Best way to sell equipment

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by josh_matthews, Jul 10, 2010.

  1. I have purchased equipment from KEH in the past and was happy with the experience; however, I am now looking to sell some Mamiya equipment - specifically an RB67, 120 back, and 180mm KL lens. What do you think the best way to do this would be?
    I have shied away from selling on ebay. I am not sure these items could be packaged 100% to prevent damage in transit. I know they are in fantastic shape now and I would hate to hear from a buyer that something was damaged in shipping. I remember when I got my RB that there was a piece of styrofoam in the camera body if I recall correctly to prevent the mirror from moving, if anyone can comment on this - that would be appreciated.
    I've posted an ad on craigslist and have been getting countless spam emails due to it. Is there something that I have overlooked. I bought this camera prior to my wife and I finding out she was pregnant and most of my photography as of late has been of our twins. I am not nearly fast enough with a manual focus camera to take pics of uncooperative babies so everything has been relegated to DSLR.
    As a side note, keh according to their online price quote system would give me just over $300 for the setup. I noticed several days ago that they were selling similar setups for close to $550. I know they need to make a profit but I was hoping to sell the setup with a pelican case for close to what they would have been asking. Do you think that is reasonable. I have less than ten rolls of film through the whole setup.
  2. I think you're between a rock and a hard place.
    I doubt KEH will give you what you want, especially for the case. And most buyers would buy from KEH if given the same price.
    CL can work well, if you're in a big city. You do have to endure spam, and might have to wait a while.
    That leaves Ebay. I wouldn't worry too much about packaging it. You'd have to ship it to KEH as well, right? Just get a big box and lots of peanuts.
    Or, you just write off the $300, take a few shots when you can, and consider each keeper you get to be priceless. Then, you actually profit on the deal. ;-)
  3. I think you should not overlook Ebay. I have bought LOTS of gear there, and also SOLD plenty, and have had nothing but the best of experiences with every transaction. You simply have to exercise some common sense. I NEVER send overseas, and ALWAYS ONLY use Paypal. The only downside is the fees collected by both Ebay and Paypal, however, these are MUCH less than the cut rate prices that a place such as KEH or BH will give you for used equipment. That is NOT a slur on those two companies, I have also purchased lots of used equipment from both of them, but they are in business to make a profit, and you simply will not come close to getting as much money for your items selling to such a place as you will selling yourself directly to a buyer. As for packing, that is no problem. You can buy bubble wrap and those "air cushion thingys" at big box department stores, or better yet, at a moving rental place such as U Haul. They have tons of boxes in all sizes as well and the wraps to safely pack your items. It really is just not that big a problem. Ship UPS, and there will be no shipping problems. That is how *I* do it, and it has always worked for me.
  4. Listen to Steve and consider eBay.
    I'd sell the Pelican case separately, at least, and consider offering the lens and body+backs as two lots. I know I've bought lots of body+lens combinations myself for less than the lens would have sold for by itself. Look carefully at the completed listings before offering anything, and do not make the mistake of setting too high a minimum. I personally hate "reserve" prices because so often you find that the reserve is ridiculously high--if you had known, you would never have bid on it. I have seen items listed too high go through three or four sales listings with no takers, but somehow the owners just don't give up. Only eBay profits from that kind of stubbornness.
  5. stp


