How much of a discount for buying used vs. new?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Mellow, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I've been half in the market for a Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 lens, so I've been watching eBay, Amazon, marketplace here, etc. I'm just amazed at the number of people who are asking MORE than the cost of a new lens (which is presently $499 including shipping from B&H, to destinations in the USA). Are they actually selling at these prices?!?

    So how much is it worth for you to forego the advantages of a new lens or camera--easy return, warranty, no doubts about condition or previous handling, etc.? I've always considered 80% the maximum I'm willing to pay for an absolutely pristine used lens, but maybe I'm just too cheap. What do others think?
  2. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I agree, a lot of photo equipment, especially lenses seems to be priced too close to retail to be worth it. It's even worse on craigslist. I don't even seriously look there anymore.
    I am with you, it has to be at least a 20% discount for a used item, although, a lot depends on who the seller is. I will take more of a chance with a reliable seller who will make things right if there turns out to be a problem.
  3. marcl

    marcl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2012
    I've been feeling like you, trying to bid on that same lens. They end up going for the same price as new, sometimes more, sometimes less. It puzzles me as well. I'd like to get the 75/1.8 as well but they are impossible to get new. I guess it's because there is a growing demand for the m43 system which will end up benefiting all of us who bought into it. In the meantime, I'm learning to love the lenses I already have even more.
  4. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    My selling on amazon usually runs around 12-15% off the lowest new lens or body to get decent action.
  5. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    If I really really wanted a lens ... then 80% max. For 20% to 30% more I'll get new.

    • Like Like x 1
  6. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Some of this stuff aren't always in stock in every region, hence still selling on secondary markets close to the MSRP.
  7. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    All of mine are domestic ship only, though often the billing country is non-US, so a fair bit of my sales most likely are going to freight-forwarding arrangements. However, these are only 15-20% of my sales. Most are domestic/domestic and a 15% discount off of listed new is more than sufficient in most cases to move the goods.
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    It depends on the particular lens, and yes sometimes the going rate on Ebay for a used lens is higher than the new price at B&H. Strange but true. I usually sell at 70-90% of new price depending on demand for the particular lens, but if the going rate on Ebay is better than everywhere else for a given lens, then that's where I'm going to sell it.
  9. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    It all goes back to supply:demand... A clear case is the 75mm f1.8 lens. You don't see many (any?) secondhand in the market yet, and shops still sell them at full price ($899)... So when i saw a couple selling for $799/'make an offer' on ebay yesterday, they were gone within less than 2 hours.
  10. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Mike Barber
    FM seems to be the best place to "find" the 75mm right now.
  11. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I remember when it was hard to find the 20mm f1.7 - prices were often higher than new. Now there are plenty and you can find bargains all over the buy/sell forum. I look for 20-30% below the cost of new.
  12. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012
    Prices also fluctuate especially for the PL 25mm as far as I know. It was $600 with very low stock when I was looking a few months back, I thought I was super lucky to find one at $540. I would grab it quick while its a $500 since prices can go up again,
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    My suspicion is they do sell, but in small quantities either to buyers with specific requirements (overseas etc.) or particularly uninformed people.

    I have roughly the same philosophy - if I'm not saving at least 25%, it's not worth it.

    With a few notable exceptions (e.g. the 25/1.4 and 75/1.8), m4/3 is actually pretty good in this regard. I find high-end secondhand Canon and Nikon gear in good condition is rarely more than 10% less expensive than new. Definitely not worth it in my book.
  14. dannat

    dannat Mu-43 Regular

    May 2, 2010
    Melbourne Australia
    Same as 14/2.5, US sellers were selling at or above what I can pick up from eBay new..weird,OLY 45 is lomost the same...the zooms mostly seem to decrease in price
  15. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    It may be hard to find some Canon and Nikon stuff for 70-80% of new, but on the other hand I've always found it necessary to drop my Canon and Nikon used gear prices into that range to get a quick sale. A lot depends on the patience of the seller :smile:.
  16. IcemanYVR

    IcemanYVR Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm less worried about lenses, the only times I have ever had to send them in for repair was due to my error, not a failure under warranty.

    I prefer to buy used lenses, because you can get near new, and save money. For example, I bought 4 lenses off Craigslist in the last 2 weeks. I bought an O12, P20, O45, and P45-175. Every lens came with the box and all original packaging.

    I paid $1450 for all four lenses. Going off B&H's pricing, it would have cost me approx $2150 including tax. I saved $700 and seeing that 3 of the 4 lenses are primes, there's even less of a chance of something going wrong.
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