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Cameras & Photo Selling Guide

Tags:  selling | photo | camera | camcorder | lensWrite a guide!

Whether you're an experienced photographer or you’re just looking to sell an extra camera or equipment, eBay makes selling Cameras & Photo supplies easy and fun. Got your eye on a digital SLR? Get cash for your dream camera by selling that point-and-shoot. Old printer not good enough? Sell it and buy yourself a new dye-sub photo printer. With millions of eBay shoppers looking for 35mm film cameras, camera lenses, camcorders, and even photo-editing software, it’s easy to turn your stuff into cash on eBay.

Cash In on Cameras & Photo


Cash In on Cameras & Photo

Itching for that new wide-angle camera lens? Many Cameras & Photo lovers successfully use eBay not only as a place to find new equipment, but as a way to help fund their next purchases. Whether you are saving up for that top-notch 35mm Single Lens Reflex (SLR) or a new inkjet photo printer, selling on eBay is the perfect way to earn extra money. Swap out your unused pieces—that Polaroid camera you never use or your extra camera case—and buy yourself your dream equipment.

What's It Worth?

Already have an item in mind? Visit Cameras & Photo Seller Central to find out the average selling price of similar pieces on eBay. You can also search completed listings to see how others are selling similar items.


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Find Out What's Hot in Cameras & Photo


Find Out What's Hot in Cameras & Photo

Buyers are on the lookout for all sorts of Cameras & Photo supplies—from makers such as Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Olympus, Leica, Sony, Pentax, Fuji, Casio, and more. The following provides just a small sampling of the myriad of Cameras & Photo equipment that you could sell on eBay. To get a real-time view of what’s in demand, what buyers are searching for, and what items are selling the most, visit Cameras & Photo Seller Central.

  • Digital cameras: A huge selection of digital cameras are in demand on eBay—from the easy to use Point-and-Shoots to the high-end digital SLRs. Point-and-Shoot cameras are entry-level and are ideal for users just getting the hang of digital photography. Limited manual controls on these cameras mean that all you have to do is point the camera at your subject and click the shutter, which is why point-and-shoots are must have these days for thousands of buyers. Popular brands include Canon and Sony. Advance Point-and-Shoot cameras allow the user to manually adjust the shutter speed or aperture making them popular with buyers who want to digitize their photos without compromising control. They generally also come with get higher resolution, better lens quality, optical zoom, and data ports. Fuji, Olympus, and Samsung make popular models. High-end digital cameras offer the user increased creative control—perfect for professional photographers shopping on eBay. They can come with resolutions of 10 megapixels or more, meaning the ability to print out large shots with little or no graininess. Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Pentax are popular brands.

  • Memory cards: A digital camera’s memory card is like a roll of film. It stores your images until you’re ready to view them on your computer or print them out. Once your memory card is full, you can take it out of the camera and replace it with a new one, or you can delete your old photos from the card and start anew. Different formats are popular on eBay, like CompactFlash, Memory Stick, SmartMedia, and xD picture cards. Memory cards are measured in megabytes or gigabytes. Cards with more megabytes can hold more pictures. Buyers love having more than one card or upgrading cards for more memory—helping memory cards remain an in demand item on eBay.

  • Photo printers: Inkjet photo printers are the most commonly used photo printer. The work by shooting ink at the page through tiny nozzles, making it possible for them to inexpensively create good-quality photos at a decent speed. Most inkjet printers use a CMYK color scale (C is cyan, M is magenta, Y is yellow, and K is black). Some of the higher-end inkjet photo printers print with additional colors like a light cyan, light magenta, red, or green, allowing them to create higher-quality pictures. Buyers are always looking for inkjet printers and printer supplies to transfer their photos from a computer onto paper. Some popular inkjet photo printers include HP photo printers, Canon photo printers, and Epson photo printers. A less common but just as popular photo printer is the dye-sub photo printers, which work by briefly heating a CMYK color ribbon, transferring color to glossy photo paper. Cyan, magenta, and yellow can be printed in a variety of shades that can combine to produce nearly 17 million colors. Although slightly more expensive than inkjet printers, dye-sub photo printers are popular with buyers looking for high quality, film-like prints. Some popular brands of dye-sub photo printers include Canon dye-sub photo printers, Kodak dye-sub photo printers, and Olympus dye-sub photo printers. Photo printer supplies—such as cables, ink cartridges, photo editing software, and photo paper—are also popular.

