To buy new or used

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by rkhndjr, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. rkhndjr

    rkhndjr Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    I have bought and sold countless lenses over the years and now am wondering if it is not better to just buy new and have a return policy as well as warranty. I feel that unless there is a vast savings new is best. What do you think?
  2. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I would love to buy new all the time but really can't afford it. Almost all of my 'toys' (camera, computer, car) are a generation out of date and either used or refurbished. At a guess I save 15 -50% but I don't get to play with the latest and greatest as soon as some. However, for me on my budget, I'm very happy with the value for money I get.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. rkhndjr

    rkhndjr Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    I certainly understand that. Money is a big factor for many. I am probably a lot older than you and can afford new now. Not always the case:))
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    I'm generally inclined to buy new, since I tend to keep things for a long time. As you point out, it depends on the savings. One option is to buy new discontinued gear. I picked up a second GX7 body recently for $400, which is half of what I paid for my first one last Spring. Another option is to buy manufacturer refurbs, which can yield considerable savings plus give you a return right/warranty. Yet a third option, particularly on lenses, is to buy from Japan to take advantage of the strong dollar.
  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I like buying used, as it regularly saves me 50% or more off the new price. And if I make the sale locally, I can save a huge amount on shipping and taxes. I got my 20mm/1.7 from local classified ads for $250 and my 14-140 (old gen) for $350, when buying new from a store would have ended up costing me much closer to $500 and $750 respectively after taxes.

    At those prices, I can easily resell them for what I paid (or very nearly), or replace them out of warranty for less than what I would have paid for a new one anyway.

    This is, of course, to say nothing of the several very old film SLR lenses that I've bought for between $25-100, for which the comparable equivalents (if they even existed) would often-times cost $500+. Albeit with AF...

    The exception, as Canonista mentioned, is my new GX7 which I bought for $400 in the same deal. Even after shipping, taxes, and currency conversions to Canada, it cost about $600 CAD, which is about the same price that anyone was selling a year-old used model for on the used market! So that was a no-brainer...
  6. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    I generally buy my main body new for security against problems, but wait until prices drop a bit. I've bought used cameras and rarely had a problem. Lenses I buy a mix of used, split-from-kit and new. Sometimes the difference in prices isn't that much.
  7. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I buy the newest for the main system and intent to use it long time, but I usually buy the new big discounted old model for my 2nd body/camera, play it around for few months and sell it, since I bought it very cheap, mostly end up lost about $100 for my GAS.
  8. rkhndjr

    rkhndjr Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 9, 2010
    I see few which are priced at 50% less than new. Generally from those I have looked at here are close to new price.
  9. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    Used, unless you get a great new price. I'd be more apt to get a new body for warranty type issues, but you have to just figure in your mind what amount is worth saving for the limited amount of risk. Different answer for different people.
  10. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    There are so many variables in play here. If you do your due diligence, used is almost always a better value. I like finding used stuff in great shape, especially if I know the seller. Others like to buy beat up used cameras using price as the only factor.
  11. Best bet is to buy used from a main dealer, who tend to offer a warranty and 30 day return policy.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I buy nearly everything used or refurb. I have bought (way too much) since 2009 that way, with maybe 1-2 issues total. I've even made (a tiny little bit of) money off some used lens that later had price increases (mainly Canon lenses, though -- not so much m43).

    The depreciation hit is just too huge.

    Take for example the Zeiss 55mm 2.8 for e-mount. It lists at $998, is on sale on eBay right now, new, for $774 and can be purchased on Fred Miranda for around $650.

    The trick is to stick to reputable sources on any amount you can't afford to walk away from.
  13. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Used only. With depreciation levels close to 50% it makes no sense to pay new prices just for warranty.
  14. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    The biggest advantage to buying used is that you can usually re-sell without taking a big loss; it gives you the opportunity to trade gear in and out at an acceptable cost. Not that I've done much of this; I tend to buy-and-hold.
  15. For items that are expensive I tend to go refurb if available, both to save money and to get a warranty. Most refurbs are simply cleaned up customer returns -- have never had a problem.
  16. finerflower

    finerflower Amin Fangrrl

    Dec 11, 2013
    New Jersey (South)
    I mix it up. Some used some new. For example my Sigma 60mm was cheap new, the 100-300 Pany was better used. My G6 new, GM1 used. I haven't been let down yet.
  17. TetonTom

    TetonTom Mu-43 Regular

    I've always had good luck (both from my Nikon DSLR days, and now from Olympus) buying the newest model of refurbished bodies available. Either direct from the manufacturer or from Cameta. I have bought refurb bodies that actually had less than a dozen shutter actuations! It's usually an instant 20% savings while the intro price is still high, and if I want to sell in the first year, I can get back nearly all my cash. If I keep a camera more than a year, I guess I'm not looking at it as an investment anyway, it's become a consumable (#digitalrot).
    Lenses, I've always done well to skip the launch prices, sit tight until mint samples are showing up on the used market, set my price limit and shop carefully until I can buy at or below my limit. Almost always I've gotten the best lens buys on online forum marketplaces. When I sell, I set my price floor and usually sell via a fixed-price BIN on eBay, running the auction as long as I have to until I get my price. I've never lost money on a lens, sometimes I profit. Basically, I've gotten to use great lenses for free my entire life!

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  18. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    A lot of used for me, occasional new stuff when it's on sale or not easily available new or refurb. I got the E-M1 w 12-40 at full retail, but paid mostly with insurance money from the theft of the E-M5. I've actually tended to buy bodies new and keep them for a long time, skipping a few generations. I paid full price (well, Sony educational discount which was pretty significant for a month, possibly pricing error low) for the A7r and two FE primes.

    Mostly the used market in NL/EU isn't great for anything that isn't Canon or Nikon, so I buy a little more new than I used to.
  19. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've done OK buying used as well, but I would offer one caution: Make sure the seller is not simply flipping the camera or lens. I've run in to issues, where it became clear after the fact, that the seller had not used the camera much at all except to make sure it powered up and focused, and therefore failed to notice some small but real problems. You want a used item that the seller has at least used for a little while, and should have no excuses for not being aware of any issues.
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