Camera stuff sales websites?
February 15, 2007 9:26 AM   Subscribe

I want to sell my old 35mm camera equipment. Where's the best place to sell it online? (not ebay!). I'm based in London.

I have 2 camera bodies, several lenses, filters, enlarger etc. which I want to sell to raise money for a digital SLR. Is there anywhere online that will reach a more specific market than eBay?
posted by kenchie to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It depends on what kind of cameras equipment you have. There are many camera forums/mailing lists out there that cater to varying scopes of camera equipment.

For starters, and might be what you're looking for. The former is a photography forum dedicated to analog (i.e. film) photography, so you'd be able to list all your equipment on their classifieds section. Rangefinderforum is, as its name suggests, focused more on rangefinders, though its members often list other types of equipment like SLRs, enlargers, filters, etc as well.

If your camera equipment is of a specific, well-known brand (say Pentax, Canon, Nikon, Leica, the list goes on) you could also look for a mailing list dedicated to that brand. I know pentax has the 'pdml' and leica has the 'lug' (just Google them), and you should be able to list your camera equipment in an email for sale.

Above all, to ensure that your goods reach the widest audience, feel free to post your ads on more than one forum/mailing list, as long as it is more or less relevant to the focus of the site/list.
posted by nihraguk at 9:41 AM on February 15, 2007

What exactly is your argument against using eBay to sell your camera equipment? Depending on your priorities you have a couple of options:

1. If you want to get rid of the gear fast then you can either sell it for a fair price on eBay or for a less desirable price to a store such as which will buy your gear from you instead of selling it on commision.
2. If you think your gear is worth some extra money you can try selling it through forums more specific to your gear (what make and model are you looking to sell?)

Unfortunately the price of traditional camera equipment has plummeted and their really isn't that high a demand for the darkroom equipment such as the enlarger, so don't expect to fetch too much for that. Is the gear your looking to sell collectible or otherwise have some sort of following or is it just the generic Canon AE or Nikon F?
posted by Bengston at 9:45 AM on February 15, 2007

Just an FYI, I have sold medium format equipment on various photo-centric sites and have almost always done far better on ebay.
posted by luriete at 10:08 AM on February 15, 2007

The equipment is two Canon A1s with wide angle, standard & zoom lenses. I would rather go to a camera forum than ebay because I'd rather sell it to a genuine enthusiast who is more likely to want the whole lot than take my chances on ebay.
posted by kenchie at 10:10 AM on February 15, 2007

You should realize that there isn't much of a market for that kind of thing anymore. Film is dying; everyone's moving to digital.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:20 AM on February 15, 2007

Yes I realize that - hence the question!!
posted by kenchie at 10:22 AM on February 15, 2007

It's all in a nice Billingham bag - I'm sure that'll make all the difference!
posted by kenchie at 10:37 AM on February 15, 2007

I bought a complete A-1 set on eBay a couple of years ago. Basically the same kit as you: A-1, 28mm, 85mm, 50mm 1.4, camera bag, bunch of colored filters. It was around $250. Which is shockingly less than the stuff cost originally. Then factor in 15 years of inflation and you'll cry.

I've also bought things from KEH. I would imagine they are extremely picky about quality nowadays on this kind of gear, since there aren't that many buyers.

Honestly, the only people buying FD mount cameras now are enthusiasts, even on eBay.
posted by smackfu at 11:37 AM on February 15, 2007

I bought a 35mm camera on ebay about 6 months ago - one recommended by a photographer for having a particularly good lens (he said I'd have to pay much more for a comparably good digital one). It took me ages to bid successfully - there are clearly many people on ebay who know cameras well and are clear about what they want. If your aim is for it to go to someone who wants it I think you should reconsider ebay.
posted by paduasoy at 12:54 PM on February 15, 2007 is a good general photography site.
posted by JJ86 at 12:58 PM on February 15, 2007

I dig ... they are solid people.
posted by krautland at 1:03 PM on February 15, 2007

KEH looks like a US site. I'm in the UK.
posted by kenchie at 1:38 PM on February 15, 2007

eBay is the best place, unless your priority is something other than raising money. You will reach the widest audience on eBay and for something that isn't particularly sought after it will maximise the money you get.
posted by fire&wings at 1:49 PM on February 15, 2007

Uhhh whoever said camera forums frown on posting ads selling camera equipment -- that probably isn't true of most of the camera forums I frequent. Forums like,, (all of which are large forums with significant if not huge member bases) all have a classifieds section in which members are encouraged to post their camera equipment for sale (and camera equipment they want to buy).