  • Film cameras (35mm): Film cameras come in a wide array of styles and sizes—thousands of which have been sold on eBay. Point-and-shoot 35mm cameras are ideal for taking pictures quickly and easily, without a lot of fuss. These cameras are fully automatic, so users don’t have to worry about F-stops and shutter speeds. Many point-and-shoot cameras are small enough to fit in a purse or tote bag, so it’s easy to bring them along on vacation or to parties and special events and keeps film cameras popular with buyers even as digital cameras gain popularity. Nikon, Minolta, Fuji, and Canon make popular models. Photographers and serious photo enthusiasts relish the control that a 35mm SLR camera provides. Single-lens reflex cameras (SLR) enable you to see the same image through the viewfinder that the camera sees through the lens. Instead of automatic settings, SLR cameras allow you to decide on details such as the aperture opening and the shutter speed. Users can also swap out lenses and experiment with different timers and flashes to create different effects, making 35 mm SLRs popular amongst professional, artistic, and hobby photographers. Popular brands include Canon, Minolta, Olympus, and Samsung. Photography lovers are always on the lookout for specialty and uncommon cameras, such as a 35mm rangefinder camera which allows you to take pictures by judging the focusing distance. Leica, Rollei, and Lindhof are the big names in this category.

  • Film cameras (unique): eBay is the perfect place to sell harder to find film cameras that require film sizes larger than 35mm. One such unique camera is the medium-format film camera which requires film larger than 35mm. The larger film size means pictures are easier to enlarge, with less graininess and more vibrant color. Well-known brands include Hasselblad, Bronica, and Mamiya. Large-format film cameras take big film—4x5 or larger. Professional photographers keep these harder to find cameras in demand, and search for brands such as Horseman, Linhof, or Arca-Swiss cameras. Specialty cameras including vintage cameras and cameras that make use of special lenses and filters are sought after by collectors and photography lovers. Finally, Polaroid cameras are perhaps the best-known type of instant cameras and are still popular with buyers of all ages.

  • Lenses: There are buyers looking for interchangeable camera lenses in all sizes and capabilities. Camera lenses for both digital and film cameras can be categorized into three types: standard camera lenses, wide-angle camera lenses, and telephoto camera lenses. A standard camera lens replicates a perspective similar to the human eye. Standard lenses are great for everyday picture-taking situations such as snapshots and travel photos—and buyers looking for replacement lenses or increased zoom capabilities are always shopping for new lenses. Both professional and freelance photographers are looking for specialty lenses such as wide-angle camera lenses, telephoto camera lenses, and macro camera lenses. A wide-angle camera lens gives a wide angle of view, offering a larger, sweeping perspective and better depth of field and reproduction than a standard camera lens. They’re best for covering large subject areas—perfect for photographers that focus on landscapes and nature, outdoor scenes, buildings, or large groups. As opposed to the wide-angle camera lens, the telephoto camera lens is a narrow angle lens. It appears to narrow the image, which is important when you are not able to get close to your subject. Appropriate for long-distance situations, a telephoto camera lens is essential for photographing sporting events, animals in nature, and distant landscape features. For extreme close-up photography, a macro camera lens allows the user to sharply focus at short distances. Generally macro camera lenses are used for science and nature photography, but can also be used for taking pictures of collectibles, such as coins and stamps.

