Buy used photo gear, if…

  • …if the price difference with New is really large enough (don’t forget that in most countries and in Europe importing photo gear from outside requires to pay VAT and a few % of custom duties): Buy New if the difference is small, you’ll also get a manufacturer warranty.
  • …if the selling web site is reliable ( is rather good but is not the only one – your recommendations down below? What do you think about KEH or Adorama Used?)
  • …if the seller is reliable. Most of the second-hand web sites have a rating system to know if their sellers have previously satisfied their customers. A good rating and/or many satisfied customers is a god safety net for you. Beware of accounts hacked by a third party: An account which did not move for a long time and starts selling expensive photo gear out of nowhere.
  • …if the seller offers a free return condition if you are not 100% satisfied.
  • …if the camera, the lens is in good shape (precise photos are critical and must describe the real object, not Nikon, Canon or Pentax official photos).
  • …if the object is not naturally subject to time degradation. For example, photo film has a “use before” date. But this is also true of some cameras whose leather-like covering will unglue itself in time, and some Canon zooms are known for a really high failure rate of the IS system, etc.

With these tips, you are now ready for second-hand gear and for purchasing expensive gear at a very low price.