The Courage Of The Secondhand Cabinet

The Courage Of The Secondhand Cabinet

Are you a courageous person? Do you have nerves of steel…or at least aluminium? Could you take a bold step and hold your opinion in the face of others?

This isn’t political, by the way…it’s commercial and philosophical. And the philosophy can be tested directly all year round. The Christmas and Hanukkah holidays are completed. Chinese New Years is approaching. Birthdays are coming. Days when it was/is traditional/expected/possible to give gifts to friends and relatives. Some of those recipients may be keen photographers, and this is where Camera Electronic comes in.

We too are keen photographers, and keen retail photographic people with things to sell. And some of the things we sell have been sold before. Here’s where your courage comes in. Let’s put up a few facts:

  1. Camera and lens makers make a very large number of products every year – large in variety and large in production numbers. Every model released is succeeded by another one – generally with a few changed features, a new model name, and an increase in price.
  2. The older models of equipment are still out there. They function as well as ever they did and the results from them can be indistinguishable from those of the fresh production. The change in received and perceived value is slower than the advertisers might have you believe.
  3. The makers generally do all they can to allow one model of camera to use the lenses of the previous ones. This changes when there are extreme revolutions in a design bureau ofr production plan but these changes can be as slow as several decades…
  4. The operating menus and  systems change very little between one old model and one new model. Indeed, they change very little throughout the range of models in any one maker’s line. The designers use the same minds to design the menus each time and the designers remember what they thought before.

All this goes to tell you that there is continuity between recent equipment and present equipment – and a capability gap that can be imperceptible. The pricing of the two classes of goods, however, can be significantly different. If you decide to buy secondhand, demonstrator, or ex-rental equipment you can save a considerable amount of money.

But does this mean it’s the Reject Camera Shoppe? Yes and no, and you can make that answer serve your own advantage:

  1. If a camera is rejected by someone else, it may be because that person cannot manage the intricacies of it. You may be able to do so. They lose – you win.
  2. If someone has turned in a camera or lens based upon their lust-for-the-new, they may have lost significant value on the deal. You can pick that value up. They lust, you profit.
  3. If something has become unfashionable while still being perfectly good, it gains value-for-money. Harvest that value for yourself.

At any one time, about 50% of my camera outfit is secondhand or demo and 100% of it works fine and does the job well. I used to be proud of the fact that I could assess a camera or lens in a shop like a pro, but I have found that I really don’t need to do that with the S/H, demo, and ex-rental stock at Camera Electronic. It has already been seen and assessed by better professionals than I and keener business people, too. If there is something on the used shelves that I fancy I can buy it with confidence. A confidence that is backed by an enforceable warranty.


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