3 Ways to Sell Your Old Camera and Gear

Camera, Olympus, stock

Camera, Olympus, stock

In the past two years there have been major innovation in the photography world, there are new cameras, lenses, and gear debuting every month.  You’ve seen the Micro Four Thirds (Olympus’s OMD and Panasonic’s GH3) world catch up to the DSLR’s with cropped sensors in regards to image quality.  New full frame cameras (Nikon D600 and Canon’s EOS 6D….) have been introduced that are relatively affordable for non pro photographers to acquire and their image quality rivals the highest rated full frame camera out there (the Nikon D800).  This trend is not slowing or stopping any time soon, you will continue to see a spill over from the innovations in the smart phone and computer world impact your photography gear as long as companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple keep battling it out.  So how do we get out hands on the latest and greatest gear available?  What organ do we need to sell to keep up with the break neck pace?

If you are reading this article then there is a pretty good chance you’ve got some photography gear already.  If you want to upgrade your camera system you will have to make some tough decisions.  Is it necessary to keep 5 different camera lenses if you only shoot with one or two?  Probably not.  Do you need multiple tripods?  Maybe a cheapo one for the car and a nice one for everything else.  So put the excess gear on the chopping block.  What about camera bags?  How many times have you purchased a camera bag only to find you’ve out grown it or just don’t like it after a few months of use?  Old lens filters?  All this spare gear is like currency, you just need to “convert” it (sell it) to be able to use it towards your new, improved, streamlined gear.  Here are three viable ways to do just that.


Did you know you could easily sell your gear on Amazon.com?  Amazon is actually the easiest and safest way to sell your old gear.  eBay has a high rate of scamming and Craigslist has the Craigslist killer has a high rate of both scamming and dangerous people who could harm you when you meet them.

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 4.20.47 PM

Say you wanted to sell the lens above (not sure why you would, it’s one of the best in the world).  You could search for it on Amazon and then look to the right where it says “More Buying Choices.”

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 4.21.16 PM

You see where it asks “Have one to sell”?  All you need to do is click the sell on Amazon button and you’ll be walked through the process of setting up your Seller Account.  It’s free to set up and Amazon will keep a small amount of every sell (it’s not bad and it’s better than the hassle of setting up either a Craigslist account or eBay account and dealing with the would be scam artist.

Once your account is set up you can set the price you want to sell your item for (the lowest prices are shown so you have something to go off of) and even enter sale prices to go into effect over certain dates.  The best part is, you don’t need any of your own photographs.  The product that you want to sell is sold through the product page on Amazon which already has all the details, reviews, and product images.

[alert type=”info”]”The best part is, you don’t need any of your own photographs.”[/alert]

The one and only downside to using Amazon or Ebay is that you’ll have to pay your own shipping or charge it to the buyer.  With Craigslist you probably should not ship anything, otherwise you are likely to get scammed.


Easily the best and worst place to sell your iPhone and other iDevices, but does it stack up for your photo gear?  Yes and no…  Craigslist is more time-consuming because you’ll have to put your own description of your gear as well as your own product photography.  Also, if you are listing in your home town (which you should be otherwise you’ll get ripped off by sending it to Africa with the promise of “twice your asking price” once they receive it) your pool of potential suckers buyers is much smaller than on Amazon or eBay.

Craigslist yields you the best return on your money, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be when you take more risk.  Here are some things to remember if you decide to use Craigslist:

  • Do not meet anyone at your house or theirs (should go without saying)
  • Do not let anyone “borrow” your gear “just for a day”
  • Only accept cash – Cashiers checks can be forged
  • Meet at Starbucks or other busy places in the middle of the day, not at night
  • Once you’ve done the transaction wait a while and try to watch them leave (so they don’t wait for you in the parking lot)
  • Let others know where you are and what you are doing
  • It’s ideal if you can have a friend go with you and sit at the table next to you
  • Don’t trust anyone you don’t know…  Sad but true these days


There are people who make thousands of dollars selling their and other people’s old junk, there are literally eBay stores (brick and mortar) that people bring their old crap to so someone else can list it and sell it on eBay.  eBay is a well-known force in this world and it is also well-known that you are more likely to get ripped off on eBay than just about anywhere else.  There are folks out there who have created websites that look exactly like eBay so they can get you to interact with them and farm your private data and steal your identity.  Don’t believe me?  Jump on the Google machine and search “eBay fraud”…  Still feeling like eBay is a viable option?

“As far as time commitments go, eBay is the most time-consuming direction to go if you try to sell your old gear there…”

Screen Shot 2013-03-16 at 9.27.11 AM

Craigslist and eBay are similar in that you’ll have to write-up your own description and upload your own photographs in order to list your product.  You have an option of letting people bid on your product which is unique to eBay and/or you can set a price for the “Buy Now” action where someone could forgo the bidding process and pay the higher price you preset.  As far as time commitments go, eBay is the most time-consuming direction to go if you try to sell your old gear there (Amazon is light years faster).

When listing your products you have an option to specify that you only want to sell it in your general area, that way you don’t have to ship it.  You’ll still get people trying to convince you to ship it to far off countries in the hopes of receiving twice what you are asking.  Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true… it is.

I don’t recommend using eBay or even Craigslist for that matter, if you plan on selling your gear then Amazon is the best answer.  To be fair, there are companies like Adorama that will buy your gear from you but at much lower prices than what you could get on Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist.  It can also take longer because you need to ship them your gear, they need to review it and make sure it’s not broken, and then they make you an offer that can be higher or lower than their original quote (it’s never rarely higher).  Use your best judgment and be safe, turn that old gear into cash and put it towards the camera or lens you’ve always wanted.


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