Out with the old and in the new.
Change is tough and can be expensive. I was all in when our business decided to move to Sony and Zeiss.. but it was still overwhelming. We had spent years collecting gear so it is no small thing to change. Buying new gear is expensive so I was motivated to move stuff out!
If and when you decide to make a major change let me give you some advice…from the other side.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before you haul off and give someone a price know what your gear is worth. There are a couple of ways you can do this. I would suggest looking on keh.com or visiting your local camera store to see what they would give you for your gear. Their price is going to be low. They have to mark it up and sell it hopefully for a profit. So while it is not your best option (unless you are in a pinch) it is a good gauge of the bottom range. If you go to your local camera shop ask them what they would give you as a trade value. They often will do better if you are trading in gear to buy new gear from them. You can also use their site’s tools to gauge how condition effects price and what accessories should be with your camera for max value. Next I would go to sites like www.bh.com or amazon.com to see what a new lens currently is selling for. We purchased a Canon 24-70 a few years ago and it was over two thousand…fast forward a few years and it is now just 1700.00. This will give us our high end price. Finally look on used gear sites such as KEH, B&H, or even Facebook groups dedicated to camera gear buy and sell (for example Camera gear, film photo gear, Canon equipment: Buy and sell to name a few). This will give you a good reasonable price.
Also do a little bit of research about what it costs to sell and ship (more info below.)
2. TAKE HONEST PICTURES
If you want to sell gear now and in the future be super up front. If there are scuffs, show them. If you have boxes and manuals include those in the pictures. I would suggest giving your gear a good cleaning before taking pictures. Stage your gear with a simple plain background and take multiple pictures from all different angles. If your gear is electronic take some pictures with the gear on. I did this when selling my light meters just to show they work. It is also a good idea to include images taken with a lens or camera. Sometimes people ask for that and it is pretty easy to include it from the get go.
3. SHARING SOCIALLY
I have had the best luck selling to people I know. I think this is the best way to go if you can. Share socially with your fans, friends, and followers that you are selling. On your personal page post a “gear sell off post.” Include all of the gear and as much info as you can along with your pictures.
If you are posting on a market place site or gear for sale group post items individually. Most of those sites like you to make items sold and believe me it makes it easier to have items listed separately. I didn’t the first time I put a lot of gear up and when people messaged I had no idea what items they were asking about.
If you are a photographer, be ready for non-photographers to think you are crazy when you list a lens for a grand. I think posting prices with your images is always best to avoid the, “wow…that must be a REALLY nice lens/camera!)
4. INCLUDE ALL THE INFO
Don’t make people ask..include more info than they need. For lenses include when you purchased it and from where. How often did you use it? Did you have a UV filter on the glass? Let them know if you have hoods, lens caps, and back caps. Are there any issues? Again.. be as upfront and honest as possible.
For cameras, make sure you include the make, model, year purchased, shutter accuations (grab and app to tell you your shutter count.) Also include information about maintenance, issues, or upgrades.
If you have additional accessories that come with the items make sure to note that. For example if you have extra batteries for your camera, UV filter, chargers, or cases let people know.
7. PULL IT ALL OUT
It was amazing when I started going through bags and drawers. I found lots of things that were camera specific that I was going to have no use for or items that I didn’t really use. Some items were little and I decided to group them as a set. Some items I included with my camera as a bonus. Some items I listed separately. I was amazing by how much it was all worth. I suggest pulling it all out and deciding what won’t work with your new camera system (flashes, remotes, batteries, filters, charges, etc.)
It is also worth evaluating what WILL work with your new system. Before we totally changed over I purchased a convertor that allowed me to use my Canon Lenses on my Sony. This was a great in between measure. The convertor cost me a couple of hundred dollars,(which I sold when I was able to get new Sony/Zeiss lenses) but gave me more time to save up longer.
6. THE HANDOFF
You have a buyer now you need to get paid and ship. I suggest using Paypal and to pay the additional fee (don’t do friends and family.) This makes you seem more legit and gives everyone a little bit more protection. When pricing your item make sure you know how much Paypal or even Ebay will take when you use their service. This will take a bite out of your bottom line but I suggest including shipping and insurance in the cost of your item. Make sure you note that in your description. Before listing figure out what it will cost to ship. I had some items that were bulky but not expensive.I like to ship using fedex or UPS. Both offer a packing service which costs bit more, but I like because I know everything is safe and sound. I also ALWAYS get additional insurance and have items signed for, even small items, which I understand can be a hassle. I have had too many weird things happen when shipping and I don’t want items left just anywhere. I also like Fedex or UPS because they include my phone number on the package. Recently I shipped something (and didn’t ask for a signature…opps) and it was mis-delivered. The “wrong” receiver was very kind and called me so she could help get the package to the right recipient.
I also send a photo of the tracking number so my buyer has that. I let them know when I will be sending it out and when they should be expecting a delivery. For some reason years ago I started keeping all of my gear boxes, so it is nice to ship something wrapped in the original packaging. I like how secure lenses are packaged so if you still of those boxes…keep them!
If you can meet someone locally that is always the best choice (just make sure to meet in a safe location!) I was able to negotiate on price a little bit more when I wasn’t shipping and didn’t have to insure the gear. Plus, you have the piece of mind that they are happy and it traded hands without any damage.
7. HITTING THE BUY BUTTON
Before you run off and buy your next piece of gear, I would suggest waiting until your package is received and there are no issues with the condition. I have not had any issues with damages or returns BUT I think it is wise to wait. I would have hated to be out hundreds of dollars.
Before you run off and buy your next piece of gear, I would suggest waiting until your package is received and there are no issues with the condition. I have not had any issues with damages or returns BUT I think it is wise to wait. I would have hated to have bought something new and not have the amount of money I thought I would because of damaged gear that I had to refund (and then deal with the insurance…no fun.)
ENJOY YOUR NEW GEAR
I have to say that now that I am on the other side, the transition really wasn’t that hard. I don’t want to do it annually, but it took just about two weeks to sell what I needed to sell to purchase our new Sony and Zeiss gear. It was well worth it!