The Best Places to Buy Used Camera Gear Online
Discover the best places to buy used and new camera gear online, and the pros and cons of using buying on each website.
Buying new camera gear can be an exciting process, but it’s also an expensive decision. Used camera gear is a great way to get new equipment at a lower cost, and there are a few good places to check out for buying options.
It’s important to make sure you’re getting the best value, experience, and highest quality gear, so check out our list of the best places to buy used gear:
Here to make the buying process safe and easy for users, Grid50 is a great place to buy used gear. Grid50’s marketplace is strictly for photo and video gear, which makes searching for items so much easier than other sites, since there’s no sorting through non-camera/video equipment.
Grid50 allows you to search for specific items, as well as shop by category. Each posting has photos and a description of the item, so it’s easy to tell the condition of the product before buying. You can also make offers on items, so you can try to score a better deal.
Customer service is a priority at Grid50, with customer support that can be reached by phone, email, or live chat. The marketplace also has user terms that help protect buyers from bad equipment, unlike other marketplaces such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace.
Lastly, Grid50 has an extensive blog with helpful resources to enable visitors learn more about the craft–making it an all-in-one site for buying, selling, and learning.
- Low sellers fees (3.5% of the total sale vs. 10% on eBay)
- A photo/video-specific marketplace
- Easily reachable customer support
- Buyer and seller protection
- While there are thousands of users and listings, Grid50 is still growing as a marketplace
- You have to ship your item (which may or may not be a hassle to you)
Craigslist is an established classified advertisements website, which makes it slightly different than most marketplace websites. Even though it has gotten some bad press from different stories, it can be a great place to buy used camera gear!
The website has been around since 1995, so many people use it as an established place to sell their old equipment, making it very likely to find what you’re looking for.
Also, Craigslist is conveniently organized by location, so you can browse local classifieds to find the closest deal to you. Plus, all of the sales and purchasing is done through the buyer and seller, so you’ll never have to pay extra fees or percentages to Craigslist.
However, Craigslist is not regulated, so there aren’t any procedures in place to protect the buyer from scams or bad deals. It’s important to know the value of the item you’re looking for, as well as ask for clear images and information regarding the product before you buy.
Craigslist also requires you and the seller to agree on a way to get the gear, which means some person-to-person transactions may be suggested. Another con of Craigslist is that everyday seller can’t typically accept debit or credit payments, so it’s important to check what payment options are available. Most importantly, it’s good to remember that on Craigslist if a deal seems way too good to be true, it probably is.
- You don’t have to deal with shipping your item
- If you’re buying an item, there’s a good chance you can pick it up that day
- No seller or buyer fees
- While generally safe, there is still a risk when meeting someone you don’t know to buy or sell expensive camera gear
- Very little customer support
- No buyer or seller protection
eBay is another marketplace that has been around for over 20 years and is a go-to site for many buyers. Since eBay has such a large user base, it’s easy to find what you’re looking for pretty quickly.
Unlike Craigslist, eBay has options to buy from verified sellers, which eases your mind when trying to make sure you’re getting a good deal. eBay items are shipped directly from the seller, which makes transactions easier than those on Craigslist.
eBay uses a bid model on many products, however, meaning the price you originally see on the listing might not be what you end up spending. Some items have a ‘Buy Now’ option, which allows you to purchase immediately and skip the bidding process.
eBay also offers a feedback section for sellers, making it easy to be sure you’re buying from a trusted source and getting the best deal possible.
Unlike Grid50, eBay is a marketplace for all items, so it’s important to remember their customer service may not be able to answer camera-specific questions. They are a large marketplace too, so getting in touch with customer support can sometimes be difficult. When using eBay, always be sure to do your research on a product and pricing before you buy!
- eBay is a large, established marketplace and there are thousands upon thousands of listings
- A large variety of search and filter options to help you find what you’re looking for
- If you plan to sell on eBay too, total sale values fees can be quite high, with 10% being the norm
- eBay is a photo-video specific marketplace, so customer support may not be able to answer camera-related questions
- Since eBay is so large, it can be tough to quickly get in touch with customer support
B&H Photo Video
B&H is a camera store that sells both new and used equipment. They are a legit retailer, so you can rest assured that what you see is what you’ll get.
B&H also inspects and tests their used products, and rates the item on its condition so customers always know the state of the gear before purchase. However, B&H’s website uses stock images on their used products, rather than real photos:
So you are only able to read an item rating and description of the condition before the product is shipped to you.
Unlike eBay and Craigslist, B&H only sells camera gear, so there’s no sifting through miscellaneous items, and their customer service representatives can help with photography-specific questions regarding their products. Another nice perk from B&H is their warranty and return policy. All items come with a 90 day parts and labor warranty, as well as a 30-day return policy, which can help ease your mind when purchasing expensive gear.
- Large, established, and trusted seller
- Easy to reach customer support (their number is listed right at the top of their website)
- B&H doesn’t use actual photos of their used inventory (there are only stock photos)
- Not as wide of a used inventory as Grid50 or eBay
Similar to B&H, Adorama is a site for new and used camera gear. Their site features item rankings and specific descriptions, which give customers an idea of what condition the gear is in before they purchase.
Again, though, Adorama only provides stock images for their used inventory, so you can’t see the actual condition until after you make a purchase:
On the plus side, their customer service is available via phone and live chat, so their representatives are easily reachable if you have any questions about their gear. Also, Adorama provides a 90-day warranty, as well as a 30-day return policy. However, it’s important to note that some of their products are marked as ‘final sale’ in their descriptions.
- Established and trusted seller
- Easy to reach customer support via phone, email, and live chat
- Again, like B&H, Adorama doesn’t use actual photos of their used inventory (there are only stock photos), so you won’t know exactly what you are getting until you receive your item
- Not as wide of a used inventory as Grid50 or eBay
What Is Your Favorite Place for Buying Used (or Even New) Camera Gear?
These places are great options for buying used gear! However, we’d love to hear what you think! Let us know in the comments below about any experiences you’ve had with these sites (good or bad) and if there’s anything we missed!