Is it okay to buy expensive equiptment on Ebay


TPF Noob!
Jan 3, 2012
Reaction score
Jacksonville, NC
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
It's time for me to get a new camera body. I bought a Nikon D40 five years ago and have outgrown it. Right now I'm leaning towards the D700.
I've been looking at different sites to buy used like Adorama, Ebay, and amazon, as well as classifieds like craigslist, or other forum users advertising their camera for sale on different forums.

I've seen D3's advertised at or around $2,000. All things being equal, I would take a used D3 over a brand new D700 in a heartbeat.
I guess it just sounds to good to be true. Does anyone have experience or advice on the subject?
I'd hate to send a check for 2 grand to some guy on Craigslist in exchange for "his word" that he'll mail me a camera. However, if it's safe I'd love to make use of those savings.
It is fine to buy used camera from eBay as long as the seller has great ratings and proper return policy. I can't say the same thing for Craig's list. Personally, I want to see and test the camera first if it is used. The truth is that you never knew what might have happened to a used camera.
I've bought equipment off ebay with no problems. Just check the feedback and be sure. Cameras are one of the things that paypal holds the funds until the buyer acknowledges receipt in good order
It's a personal decision. I have a rule to only do business with top rated sellers with 99.8%+ postiive rating. Anything less and I walk away.
I have bought a $16K car on ebay.
In 9 years, I've only had one issue that cost me money on ebay. It ended up being a $85 boo-boo. But I'm thousands of $ ahead.
Ebay is one of the most protected place a buyer can purchase from, just be sure u use paypal for the transaction.

Ive bought and sold over $20k worth of nikon gear on ebay, and ive only ever had problems as a seller--buyers always win disputes unless they are obviously at fault.

Now with ebays 100% protection i dont even care about feedback rating or return policy--the way i see it the better the feedback and return policy the more ill have to pay, which is pointless since ebay is guaranteeing every purchase now anyway (provided its not sold "for parts"). The best deals ive made have come from zero feedback sellers.
When buying expensive things on ebay I generally research the seller, that is for shops on ebay selling new stock. Generally if they are reliable the forums will have people who have used them. My last 2 big purchases came from the same reliable ebay shop. When buying off regular people it pays to do some homework, even if you are all protected nothing worse than having money tied up with problems.
As stated above. Check the sellers feedback. Make sure he/she has lots of transactions and a very high percentage. If you pay with paypal, Ebay guarntees that you'll be satisfied or you get your money back. I use Ebay for lots of transactions...
I've had no problems buying camera gear on ebay. I've bought a used Canon 30D with genuine Canon grip, 4 batteries and a double-charger (at an incredible price!) , 2 used and 2 new Canon EF lenses, all without a problem. All have been in condition exactly as described and promptly shipped.

As mentioned above, the first thing to consider is the "quality" of the seller. I, like most others, look for a good rating, generally over 500, as a seller, with 99% or better rating. I then look at items they have sold. If they have been selling stuff mostly in the $50 or less only, and all of a sudden put up a $1000 lens, I'd be very suspicious. Although it's very possible they only sell stuff once in a while (as do I) as they are not full-time 'dealers'. I much prefer dealing with vendors that have ratings in the thousands - they want to keep their good ratings. However, both the used body and a used Canon L lens were from 'occassional' sellers with perfect ratings, and the pictures were of the very item being sold, and they looked close to perfect condition in the pictures (and were). I stay away from items over $50 or so where a 'file picture' or 'stock picture' is used, rather than pictures of the actual item being sold. That could be a sign of less than desirable condition.

And, most importantly, if it sounds/looks too good to be true, it probably is. Someone selling a new Canon 5DII for $500 either stole it, or they will never send it and claim it got lost in shipping.

For what it's worth, I've also bought lots of computer equipment on ebay. I've gotten stung on dead motherboards, CPUs, RAM, and harddrives, and even software (not genuine CDs). Sometimes I got my money back, sometimes not. Although most sellers are quite legitimate and honest, and will refund your money, there ARE a number of scam artists out there!
Last edited:

Most reactions

New Topics