Jeff Wignall is a photographer and writer who has written more than 15 books about photography. He is a contributing editor with Pro Photo Daily and Motion Arts Pro Daily and a former “Camera” columnist for The New York Times. JeffWignall.com
Over the years, you’ve probably made a substantial investment in photo gear, like cameras, lenses and flashes. Perhaps you’ve upgraded lately…or you’re tired of watching it collect dust—and you want to convert that old equipment to cash. Here’s how and where to sell it.
How to sell…
•Describe everything accurately. Include age, the amount of use and if you bought it new. Note blemishes and worn spots. For camera bodies, state the number of shutter “actuations”, also called “shutter count.” Most digital camera bodies track this. If not, sites like MyShutterCount.com will help you estimate this number.
•Research the worth of your equipment. Call a local shop or check online auctions on eBay to see what similar items sold and for how much. Bodies change from year to year, reducing their worth. However, if in good shape, lenses can retain their value for many years.
•Take photos of your gear. Show any minor flaws. If you have original boxes, include them in one shot. The more photos, the better. Original packaging and manuals increase sale prices.
Where to sell…
There are three primary avenues for selling used equipment…
eBay. You will almost always fetch top dollar here because millions can see your listings, whether you use their auction format or set a fixed price. Remember—eBay takes a fee (10% of sales price).
Facebook. Try the marketplace or Facebook user groups (regional and national). Search “used camera sales” to find groups. Look for groups with lots of members. Scan for negative comments. Post a message on your Facebook page, asking friends for recommendations. My favorite Facebook group is “Used Camera & Photography Gear For Sale.”
Photography-focused sites such as KEH. Just list your equipment, its condition (they have an online grading scale) and get an instant quote. KEH buys from you and then resells it themselves. Likely you will get a little less than if you sell it directly to an individual, but it saves you the hassle. If you accept the price, you can print out a free shipping label. Upon arrival KEH will examine it, confirm or alter the quote and send payment. KEH also sponsors local events around the country (KEH.com/shop/events) where they will give you a quote (and a check) on the spot.
Most local camera stores buy used equipment and will often give you a better price if you apply it to a new purchase. Be sure to do your research first so you know market values for all items.