  • Digital camcorders: Digital camcorders offer better color and clarity than analog camcorders and most can produce studio-quality video, making them a very popular product for directors of all levels. The digital video (DV) format makes it easy to transfer video to a computer and edit—making it perfect for buyers who want an easy to operate camcorder. Digital8 and MiniDV cameras provide superior picture quality in small packages. Some MiniDV camcorders are even able to shoot still photos and create smaller, compressed video clips to post online. Most MiniDV and Digital8 camcorders can be hooked up directly to a computer, making transferring media easy for tech savvy buyers. High-definition camcorders record to MiniDV tapes and deliver 1080i resolution for sharp, clear video that looks great on a 1080i-capable HDTV. AVCHD camcorders record compressed high-definition video to DVD, a hard disk drive, or memory cards, allowing for an easy transfer to the computer. DVD camcorders allow the user to record video directly to a DVD-R or a DVD-RW. Once the disc is finalized, it can be played back on a computer or DVD player—perfect for buyers looking for one-step process to creating homemade movies. Ultraportable MicroMV camcorders are some of the smallest on the market—and are a must-have for buyers looking for maximum transportability.

  • Analog camcorders: Analog camcorders that record to Hi8, 8mm, or VHS cassettes are typically easy to operate and remain popular with buyers looking for a reliable, easy to use camcorder. Hi8 and 8mm are two of the common analog formats available today. VHS-C tapes are smaller than the standard VHS tapes you play in your VCR, so they require an adapter to play them back, but are easier to carry around because of their size. VHS and S-VHS tapes look exactly the same, but S-VHS offer better resolution. The upside to a VHS camcorder is that it can be played on any VCR with no editing, converting, or adapters.

  • Accessories: There are all sorts of accessories for cameras and camcorders that buyers are looking for. Camera bags and cases are essential for equipment protection—some bags even have room for extra lenses and film. Monopods, tripods, camera stands, and even carts and hand trucks are popular with professional and weekend photographers. Other camera essentials include camera batteries, film, and flashes.


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Get Top Dollar for Your Cameras & Photo


Get Top Dollar for Your Cameras & Photo

Once you know what you’re going to sell, it’s time to think about how to attract Cameras & Photo buyers. Here are the top tips from eBay’s most successful sellers.

Use Catalog to Easily List Your Cameras & Photo

eBay has made it even easier to list your Cameras & Photo equipment. Use the “Find Your Product” option when creating your listing. The eBay catalog will pre-fill in information for you—including a good listing title, item specifications, a stock photo, and technical information about your camera in the listing description. You have the option of editing any of the pre-fills, and you can still add details to your description and self-shot photos.

Help Buyers Find Your Items with Keywords

Keywords are a great way to attract buyers to your listing, especially when used correctly in your Listing Title. Listing titles are used by eBay’s search engine to pull up listings during a search. Use your 55 characters wisely, and try to anticipate what buyers will be searching for. Find out what is being searched right now with our list of Top Cameras & Photo Searches. Be sure to include common search terms like “digital camera” and “canon,” when appropriate. State important characteristics of your item—what it is, brand and model, recording format, important specs such as megapixels and zoom capabilities, condition, and color. Of course, you should only include keywords that are relevant to the item you are selling. You can also search current and completed eBay listings to see what other sellers include in their titles.

In your Listing Description, make sure to include both basic information and details about your item. A good description is concise, well organized, and easy to read. Create bold section headlines, bulleted lists, and be sure to restate the information featured in your title plus more details such as dimensions, viewer size, estimated value and any other interesting features. Always clearly state what is included in the listing—what’s “in the box”—such as batteries, memory cards, cases, cables, and instruction manuals. Think about your listing from the buyer's perspective. The more information you provide, the more likely the buyer will be to place a bid on your item.

Here are some terms commonly used by other sellers to describe their Cameras & Photo equipment. For more terminology, visit the Digital Cameras Glossary.

  • No Longer Available (NLA): Cameras and equipment that are no longer available cannot be found in stores or bought from the manufacturer.

  • New In Box (NIB): A camera or camcorder is new in box if it remains in the original packaging from the time of purchase and has not been opened.

  • Gently Used (GU): A product is gently used if it shows slight signs of wear such as scratches. Wear should be superficial, and should have no effect on the camera’s capabilities.

