selling photo equipment outright to photo businesses
During the last year I sold cameras and lenses on three occasions to B&H in New York. One time I was very happy, another time I was neutral and the other time I was somewhat disappointed with the price.
What is currently the best place to sell for immediate cash? Positive or negative experiences? - David Lyga
David. I would have thought that ANY selling to a photo business would be somewhat disappointing. Pennies-on-the-dollar is how they work. The benefit is convenience. If that is more important than getting top dollar then it is a good deal.
Best place for immediate cash: a descriptive ad with a good price here or on almost any photo forum.
Next best place: eBay with the same caveat. The cost of doing business is a bit higher with this method due to fees.
Pro: you'll sell. Con: you could get conned. (Unlikely, but it happens - both on ebay and at photo forums.)
For *immediate* cash, then it has to be dealers really. If you can wait a week or so, then eBay I find is easier to sell on than the forums, just a much wider audience. Many dealers offer commission sales, never done that, but worth a go.
The dealers can offer better deals if you're trading up, but otherwise the prices can be pretty low. We have to remember that dealers now have to compete with eBay.
Yes, Brian, I know that there is a cost for doing this the 'convenient and fast' way. I simply wanted to know if any of you had any input into this or wished to mark B&H as 'better than most' or 'worse than most'. Thanks. - David Lyga
I did some business with KEH. I sold a couple of items to it. I considered the price given pretty fair considering it IS a business and it has to make a profit. It certainly was NOT pennies on the dollar but it was far less than what I can get on person-to-person deal. Then again, all I had to do was to ship the item. Pretty painless experience.
No experience with B&H.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
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I cannot speak for other photo equipment retailers, but for my store I do my best to be consistent by paying 50% of what I think I can sell it for. I came up with that "crazy" formula from all the record stores I've worked for. Obviously a seller can get MUCH more by selling on ebay, craigslist, apug, etc. or KEH which does about 40% of retail if I recall. The big guys should pay MORE in my opinion, but they don't have to, so why would they? I would pay more if I could afford to but I am one of those small businesses that is in it for the silly reason of liking analog photography! I don't know if this info is useful to you or not, but I suppose you could check the prices B&H has on items like the ones that you sold to them to see what % they gave you.
"Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it." -Paul Strand
i've never sold things to a photo business, but typically they sell things for 2x what they paid for it ...
of if the seller is totally clueless 3x or more. there are plenty of regular people who buy at thrift stores
( or unknowing people in a private sale or at government auction or ? ) and sell things for way more $$ to
someone else ...
Expect to take a beating from any business.
Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!
Nothing beats a great piece of glass!
I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.
When you say "disappointed with the price", do you mean the price in general, or the actual price vs. what you were led to believe?
I've dealt with KEH twice and both time I thought they were fair (but I realize that they have overhead and profit to cover). It was a while ago but, IIRC, they paid about 50% of their selling price.
"Far more critical than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know." - Eric Hoffer
tjaded: in fariness to these businesses it is not a simple matter of 'checking their prices', as you suggest. Factored into the equation has to be 'how long they are required to keep the merchandise sold to them before they can resell it'. That matters, even though the cameras don't need to be fed. They do, however, need to be protected (insurance), kept lit for display (electric), indirectly pay the salaries of the salepersonnel who show them to the public, and help pay property taxes! In addition, the time value of money can also matter: $1 NOW is worth more than $1 received in the FUTURE. (I.e., the present value of a dollar received next year is less than the present value of a dollar in your hand now.) All these factors add to the need to create an honest, fair equation.
mgb: After years of buying and selling cameras and lenses, I have a good idea of what I should get from a dealer, after factoring in his profit. - David Lyga
Last edited by David Lyga; 01-17-2013 at 10:16 AM. Click to view previous post history.