    I'm very happy with the experiences I've had buying and selling on the photo boards:,,, (for pentax items) and (for rangefinders!). Your price should not be what KEH is asking; it should be lower (10-20%?). Look at what others are asking for in their ads for the same equipment. Also check completed ebay sales to get an idea what your price should be. Set a fair price, perhaps give yourself a little negotiating room (although I find that with a fair price this often isn't necessary), include shipping in your price, cover the paypal fee or split the paypal fee (or avoid the fee entirely by accepting echecks or the paypal gift option, both of which have drawbacks), write an ad that is honest, thorough, and accurate, and then take some good photos of your equipment.
    I was about to send 5 Pentax 645 lenses to KEH just to save me some hassle, but I did all of the above and got about 180% of what KEH was offering, and my buyers got some good deals and are happy with the equipment they received (still have one lens to go).
    If you go via ebay (which I don't like simply because I'd rather sell an item for a known, fair price, [which could be done on ebay with a "buy it now"price] and without paying ebay fees on top of paypal fees), I think the key is to write a good ad, take good photos, offer a 3-day money back inspection period (product only, not shipping), set a very low starting bid (this is very important), set a low reserve (or none at all) and tell bidders that the reserve is low or non-existent, set the ad to expire on a weekday evening at 6:00 on the Pacific Coast (9:00 on the East Coast), and sit back and watch the bidding double or triple in the last 45 seconds. It will be somewhat of a problem if you've never sold on ebay, because potential buyers want to see some "proof" that you're an honest seller, and they look for that in your feedback. If you don't have feedback, they feel they're taking more of a gamble. The same is true for the photo boards. Feedback is important, and you might try to build that up by selling items one at a time. Feedback will be based on fair prices, fast delivery after an item is purchased, and equipment that doesn't have any "surprises" when the buyer opens the package (and that is avoided by writing a thorough description).
  6. Agree with Stephen,
    I have had a lot of luck with photonet classifieds. I have also sold to KEH. The real issue is whether you want top dollar or simply to sell them and move on. You can pretty well guarantee that KEH will give you roughly half of what they might sell them. Try their online estimator. You can wait a long time before you get anyone buying anything for top dollar. It all depends on whether you want to actually sell it or "salvage your investment". In my opinion the second option is hopeless for most film cameras today - excepting perhaps Leicas.
  7. Thanks for the replies, I have not personally sold too much on ebay - but my wife seems to be the ebay guru. So far she has 100% feedback, so if I go that route I'll probably use "our" account so users can have somewhat of an assurance that they can expect to get what is advertised.
    Someone mentioned parting out the components and selling them individually. That sounds like a good idea; but I would hate to be stuck with a few components that I couldn't sell and couldn't take a picture with either.
    I think I'll look into the classifieds and go from there. Thanks again
  8. I think your kit is too small to hassle with selling individually. I usually agree with that approach, unless it's a "basic" kit. More people might want it all together.
  9. More people might want it all together​
    Put them up at the same time, of course, and cross list in your description; but all the real bargains I have got in buying (literally a hundred and more old cameras at low to high price points) were all lots sold together. For example, many people may want an extra body, but don't need another 'normal' lens. The case will have a much wider appeal since it can be used for any camera. Look at the value of the lens sold on its own. If it's low, do make it a lot with the body; but realize that you may be throwing it in as lagniappe if bidding is slow. I see on eBay now that many people are trying to sell this lens at over $200, but nobody seems to be getting any offers or bids at that level.
    You will need to price the starting bids at below KEH and other dealers in used equipment. If you sell directly to the dealers, simply accept that you are getting wholesale, not retail prices. For many people the ease of getting rid of the assemblage that way is worth it, and you never know what you'll get on eBay if you sell it. Sometimes, if you're very lucky, more than the retail prices from over-excited newbie bidders. Sometimes, maybe even less than you'd got from a dealer. Insisting on a starting bid that high may well scare off bidders, however, so it's like any auction setting -- more trouble and less certainty.
  10. Personally, I would sell it on eBay. With only one body and lens it makes sense to keep them together as a working camera for sale, although since that's not the normal lens it might also make sense to separate that piece from the rest. You're not likely to come across a lot of people who want the body but no 120 back, but there might be someone who wants the 180 lens but doesn't want to have to pay for an unwanted second RB67 body to get the lens.
    There is always a risk of getting less than you would like to get, but you will probably get a better response if you start bidding low and let it build up on its own. Chances are you'll get a fair price, and you're almost guaranteed to get more than you would get from KEH or another dealer that has to mark up his cost about 100% to make a living.
  11. That KEH cut looks like what they usually quote. I forget exactly and didn't check the math on yours; but, I remember something like a third of their usual selling price, not counting Georgia taxes.
    The best way to sell this thing is near someone who has the money and the interest to buy it. So, you just passed college graduation; there go the aspiration hunters. Near the end of August will be the start of another school year. There's a time when people are thinking about turning over a new leaf. Might want to think up something near then.
  12. I live near the University of Florida, so I might try my luck with by posting a flier somewhere near the college of fine art. It's funny, I have been looking at some of my photos that I took with the RB and they make me not want to sell it. There seems to be something about medium format photos that are lacking in digital, at least to me anyway.
    In doing some ebay research it seems that the prices seem to be all over the map due to condition and accessories. Some are a little low and some are a little higher than what KEH would pay, but not too much higher actually. Its probably a great time to actually buy medium format gear as it seems everyone is dumping their gear for digital, that's the impression I get anyway.
  13. Richard and JDM basically bracketed my thoughts exactly. It's a tough call...but perhaps the value of your time listing and shipping separately is worth the few dollars ($50 max) you may lose selling together. That's my guess, worst case.
    I too have gotten all my good kits cheap, but I've also gotten good spare parts cheap too, if no one was hunting.
    And I've no clue what lagniappe means, so I may be completely confused. ;-)

