Thursday, August 26, 2010

Should You Buy/Sell a Package Deal on Craigslist?

From time to time, you see people selling their entire camera system as a package on Craigslist. The two most common reasons for doing so is that the person is downsizing and getting out of DSLR ownership, or that person is switching brands, either from Nikon to Canon or vice versa. The question is, is it cost effective to do so?

From a seller's point of view, the answer is no. Bundling will reduce the effective price per item. That is to say, in most cases you would be better off selling the items individually. People also have a way of ignoring ad stipulations, and will ask if a lens or body part can be sold separately. There is however, one clear advantage to selling as a bundle, and that is if you value your time more than recouping as much money as possible from your equipment. In this case, bundling makes sense. If you have a fairly complete system - a camera body, two or three lenses and maybe a flash - then the time spent doing separate deals becomes considerable. And don't forget, the more times that you have to deal, the more times you have to go through the steps that a deal is being conducted safely.

For most buyer's I likewise don't recommend buying full packages on the used market. The cost savings may be enough to warrant it, but the simple fact of the matter is that there are too many variables to consider. You have to establish that every single part works to your satisfaction; this gets complicated if they are all in different states of wear. At most, a camera body + lens, but anything more gets cumbersome. And the simple fact of the matter is, a bundle deal like this could easily cross into the $1,000 to $2,000 dollar range. For a lot of people, that is an uncomfortable amount of money to exchange in a deal with absolutely no guarantees.

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