Buying Used Photographic Equipment

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Buying used photographic gear can be a great way to save a few bucks and get that lens or camera body you’ve been dreaming of now. In this audioblog I outline a few suggestions to consider when buying used gear online or at a photographic store.

The artwork below was just made with my “used” Leica M7 and my “used” Leica 90mm Elmarit Lens.

leafearringsvermont2009springm7

Last Year’s Leaves, Vermont. 2009
From A New Eden
Leica M7 with 90mm Elmarit Lens
In Camera Overlapping Frame Panoramic Technique, 3X
Kodak Ektar Film
Printed 9.5″ x 25″ on Fabriano 640 gsm Rough, Hand Coated.
Copyright Stephen Schaub 2009

detailvermont09

Print surface detail, hand-coated Fabriano.

6 Responses

  1. TedG

    Good advice, thanks for the tips! What are your thoughts on negotiating prices with brick and mortar shops? Obviously they’ll offer you less for your own used gear than the going rate on eBay, and will charge more for comparable gear, but how much “wiggle room” do you count on in their pricing?

  2. Paddy C

    Just found your blog and have been reading (and listening) for the past three months.

    Nice entry, but I disagree with the return policy for eBay sales. And note that this is coming from someone who has only bought gear on eBay, never sold it.

    A return policy leaves a seller open to all sorts of fraudulent practices. The photos, description, and seller reputation should be enough to make your decision. eBay is a garage sale without the physical interaction. I have bought numerous items that did not have a return policy and have been pleased with all of them. It’s far more of a risk for sellers than for buyers IMO.

    Your points about sellers who pull the “I don’t know anything about cameras but I’m selling this one and it looks fine” line are very good. Three times I’ve purchased old cameras (very inexpensive ones thankfully) and haven’t listened to my inner voice. All three times the camera was useless.

  3. SMB

    I liked this blog (I have listened to it twice.). You did state that on ebay prices should be 1/3 to 1/4 that of a new camera. From my experience prices realized on ebay are equal to or more than dealers. Seldom are prices on ebay appreciably less. Never have I seen the 1/3 or 1/4 for new equipment. Reputable dealers sometimes lower their prices for ebay sales by 10 to 15%. I have doe better with camera stores. You advice on how to evaluate ebay sellers is nothing less than classic.

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