An introduction to buying used photography gear

There are plenty of photographers, some beginners and many on a budget, who look for options to acquire photography gear at a price less than the retail price of these items. In most cases, they look for options to buy used photography gear. But is buying used photography gear a good option? Let’s find out.

Advantage of price

The first and most obvious advantage is that when you buy used gear, you can get them at a considerable discount compared to the retail price of these items. Getting a discount of 30 to 50% over the retail price of these items isn’t unheard of.

Sourcing items that have been sparingly used

If you can get these items in mint condition, you can quickly get several years out of them. Many photographers look to upgrade their equipment from time to time. They may have bought a lens or a camera but have sparingly used them. If you can lay your hands on such a product, that’s often the best option.

Buying used lenses make better sense

The latter makes more sense than buying a used camera body and a used camera lens. This is because lens technologies don’t change overnight. Not every day a brand releases an upgraded version of a new lens. Lens technologies tend to be relevant for 5 to 6 years at least. If not more. And even if newer versions come out, the older versions remain in circulation. So, if you could get a lens that has been used sparingly over a few years and shows no signs of wear and tear, it makes sense to go for it.

Buy from credible sources only

A lot of photographers prefer to pick used gear from second-hand stores. While that does make sense, I would only advise one thing: to make sure that the dealer you buy from is credible and isn’t known for complex deals. I suggest buying used gear only from known sources. A friend, associate, or colleague who is a photographer looking to upgrade their photography gear. When you buy from a credible source, you know that your product is in good shape and can trust the person selling the product to you.

Don’t fall for deals that appear to be too good to be true

And this is true for every situation in life. If the deal appears too good to be true, it probably is. Always inspect the product thoroughly. Check for obvious signs of long-term use, such as rattling noise (more than acceptable), high shutter count, missing focus, etc. If the dealer unnecessarily pushes you to close the deal and part with your money, then you should be wary of such a seller.