    Good luck either way.
  14. Josh,
    Yeah, if you can't beat em, join em. ;-) I got my RB67 kit for $250 (I think it had a couple/three lenses and a case.) from a nice old woman selling it for her deceased hubby. Some camera guy told her that's what it was worth, so I felt a little bad, but people were still trying to haggle her. I gladly bought it for full price and shot a couple rolls.
    I sold it for $400 and bought an RZ67. Now I have 50/65/110/180/180SF/250 and just added the 100-200 I haven't shot yet. Wow, I'm a bit shocked that I spent $1000 or so on the whole kit, but I justify it by thinking "Hey, someone paid more for this for just the camera, so I better make it work and take some kickass photos". The 100-200 was $200 LNIB, and it's still being sold for $3600 or something new.
    So, hey...dig in and enjoy. Walmart will develop C-41 220 with prints for $4. Nevermind that they crop the shots wrong. You get to dabble.
  15. One of the other reasons I stopped shooting film altogether was that I couldn't find a decent lab in my area. It was hit and miss with the local pro lab and I didn't want to get into mailing for lab work.
    I actually acquired some dark room equipment before my wife became pregnant but space became a premium when we found out we were having twins so that never really materialized. I wonder what the current state for medium format developing is with mail order services. I am amazed at the depreciation for medium format gear and also amazed at the price of new stuff being sold on B&H and Adorama for RB accessories. You would think that for a discontinued model the prices for new items would have fallen. Maybe they did and I am just not with it anymore.
  16. stp


    A lot of people send their film to labs in other cities these days. I live in Washington State but send my 120/220 transparencies to Denver Digital (aka "The Slideprinter) in Colorado for processing. I do my own scanning (Nikon 8000) when the transparencies are returned to me. Home processing of B&W film is much easier, but I've just never gotten into that -- not enough time for everything. You'll find some good discussions about traditional darkrooms versus digital "darkrooms" in the archives.
  17. Stephen, if you're near Seattle give Capitol Hill Photo Express a try. They're on 14th between Pike and Pine. A great business with great prices ($5 to develop only) and they can get C-41 and E6 out in an hour if you need it (same price). I've been taking film there for 15 years now with great results, they've never botched a roll yet. Can't say the same for Dwane's in Kansas, who sent me back two rolls of slides dirty and with chemical stains...
  18. I agree with many of the responses, and would very much consider ebay a mostly effective way to sell photography equipment, or anything for that matter. I have sold many cameras on ebay, including a hasselblad 503CW kit with metered prism. However I sold a 5x7 kb canham metal field camera on which did take a few months, but I would also consider as I have sold a bunch of old film camera equipment there. Shipping is always an issue no matter what site you choose to advertise, as someone had mentioned earlier in the thread. I also agree that KEH, Calumet, or any large company who buys used equipment will basically offer you next to nothing no matter how wonderful the condition. Calumet offered me $350 for my Hasselblad 503CW camera body including a 120 back (mint condition), $150 for the Zeiss 80mm lens that came with it originally and $75 for the metered prism, it was an insult to be offered so little. Ebay has it's issues, and it will be important for you to be thorough and detailed with your descriptions, including how the shipping will be managed/paid for.
    Good luck, I'm sure you sell the mamiya set up easily
  19. stp


    Dave, thanks for the tip. Unfortunately, I've moved from Olympia to Walla Walla -- really out in the wheat fields. It's not just film that depends on mail order anymore.
  20. "I never send overseas" and I am sure Steve might find it safer that way. But as a matter of interest I live in Australia and I have bought via Ebay 2 Mamiya RB bodies, 4 lenses, today that figure is now 5 as I have this morning just bought a 50 mm lens, a Polaroid back, 2 film backs a 220 and a 120, a motorized back, a Vivitar 285HV Flash, RB bellows. A CDS viewfinder, about 4 UV Filters and a special effects filter then might be other items that I may have missed. I have never been disappointed with any deal in any way. There is not much in the way of RB and RZ gear here so I guess most people here will buy from the states or the UK. German and Italian prices are far too high.
    I had for many years used a Mamiya C33 and a C330F cameras. I sold all my MF gear including developing and processing gear and bought a Nikon D2H. I have since returned to MF. So I think that if you have real dificulty selling in the states dont be put off selling overseas.
  21. Hi Josh,
    I agree with James in regards to his comment about shipping worldwide as opposed to simply one region. You'll have a far greater audience to sell your equipment to.
    I'm amused at the folks who limit their sales to the US. Of course, I understand where they're coming from but, in this day and age, you'll likely have as many issues selling in the US to unscrupulous buyers as you would anywhere else (with exceptions.)
    I've sold a few things to people as far as Australia, Hong Kong, Holland, etc and have never had a problem.
    Lastly, I'd also agree that it would make sense to sell it as a kit. You may make a few dollars more piecing it out but how much is YOUR time worth?
    My 2 cents worth.

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