Following our previous discussion on why buying used photography equipment can be considered as one of the wisest decisions any photographer can ever make, let us now talk about where you should buy such equipment.
Admittedly, there are a lot of places where you can purchase used photography equipment but are you confident enough that they are offering the best deals in town? If you are not quite sure about it, here are some of places where you can get great value for your money.
Where to Buy Used Photography Equipment
Photo Specialty Dealers
This is perhaps one of the best places to find good quality used photography equipment. Photo specialty shops have long since allocated a portion of their shelves to used camera gears so you may want to check them out.
Mail Order Dealers
To find what you are looking for, you may also want to check out for mail order dealers who specialize in selling used photography equipment. While there may not be a lot of these people who are offering such products on sale, you can find them if you know where to look for. Tip: Check out Shutterbug magazine.
Photographic Flea Markets and Swap Shows
If you’re seriously looking for some very reasonably priced used photographic equipment, then you should definitely add photographic flea markets and swap shows to your list of places to visit.
EBay and Other Online Auction Sites
While you cannot physically see and inspect the product you are buying before paying for it, eBay and other credible online auction sites offer an escrow service to protect your purchase. This gives you the chance to check the product for any defects before payment is released to the seller. Moreover, eBay also provides some basic information about their sellers so you can check whether or not they have been receiving favorable reviews from their past customers.
There are also some places that shouldn’t come on top of your list – pawn shops and newspaper classified ads.
While there may be some great finds lurking at some pawn shops, you are definitely on your own if you decide to buy used photography equipment in such places. There is a great chance that no one in the pawn shop really knows if a particular gear is in good working condition or not so why take the risk? Plus, you wouldn’t get any guarantees with your purchase. It’s quite a risk so don’t push it.
Newspaper Classified Ads
If you want to purchase used camera equipment from private owners, checking the classified ads section may be a good idea. You can find a lot of people who are selling their camera gears since they are looking to purchase a newer model or have lost their interest in photography altogether. However, please bear in mind that you probably wouldn’t be getting any expert help or any assurances if you decide to go this route.
When buying used cameras, here are some things you may want to check:
- Signs of severe physical shock. A camera or any photography equipment that has not been well taken care of will definitely experience system failure earlier than anticipated.
- Lenses. Make sure that the lenses can be attached and detached without any difficulties. It is also a good idea to check the lenses for fungus.
- Broken or worn out connectors. Make sure you can take your memory card in and out of the camera without experiencing any problems.
- Stuck or dead pixels. If you are buying a DSLR, make sure that the LCD has no dead pixels. It has nothing to do with the quality of the picture but it can definitely be quite irritating to use it.
- Corrosion at the battery contacts.
Knowing where to buy good quality used photography equipment can spell the difference between a good purchase and a disaster so you may want to keep these things in mind.