  • Poor: A camera or equipment in poor condition may no longer be working and has considerable signs of wear. However, poor equipment may have valuable parts or usable components. Make sure when you list a poor item that your description accurately describes the item and its condition.

Do Your Research

When selling Cameras & Photo equipment, try to research features and specifications. If you don’t know much about your Cameras & Photo equipment, a little research can help you understand what you are selling which can lead to a higher return. Find out what features your camera has—some good things to know about your camera include zoom capabilities, built in memory, available settings (such as portrait, sport, outdoor, and more), flash settings, red-eye prevention, viewfinder size, and panoramic or black and white capabilities. Most cameras and camcorders have a brand and model number on them—try searching your camera model online or looking through your instruction manual for more specifications. For accessories, try looking at original packaging or searching online for compatibility. All of these details will give you a better estimate of your camera’s value, and educating your buyers can increase the attraction of your item.

Showcase Your Cameras & Photo Equipment with Great Photos

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words! Photos are the closest you can get to putting your Cameras & Photo equipment in the hands of potential buyers. Here are some tips on how to best represent your item:

  • Choose the Right Background: Use a contrasting, solid backdrop. By placing your Camera or equipment on a solid black or white backdrop, you draw a buyer’s immediate attention onto the item. This is easily achieved by hanging a bed sheet or placing poster board behind and under the item. Use a plain, colored fabric backdrop to make your item stand out. Most importantly, avoid background clutter that can distract buyers or confuse them regarding what you are selling.

  • Cover All Angles: Take pictures from multiple angles and distances, zooming in on important details. Take a picture of the front, back and sides of your camera. Make sure you photograph any scratches or flaws to give buyers a clear idea of what they are bidding on. If your selling more than one item in your listing (such as a camera with a SD card and charger), take photos of all the items together and individually.

  • Use Proper Lighting: Natural light tends to give the best representation of color—however direct sunlight can have the nasty effect of unwanted shadows. Find an area that receives indirect sunlight. Try taking your item out on a sunny day and photograph it in a shady area. If you can't seem to find an area like this, or would prefer to use indoor lighting, try surrounding your item with desk, overhead, or floor lamps. Above all, avoid using your camera's flash which causes distortion and shadows.

  • Add Gallery: Including a Gallery photo with your listing is extremely important for success. You can attract attention to your item with a photo next to your listings in search results. In addition, when a buyer uses “Picture Gallery” to look at search results, your listing will be shown. Your Gallery picture should be a very clear, uncluttered view of your item. Since it is the only photo visible on search pages, make sure it provides a good representation of your item.

  • Use Stock Photos Wisely: If you’re selling an item contained within packaging, it may be more useful to the buyer if you include a photo of a similar item, such as a stock photo. Be aware that most photos are protected by copyright laws and require you to obtain permission and/or pay a fee for use. So don’t just use a photo you find on the internet unless you have been given permission from the copyright holder to use it. A good way to get a free stock photo is to use the eBay catalog when creating your listing (see above).

Maximize Profits with Low Priced, No Reserve Listings

Auction style listings are a great way to create excitement around your Cameras & Photo equipment, which in turn can develop into a bidding frenzy among buyers—which could result in a higher selling price for you. The keys to a successful auction style listing are to get your first bid and encourage bidders to continue bidding.

  • Low Starting Price: Getting that first bid is critical, as other buyers are generally more likely to jump in if they see there are already bids on an item. To do this, many sellers prefer to set an opening bid below what the item is actually worth. Try beginning with a low starting price—such as 99 cents—to jumpstart bidding activity.

  • No Reserve: Be careful when setting a reserve price. Buyers may lose interest in an item if they place a bid and find it doesn't meet the reserve. Because they do not know the reserve price, they may assume the seller is simply asking too much for the item. To prevent this from happening, try listing your item with "No Reserve." Items sold with "No Reserve" typically attract more buyer interest, as buyers know that they will actually win the item if they are the high bidder.

  • Accept PayPal: Buyers want to know that they can pay securely when making a purchase on eBay. By accepting PayPal payments, you can build buyer confidence and help protect yourself. PayPal transfers payments to a bank account of your choice and notifies you when a payment has been received. Best of all, PayPal offers free online tools to make managing your payments easier. You can even print shipping labels and track your shipments.


