Buying and Selling a Used Camera on Craigslist

The two things Craigslist is most well known for are job postings and selling used items. This is a great place to look for a used camera. Craigslist is basically the newspaper classifieds redesigned for the Internet. Anyone can use Craigslist. All you need is Internet access and e-mail. The Craigslist system is divided by major cities, with each one having their own Craigslist. Users can sign up for a free account so they have the ability to post to the classifieds. They choose a category to post in, enter a description about what they're posting, add photos if they're selling something, choose to either show their real e-mail address or an anonymous one, and finally they publish the ad.


Because anyone can post to Craigslist with just an e mail address, you should be weary of the people you meet. There are a lot of scammers in the world. Never wire anyone money and only accept cash as a payment. Personal checks are definitely not ok because they could be stolen and bounce. Never give anyone your personal or credit card information either. 

You also don't know the people you're dealing with. Never, under any circumstances, meet these people in a place that isn't public. Your safety is at risk. You don't need to be afraid of everyone, just cautious.

Buying on Craigslist

Because of spam and scams, only reply to ads that have photos. Photos are easy to upload on craigslist so there is no excuse for any seller not to post any, unless they're hiding something. The seller should post the cameras model and some information about it. Research the model to see if these facts check out. If they don't, then do not do business with this person. If they do, then maybe this seller is right for you.

Contact the person and make arrangements to meet in a public place. If they insist on you coming to their home, then bring a friend. Also, find out the asking price before you show up. Check to see what others are selling the same camera for to make sure what they're asking is fair. Compare what the new cameras sell for too; if there isn't much of a difference, you might as well buy it new with a store return policy and a warranty.

Be very meticulous when you examine your prospective purchase because you'll be paying in cash and all sales are final. This is the risk you take buying a camera this route, although you save more money then buying it in the store.

Selling on Craigslist

The same rules apply when selling on Craigslist, and remember what you expect from sellers. Offer potential buyers the same information. Post photos and clear descriptions of your merchandise. Know how much it is worth and ask for a little more then you hope to get so you're covered for negotiating.

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