Buying Used Equipment Can Stretch Your Photography Budget

I’m on a budget at my house and photography equipment can be very expensive. Often I have tried to get by with cheaper sub-standard equipment to keep from breaking the bank, but when you buy a new product you rarely get more than you pay for. However, buying quality used equipment can be a great way to get what you really need without straining your budget.

Here are my top three sources for used equipment:

  1. Adorama.com – I have bought used and refurbished equipment from Adorama for years and have never had an issue. This is a large established company with a solid reputation you can trust (please note that I am not affiliated with them in any way, this is my personal review of their service). It’s nerve racking to buy expensive used equipment online because you can’t inspect the quality. However, Adorama rates the condition of every piece of used equipment and I have found their ratings to be honest and accurate. I most recently purchased a used Canon 7D from Adorama and if anything they underrated its condition. I could not be more pleased.
  2. Amazon.com – This is a mixed bag because you are buying from various individuals who vary in honesty and service. Still, you can find great deals just check the seller rating to see how satisfied previous customers have been. This summer I found a great deal on a Canon camera on Amazon. I had been watching the used listings for a particular model and one day I saw a new listing with “like new” condition about $30 cheaper than the next used camera in much worse condition. Buyer beware: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! However, the seller had a 100% seller rating, so I decided to take a chance. I was extremely pleased to receive the camera exactly as described. It was a great deal. However, I would have never purchased the camera if the seller did not have a high rating. Also, when you look at ratings make sure they are based upon a large number of reviews not just a few. The seller have may asked a few friends to help him out with ratings.
  3. Ebay.com – I have gotten some deals here. Basically everything I just wrote about Amazon ratings applies to eBay. Check the rating to be sure you can trust the seller.