How to Sell Your Used Camera Equipment

Photography is a popular hobby for people all over the world, but the cost of all those lenses, filters, flashes, memory cards and other accessories can seriously add up over time. Selling used camera equipment is a great way to clear out your old gear while also funding future purchases. This way, you can continue to upgrade your equipment to get even better photos. Here’s what you need to know to make the most of this opportunity.

selling used camera equipment

Start by Cleaning Your Gear

No one wants to buy a piece of equipment that looks like it hasn’t been properly taken care of over the years, so before you even think about selling your old camera gear, take the time to give it a thorough cleaning. Be sure to use cleaning products that are specifically designed for cameras or electronics to prevent inadvertently damaging your camera in the process.

Use a soft cloth so that you don’t scratch the delicate surface, especially when cleaning lenses to remove fingerprints, dust and other debris. Microfiber towels are great for this purpose. To get into small nooks and crannies, wrap the towel over the tip of a toothpick to help reach areas you can’t get into with your fingertips.

If you are nervous about cleaning your gear on your own, you’ll find plenty of videos online to show you exactly how it’s done. You also have the option of having your gear professionally cleaned. This option will cost a bit more, but you’ll minimize the risk of damaging your camera equipment. Fortunately, if the cleaning brings your camera and accessories back to like-new condition, you’ll likely be able to claim a higher price for the items.

You can also choose to sell your gear without cleaning it first, but this isn’t a smart decision. If your gear looks worn out or beaten up, you’ll likely have to reduce your selling price. You may also run into difficulty finding a buyer, as they’ll most likely be looking for something that is still in decent condition.

Get Everything Organized

If you are selling multiple items, you’ll need to organize everything so that you know what you are dealing with. Group things by item type, such as camera bodies, lenses, batteries, filters, flashes, tripods, carrying cases and other accessories. Once you can clearly see everything that you have to sell, you can start creating packages to sell together to make your gear more attractive to buyers.

For example, you could sell three lenses of varying sizes as a set so that your buyer has everything they need for a variety of scenarios. Another option would be to create a complete camera kit, including the body, a basic lens, a flash and a case. Of course, you always have the option of selling your items individually, but this process might take a bit longer to get through all of your items. Packaging them together can help you sell everything faster.


Determine the Right Price

The next step is to determine how much you expect to get for each item. Used camera equipment can sell for a wide range of price points, even for the same item. There are a number of factors you’ll need to take into consideration to set an appropriate price, including the quality of the item, its age and compatibility with other camera equipment, to name a few.

For example, a two-year-old lens that has been expertly cared for will likely sell for more than the same lens that is a bit beaten up. Equipment that is highly specialized will often claim a higher price than more common items, as used specialty gear tends to be harder to come by. Because of this, buyers may be willing to pay a bit more to get the gear they need.

Start by searching online for your particular item to see how other sellers are pricing that same item. Compare the condition of your item with those you find for sale to get a sense of how yours compares in terms of quality. Use the information you find in your search as a guideline to help you set your prices. Don’t feel the need to be a slave to other people’s pricing, though. As long as your item is priced within the typical range, you’ll probably be alright setting your price just a bit higher or lower as you see fit.

Keep in mind that a product is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, regardless of your personal opinions as to the item’s value. If you set your price too high based on personal attachment to the item, you run the risk of not being able to find a buyer. However, if you set your price too low, you could be missing out on extra income.

Depending on where you will be selling your used camera equipment, potential buyers may expect to haggle or negotiate over the price. If this is the case for your chosen outlet, it is a good idea to set the price a bit on the high side, as your buyer will most likely talk you down to a lower amount. You’ll want to have this wiggle room available so that you still get a fair price.

Think About Your Time Frame

If you need an influx of cash right away, selling used camera equipment can help. However, you may have to lower your target price to encourage a quick sale. Buyers are always looking for a good deal, so setting your price a bit lower than average can help you move your items as quickly as possible.

When you can afford to wait a while, though, you’ll have the chance to sell your used camera gear for a higher price. Although it may take a bit longer to find a buyer, you’ll be rewarded with more money, giving you the chance to get the maximum return for your items. With a bit of patience, you’ll likely find the right buyer eventually.

