Establishing prices for equipment closeout

Discussion in 'Business of Photography' started by steve_singleton|2, Dec 9, 2019.

  1. At long last, I'm ready to sell out the equipment I used as a film photographer--Arca Swiss, Mamiya, Nikon, lights, stands, etc. Any suggestions as to what resources to consult (Ebay?) to establish fair prices or whether to piece things out or sell as kits?

    Love to hear from someone in my shoes who's cleared out a quality collection of film gear in the last year or two.
  2. Not in the last year or two, but I’ve bought and sold a lot of film gear in the digital age. How to do it comes down to how much time you have, and how much you’re willing to pay other people to do the work for you.

    The easiest way, but the one that meets you the least money, is to sell it in bulk to a dealer (like and let them deal with it.

    The way that Nets you the most but is the most work is to sell each item individually, or in minimal kits e.g. a camera body is sold with the backs, on the classified sections of forums or eBay.

    The middle ground is to break it into kits or lots and sell on forums or eBay. (Selling a Nikon body and three lenses as separate items will always net you more money but will take 4x as much work.)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2019
    William Michael likes this.
  3. I've been selling all of my MF Film equipment. I sold the body, finder, film back and lens as a package (Mamiya RZ67 Pro II) I listed my other 2 lenses, film backs, twin cable release, etc. as individual items. This is on eBay. I also found out they raised there selling fees to 10% plus add in Paypal :( I'm going to look at trying CL again. Depending on what you have and the condition it could go fast or you could be looking at it for a while. Try to figure out what you feel a fair price would be. Then check your prices against eBay and film based message boards like apug which is now photrio. I did well with selling my outfit because it was all like new and there's a market for it. I've also been trying to sell one of the lenses for over a year because I won't give it away and the market is flooded with them. As far as putting in the work. I took photos of all my equipment, and more is better. Edited them all and made 5 listings in about 2 1/2 hours. So it wasn't that bad. Just be patient and it will sell.
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    An easy way to establish a range of "going prices" would be to enter the items into your search engine as if you wanted to buy them.

    On the matter of how to sell them - I agree with andylynn's three part summary. I sold my 6x7 gear as a kit, privately, mainly through someone telling someone in my personal/professional network of photographers - I think that was the luck of being in the right place at a good time and taking the opportunity with both hands - he wanted 6x7 gear, it was good gear, more than he wanted, but I said "package deal all or nothing".

    I could not be fussed selling my 135 Format, 645 Format and 5x4 Format 'privately'. I passed it over to a camera dealership, who sold it, took his commission and deposited my portion into my bank account: way too much having to deal with people wasting my time to sell stuff: selling cameras is NOT my business.

    That's my personal position though, and as andylynn wrote, it depends how much time you are willing to put into selling it. My gear had been depreciated, (i.e. for tax concessions) so any cash I got for it I saw as a bonus. Possibly different if it is not "professional" gear (in the sense of a business originally buying it and owning it).

    If you're located in Europe or the USA, you'll have a much wider audience for a private sale even if through e-bay or the like, than do I.


    PS - There is a "Classifieds Forum" here at Photonet.
    Stephen_Prunier and andylynn like this.
  5. While this is GENERALLY true, I both sell a decent amount on Ebay and also hang around a lot at a local camera store.

    When it comes to certain categories of 35mm lenses, I've been known to use a somewhat pejorative term of referring to them as "body caps." This is especially true of most film-era 3rd party lenses, and even consumer grade mid range zooms.

    Some of those MIGHT be a $10 sale on Ebay, which is a point where I almost don't even consider it worth my time to bother with selling them separately. Depending on how many I have, I might lot a bunch of them together, but more often I'll tack them on a low to mid range body and sell them as a kit. That way, it's attractive to a potential buyer who just wants a film camera to try out and can use it out of the box(at least with a mid-range zoom) and gets the lens out of my way.

    I'd even go out on a limb and say that I can extend that to kitting out mid-range bodies more fully. Something like a Nikon N75 will probably do better in a kit with say a 28-85 and 70-210 than it would do selling each of those separately. There's little market for any of those lenses by themselves, but there again someone looking for a starter film kit can see it as a nice starting point.

    Of course, the above generally isn't true for camera-brand primes and a lot of better respected zooms(both consumer and pro), and of course the more desirable film bodies(esp. the single digit Nikons and the good late "prosumer" bodies like the F100) hold their own also.
  6. I have been collecting old film cameras and lenses for a while. Most of my collection, excepting still-current automatic focus lenses, were purchased for less than a couple of fancy pizzas. There are still a few film items, such as Leicas and the like that have higher collectible prices, but most of even those have declined in absolute cost over the last five years or so.

    Some medium format equipment has kept value somewhat better, I admit.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2019

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