I’ve not been in the gear market for a while, but while discussing some technical stuff with colleagues over in the NAPP forums, had some time to check pricing in various outlets for used gear, and there are some deals going on these days!  In my previous experience, used gear would go for roughly 10-15% less than the new retail equivalents.  That percentage is apparently a bit low now as some gear is selling for up to 25% off new pricing!  So, if you’re in the market for gear, check out the used market for some serious savings!  Here’s a few items I saw in just a mere matter of minutes:

Nikon D7000:  New = $1200, Used = $1000 (16%)
Sony A580 kit: New=$899, Used = $699 (23%)
Sigma 50mm f1.4: New=499, Used = $420 (15%)
Canon 500mm f4: New=$7000, Used=$5600 (18%)
Canon 5D Mark II: New=$2500, Used=$2135 (15%)

There’s more out there, but that’s just a sampling of what you can expect to see.  The nice thing is many of these items include useful accessories like bags, straps, cases, and media cards as incentive pieces…savings add up even more (about a 20% average in my estimation).  For what it’s worth, I used the forums from Fred Miranda to look up used gear pricing and B&H for retail equivalents.  Your mileage may vary.

Fred Miranda Buy/Sell Forums

What sort of discount would you expect to pay for used gear over it’s  new counterparts?  Is 15% the new minimum?  20%?  30%  What’s considered a “good deal” anymore?  Since I’ve not been in the market to buy anything lately, am totally not sure where things are except what I’ve seen above.  Those sound good to me but I have not scoured all of the internet to be sure…so, let me know if you’ve had similar or different experiences.  Likewise, if you’ve got any of your own deals you’ve noticed recently?  Sound off in the comments!

5 thoughts on “Buying Used?

  1. The problem with used digital bodies is they don’t last. I have a 60 year old film camera that works great. My 20D lasted 50,000 shutter click before the sensor finger broke off. That doesn’t include the scratch from the dirt, the half dozen stuck pixels, and broken USB port.

    Lenses are a different story.

    1. The sensor finger was to detect of the shutter was closed or open. It was a major fail point for 20D cameras.

    2. Unfortunate thdigital age has also brought lower quality, and this is not specific to th camera community, computers, audio, and pretty much anything digital has a greater failure rate and in shorter lifetimes. It’s what happens when companies have to compete on price rather than quality, which is where we are today.

      That being said, if you can get a digital camera one generation behind the curve, you really aren’t losing much because the lifecycle is much more conducive to buyers than sellers. So, why not have a one generation old camera, esp when you can get it used for 15-25% less than retail?

  2. Well, I am not residing in the U.S. so my mileage definitely varies. However, that being said, I am in the market for a Canon 5D Mark II but quite frankly in order to save 15% I would not go for a used camera unless I really knew where it was coming from. I just don’t want to regret my decision and find out that although I saved 15%, I lost on warranty and many other things which might be difficult to verify or have an idea of how things will develop with used gear.

    The other thing is that there is only ONE new, but many different USED ones. What means used? It could mean from almost new to having been quite heavily used.

    My guideline, but please correct me if I am overlooking something is – either I trust the source or I want to buy at least 40% below new. Not gonna happen with the 5D MII – well, in that case new it shall be.

    But I also have to say that I am just not a person who buys used …

    But I am also very curious what others will say …


    1. While your concern ver used sales is not without some measure of validity, the best one on the Internet is Fred Miranda. I’ve personally been in multiple deals and never had a bad experience. It’s a tight community, and being blacklisted there is something no one wants. Buyers and sellers alike are respected, and reputation is beyond reproach. If you want any place to allay your concerns, FM is the place to go. Period.

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