EconomyConsumption Buy used photo equipment: beware of scams

For this type of purchase, meeting the seller and testing the device before paying is essential.

used camera
If you buy a used camera, you have to try it out: “To do this, you can simply take the camera and take a few shots,” says photographer Mickaël Bonnami, LP/Olivier Arandel

The summer holidays are approaching and you want to equip yourself with a decent device without ruining yourself? The purchase of second-hand equipment can be a good alternative if you follow certain tips! Here are the keys to a successful purchase.

Prefer in-store purchases

“Buying a used camera can save you between 300 and 700 euros depending on the type and condition of the camera,” explains Mickaël Bonnami, photographer and founder of the VP23 training school in Bordeaux (Gironde).

Of course, you can start by looking at the offers on Le Bon coin or Rakuten, as well as on the many photographers’ forums. “But then, it is better to ask for the advice of a professional and to go to a shop or a photo fair in contact with the sellers,” Mickaël Bonnami advises. There, you can ask all your questions but also see and test the device. By contacting a professional, you will also have the possibility to benefit from a guarantee when buying, from three months to one year depending on the sellers.

“Online, bad surprises came quickly,” continues Mickaël Bonnami. I bought a reflex camera on a site and I realized that a fungus was starting to develop on the lens. Unfortunately, it was too late. »

Inform yourself before making any decision

“It is important, before travelling, to have a good knowledge of the type of photos you want to take and the type of camera you want to buy,” says Marie-Jo Masse, head of the organization of the international photo fair in Bièvre (Essonne). Also know how to ask the right questions, “The Internet is full of second-hand devices that have actually been stolen. It may be interesting to ask your dealer for the serial number that is written at the bottom of the box or the number of times the camera has been triggered. This is all easy to verify information that protects you from buying stolen devices and can lower the price,” continues Mickaël Bonnami.

Take some precautions

“A used camera is like a car, you have to try it!” says Mickaël Bonnami. To do this, you can simply take the camera and take a few pictures. Also check the condition of the device. It must not show any signs of shock or oxidation on the connectors. The sensor must not have any scratches or too many dead pixels when purchasing a digital camera. If it’s very dirty, ask for a discount to have it cleaned. To check the status of the autofocus, perform tests on subjects more or less far away and on the move. If you buy from a private individual, you can ask him to draw up a letter of transfer, listing the different points of sale: date, identity of the two protagonists, material sold and comments. Finally, in case of remote purchase, avoid payments by PayPal which are very convenient but full of fraudulent sellers.