Best Place to Buy & Sell Used Camera Equipment
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell used cameras, this guide will help you save some time and money.
The market for used camera equipment has grown substantially in recent years, with people wanting to get the best value for their money.
Fortunately, buying and selling your second-hand gear online is easier than ever before.
Whether you want to make a quick buck on an online marketplace like eBay or prefer to get the most for your gear by going through a dedicated service such as KEH, we’ll cover the options in this guide.
Buying and selling used camera equipment needn’t be scary!
Let’s take a closer look at your options.
Table of Contents
Best Place to Buy & Sell Used Camera Gear in 2021
- 60,000+ items in stock
- Up to 40% below retail pricing
- 180-day warranty
- 5% student discount
- Helpful gear experts
- Best resale rates
- Free shipping
- Free gear appraisals
- Free front-door pickup in US only
- Collectible gear not covered by warranty
Our number one place to buy and sell used camera equipment in 2021 is KEH Camera.
Operating since 1979, KEH is well known in the photography community for its fair pricing of second-hand gear, wide selection and helpful staff who go above and beyond with their customer service.
Although KEH has only one retail outlet (Smyrna, Georgia, USA), the majority of their business is conducted online, making it ideal for photographers who need to buy or sell their gear from overseas.
If you’re in the market to buy or sell a used camera and don’t want to take a gamble on eBay, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, KEH has a flawless track record – just have a browse of the comments in forums such as this.
KEH Camera provides a 180-day warranty on almost all the gear they sell (collectables and as-is items aren’t covered). Having a warranty on second-hand photographic gear is a huge benefit, and KEH is one of the few retailers that offer one for 6 months.
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.
All items are up to 40% below retail prices, and can be purchased using all major credit cards, PayPal, Stripe or Affirm – an interest-free way to stagger your payments.
If you’re interested in selling your old gear, the website features an online estimator to get a quote. The next step is to pack and ship the item to KEH for free – if you live in the US, you can even benefit from a free front door pickup!
After KEH receive your gear, you can get paid by Paypal or check, or alternatively trade it in for one of their 60,000 items of second-hand cameras, lenses or accessories.
It’s by far the easiest way to buy and sell used photography equipment, and you can even save 5% if you’re a student, or you sign up for their newsletter – click here to do so.
Other Options to Buy & Sell Used Camera Equipment
B&H is one of the biggest camera retail brands in the world. It offers an extensive catalogue of high-end equipment as well as consumer and professional electronics.
What a lot of people don’t know is that B&H has a healthy second-hand market, and a whole separate camera store that lives inside the B&H Photo SuperStore in New York City – the B&H Used Department.
If you’re an NYC local, buying and selling used camera gear is simple since you can just head to the store and chat to the helpful staff, or handle the rare and vintage film cameras.
(Audio and video equipment that is dropped off at the SuperStore has a 48-72 hour inspection period.)
For everyone else, you’ll need to visit ‘Sell Your Gear’ here, where you’ll be able to get a quote for whatever item you’re selling (as long as it’s not too obscure!).
B&H will give you a preliminary quote to tell you exactly how much you can get for your item based on its condition, and they’ll also send you a shipping label, allowing you to mail the item to New York City, free of charge.
The price paid is the same whether you are selling the item or trading it in.
Adorama is another behemoth in the photography industry, with a superstore also in NYC. Most photographers purchase their gear via the Adorama website, but how does that leave those of us who want to buy or sell second-hand goods?
Obtaining a quote for your equipment is simple – just visit this page and enter some details. You can also phone or email them.
Adorama buys all types of photography and video equipment, computers, audio gear, optics, drones and even musical instruments! They accept older vintage models as well as the latest releases.
There’s also a large used equipment portion of the site (here), catering to those of us after a great deal on some pre-loved gear.
Shipping is free, and if you decide to sell, you’ll receive a check or direct deposit to your bank account.
Local Camera Store
Another option 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 part 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.
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.
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.
If you end up using a site like KEH Camera, a lot of this groundwork is unnecessary, which is why we recommend going this route.
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, but you need to do some due diligence first,
You can take the quick and easy option of selling your gear to a store such as KEH or B&H, or you can take the time to buy or sell 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.
Disclaimer: All recommendations are impartial and based on user experience, with no bias to the products or the brand. The products in this post may contain affiliate links.