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1. Buy or trade in your old equipment at http://keh.com. Okay let’s admit it now, if you trade in your old equipment you probably won’t get it at optimum value, but you will avoid having to claim the money you get from it as a business profit. Typically when I sell something to KEH it’s because it wouldn’t sell on Amazon.com or because I knew it wouldn’t sell ever and I wanted to get something from it while I could. One of the things I really appreciate about KEH is that you can purchase a used lens and get it with a warranty. I often times feel a bit sketchy purchasing from somewhere else and not being sure that what I get is actually a worthwhile product. If I can purchase it with a warranty that’s a guarantee that if it’s horrible or doesn’t work, I can get it replaced or fixed for free. I’ve paid about $49 per lens from KEH for 2 year warranties and I’ve also been absolutely thrilled with their customer service. The products I purchased were much higher quality wise than they actually rated them and I read online that this is pretty standard for them.
2. A lot of you guys email and ask about purchasing used equipment, especially camera bodies. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing a used camera unless it’s a good deal at a good price and you can guarantee it’s been checked over with the manufacturer recently. Does it come with paperwork proving the shutter count? These are all questions to ask before you dive in and purchase used. I did not purchase my primary camera used, but all of my backup cameras have been purchased used so I could save a little money on a great camera and guarantee that I have a great camera just in case the worst happens. My rule of thumb is that if the seller can provide documents proving it’s been in recently for service and prove the shutter count then I’m good to go. I also want to purchase it through a company where I can be assured that if the sender doesn’t send it or something happens I can get my money back. Remember to ask a lot of questions and be sure about a used camera purchase before you dive in.
3. Buy used equipment from a reputable seller. B&H Photo and Borrow Lenses are great for purchasing used gear. Reputable companies like these selling used gear always inspect and repair anything before selling it. If you purchase used on ebay you cannot guarantee the product is in working condition before you purchase.
4. There are several buy and sell groups for used equipment on Facebook you can check out. People sell used equipment often and sometimes it’s at a great price. I recently bought a used shootsac among other items from various members of these groups. Here are the links to the groups if you want to ask to join! They’re also a great place to sell used equipment as well. These are the three main groups I’m a part of, but I’m sure there are plenty of others for specific equipment types like Sony, Nikon, and Olympus. If you’re looking for a good deal, do keep these groups in mind. I once saw a Canon 85mm 1.2L going for $1300 and it’s new retail price is normally about $2200!
>Canon Equipment: Buy and Sell<
>Photog Gear Online Swap Meet<
5. If you’re looking for an item that is no longer being made, buying used can definitely save the day. The three Facebook groups I listed above that you can join often have used or vintage cameras come up for sale if you watch closely. You’ll be able to buy film and other items that are no longer being made. The Canon 5D mark i (Classic) is no longer being made as well as the Canon 50D and other cameras, but these great cameras come up for sale often used.