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Determining used camera values - Nikon

randy JK , May 12, 2004; 07:49 p.m.

I have some older gear that I want to sell - A Nikon FE and 3 lenses in exceptional condition and an older F2 and lenses in lesser condition. I even have an old Rolleiflex 3.5. I checked out the KEH catalog and was surprised by the high asking prices of used manual Nikon gear. But when I notice prices received by private parties, the prices are far lower, especially Ebay. Any advice you would have to pricing expectations and setting prices for this type of gear would be appreciated. 2 of the FE lenses in particular show high prices in KEH, the 28 2.8 and the 105 f2.5. I also have the 33-70 f3.3-4.5.

Responses

Jerry Litynski , May 12, 2004; 07:54 p.m.

KEH gives you a week or two : you can return the item for a refund or a replacement.

KEH gives you a 60-day "warranty."

Plus they pay rent, taxes, salaries.

On the other hand, a private seller sells the equipment and you become the new owner. Not much else goes on with a Internet deal. You can sometimes get 80 percent of the KEH price but there is no set amount you should expect.

Good luck!

Bryan Lardizabal , May 12, 2004; 08:09 p.m.

Retail stores in general will charge a higher price for used gear because they will provide a satisfaction guarantee and possibly a 90 day warranty. They also have to cover the cost of inspection, grading the item and any repair that may be necessary to make the item marketable, and finally listing the item. As in used cars... trade in value is usually low and selling price is set by market demand. Set your price based on researching prices on photo.net, EBay and other websites and based on the true condition of the item being sold, and provide pictures if requested. This website has allowed me to sell several items at my asking price and the seller has little risk, just be sure to request a money order or bank check for payment. One word of caution for EBay - there is a mix of great and not so great buyers and sellers, so if you list an item that the buyer does not fullfill payment on you're out the listing fee.

happy selling...

Todd Peach , May 12, 2004; 11:02 p.m.

In addition to the 'warranty', I think the missing link may be the grade expectation. I buy 'bargain' gear from KEH, and I do it often. I have high expectations from it. I assume that any 'minty' ebay item offered for sale (by a stranger) is actually equivalent to KEH's 'bargain'. $95 - 139 for a 28/2.8 seems like a fair price to me. Don't expect to get $225 for it, just because KEH has a few 'like new minus' ones priced like that. Commanding the higher prices is very much about the reputation of the seller.

muzz minoti , May 13, 2004; 12:33 a.m.

If selling on Ebay, just make sure that you are selling the right day and time. For example if you're seling the same item the same time when many other people do, and only few buyers around, you won't be able to get the price that you expect. make sure the pictures you sent really clear for buyers to see...and if the item is good, do not hesitate to give a short warranty. I disagree that buying on Ebay is like buying from stranger. Some camera stores also have their auctions available there. It is all depend on how you do your selling and shopping.

Richard Zevnik , May 13, 2004; 12:11 p.m.

Another factor to consider is time of year. A lot of used camera gear, particularly 35mm manual focus gear, is bought by highschool and junior college students who have enrolled in a photography class. Thus, there is greater demand at the start of an academic semester when such classes begin, and lesser demand at the end of semesters. Further, prices for manual focus film camera equipment seems a little soft now -- rush to digital?

Phil Stiles , May 14, 2004; 08:01 a.m.

Manual focus film gear has been declining in price for a while now; I think it's worse than "soft." All the above advice is good. A lot of people put a free add on photonet for a week, and if it doesn't move, they go to the auction site. Go to "advanced search" in the search field, and search "completed items" to see what the market looks like. An awful lot of people are dumping old gear to meet the high entry fee to the digital circus. Supply exceeds demand.

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