Selling faulty camera on eBay
August 30, 2015 7:17 AM   Subscribe

I want to sell my Nikon D50 on eBay. It works but has developed what I would guess is a processor problem. I would like to swap to a Canon anyway next year so don't want to repair it myself. Should I sell it as a piece or split the body and lense?

The lens is fine and can be used for other cameras. The camera takes pictures and some people might not even notice there was a problem. I didn't until I viewed the pictures on my pc and zoomed in and saw more noise than normal and a thin dead pixel line on part of the image.

So I decided to sell it, and was going to do so as a bundle of body, lens, charger and case. My thinking is that someone might buying to repair, but also if you were starting off in DSLR photography, you might find it an acceptable beginner's camera. Then someone said I should split the lens and body to get more money. But to me that means anyone buying the body will probably just be wanting to repair it and this will pay less than someone just getting a working-ish kit.

Any thoughts please? I need to make a bit of money and now instead of just listing it I am sitting here beanplating. Aargh.
posted by KateViolet to Technology (7 answers total)
I think you're severely limiting the audience for your lens by selling it as a package. No one who has the ability to repair a camera is going to actually *need* a stock lens and very few beginners are going to think 'Hey, how about I start my new hobby with some shitty equipment that doesn't actually work properly' especially if they can't personally see the way in which it doesn't work.

You have to accept the fact that you are going to get less for your camera than you might if it wasn't, you know, broken. Try to get more for the pieces that aren't broken -- the lens and the case (which will likely add very little value to an auction of the complete kit, but might if it's nice fetch some value on its own).
posted by jacquilynne at 7:32 AM on August 30, 2015 [4 favorites]

You have a broken camera and a non-broken lens. The camera people on ebay are (often) pretty canny and I don't think going into it with a "maybe they won't notice there's something wrong with it" attitude is going to be worth the trouble. Not-very-broken camera bodies still get reasonable prices on ebay and I think I'd be splitting the items and being super honest about the low-level problems with the camera body. Otherwise you risk getting into a big "You sent me a broken camera" hassle with someone that will not be a lot of fun. I've gotten into those hassles with people who knew they were buying broken cameras and it's a huge PITA.
posted by jessamyn at 7:58 AM on August 30, 2015

You haven't said what sort of lens it is, but there isn't a lot of money at stake here. A quick survey of recent eBay sales says that D50's with problems bring around $10-$50, sometimes with lens included. Even very clean and fully functional, the upper end of the range is only $130 or so, and you aren't getting that much unless the lens is something special. It's not worth agonizing over this, and the additional money you might win by selling separately, writing two different auction listings, taking two sets of photos, packing and shipping two separate boxes, probably isn't worth the time it would take to do all that. I'd sell it all at once, with a clear and honest description, and move on.
posted by jon1270 at 9:18 AM on August 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the food for thought... Just to clarify, I was planning to be completely honest and include example photos of the fault etc. I just meant that it's still usable, that's all.
posted by KateViolet at 10:32 AM on August 30, 2015

Yeah, the D50 is pretty thoroughly obsolete by now (source: I own one!). Low pixel count, doesn't accept SDHC cards, terrible low-light performance compared to even an entry-level Nikon DSLR these days.

If your lens uses mechanical focus (as in, it's not an "AF-S" lens) like the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime, it's similarly obsolete. Only the high-end Nikons have the necessary lens motor built into the body anymore (D50 was the last entry-level model to have this) so it won't autofocus with most current Nikon models.

So, I'd say someone interested in buying a broken D50 wouldn't be much interested in the lens, but don't expect a whole lot for the lens by itself either unless it's something relatively fancy like a 18-55mm VR.
posted by neckro23 at 1:18 PM on August 30, 2015

Well, one sec though: older primes often retain their value better than older zooms (because newer teles have VR and are usually lighter and so on), so if it's an old mechanical prime, still might be worth something. I love those! I much prefer my primes.

If it were me I would check the lens listing and maybe offer the broken camera separately, unless it seems like the lens is a real dog on eBay.
posted by Nyx at 4:31 PM on August 30, 2015

The lens may indeed be a bit more valuable on its own. I managed to break a lens on my Nikon and went looking online for a Nikon AF replacement, and they were going for a fair bit. Is it the 18-55 that came with the camera? Those are going for $80-100 last I checked.
posted by azpenguin at 11:00 PM on August 30, 2015

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