photo by vorDa via iStock
As we barrel toward 2020, it’s hard not to think of how much photography has changed over the last decade.
We have smartphones now that have 50-megapixel sensors. Mirrorless cameras have become mainstream. Today’s cameras are as much video cameras as they are for stills.
Along with the technological changes, how we buy and sell photography gear has changed as well.
The last camera I bought in a physical camera store was probably my Nikon D750 back in 2014. Online shopping has taken over for me (and a lot of you) in terms of where we buy our cameras, lenses, and other accessories.
But how we sell used gear has changed, too, and that’s what I want to talk about in this article.
The eBay Era
photo by Henadzi Pechan via iStock
I used to be obsessed with eBay. If I had camera gear to sell (or anything to sell, for that matter), eBay was my first choice.
And while I successfully sold a lot of stuff on eBay back in the day, their huge fees were always a thorn in my side.
I mean, I get that they have overhead, but between eBay’s cut and PayPal’s cut, I wasn’t getting nearly what I should in terms of profit from selling my gear.
The other issue I had with eBay was how complex it was just to list an item for sale.
With a gazillion categories to choose from, you really have to be dialed in and ensure you list your items in the appropriate spots, otherwise people looking for those items might not even find yours in their search results.
It was complicated, no doubt. That’s why I started using Craigslist.
The Craigslist Era
Once I gave up on eBay for selling my used camera gear, I started using Craigslist.
From a usability standpoint, I found Craigslist to be much easier than eBay.
Where an eBay listing might’ve taken me half an hour to put together, I could have my gear on Craigslist in about half that time. And since I live in the Los Angeles area, Craigslist gave me a huge audience of potential buyers.
Of course, Craigslist had some issues of its own that made it a less-than-ideal forum for selling things.
For starters, it’s always a little uncomfortable meeting someone you don’t know so they can look at your expensive photography gear. Questions run through your mind about whether the buyer is legit or if they consider you an easy target to rob.
I’m not saying that every buyer on Craigslist is a danger or a criminal; far from it. But those thoughts do enter your mind.
Additionally, there’s just so many scams on Craigslist. It’s exhausting, really! Even if a potential buyer isn’t trying to scam you, I found that I had to deal with low-ball offers and hagglers much more on Craigslist than I did on eBay.
So, again, the platform I was using to sell my old gear just didn’t tick all the boxes.
But today, there are far better options to sell your used camera gear.
The Gear Focus Era
Gear Focus is my go-to for selling my used gear these days because it addresses the issues I had with eBay and Craigslist.
The expense of eBay was one of its biggest downfalls, but Gear Focus allows you to list your items for free, and when they sell (and only when they sell) do you pay a 3.5% fee. You won’t find a lower seller fee anywhere!
Better still, Gear Focus LOVES to give away camera gear! They have already giving away a Canon 6D MKII with lens kit, a DJI 4K Osmo Pocket, the new DJI Mavic Mini and there current giveaway is the beloved Panasonic GH5 with Lens kit! To encourage sellers, every qualifying item you list counts as one entry into the giveaway!
The other problem with eBay - the sheer amount of time it took to create a listing - is also resolved by Gear Focus.
It literally takes just minutes to sign up, create a listing, and post your item for sale. This is a huge benefit for anyone listing gear, but particularly for folks like me that often rotate gear through my collection and have multiple listings that need to be created.
Gear Focus also addresses my complaints about Craigslist.
Not only are the sales transactions handled via Gear Focus (so there’s no meeting shady folks in person to conduct the sale), but they have safeguards in place to prevent scams.
For example, Gear Focus has admins that are photographers and videographers, so they can spot red flags in listings from a mile away. That’s excellent peace of mind when you use their platform to buy used gear.
Gear Focus helps sellers as well by providing assistance for setting accurate prices. All you have to do is contact their knowledgeable staff, and they’ll help you set a price for your gear that is reflective of its condition. The more accurately you price your gear, the more likely it is to sell, and the more likely the buyer is to be happy with their purchase.
In other words, Gear Focus is a community of photographers and videographers that are trying to make the experience of buying and selling gear one that is as smooth and productive as possible.
Without huge fees, laborious listing procedures, or scammers, Gear Focus has been a breath of fresh air for selling my old camera gear.
If you have photography or videography equipment you no longer need, give Gear Focus a try. If you’re like me, you’ll find that it’s the most efficient, secure, and easiest way to sell your stuff!