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Photography Question 
Jodi M. Walsh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/7/2007

Buying a Camera Online?

I'm looking at investing in a newer camera, and I'm wondering if it's worth looking at Craigslist or eBay to try to get a deal. Any suggestions?

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4/9/2009 12:34:40 PM

Aimee c. Eisaman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/13/2007
  Hey Jodi,
I would never buy a camera from craigslist. You are dealing with regular Joes there and nothing to protect you should the deal go sour! Ebay is okay ... just be sure to look at the feedback. I had looked on eBay to buy my new camera, but I ended up going with Amazon because the price was right and I wanted specific things, not a big package deal. The nice thing about eBay is that you do have some protection and using PayPal is the way to go in that place. If you are just getting a camera body, then it should make your shopping easier ... just shop around for the best price with a reputable dealer. I, for one, wouldn't buy a used camera from an individual, but would buy one refurbished by the manufacturer from a dealer. :~)

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4/9/2009 5:48:49 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  I would be hesitant buying camera bodies from anyone not reputable. B&H is always good when it comes to reliability, price, availability and service.
For used lenses and accessories, though, I have had consistent success shopping from eBay. Wise buyers can find great deals on used glass there.

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4/10/2009 4:07:08 AM

Jeffrey R. Whitmoyer   I bought my first 2 Nikons, an N80 film camera, then a D70 a couple years later, on eBay without any issues. Both were slightly used, supposedly back-up cameras for pros who had upgraded to newer technology. In both cases, I got them at good enough prices that they were worth a gamble. Performance from both of them has been flawless. I've since upgraded to a D300, which I bought new from Adorama. I've also purchased used Nikon lenses on eBay without issue.
Having said all of that, you have to be careful, research the seller as much as possible and watch for gray market items. There are a lot of good people selling on eBay, but there are a lot of others as well. I have found eBay a good way to stretch the equipment budget, but may have been lucky.

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4/10/2009 6:26:27 AM

Kathy Wesserling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2005
  One thing to be aware of is being required to pay with Western Union - especially on EBay. Not checking out the fraud issues on EBay and WU lost me $300 to a Romanian Scam-Artist a few years ago. You might also try out Craig's List to find local bargains that you can test out on the spot (used body and/or lenses.) Just take a charged battery and Memory card with you, in case the Seller doesn't have those available for the Meet.

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4/14/2009 3:32:51 AM

Devon McCarroll
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/13/2005
  Take a look at They rate their used equipment, and are really stringent with their ratings. I haven't bought used from them yet, but I've read about alot of good experiences with them.

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4/14/2009 8:19:20 AM

Michael S. McCook
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/10/2001
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  I've bought older Cameras from E-Bay which were fine. However, if you are looking for a "new camera" I would check out a reputable dealer on line such as B&H and Adorama. I actually bought my Nikon D300 and all my glass from Abes of Maine at a better price than I could find on EBay (or anywhere else at the time). Plus you have the added benefit of a local Warranty (I'm assuming USA). This is extremely important with digital gear. Watch out for Grey Market items. They are a bit cheaper, but the warranty will not be good if it is not issued for your home country.

A few more things, be sure to add in shipping and handling charges and any taxes to the bottom line. And also be very weary of web sites that have very low prices, there is usually a scam involved...I've been there, done that.

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4/14/2009 8:31:43 AM

Bob Sticco
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/20/2007
  Hi Jodi. . .If u haven't already bought your camera, try, they are a sister company to and I've bought many things from them and they ship super fast(free shipping)Check them out @!!!! Good Luck....Bob

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4/14/2009 9:24:32 AM

Robert F. Wilson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 10/24/2002
  If you haven't used e-bay before. My rule of thumb is only buy from the people with a 100% positive feedback. I have bought a complete Mamiya RZ67 outfit (minus a 50mm lens that I am still looking for)on e-bay from different sellers. Good Luck

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4/14/2009 4:12:08 PM

Greg McCroskery
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/27/2003

As someone has already mentioned, KEH is a great source for used photography gear -- provided they have what you are looking for.

As far as Ebay, I buy quite a bit off Ebay and have had nothing but good experiences. One really good discount camera dealer you'll see on Ebay is 'Cameta Camera' they have a great reputation -- I've bought several of my cameras and lenses from them.

God Bless,

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4/14/2009 5:17:20 PM

Jodi M. Walsh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/7/2007
  thank you all for your suggestions. there certainly seem to be a lot of options out there so i'll be searching quite a bit before I settle on my next camera.

i have noticed these "kits" on Ebay where sell lenses and all sorts of stuff. i've considered going along with one of those and just re-selling whatever I don't need. but I really wonder if the stuff is good quality and how in the world are they making a profit bundling all this stuff?

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4/14/2009 5:25:20 PM

Kathy Wesserling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2005
  Jodi, I'm not sure the plan of selling off unwanted portions of a Kit is a good one. Usually, those who bought the kit are looking to upgrade the lens, especially. It's easier to be sure, but if you can, buy the body and get a good walking around lens (which is another issue to deal with! lollll)

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4/14/2009 5:36:34 PM

Jodi M. Walsh
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/7/2007
  thanks Kathy. I have a canon XT and have 3 lenses to go with it already- though i'm not sure if 2 of them will work with an upgraded camera (i'm looking at the 50D). some of the kits have several lenses with them and I wasn't sure if they were worth the expense or not since I already have a few.

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4/14/2009 5:43:16 PM

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