I am getting ready to retire and I’ve slowly been getting rid of stuff I know I won’t need going forward. I’ll be keeping some minimal gear because I am always going to take pictures. But I won’t be doing any more assignments (unless they are for good friends or involve cars that I happen to lust over!)
So I’ve been conducting some experiments. I took some actual gear (along with some hypothetical gear) and contacted all the usual suspects to try to rate which offered the best service.
My experiment wasn’t very scientific. But from a purely empirical point of view I did learn quite a lot about where you might have the best place to sell used camera equipment.
Let me first say that if you want to simply have the easiest, hassle-free experience, trading it in at the camera store where you buy your new gear is usually the best alternative. You’ll probably get the least amount of money in return, but you’ll save yourself advertising, shipping, negotiating with tire kickers and other time wasters.
If you want to get the most money possible out of your gear, my experience is that generally, Ebay is your best bet. If the gear is highly specialized or very rare, your milage may vary. But if we’re talking run of the mill stuff like 50mm lenses, two generations old DLSRs, tripods, etc., you will have the best chance of selling your gear on Ebay. This also means paying Ebay a cut and dealing with PayPal (one of my least favorite entities on the planet – but that’s another story.)