I have lots of people come into the camera store where I work and are looking to place items on the consignment shelf. I have tried to explain that 35mm gear has dropped in price and will continue to drop while medium-format has stabilized after some big falls and large-format is about the same due to the limited number of people who were ever into it. Most of the time I say they should look for 10-20% of the price they paid for 35mm gear unless it is unique and in excellent shape; people act offended and most often leave with their gear (I see it shortly after on Craigs List or something similar where it sits with no offers). What is more funny is people who come in with digital stuff (which we won't consign for the most part) and don't understand why the 2.0 megapixel point-and-shoot they paid $800 for in 2003 is now worth $25. "But it is a Canon Powershot" they say; my retort always is "I paid $3000 for my Pentium 2 computer in 1997, what will you give me for it now?"
I did see a box brownie at a garage sale this summer, $50. Went next door and paid $15 for the AE-1 with 2 lens and a bag.
I was going through some receipts the other day and saw what I paid for my Nikon 880 p&s digital. I still use it (fine for documenting items for insurance or sale) but I'd only get 10% of what I paid if I was pointing a gun at the buyer.
Virtually all of my current film equipment (35mm, MF, LF) was bought used and carefully. So pretty much whatever depreciation I've encountered has been more than compensated by use of the equipment.
Craigslist (at least here) tends to swing both ways (i.e. a Minolta SRT101 with an asking price of $295 with a 50mm and a 3rd party zoom to a SRT202 with 50mm and third party zoom for $29). That's OK. The guy/gal asking $295 is ignorant of camera values; I'm probably ignorant about something they know a lot about. As long as it's fairly represented I don't mind. The market will tell them they're wrong.
But some sellers can be ridiculous. I called about a Nikkormat that was described as "works great". When I asked, I was told the meter doesn't work.
Here in the depths of the south Pacific, we have ridiculous asking prices on our local auction site (we have TradeMe - no craigslist here yet), and it always annoys me to have to get from KEH or Adorama just because people here can't be realistic with their prices! Now with the currency crashing (was equal to 82c US six months ago, now 52c US) even KEH doesn't come over as such a bargain any more.
Here's a couple of Trademe bargains at the moment...
Nikon F65, $215
Nikon F501 $400
Canon EOS 300 / Rebel X $500
Wow, these people are dreaming! Losers...
The convergence of a free Craigslist ad, and the nagging spouse of a recently unemployed photographer who's reluctant to actually part with any of their gear, pretty much solves the riddle.
I don't think that nagging spouses are why these ads go up. people have old junk that no one's used in 20 yrs, you can tell by how dirty the stuff often looks in the photos in the ads. They think "It's a camera, it must be worth $300 cause cameras are expensive!" Well some are, most aren't. The problem is joe blow almost never has a valuable camera collecting dust in the closet.
I just picked up very clean Mamiya M645 for 200 bucks. The seller said he could not get the camera to focus and the exposure meter did not work. I took it home and took out the Dioper lens and put the speed knob in the correct position. Now I just have to expose a roll and develope it. Some sellers just don't know what they have and some buyers don't know what they want to pay. I am glad I knew exactly what I wanted and what to look for. He originally wanted 300 for it. Yes I am happy
Long Beach CA.
Originally Posted by bdial
Sometimes to a really extreme degree. I've actually sent emails to sellers that were like, that's not an enlarger, it's a Polaroid.
Originally Posted by Rick-in-LB
with free ad's, there's nothing to lose (but time) by asking $300 for a piece of crap; you can always dump it for $50 later on.
I just saw this in my local Craigs List:
"I have been trying to sell this camera for a few months on craigslist. Some of you may have noticed, but I am confident and serious that this camera is worth $300, so this is the final price drop."
On the other hand, there's a shop in California that sells equipment in great condition at increadably high prices... I guess it depends on your business model. Some one, at some point in time, will but anything at a high price... it all depends how long you want to hold it.