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Ship Your Cameras & Photo


Ship Your Cameras & Photo

Specifying reasonable shipping and handling costs in your listing is essential for smart selling—and it improves your search ranking when buyers sort by total cost. Never leave a buyer wondering how much shipping will cost.

Calculate Shipping Costs

Often times, shipping costs will vary by distance. To make sure your shipping charges reflect this, incorporate a shipping calculator into your listing. With the shipping calculator, eBay can automatically calculate the shipping cost for your buyers based on the size and weight of your item and the buyer’s location. You can also program the calculator to add in the cost of packaging materials and your handling fee, if any.

Select a Service Option

To protect both you and your buyer against loss or damage during shipping, consider purchasing shipping insurance for your package—especially for higher priced cameras and equipment. Shipping insurance is available through most shipping companies, and can be purchased while you pay for shipping. You can factor in the cost of shipping insurance into your shipping cost—but make sure you state in your description that you are doing so. Buyers want to know that they are paying extra for shipping for a good reason.

Package Your Equipment Securely

After your item sells, you are ready to ship it off to its new home. Make sure you package your item safely and securely. Use bubble wrap, foam, or other packaging materials to make sure your item is not damaged during its move. If you take an item apart to ship it, include a list of pieces and instructions on how to put it back together. Here are a few steps to think about:

  • Wrap It: Individually wrap items and provide lots of cushioning (bubble wrap, peanuts, foam, corrugated dividers, or crumpled paper). Be careful if you choose to reuse newspaper—the ink can rub off and damage your items. Bundle any wires, fasten them with a twisty-tie, and place them into Ziploc bags. Try to wrap any lenses, LCD screens, or viewfinders in plastic to avoid scratches. Wrap your camera or camcorder tightly in packaging material in case it shifts while in transit. If you use foam peanuts, be aware that they shift easily, so overfill your box. If any pieces could be damaged by water, make sure you wrap them with a layer of sealed plastic. Remember, wrap and pack firmly—you don’t want to hear any rattling!

  • Box It: Most cameras and camera accessories will fit in a free USPS Priority Mail box, which you can order right here on eBay—the United States Postal Service will even deliver them right to your door for free! For larger items, use a corrugated box with rigid sides, intact flaps, and plenty of room for cushioning on all sides. Don't exceed the maximum gross weight of the box (usually printed on bottom flap).

  • Seal It: Use strong tape designed for shipping, rather than masking tape, cellophane tape, string or paper over-wrap. Once you’ve sealed up your package, you can pay for shipping and print shipping labels right from your PayPal account. You can even request a pickup from USPS or UPS, saving you a trip to the Post Office or UPS location.


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Build Your Reputation


Build Your Reputation

Communication is the key to a successful transaction. Make sure you’re available before, during, and after the sale. Answer any questions about your item promptly. Include a thank you note in your package—it’s a great way to surprise and delight your buyer and encourage them to leave you positive feedback.

Always Leave Feedback

Feedback is extremely important for all eBay users. Consistent positive feedback lets buyers know that you manage transactions well and that you care about your reputation. One way to help ensure good feedback is to communicate well, represent your item truthfully in your listing, and be polite. Also remember your buyer’s feedback score is as important to them as yours is to you—so be courteous, thoughtful, and truthful when leaving feedback.

Express Yourself

Be more than just a username to your buyers. Introduce yourself through your About Me page and MyWorld. Add pictures, keep track of your favorite buyers, and tell the community about your interests and collections. Show your expertise by writing Reviews & Guides. Connect with other sellers on the Seller Central Discussion Board. Remember, be yourself—and have fun!

Sell for a Cause

Support your favorite cause and enhance buyer trust and loyalty at the same time. eBay Giving Works listings tend to sell at higher final prices, because buyers are more willing to purchase, and often pay more for, items that benefit a nonprofit. Get more exposure and receive a receipt for your tax-deductible donations!


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