Don’t get burned!
Photography gear is pricey, and buying used is a great way to keep your wallet from getting too thin, but it also comes with quite a few risks. The high price associated with photo gear sometimes attracts unsavory folks disguising themselves as reputable sellers, as a means to part you from your hard earned cash. Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to avoid this from happening.
I’ve been buying gear on a budget for thirteen years now, mostly via eBay and Craigslist, and in that time have come of with a basic set of rules to protect myself from getting burned. And after recently reading a gear-buying horror story, I felt compelled to write down my rules – with the input of my DPReview colleagues – and share them with you.
Note: There are exceptions to these rules and following them does not necessary guarantee you won’t get burned by a bad deal. As with any big-ticket purchase, common sense is the best and safest policy.
Buy from reputable used retailers
Buy from reputable used retailers like KEH or from the used department of reputable camera retailers like Adorama or B&H. If you are unsure of whether a camera retailer is reputable, if they are based in the USA, a quick search of the company’s name on the Better Business Bureau website should provide you the answer.
As a rule, always be sure to check and understand the retailer’s return policy, just in case you have an issue. For instance, KEH offers a 6 month return window.
Buy from sellers with a positive history
The advantage of buying from a used retailer is generally → continue…