Any harm in divulging Nikkor serial numbers?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by chris_laskey, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. In the past I've made no attempts to hide or obscure serial numbers on my lenses when I put them up for sale. And I've always replied with the serial numbers when asked by a potential buyer. But now that I'm once again swapping some gear around and lenses are being sold, it occurred to me this may be a bad practice. On one hand I want sellers to be able to verify the general date of production from websites like But on the other hand I don't want to be opening myself to some unseen problems by revealing too much information to the public at large. So my fellow members, are there potential hazards are there in revealing the serial number? Is there any value to the serial number other than vague production dating?
    I should mention I take pictures of all my gear upon purchase, including pictures of serial numbers. I am aware technically someone could make a claim to the authorities of ownership if they know the serial number, but I'm confident I could prove rightful ownership in any court of law.
  2. There are way more important things to worry about. The only time serial numbers come into play is when listing inventory for insurance.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have pointed this out before: someone who wants to create problems for you can report those serial number to those stolen camera/lens list. If that happens, it can discourage buyers. Even though you can prove your ownership, if I buy that lens from you, I'll have a harder time proving my ownership and may cause me problems if I want to sell it later on.
    People can also register your serial numbers under their name with Nikon to gain access to manuals, etc.
    There is no advantage to you to post the serial numbers in public. For the purpose of identifying production date, only the first few digital are sufficient. I would typically hide the last 2, 3 digits when I post serial numbers. If a buyer wants to know the entire serial number, you can provide that in private.
  4. Thanks Keith and Shun for your quick responses. It's always good to know your exposure to potential issues. From now on I think I'll leave the full serial number for private conversations only.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Chris, Keith is right that there are way more important things to worry about. However, as a general rule of thumb, there is absolutely no advantage to you yourself by giving out too much unnecessary information. There may well be no harm for doing so in most situations, but sometimes people can come up with creative ways to cause you problems. I think it is a good idea to guard against any unforeseen problems.
  6. As a general rule, I would replace the last 3 digits with XXX when placing a for sale ad. These digits are really not of much use when determining the age of the lens. It is better to keep the last 3 secret, lest you potentially open a can of worms for yourself with any unscrupulous people out there.
  7. Lots of people divulge camera body serial numbers without even realising it (it's written in the EXIF data in the original files from many Nikons).

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