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Market for darkroom equipment?

Allison McCormick , Jun 07, 2009; 07:31 p.m.

Hello! I'm ready to finally let go of my darkroom equipment. However, I'm wondering if anyone might point me in the right direction for a selling venue? I usually hang out around Miranda, and it's very digital there. Where would you suggest I may find the best audience?
Ebay is always an option - I haven't used it much lately...feels as though it's getting scam-ridden and more expensive (my husband got scammed when selling a dSLR - so frustrating). Is there a better alternaive?
Also, would you recommend selling the whole package together? I worry about the shipping - it takes up three large boxes - but am not sure if a complete package is just more appealing to people than piecemeal. I'm also worried about limiting sales to a pickup region (e.g. through one or more of the Colorado craigslist areas) just due to the limited pool of individuals still interested in a real film darkroom.
Anyway, sorry for the long-winded question...any recommendations?


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Bill Clark - Minnetonka Minnesota , Jun 07, 2009; 07:42 p.m.

One thought, in case you find no takers on your equipment, is to donate it to a facility that teaches chemical darkroom & would desire your gift.

Lex Jenkins , Jun 07, 2009; 07:49 p.m.

You can use photo.net's free classifieds . Even as a non-subscriber you can use it, with a few limitations. I've used it for years, both as buyer and seller, and results have been comparable to ebay with less expense. For someone who needs only occasional transactions it works fine.

Daniel Bayer , Jun 07, 2009; 08:38 p.m.

I am based in Aspen, building a full tilt fine art darkroom in Paonia, let me know what you have and I will consider it.

Stephen Cumblidge , Jun 07, 2009; 09:31 p.m.

We are at a low ebb for darkrom equipment values. If I had motivation and felt like dealing I would hoard enlargers and darkroom equipment for collectors and hobbiests in ten years.

Daniel Bayer , Jun 07, 2009; 10:31 p.m.

We are at a low ebb for darkrom equipment values. If I had motivation and felt like dealing I would hoard enlargers and darkroom equipment for collectors and hobbiests in ten years.

A few of us were discussing this not long ago. We predict that between the economy and the digital and film mediums still needing shaking out, it will be another 2-3 years and then the value of this stuff will start to rise, especially if it is top notch gear like Apo enlarging lenses, compensating timers and cold heads.
But right now, it is a dreadful market for the seller. In the past 2 months, I have basically obtained around $4,000 ( used price ) worth of professional darkroom gear for some $700. I picked up a mint Seal 550 mount press from a Denver framing chain that was liquidating for $150!
I feel for those trying to sell darkroom gear, but I am grateful to be in the position to buy it since it is my future in my career.

Chuck Pere , Jun 08, 2009; 07:50 a.m.

You will probably make more selling the parts on Ebay. Individual carriers and lensboards instead of an entire enlarger package. But it is a lot more trouble. Only you can decide if the trouble is worth it. Quality things like apo lenses are still valuable. Other things are pennies on the dollar compared to new prices. If you have a price in mind try Craigslist first. If you have no idea about price Ebay will be better.

Christer Almqvist , Jun 08, 2009; 11:28 a.m.

I find that prices in Germany have already started going up. Last year I bought a Leitz Focomat V35 for 88 euros, this year they go for about 300. I also have two Schneider 40 mm HM (ASPH?) enlarging lenses, one bought two years ago for just over 100 euros, and the second bought a few weeks ago for 180.

Harry Joseph , Jun 08, 2009; 01:31 p.m.

There is still allot of interest in Enlargers on eBay, but the market is not red-hot as it was 5-10 years ago. One of the main problems with trying to sell enlargers, is the shipping and packing that comes with it. The way an enlarger is built does not help in the least when it comes to packing or shipping.
When I purchased my enlarger from a Photographer based in upsate NY 6 years ago, it took her about 2 weeks to try to get the shipping together. This is after callling her brother and boyfriend to help her out.
Why not just keep the thing and save yourself all the agravation.

Allison McCormick , Jun 08, 2009; 08:02 p.m.

Thanks for all the information - very informative. Realistically, I have the room to store it and could certainly hang on to it, I've just found myself in a bit of a "purging" mindset where I just want to get rid of things I don't use. From that perspective, it would be nice to sell. From the financial perspective, however, I believe I have several other items that would also fall into the category of "not be the best timing for selling" given the tightened economy and my gut feeling that many people may be selling things to free up cash.

So, I guess I'll just have to decide which is more important - getting rid of stuff now or waiting and potentially getting a bit more money for the stuff at a later date. If only I had a crystal ball... ;)

If anyone has a pointer to the discussion of the ebb and flow of the darkroom equipment market and the potential for an upswing later, I'd be interested in reading it. My searches didn't seem to turn anything up. Obviously, I don't figure this stuff is an investment, I'm just curious in the discussion.

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