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Best places for purchasing used camera equipment

For those of us with more creativity than cash, this article might help you out a bit.

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I've bought from KEH a couple of times, they are solid.
I've bought and sold on eBay, if you choose your seller carefully you should have no problem.

In the end, I've done my best on craigslist. Some folks have all the money they will ever need and sometimes they just want stuff to go away.
Picked up more than a few great deals at thrift stores, antique shops and pawnbrokers too. Local is completely random but sometimes it can be amazing.


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I haven't had an issue in eBay, but like you say, I choose the seller very carefully.

Craigslist might be good. I haven't tried there. I suspect some of the best deals are on Craigslist. I should check them out next time I need something.

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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
I haven't had an issue in eBay, but like you say, I choose the seller very carefully.

Craigslist might be good. I haven't tried there. I suspect some of the best deals are on Craigslist. I should check them out next time I need something.

A couple of years ago, a seller posted an old Canon 20d, a 70-200 f4 L lens, a 17-40 f4 L lens, a 90mm 2.8 Tamron macro - all separate listings on craigslist.
His prices were fairly realistic but nobody was biting. He kept at it for a couple of weeks. One morning he posted everything as one lot for $350. I contacted him.

Original owner, bought everything new in 2006 and babied all of it. He still had the receipts!

Near mint - everything. Filters on the front elements, the original storage bags, extra batteries and CF cards for the camera.
He handed me the 70-200 L and said "You buy this and the rest is free." In terms of sold items on ebay, he was correct.

I immediately flipped the camera online for $70 and shipping. With fees, now I was down to $290 more or less. The 70-200 was too long on a crap frame for what I thought I might want to do so I sold it for a bit over $300.
Now I had $10 and 2 free lenses. Finally, I had other lenses in the range for the 17-40 so I sold that for another $300 and kept the Tampon, which I find handy and is very sharp.

That's how I roll. If I can flip and make $$$, why not? I did add a nice lens to my stash as well. I could tell many tales, I've been doing this a long time. Some times you gotta swoop NOW, craigslist belongs to the swift. Other times things need time to "ripen".

It's stupid what will be at thrift stores too. Right now I have a couple of vintage Pentax lenses from a lot of 6 I found at Goodwill for about $10 each. A 28 2.8 and a 50 1.4 and both have a "look" that modern lenses do not have. Fun.


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That's an amazing find. I need to hit those thrift stores more.

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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
That's an amazing find. I need to hit those thrift stores more.

It's good practice. Worst case you'll find amazing shirts and pants for dimes on the dollar. Sometimes furniture and sometimes microphones. I've bought more than a few guitars here and there, still have a requinto (small nylon string guitar tuned up 2-3 frets and used in lots of Mexican musics) at Goodwill for $14. It has a solid wood top and is the most cheerful sounding guitar I own.

Cameras come and go at yard sales but unless there is a block wide yard sale I find those a bit tedious. I had a friend who did well at auctions.

Bottom line is there is a TON of amazing stuff out there and lots of it is so cheap it's ridiculous. All perfectly legal too, what thief is going to donate their stolen goods to Salvation Army?


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I have been torn about selling old cameras. I have a Canon 5D, 5D ii, and 5D iii along with a couple of crop sensor Canons. It is sad how quickly they loose value. I've thought about donating the original 5D to a local high school, but would they even want it? My M50 does more and is a lot cheaper. I've given 4 cameras away and I don't know that they are ever used. Honestly, I stopped lusting after camera gear. Instead of a new lens I bought an iPhone 12 Pro Plus. Haven't touched my Canon's since I got it. What do you do with your old gear? I've thought about KEH but I doubt that I would get much.


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My old gear? I sell it before it loses TOO much. But remember, I purchase a lot of my gear used, so it's already depreciated, so I don't lose as much money when I sell them. If it's not worth that much any more, then I usually just give it to someone so they can learn or donate it to a school.

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Originally Posted by RABid
I have been torn about selling old cameras. I have a Canon 5D, 5D ii, and 5D iii along with a couple of crop sensor Canons. It is sad how quickly they loose value. I've thought about donating the original 5D to a local high school, but would they even want it? My M50 does more and is a lot cheaper. I've given 4 cameras away and I don't know that they are ever used. Honestly, I stopped lusting after camera gear. Instead of a new lens I bought an iPhone 12 Pro Plus. Haven't touched my Canon's since I got it. What do you do with your old gear? I've thought about KEH but I doubt that I would get much.

With very few exceptions, I only buy old gear. I did buy a Canon T2i new almost 10 years ago. It still takes decent photos. I've devolved from an artist who owns a camera to a Bizarro World "Commercial" photographer who's sole intent is to photograph the defects in various used Items I am selling online. Buying new digital anything is like throwing money away, whether it's photography gear, computers, new synthesizers or modeling guitar amps.
Stuff is so good now that older stuff is more than adequate.


