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Helping dispose of 60+ yrs. of camera gear
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Jun 10, 2021 12:18:09   #
Foto Jo Loc: Smoky Mountains of North Carolina
 
I have offered and am organizing an entire room/ofc of an friend who passed last year. His career was teaching photography. Needless to say this is a major task. I found this out yesterday when I spent 1/2 day starting to sort through stuff and his wife told me he never threw away anything. Fortunately that included every box his cameras and lenses came in.
I called KEH and spoke to a women in the resale buying dept. I wasn’t happy at all with her help and made an excuse to get off the phone. Very different from 6 mos ago when I called about this same thing.
This being said I am open to any and all suggestions everyone may have. I offered to help as my friends wife of 54yrs is in her 80’s and hasn’t a clue about all his gear.
I appreciate your advice.

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Jun 10, 2021 12:31:06   #
pbcbob Loc: Delray Beach, FL
 
Unless he has recently purchased gear, I seriously doubt if the old cameras and lenses have any great value. Accessories such as tripods and portrait lights may bring in some cash. Sorry I can not be more encouraging.

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Jun 10, 2021 12:42:45   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Take digital pictures of everything, pick one or two of each when posting for sale. Research prices of everything. Most of us like KEH, but I know from my own experience, they have several people answering the phone with different personalities. Make an assessment of the 'grade' of each item. If it seems 'like new' or only modest use / wear, use the KEH website to find their current selling price of an EX-rated version of the same equipment. Then, set the selling price at 75% of the KEH price. Personally, I don't care about the original box, but if you really have access to the original packaging, this is both a curse and a blessing. It might fetch a higher price, but shipping in-the-box is likely more expensive than the cheapest shipping option of the 2-day prepaid USPS priority mail boxes.

If you want to sell here at UHH, you can create a single posting and just attach a spreadsheet of all the items. Suggested columns would be:

Item count (1,2,3,etc) for reference purposes.
Item description, try to be as accurate as possible such as Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
Box included: Y / N
Price: pick a price that includes your assumed cost for box and shipping, state the price includes shipping included to US addresses
Pictures Available: Y / N (indicate pictures can be forwarded upon request)
Status: Available / Sold

In the UHH section, you can create a single post and continue to edit / re-edit as the sale progresses. If you use the spreadsheet idea, you can just edit and re-attach the updates as each sale is completed. If you don't like the spreadsheet, you can just create a series of rows with the consistent attributes for each item / column mentioned above.

The work above would be needed for any sale vehicle, ebay, KEH, MPB, etc. That is, you need an inventory of the equipment, probably 1 or more pictures, an assessed grading, and a desired sales price.

I prefer the USPS boxes since they come in standard sizes at fixed prices. Items like a lens or a flash, even a small(er) camera, can be wrapped in bubble wrap and fit into a medium box that ships for $20 to any address in the US in 2-business days. You just have to bring you own tape and Sharpie to seal the box and address, buying additional insurance, if needed above $50. When you start shipping original boxes, now you're at the mercy of FedEx or UPS and the price goes up substantially.

For lenses, take a picture of the front and / or side that shows the brand, focal length and aperture. Don't worry about serial numbers for any of the equipment, just the brand and model information.

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Jun 10, 2021 12:48:01   #
Don, the 2nd son Loc: Crowded Florida
 
There are old cameras and lenses that are eagerly sought after by collectors. Leica among others can bring amazing prices. You have an interesting challenge, much to learn from.

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Jun 10, 2021 12:49:31   #
Don, the 2nd son Loc: Crowded Florida
 
There are old cameras and lenses that are eagerly sought after by collectors. Leica among others can bring amazing prices. You have an interesting challenge, much to learn from.

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Jun 10, 2021 12:49:35   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
For payment, PayPal is the best. It's more effort to use any other payment method as well as issues of 'protection' for both the seller & buyer come into play for options other than PayPal. You can work out with your friend the arrangements of handling the sale on her behalf if not a bulk sale to a reseller like KEH, MPB, etc. If you both decide to try to sell everything, start here at UHH and / or eBay, say for 2 weeks UHH and then deciding for an fixed price or auction on eBay. After 2 months, whatever still isn't sold, try again to a reseller and take whatever they have to offer. There will be some film equipment that probably will never sell, it depends on the brand, the model and the condition.

On the sale price, as mentioned above, account for the expected shipping when setting the sales price. The PayPal fee is 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction. So, an item sold for $100 will net $96.80 after the PP fee is subtracted from the payment. An item that seems like it's work $100 probably should be listed as $125 if you desire to net $100 after shipping and fees, higher if you plan a shipping method other than the idea of prepaid USPS boxes.

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Jun 10, 2021 12:58:29   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
Some old gear is collectable- Camera collectors are a different "breed" and may pay more for certain rare models.

Some gear is USER-collectable and the price that a buyer is willing to pay depends on the model, condition and usability.

Other potential buyers are specialty or retro users- There are fols who collect, restore, and use large format gear, vintage lenses, film cameras. and or ver specific categories. Many of these folks join websites and Facebook groups. There is a very active group specializing in Graflex cameras and accessories.

Older digital gear maybe not as desirable and offers might be disappointing- the technology moves too fast to retain great value.

If you could make a list of the items, it would be helpful in advising you on a plan.