Aim to strike a balance between selling quickly and selling for the highest price while still taking your personal needs into consideration. However you choose to sell your items, there is a buyer out there willing to work with you to come to a suitable arrangement.

Figure Out Where You’ll Sell Your Used Camera Gear

Now that you have chosen appropriate prices for your gear, you’ll need to determine where you’ll sell the items. You have several options available to you in this area.


These days, many customers search for second-hand camera equipment online, and this can be a great option for selling your gear. There are specialty outlets that cater specifically to photography equipment, and there are many others that offer general merchandise. Selling your used camera gear online will open you up to the widest number of buyers, as you’ll be able to reach people all over the world.

To sell your items this way, you’ll need to create an attractive product listing to market your gear. For starters, it is a good idea to include high-quality photos of the items. For specialized gear, you may also wish to include examples of photos you have taken using the gear so that buyers know what results to expect.

If there is any damage, even just a scratch on the outside that doesn’t affect the item’s operation, be sure to note it in your listing. Aim to be as transparent as possible to ensure your buyers won’t be dissatisfied with the item when they receive it. Your listing should also include all relevant information, including brand and model name, a description of the item’s condition, and anything else you think your buyers might need to know.

One drawback to this method, though, is that you’ll have to ship your gear to buyers. This can eat into your income, as you’ll have to pay for packaging materials to protect your items in transit, the shipping costs themselves and insurance to protect you in case of any damage. The costs can be even higher if your buyers are overseas.

Camera Shops

To avoid having to pay for shipping, you also have the option of selling used camera gear to a camera store that offers second-hand items. Many camera repair shops also provide this service. Keep in mind that the store you choose will still have to make a profit when selling your item later on, so expect to get a lower price than you would if you sold your camera gear on your own.

A key benefit of selling your items to a store is that you’ll be able to get the money right away. You won’t have to wait for someone to find and buy your item online, and you won’t have to deal with marketing your items or shipping them.

Pawn Shops

Pawn shops are known for buying a wide range of second-hand items, including used camera equipment. Pawn brokers are often highly knowledgeable about specialized items and have a good sense of their value. As with camera shops, pawn shops will need to make a profit when reselling your items in the future, so you won’t be able to claim the full value of your item.

This is another instance where you should expect to haggle. Most pawn shops will start with a low-ball offer in the hopes that you haven’t done your research. Of course, you’ll have a much higher price in mind, and you should absolutely make that price known. You’ll most likely have to settle for a price that is lower than you had initially anticipated, but you’ll have the benefit of being able to unload your items quickly and often all in a single sale.

Another benefit of selling to a pawn shop is that you also have the option to pawn your items rather than sell outright. This way, you can get some extra cash while still maintaining the option to buy back your items at a later date. If you aren’t entirely sure you want to say goodbye to a particular piece of camera equipment, pawning can be an attractive option. If you choose not to buy back your item, the pawn shop will then go on to sell it to another buyer.

sell used camera gear

Before You Sell, Do a Final Test

The last step before you are ready to sell your used camera gear is to give everything a final test run. You want to ensure that everything is working as it should. For each item you plan to sell, check all aspects of the item. This means testing each mode or function. Take several pictures in different lighting conditions so that you can compare the results.

If there is anything that doesn’t look right, it could indicate that your item is damaged. A camera repair shop can help you determine if the item can be repaired and how much it will cost. With this information, you can decide if it is worth it to repair the item before you sell it or just sell it as-is. Of course, if you choose not to repair your camera gear, you’ll have to lower your selling price.

Once everything is cleaned, tested and repaired, you’re ready to sell your used camera equipment!

Sell Your Used Camera Equipment with Monte de Piedad Today

If you have lots of used camera gear lying around that you are looking to get rid of, Monte de Piedad will gladly take them off your hands and give you a fair price for your items. Our pawn shop buys a wide range of items, including camera equipment, and our knowledgeable associates will work with you to come to a suitable price arrangement.

We welcome you to bring your old camera gear to one of our many locations throughout the Greater San Diego area. After a brief negotiation, you could be heading home with plenty of money to stock up on new camera gear to add to your arsenal. Stop by and see us today to see how much money you can get selling your used camera equipment. Get in touch today!