The camera enthusiasts and photographers I know and see on these forums also tend to prefer to trade on such forums/mailing lists because they get the sense that they're buying/selling from/to a member of the community, and there's a greater sense of trust and goodwill in the transaction. There seems to be a perception that you're less likely to run into the guy with the fungus-riddled lens and mouldy camera body posting blurry pictures on eBay and looking for a sucker to con.

In short, in my experience camera enthusiasts tend to view eBay as a last resort -- after they have asked around their various photography communities and have received no offers.
posted by nihraguk at 4:24 PM on February 15, 2007

In short, in my experience camera enthusiasts tend to view eBay as a last resort -- after they have asked around their various photography communities and have received no offers.

I'm sorry, I've gotta disagree. Ok, actually, "enthusiasts" might, professionals don't. I'm a photographer in NYC, and I work and am friends with fine art and commercial photographers, and everyone I can think of has bought quite a bit of their gear through ebay. In fact, I just spent a few hundred bucks on something through there the other day. We'll go to ebay just as quickly as we'll go to B&H or Calumet or Adorama.

But, you don't like ebay, and people like me and my friends aren't looking to buy 35s, so you're looking at a different market. Try the forum thing. Bonus points if you're already a member of (and participate in) the forum, since there will be that element of trust that nihraguk mentioned. I don't know that I would buy anything from someone I didn't "know" online (or someone who only has 1 post on a forum, or who joined the forum yesterday), unless it were through ebay.

Are there any camera shops near you that have a used department? Might be worth checking out. (I've never sold anything to a used department, so I admittedly don't know what its like there.)

If you do use ebay, you might have a better chance of making more money if you list things separately. Yeah, it would be nice to unload it all at once, but if you're looking to raise money...well, you know.

Film is dying; everyone's moving to digital.

Boooooooo! I shoot 4x5. (Sorry, had to say it :)
posted by AlisonM at 4:44 PM on February 15, 2007

It might be just different groups of people, but my experience (not with photo equipment, specifically, more with video gear) is consistent with nihraguk -- a lot of enthusiasts look down on eBay (it gets called "Fleabay" a lot) and will check member-to-member forum postings first. But a lot depends on what you're buying; some video equipment can cost much more to ship than it's worth, so people use the forums as a way of buying locally. With small cameras, that's not quite the same concern.

That said, most people will buy from eBay without too much hesitation, if there's something there that they want. And of course, if you're a "nullo" on a forum (no other posts), and have no reputation, you're probably going to encounter more skepticism than you would selling through eBay.

I think you should start off by doing some eBay searching and see what items similar to yours are selling for. If you're not immediately disappointed (and if you are, due consider hanging onto it for a little while until you can find a school who would be interested, particularly the darkroom equipment), then check it against archived forum posts to see if anyone else might be interested, and decide where you want to go.

Ultimately it depends on how quickly you want to unload this stuff. eBay is the World's Pawn Shop: if you need to liquidate it quick, that's where you need to go. If you're not horribly strapped for cash, you might have a more personally rewarding transaction, if you go through a forum...particularly if it's one that's interesting to you, and you become 'involved' in before listing it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:03 PM on February 15, 2007

I've just started shooting medium format again... anyhow..

Old Canon FD gear isn't going to get much of a price, I'm afraid, compared to, say, Nikon or Pentax. Old Canon gear is entirely incompatible with the newer stuff. Pentax manual focus lenses are getting good prices at the moment, because they work well on their latest DSLRs. Bodies come and go, glass should be forever...

I buy and sell bits and pieces of gear on ebay regularly. I'm not sure what you're resistance is due to, but it's reasonably easy to tell the sensible buyers and sellers from the idiots in the film photography listings. The reason enthusiasts on forums view ebay as a last resort is because that's where the highest prices are. As a seller, it's got by far the biggest audience. If you do decide to use ebay, large, sharp pictures, separate listings for each item and thorough and well written descriptions will maximize your selling prices.

Selling to a dealer or shop will get you a much lower price than ebay - if you can persuade then to take your stuff.

You might as well forget selling darkroom equipment, unless you've got a quality enlarger or lenses for medium or large format printing. Film isn't dead, but 35mm darkroom printing nearly is. Nowadays it's all about scanning negs and transparencies.

But film itself is nowhere near dead. Medium and large format almost seem to be going through something of a renaissance, if prices on ebay and elsewhere recently are any indication. Might have something to do with the drop in price of better scanners. No affordable digital camera can yet beat a good scan of a 6x6, never mind a 4x5.
posted by normy at 7:10 PM on February 15, 2007

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