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Jun 10, 2021 13:00:17   #
quixdraw Loc: American Free States -- Montana
 
Foto Jo wrote:
I have offered and am organizing an entire room/ofc of an friend who passed last year. His career was teaching photography. Needless to say this is a major task. I found this out yesterday when I spent 1/2 day starting to sort through stuff and his wife told me he never threw away anything. Fortunately that included every box his cameras and lenses came in.
I called KEH and spoke to a women in the resale buying dept. I wasn’t happy at all with her help and made an excuse to get off the phone. Very different from 6 mos ago when I called about this same thing.
This being said I am open to any and all suggestions everyone may have. I offered to help as my friends wife of 54yrs is in her 80’s and hasn’t a clue about all his gear.
I appreciate your advice.
I have offered and am organizing an entire room/of... (show quote)


You might try Roberts Used Photo Pro - they will do video sessions with gear for sale. I have bought a lot from them, but never sold to them. With quantity, video sounds like a time saver.

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Jun 10, 2021 13:05:43   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
quixdraw wrote:
You might try Roberts Used Photo Pro - they will do video sessions with gear for sale. I have bought a lot from them, but never sold to them. With quantity, video sounds like a time saver.


Good idea. I know KEH does video reviews as well, if our OP is willing to give them another shot when the inventory is completed.

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Jun 10, 2021 13:07:43   #
quixdraw Loc: American Free States -- Montana
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
Good idea. I know KEH does video reviews as well, if our OP is willing to give them another shot when the inventory is completed.


Didn't know that, thanks!

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Jun 10, 2021 13:52:42   #
rook2c4 Loc: Philadelphia, PA USA
 
pbcbob wrote:
Unless he has recently purchased gear, I seriously doubt if the old cameras and lenses have any great value. Accessories such as tripods and portrait lights may bring in some cash. Sorry I can not be more encouraging.


For camera gear that is sixty years or older, it's usually the cameras which are worth money, not the tripods and lighting equipment.

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Jun 10, 2021 13:56:46   #
BebuLamar
 
rook2c4 wrote:
For camera gear that is sixty years or older, it's usually the cameras which are worth money, not the tripods and lighting equipment.


Unless it's a graflex flash unit.

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Jun 10, 2021 16:24:23   #
E.L.. Shapiro Loc: Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 
One man's trash is another man's treasure.

There is a collector that will pay disproportionate amounts of money for certain acquisitions. Sometimes they need one or two models to complete a series of a certain make or model. I know a collector who paid $1,500 for the one Kodak Autographic (an old folder with a stylus to write notations on the film with a stylus- there was carbon in the roll film backing paper). A Zeiss Contessa Nettle went for. $5,000. Some collector's goals are to pay the least amount of money and find rare cameras from unknowing selles.

Old lighting gear can be more valuable than you may realize. Same old stones made by Ascor, Dormitzer, Hershey, Hico, Graflex are still in service- units dating back to the mid-50s and early 60s. Thes uns pack lots of power and have big lamp heads that spread the light softly and evenly.

Old incandescent spotlights by Bardwell & McAlister and Color-Tran, 30" incandescent "beauty lights" heavy-duty caster-based stands are in demand by the photographer are into the "Old Hollywood" look.

Of course, someof these are niche markets and require some research as o where to advertise.

Time is money! If you have the time, patience and desire to maximize the prices you get for various individual items and are willing to advertise and deal with inquiries, hagglers, shipping issues, etc you can opt to sell each item separately. If you decide to sell it to a dealer as a LOT, you need to understand that you become a kind of wholesaler- you will be offered less money that you will get for individual private sales. The reputable used camera dealers are not attempting to rip you off. They have to mark it up and earn a profit as well. In many cases, used items will remain in the inventory for a long period of time before they can turn it over.

The first step, regardless of what you deced to do, is to prepare a detailed list of each item- brand, model, specifics and condition and begin to ascertain the price on various markets. Even if you deced to sell the lot to a dealer, yo will need this information to obtain a quote. Companies like Roberts and KEH- have condition categories- yoy can use them as they are explained.

A typical description would be something like:

1- 4x5 Crown Graphic Special (Press Camera) with built-in coupled rangefinder and focus-spot, 135mm f/4.5 Schneider Xenar lens. in excellent working condition, bellows in good conditions, the lens is scale wit no scratches or mould. Optical and wire sports finder, Grafloc back. Original box and manual.

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Jun 10, 2021 18:38:34   #
Foto Jo Loc: Smoky Mountains of North Carolina
 
You have been very helpful. I am hoping after day 2 of going through everything that I am close to being able to write down what there is and take pics of each item as I write it down. There are boxes for almost everything. I was excited about that. It was like finding a puzzle piece. But now I have to agree with you about the boxes hindering packing and easy shipping.
Many thanks for the help and guidance.

Reply
Jun 10, 2021 18:43:35   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Foto Jo wrote:
You have been very helpful. I am hoping after day 2 of going through everything that I am close to being able to write down what there is and take pics of each item as I write it down. There are boxes for almost everything. I was excited about that. It was like finding a puzzle piece. But now I have to agree with you about the boxes hindering packing and easy shipping.
Many thanks for the help and guidance.


Remember to use <quote reply> Glad to help. If you want to satisfy some of the initial interest and speculation, give a few previews / highlights of what you're finding. If you find what looks like a Canon FD 14mm f/2.8L, shoot me a private message.

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