I have a few older lenses that I'm thinking of selling. What are some essential steps in preparing photographic equipment (such as lenses, camera bodies, speedlights, etc.) for resale? Are there steps I should take to ensure I can get the most value out of the sale and prepare the equipment for a new owner?
Test it - if you haven't used it in a while make sure everything still works (also, especially in the case of lenses, you may want to add a picture taken with this lens to the sales listing)
Clean it - be careful, you really don't want to damage the equipment now - but removing visible smudges and dirt will help with the next step
Photograph it - this will help you sell it faster, if there are any visible defects photograph them too - btw, I see a lot of second hand photography equipment for sale on the web with horrible pictures, if you set up a tiny studio and do a half-decent job you'll be way above average.
List it - list the equipment somewhere, make sure to describe the equipment fully - especially for 3rd party equipment don't forget to mention the compatible camera brand.
and finally, if you manage to sell it, and the buyer doesn't pick up the equipment personally Package it - original packaging is best, if you don't have the original packaging use bubble wrap and appropriate packaging material, assume the package will be thrown around violently while in the mail (because it will).
In addition to the other great answers.
If it is older equipment, it would benefit you to include a link to any documentation that you can find online. Whether that is the original owners manual, a historical site from the manufacturer, or some type of photography equipment museum online. If it is old equipment, some people may need to do research to even understand why they would want to buy it, and the if you make it more available for them then it might help to sell the merchandise.
Some very good points there but I'd like to add some more.
Choose a medium. ebay is probably your best bet and there are quite a few tips out there on their own website. Most importantly are decent photos, as noted above.
Test it As stated
If it works, show that it does. *See below
If it doesn't, state exactly what is wrong with it. Nothing worse than buying something faulty not knowing the fault.
Clean it As stated
- If it's a lens that has mold, see how much it is to clean it. If it's too expensive, state that all outside elements have been cleaned and that there is internal mold/dust but does not affect photos (if it doesn't).
Photograph it As stated
List it As stated
It helps to know what you're selling too. You might have a gem on your hands, research the brand.
Show that it's working. Here is an example I did when I sold my OM-10: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yg9f7BiWJn0 You can embed youtube clips in an ebay listing.
List any accessories, especially caps and such.
Package it properly As stated
Be honest - No point in hiding anything. State any faults, shipping time and everything it comes with.