Best Place to Sell Used Camera Equipment
Knowing the best place to sell used cameras will ensure that your unwanted kit gets a great price and goes to a suitable buyer.
If cared for properly, your equipment should last forever – just look at the number of vintage cameras and lenses available today.
The same principle applies to where to buy reliable pre-loved camera gear. You want to be confident that you’re buying quality gear at the best value for your money.
Of course, there are numerous alternatives to buying and selling used gear…
In this article, I’m going to cover some great tips and tricks as well as share some words of wisdom based on my own experience.
I’ll also include some recommendations on buying used camera equipment too.
How Can I Sell My Old Camera in 2020?
When it comes to selling your old camera, you’re going to want to get the best value for money. This is especially the case if your hope is to invest that money in a new and better model.
But before you do, I recommend doing some online research to find out what your old model is actually worth. One of the easiest ways to do this is to check out a site like eBay.
eBay is more than likely to have the same product listed so you can get an indication of what it’s valued at. It’s always best to be critical and realistic about your asking price.
That way, you’re armed with knowledge and know what to expect.
Local Camera Store
One of the easiest and quickest options is to sell your old gear at a retail outlet. Alternatively, you can trade-in your old camera and lenses at a retail store as a partial exchange for new gear.
It’s important to keep in mind that retail outlets are all about selling gear. They’re not necessarily going to offer you the best price for your old kit as they’re going to want to on-sell it and make a margin.
But, for a hassle-free solution, selling your old equipment to a retail store is best.
Another alternative to selling your old camera is to go through an online platform such as KEH.com.
KEH Camera is one of the world’s largest traders of pre-owned gear with a massive inventory of products.
Unlike a retail outlet, KEH only trades in used gear and provides an online platform dedicated to this task. It’s simple to use, and there’s a lot to be said for also browsing their sale items.
KEH has technicians on staff that will inspect, grade and guarantee the performance of your product so it’s ready for sale.
B&H and Adorama
B&H and Adorama are two of the biggest camera retail brands in the world. They both have extensive catalogues of high-end equipment as well as consumer and professional electronics.
What a lot of people don’t know is that B&H and Adorama have a healthy second-hand market.
You can simply use their online platform to get a quote for selling your gear.
What’s great about using this method is that if a buyer grabs your second-hand camera but also need a new battery, they can just hop over to the retail page and grab what they need.
Craigslist is a global classified advertisement site that’s broken down in various categories for those looking for jobs, housing, services and items for sale.
It’s a very minimal looking platform where users can post camera gear for sale.
While Craigslist has a lot to offer, it’s also been known for some very shady deals. Be very specific about your sale conditions and the condition of the products you’re offering.
Use a secure money transfer system and provide insurance on shipping. Also, take the time to do your research on the seller you’re possibly buying from.
With online marketplaces, you can both buy and sell pre-loved camera gear.
When it comes to selling gear on sites like eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Facebook groups, you get a large audience of potential buyers.
These kinds of platforms are set up specifically to buy and sell things – pretty much anything really.
To make the process as simple and stress-free as possible for everyone involved, there are a few things you’re going to need to do:
- Be clear in your item descriptions about the exact make and model of the product.
- If it’s a camera you’re selling, be very specific about the functionality – buttons, dials, screen, etc.
- Highlight the condition of the item and point out ALL defects.
- Include a lot of photos of the items from every angle, including some to show the condition of the screen and especially the sensor.
- Be clear about pick-up and postage options and what this is going to cost.
- Communicate with the potential buyers and answer all of their questions honestly.
Does B&H Photo Buy Used Equipment?
Yes, they absolutely buy used equipment. If you’re a local to New York, then you can visit their amazing retail store. That alone is an experience in itself, especially if you’re a camera or electronics gear nerd.
For everyone else, they offer an easy to use online platform where they list, display and sell your old gear. It’s no different from browsing their brand new retail products.
They have a great range of equipment on offer plus everything goes through a thorough inspection and testing process to ensure it’s working fine.
I especially like that they include 90-day parts and labour warranty with all products.
My only complaint is that they use stock images of the products rather than actual images. As a result, you can’t get a good visual idea of the quality of the item.
What Can You Do With Old Camera Equipment?
Deciding what to do with your old camera isn’t as challenging as you may think.
