in buying/selling used camera gear. Here are the major ones:

  1. KEH.com - this is one of the best!
  2. Adorama.com
  3. BHPhotoVideo.com
  4. Ebay.com
  5. Amazon.com

Where do you buy/sell your used camera gear?

8 comments on “Where to Buy and Sell Used Camera Gear”

  1. Kiera, go with KEH, they pay the most for your gear. If you we’re buying, I’d go with B&H as their testing process for used gear is more thorough than Adriana’s. I used to work for both camera shops used departments.

    If you’re looking for lightweight, go with Sony mirrorless.

    Hope you’re gets better soon!

    Aloha,
    Jonathan

  2. Kiera,

    I hope you are ok? Send me an update if you can. ethantweedie@gmail.com

    I have had great luck with Adorama recently. KEH in the past. Talk to Charles Levy at Adorama, charlesl@adorama.com He is professional and if he gives you are price that works then go for it. It is usually fair and they send labels for shipment etc.

    Let all of us know what gear you have and maybe some of the PFRE members would be interested.

    Warmly,

    Ethan

  3. I suggest eBay for one reason. You will get the most money. In order to make the most, sell the gear off piece by piece. Dealers are, by definition, going to pay you less than market value, because they need to resell that gear at market value.

    Review "completed listings" on eBay in order to determine your asking price. eBay and PayPal will take about 10% of your sale in fees.

    eBay is more work than selling to a dealer, but you will get more for your gear. One tip for to sell on eBay quickly: Offer a "money back guarantee if buyer is not happy for any reason." I always do that and I have gotten only one return in 1,000 sales.

  4. Don't completely dismiss selling your gear at a camera store with a used department if there is one near you. You may not get top dollar, but they are more likely to buy a whole kit rather than you having to sell each piece individually on eBay. You can sell bundles of gear on eBay, but it's a toss up whether you will attract a buyer that is looking for a package vs one that just wants to buy a particular lens or body. eBay takes about 10% of the sale including 10% of the shipping charges. Paypal gets another 2.7% or so on top of that. You should also calculate your time and the materials that you may have to purchase to make sure anything you sell online will get to the buyer in good condition.

    A local camera shop may also work a deal to get you into your new set up when you are trading in your old stuff. They might bank on you coming back for all of the high margin accessories that you won't have if you are switching brands.

    You may also be able to donate your gear to a charity and take a top-dollar deduction against your taxes. That could be the best return and it saves the hassle of selling it. You have to wait until you file your taxes for this year, but the end of the year isn't all that far away (yikes).

  5. I can't advise as to the most effective way to sell your equipment if doing it yourself. However, having worked at a camera stores a long time ago, I can tell you that you will get far less for your equipment selling to a dealer rather than selling it yourself. However, some camera stores will sell used equipment on consignment for you, for a commission (typically between 20% and 30%), which might be an intermediate option of you don't want to sell the equipment yourself.

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