I purchase most of my camera equipment used. I don’t have enough cash to purchase the latest and greatest. And the holidays are coming up amidst a pandemic.

We might not be made of money, but we sure love to create. Enter the used camera market.

An eBay score. Pentax 15-30mm f/2.8 wide angle lens … saved over $300. I knew I wanted to purchase the Pentax K-1, so I actually purchased this about two months before the camera.

Where do you purchase used camera equipment?

Reputable camera stores

I purchase used items from B&H and Adorama. I’ve never had an issue with anything used that I have purchased from either place. I also like that I can call up the store and talk to a human. They typically look over and clean everything.

MPB

MPB.com sells used gear, and has a five-star review on Trustpilot and a solid reputation. They offer a six-month warranty as well.

KEH

I purchased this Pentax 28-105mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens used from KEH. I forgot to dust it off before taking a photo of it, but when it came, it was utterly pristine. This lens has been tested in the dusty desert quite a bit and works beautifully.

Another solid place to purchase equipment is KEH. They’ve been around for decades and deal mostly with buying and selling used equipment. They also repair lenses and cameras, part of the reason their used equipment is in such great shape. I’ve had great luck here as well.

 

eBay

This is an obvious choice. You may sometimes get a better price from eBay than you will from the reputable camera stores or KEH. However, caveat emptor. I try to minimize this any issues by only purchasing from sellers that have a high rating of 99% or higher and have many transactions over the course of several years.

Amazon

My Nikon D750, which I purchased used from Amazon for about half of its new price. Remember that especially on eBay or Amazon, it is buyer beware. I received the camera, three batteries and accessories in its cardboard box. However, none of it had been wrapped at all. No bubble wrap, newspaper, “peanuts” or anything. They had just bounced around in a cardboard box. However, everything was in perfect shape, and miraculously, nothing was even really scratched.

Amazon is sometimes overlooked for used camera equipment. Perhaps for good reason. This sometimes seems a little wilder than even eBay. And again, caveat emptor.

Check everything over right away

When you purchase something used, there’s usually a time limit, even with reputable stores. Check out everything right away. I’ve been extremely lucky. And much of it has looked brand new. No scratches, no blemishes, no wear marks, nothing. Have fun!