How to Buy and Sell Used Lenses
You've heard the horror stories of buying or selling used lenses, I'm sure...
It goes something like this: someone sees an incredible deal on a great camera lens on Craigslist, they inquire about it, the seller says all the right things, so the lens is purchased.
Then, when the lens comes in the mail, it's not at all as it was described.
The buyer contacts the seller but gets no response, and since the transaction occurred on Craigslist, there's really no recourse.
If only there were a better way to buy and sell used glass...
Now, there is!
I discovered a brand new website called Lensfinder that really caught my attention because it's a used lens marketplace for folks like you and me that want quality glass but want a great deal, too.
The key term there is marketplace...
Lensfinder doesn't sell lenses itself. Instead, they're dedicated to creating a community in which photographers can buy and sell used lenses with confidence.
There's a few things about this marketplace that photographers will really enjoy.
Lensfinder is By Photographers, For Photographers
First, it's not a free-for-all. To list a lens for sale, sellers have to first sign up for a Lensfinder account. The account is free, but people that aren't serious about selling lenses (or those that might seek to hoodwink someone on a deal) are less likely to go through the steps to create an account.
Second, Lensfinder is nothing but lenses. If you want a lens, this is the place to come as you don't have to sort through a million other items you don't need. Similarly, if you want to sell a lens, what better place than a website that specializes in buying and selling nothing but lenses?
Lensfinder Makes Communication Easy
Something else that I like about Lensfinder is that buyers and sellers can communicate directly with one another via Lensfinder's messaging system. That means no giving out phone numbers or email addresses to strangers - communicate right there on the website to ask or answer any questions.
Lensfinder has a seller feedback system, too, that way people that conduct business on the site can rate one another on transactions.
That means you'll know pretty quickly if a seller has a solid reputation or not!
Lensfinder Makes Payment Easy, Too
When it comes down to it, you want to buy and sell lenses on a platform that makes sending and receiving money a breeze.
Lensfinder does just that with PayPal as the preferred method of making the transaction.
Soon, though, Lensfinder will also support wire transfers and credit card payments to accommodate a wider range of payments.
And when it comes to paying Lensfinder, you don't have to worry...
There's no listing fees, so you can advertise your used glass all you want!
If your lens sells, a 3.99% transaction fee is included, but if you decide you don't want to sell your lens or your lens doesn't sell, just pull the listing, and you don't have to pay a thing.
Why Not Use eBay?
I'm sure some of you will wonder why you should use Lensfinder when you can just use another marketplace - eBay.
For starters, eBay's transaction fees are higher than Lensfinder's, so if you want more bang for your buck, Lensfinder is the way to go.
Speaking of which, I'd argue that since Lensfinder specializes in lenses, you might just find that you can get more money out of your used glass than you could on eBay.
After all, folks on Lensfinder are hobbyist and professional photographers and cinematographers, so rather than dealing with a bunch of potential buyers that have no idea what they want or what your lens is worth, you deal with knowledgeable buyers and sellers on Lensfinder.
What's not to like about that?
Besides, as I mentioned above, listing your glass on Lensfinder means it won't get lost in a sea of other stuff listed for sale like it does on eBay.
Instead, your lens will be front and center in a marketplace built specifically for glass.
Wrapping It Up
At the end of the day, we all just want a safe, secure, and easy way to buy and sell gear, and Lensfinder provides just that.
With eBay and Craigslist being the wild, wild west of buying and selling, Lensfinder offers a better alternative, one that's focused specifically on glass just for folks like you and me.
I've got a couple of lenses listed for sale on Lensfinder, and I can tell you that it's been a fast and easy experience - much more so than eBay or Craigslist.
Creating a listing and communicating with potential buyers is a breeze, and with PayPal payments, I know that getting my money will be easy as well.
If you've got some used lenses to sell, give Lensfinder a try!