I've just come from a trip to The Sleepy Poet (a big antique shop on South Blvd in Charlotte, NC). Monique and I discovered a booth absolutely full of old Kodak cameras, and not just Instamatics but several Pony 135s, a few Retinettes, a Bantam, and other Kodak 35mm and 120/620 cameras, as well interesting gems like Canon, Yashica and Ricoh 35mm rangefinders, a Kowa 35mm SLR (no lens), a Mamiya C330 with three lenses, a Fujica 35mm SLR with a 50/1.4, and a bunch of old Weston and similar handheld meters. There's also lots of other miscellaneous stuff. Anybody else have suggestions about antique shops with decent collections of film gear? I think the reason there is so much in this particular booth is that photographers don't generally buy their gear from antique shops.
Antique shops usually price the stuff above even brick-and-mortar camera stores. There's one in Manhattan that has an 8x10 Korona for $700 and a Bessa with Color Heliar for $400. They weren't willing to negotiate to anything realistic.
I have, however, bought some darkroom accessories for decent prices, since most folks have no idea what they are for.
I always look, but rarely find anything useful, for anywhere near market value.
I agree in general. I was surprised to see so much usable gear at this one booth. Most of the better cameras were $20-$40... which may be too much for some of them, certainly. The Fujica was a screwmount body - $58 and that included the lens. I almost bought it...
Some antique shops seem to price cameras according to age, condition, and complexity. A 1920's Box Brownie may be priced higher than a 1950's rangefinder because it's older. The 1950's rangefinder has more settings and adjustments, so it would be more than a 1950's Brownie. A clean shiny camera that uses an obsolete film could be more than a 35mm that has some wear. A camera that seems to be locked up could be a bargain because they don't know the correct sequence to set the shutter or it may need an obsolete battery. Prices seem to be more realistic lately with more dealers checking the internet, but sometimes you still find a bargain.