If you’re not interested in selling your used gear, then there are a range of ways you can move it to a better home.
Personally, I have donated unwanted gear to my local photography community with some items being used as prizes for competitions. This kind of approach encourages others to get involved and be creative.
You can, of course, donate your old gear to a non-profit community group for a rummage sale or school fete to help raise funds.
A great way to move on your gear and give back to the photography community is to give it to a school or even to someone studying photography.
This way, you know that your gear will be appreciated and put to good use by someone just starting out on their creative journey.
Finally, if you or your kids are interested to know more about how cameras work, then grab a set of micro-screwdrivers and take one apart. But probably best to only do this if it’s really busted up in the first instance.
Whatever you do, don’t throw away old and unwanted camera gear. Even if you have items that are physically damaged or no longer working, there are people and groups out there that love tinkering with broken equipment.
A few minutes of research will ensure your old stuff gets a new chance at life.
Where Can I Buy Used Camera Equipment?
Knowing where you can safely buy used equipment will be the difference between you getting a great deal and a terrible one.
We’ve probably all heard horror stories of people buying second-hand and being disappointed with the quality or just having a bad experience in general. There’s nothing worse than laying down a lot of cash and never seeing the parcel in your mailbox.
But you shouldn’t be scared of the second-hand market – in fact, it’s quite an exciting place to find rare and interesting items. Going through a reputable source and seller should ensure that you actually get what you pay for.
My first recommendation is to check out some of the bigger retailers. A lot of cases camera stores – both in-store and online – offer pre-loved gear for sale.
Another benefit of going through this type of seller is that they have industry knowledge, will check the gear before selling, and should have some form of buyer protection.
Finally, when going through a retailer, you may also come across cameras and lenses that are ex-store demo stock or even manufacturer refurbished. These items will be in great condition with minimal use.
Here are a few of the biggest online retailers where you can buy second-hand items:
- Amazon Used Camera Section
- B&H Used Camera Section
- Adorama Used Camera Section
Personally, I’ve bought second-hand gear from a couple of different retail outlets – both large and small. Plus, I’ve also bought used equipment from online marketplaces such as eBay and Facebook Marketplace.
Speaking of Facebook, this can be a great platform to buy used gear. There are dedicated Buy/Swap/Sell groups for general photography gear as well as groups for camera sales of specific brands such as Canon, Fujifilm and Nikon.
Also, if you’re a member of a camera club or online photography community, you may be able to buy used cameras, lenses and accessories from other members. Just make sure to check the community rules on buying and selling second-hand gear.
Tips For Buying Used Camera Gear
When it comes to buying gear from sites like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace and Facebook groups dedicated to gear trade, always do your homework.
Not all online sellers are vetted as being legitimate. When buying from an online marketplace, there are a couple of rules I apply every time.
These rules have kept me safe, and I’ve never had a bad outcome.
- Check The Seller’s Rating
Some platforms such as eBay allow sellers to receive feedback that contributes to an overall rating. If that ranking is low or there are comments about poor selling practices, then I would avoid them – no matter how good the deal is.
- Ask For Images
If there are no images of the item for sale, or the seller has used stock images, ask for real images of the product. With cameras and lenses, ask for images from every angle including a close up of the sensor, rear screen and the front and rear elements of the lens.
- Ask Questions
If the item description is vague or doesn’t adequately describe the condition or functionality of the item, ask the seller specific questions. That way, you’ve clarified the exact state of what you’re purchasing.
- Inspect If Possible
If it’s a local seller, ask to make a time to go and inspect the camera or lens you’re buying. This way, you can make a full assessment of the condition of the gear before you hand over your cash.
How to Sell Used Camera Equipment | Final Words
As we’ve explored here, there are countless ways to buy, sell, swap and trade your old camera equipment.
The best place to trade used gear depends on the amount of effort you want to go to.
If you’re looking to make some ready-cash to invest back into photography or another project, then there are a huge range of platforms to do that.
You can take the quick and easy option of selling your gear to a retail store, or you can take the time to work within an online marketplace.
At the end of the day, there’s always going to be a market for unwanted cameras and lenses. That’s because cameras are built tough and, for the most part, will last for generations.
Who knows – perhaps the camera you have in your cupboard right now will one day be a sought after classic.