Top tips for buying used camera gear online

Whether you’re looking to purchase DSLR, Mirrorless, Rangefinder or Medium format gear, when it comes to investing in cameras and lenses, keeping up with new product releases can be expensive and intimidating. Although often evoking some nervousness in photographers – purchasing second hand equipment online can be a great way of saving some money on fantastic gear. Before making your decision, here are some tips on where to begin.

Do your research:

Research is key when buying used camera equipment. Once you understand what type of camera or lens suits your needs, it’s important to put some time into research. Take your time to investigate your product; shutter counts, condition ratings, pricing and product photos for signs of damage.

You could benefit from buying through a reputable company that specialise in second hand cameras and equipment, as opposed to peer-to-peer marketplaces, which tend to have skewed pricing and could end up far more expensive. It’s important to read the small print – make sure a warranty is included in order to avoid losing money in future should there be a problem with your purchase.

Be conscious of fraud:

The possibility of fraud when investing in expensive equipment is enough to make any photographer nervous – but there are plenty of ways to minimise this risk. Be sure that your chosen site is using a trusted payment gateway, for example, Braintree or Paypal.

Online reviews are another great resource to avoid scams – have a thorough read of Trustpilot and Facebook reviews before deciding whether to trust a site.

Buy at the right time:

The supply of second-hand cameras and lenses are typically at their highest after the Holidays – making the new year an excellent time for bargains as people attempt to sell their unwanted Christmas presents!

Trade in:

Trade in your old gear and upgrade – digital technologies are advancing at such a rapid pace that your equipment will inevitably lose value over time. Part exchanging any equipment you no longer use could save you quite a bit of cash!

Test, test and test:

If you’re looking to purchase an expensive camera or lens, it’s worth testing them out before making any commitments. Whether you’re staying loyal to your favourite brand or trying something new – there are many factors that may contribute to a camera or lens being the right fit for you.