Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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I'm looking to make some upgrades in the next couple of months (new camera body, new lenses, new tripod); and will no longer be needing some of my equipment (old camera body, some old lenses).

I'd like to sell the stuff I'll no longer be using in order to lessen the economic impact of the new purchases. I've heard great stories about eBay, Craigslist, and local classified ads; and I've heard horror stories about eBay, Craigslist, and local classified ads.

I'm trying to strike a balance between ease of sale, and not shipping my lenses to someone who has no intention of paying. I'm curious as to where you've had successes, or failures, selling your gear.

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2  
The tradeoff is that less risk gets you less dollars. Can you give some indication of where you are on that scale? E.g., the safest way to sell used gear is not sell it, but you don't make any money that way. :) –  Reid Oct 6 '10 at 23:52

6 Answers 6

up vote 12 down vote accepted

The easiest and safest way to sell photography equipment is to sell it to people you know! I've had the good fortune to be able to do this in the past. Failing that, I've also sold stuff on eBay and not had any problems. You only ship when the buyer's funds are in your paypal account, and using an insured & signed for delivery system prevents them from claiming they never received the goods. I'm not an eBay expert but it seems relatively safe these days and gives you access to a very large market.

With any service you have to use your wits to spot potential scams, it's usually fairly easy to tell if someone's a photography enthusiast or not. I would recommend selling to those who are!

Remember, the scare stories you hear are always the exception to the norm, "man doesn't get ripped off on eBay" isn't as newsworthy!

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You might want to take a look at KEH. They may not give you the absolute highest price, but they are quite reputable, and you can certainly feel safe going through them.

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Agreed. You definitely won't get the best price (not even close), but the risk of getting ripped off is nil and the hassle factor is far lower. –  Reid Oct 7 '10 at 2:23

Other than selling it to people you know (as pointed out by Matt) the easiest and safest way would be to a camera shop that deals in second hand equipment. You walk in there with your kit, they look at it and you walk out with money. Of course you will get less money than if you cut out the middleman, but that's your trade off to make.

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I would suggest the fredmiranda forums, as being a very good and safe place to sell. You will need to invest a little money(around $25), but as the seller, you are mostly protected from scams, as usually the buyer pays before you ship. Moreover, the community is very developed, so you will get a pretty fair price for your gear. You can look back at other transactions on the same gear, and see what others got.

I have bought all of my photo gear off fredmiranda thus far, and have no complaints from the purchasing side. :)

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I've sold camera kit on ebay several times, provided you take sensible precautions, most of which are forced on you by ebay anyway, you can sell there very safely. The only horror stories you should pay attention to about ebay are where people have done stupid stuff like send expensive goods without using registered post. Dispute resolution and seller/buyer protection are important concerns for ebay so as long as you follow the rules you can sell there perfectly safely.

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Buyer here, not seller. I bough my camera from an amazon.co.uk user, it had one year of use, I had a wonderful commercial experience with the seller, talking and sharing info and tricks, it is a system that I totally trust and sellers are users, not like ebay it's not a seller it's a store.

I am totally satisfied with the experience there, but it all depended on the seller not on the Amazon site itself.

So if you are a cool dude, Amazon will be a great framework for you to sell your stuff.

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