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Exactly, well said. I actually carry that over to almost everything. I have never had a new car either. I buy most of my musical equipment used. Most of my camera equipment is used. I am happy to have other people pay the depreciation, and besides, I just really don't have that much cash.....

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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
Exactly, well said. I actually carry that over to almost everything. I have never had a new car either. I buy most of my musical equipment used. Most of my camera equipment is used. I am happy to have other people pay the depreciation, and besides, I just really don't have that much cash.....


With you on that 100%! I shop thrift stores, many times with no intention other than seeing what's there that day. Stuff comes and goes, sometimes it is miraculous, sometimes you can buy and sell something you don't want and make some decent money and most of the time it's a pile of crap that I will leave where it sits.

Out of many guitars that I've owned, I can only think of one that I bought brand new. I don't have that one anymore.


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I did purchase one guitar brand new. It was a Girlbrand guitar. I fell in love with it when I walked into a store. Thought about it for a week, walked back in and purchased it. I still have it, it's my favorite guitar, and as a bonus, the thing had quintupled in price because it's apparently quite collectable. I won't sell that, though. It's my guitar, and I love it. I just cannot believe how great it sounds and how beautiful it looks and feels and plays.

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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
I did purchase one guitar brand new. It was a Girlbrand guitar. I fell in love with it when I walked into a store. Thought about it for a week, walked back in and purchased it. I still have it, it's my favorite guitar, and as a bonus, the thing had quintupled in price because it's apparently quite collectable. I won't sell that, though. It's my guitar, and I love it. I just cannot believe how great it sounds and how beautiful it looks and feels and plays.

Nice! A great guitar is totally subjective but worth more than money. I have some nice ones that I will keep until I can no longer play them. If I am lucky, I'll fly off a cliff and burst into flames like a cheap detective TV show from the 70's lol.

Yesterday, I was looking for a guitar to take on a sort of "vacation" soon, an acoustic guitar as I no longer own a "beater." Instead I found a pair of DCM TimeFrame TF400 hi-fi speakers at Goodwill for $10. They are tall and heavy, top and bottom are capped with solid red oak and they were made in the USA. I knew they were nice speakers so I risked the $10 and took them home. Turns out one of the lugs for tightening down speaker cables was broken off, just the brass base remained. So I soldered a speaker cable to the brass and they both work perfectly and sound wonderful. Score!!!!

I decided to just put 6 strings on an Ovation 12 string that I need to work on. It sounds great, action is s bit high but I just wanted something to have fun with that I don't have to worry too much about.


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I worked with a lady who takes wonderful pictures of birds and post them on Facebook. I gave her a Ti3 with a 250 kit zoom after she expressed interest in trying a DSLR. Three years later she is still using her old instamatic, and taking better pictures than I do with a "professional" camera. She is in her 70's and says it is too late to change. smile


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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Nice! A great guitar is totally subjective but worth more than money. I have some nice ones that I will keep until I can no longer play them. If I am lucky, I'll fly off a cliff and burst into flames like a cheap detective TV show from the 70's lol.

Yesterday, I was looking for a guitar to take on a sort of "vacation" soon, an acoustic guitar as I no longer own a "beater." Instead I found a pair of DCM TimeFrame TF400 hi-fi speakers at Goodwill for $10. They are tall and heavy, top and bottom are capped with solid red oak and they were made in the USA. I knew they were nice speakers so I risked the $10 and took them home. Turns out one of the lugs for tightening down speaker cables was broken off, just the brass base remained. So I soldered a speaker cable to the brass and they both work perfectly and sound wonderful. Score!!!!

I decided to just put 6 strings on an Ovation 12 string that I need to work on. It sounds great, action is s bit high but I just wanted something to have fun with that I don't have to worry too much about.

Cool. And they may sound a little different too, always a good thing.

I guess one of the better scores I got in a thrift store was a rice cooker. This one heats all the way around the pan. I bought it for $5. Googled it when I got home, and apparently it sold new for about $175. That was about 16 years ago. I still have it, and it works beautifully.

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Originally Posted by RABid
I worked with a lady who takes wonderful pictures of birds and post them on Facebook. I gave her a Ti3 with a 250 kit zoom after she expressed interest in trying a DSLR. Three years later she is still using her old instamatic, and taking better pictures than I do with a "professional" camera. She is in her 70's and says it is too late to change. smile

She clearly has a great rapport with a Ti3....which is just good enough that you can take really solid photos with it and is easy to use.

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Originally Posted by RABid
I worked with a lady who takes wonderful pictures of birds and post them on Facebook. I gave her a Ti3 with a 250 kit zoom after she expressed interest in trying a DSLR. Three years later she is still using her old instamatic, and taking better pictures than I do with a "professional" camera. She is in her 70's and says it is too late to change. smile


She doesn't need any particular camera, just one she can use without thinking. She sees.


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