Chances are you have had gear that you have wanted to sell. Whether it's because you don't use a certain lens as much as you thought you would, or maybe you're doing a simple camera upgrade. Whatever the reason there are times in a photographers career that we have to find a way to sell our used gear. In this post I will discuss a couple of options for selling your used camera gear. Trading it in- B&H, Adorama, and others have a buy back program. You can sell your gear directly or trade it in for store credit. This would be an excellent option if you needed to make a quick transaction. You're sure not to get as much money as you would if you were to sell it outright but the process will be quick, safe, and easy. It's almost like if you were to trade in a car for a new one.
Craigslist- I'm not a big fan of Craigslist. When it comes to big-ticket items like lenses and camera bodies it's just to risky. For one, there are a bunch of scams. Google it and you'll get plenty of examples. Second, if you take a $1500 lens to a back alley at night to trade it for some cash chances are you are going to be out a lens and left with nothing. I realize that many people use Craigslist without a problem. That's fine, it's just not for me. I will discuss my favorite option below. If you do use Craigslist, Do take caution! Meet in a public place. Don't accept personal checks, even money orders can be fraudulent, cash is about the only way. Take someone with you, don't go alone. I am not trying to scare anyone, these are the risks involved. Not only that, I am sure you will get haggled down to a lower price. If Craigslist works for you, great! I just don't recommend it.
Photography forums- Websites like photo.net and Naturephotographers.net, have a classified section where you can post gear for sale. You shouldn't run into any trouble using these sites. Most of the people on these sites are photographers themselves. That being said you want to make sure that the transaction goes smoothly. Always use common sense. You aren't going to get top dollar for your gear here, because of your savvy buyers, but with that being said it's a good place to buy used gear.
Amazon- This is where I sell all my books. It's easy to set up a seller account and start selling. This is becoming a really popular thing to do, especially for college students and their textbooks. The most obscure book is often looked for on Amazon. Millions of people are on Amazon at any given time looking to buy, and this is a good thing if you are trying to sell. I read a lot of photography books. In many cases I read them and sell them as soon as I can. The best way for me to do this is to buy a book when its first released, read it, then sell it right away. Most the time I can buy, read, sell the book and just about break even on my investment. It's like reading free books. Now the "better" books I will keep for reference, but ones that aren't anything special, I will resell as soon as I can before the market becomes flooded with them. Amazon charges a fee based on the selling price, that's how they make their money, but it's not that much. As far as selling gear on amazon, I have sold a few things, but my all time favorite is..
Ebay- This is where I do most of my selling. It has huge audience and I have always gotten a good price for my used gear. On some occasions I have actually sold my gear for more money than what I paid for it new. I recently sold my Canon 70-200 2.8 IS, to upgrade to the newer version. After eBay fees and paypal fees, I made about $100 on a 2-year-old lens. That's a good return on my investment especially in this economy. Here are a few rules I follow when selling on eBay. (1) I only accept paypal, (2) I will only ship in the USA (3) I only sell to "highly rated buyers". If you look at a buyers history and see lots of complaints about the products they buy, it's likely the are trying to scam. If you see a buyer with only one or two items bought, such as little trinkets, it's likely a scam. Use common sense. Sell to established, highly rated buyers. I have canceled bids just based off a gut feeling from the buyer. I will often get buyers asking me to mail overseas. I will always respond no, even if I think the buyer is legit. If I ship outside the USA, USA laws won't protect me. It's that simple. If I get snookered I want to be able to get my item and or money back.
In short, research the market. See what similar items are going for. Use a fair price and my experience is that you will get more than you expected. Photography gear is always in high demand. Photography is the worlds #1 hobby. There are always people looking to buy gear and if you do it right, you are likely to break even or even make money. Do your research, use common sense and you are likely to succeed as a seller.