What to Sell: Film Cameras on eBay

35mm film cameras are dead.

Except, they're not. In fact, 35mm (as well as medium format and Polaroid) cameras are at the perfect place in history for you to make some big-time profits on.

1910 selfie by Harold Cazneau

It's true that the average consumer (and most professionals) have made the complete switch to digital photography. Heck, most folks forego cameras completely and just take pictures with their phones nowadays. But this doesn't mean that there is no market for quality film cameras. Lots of people are still shooting on film. There are whole artistic movements about shooting with film. These people want film and film cameras.

Now, the most folks are looking in their closets, seeing that old film camera that they haven't even considered using for a decade and think "This thing is worthless. Do they even make film anymore?". Oh boy! This is your big chance to exploit the gap between something being unpopular and without value to the average consumer, but still quite valuable in a specialized marketplace. Just like we discussed with Rapidograph pens, remember.

So how do you know which cameras are worth the big bucks? Just look it up on your phone, dummy. A quick eBay search of completed auctions can give you a guideline of average selling prices.

Now, there's somthing you need to contemplate before you start counting your money.
First, test the shutter, focus, glass, and film-advancing mechanisms. Even if those check-out, realize that unless you plan on shooting and processing a test roll of film, you are going to need to sell you cameras "As-Is", which will inevitable net you less dollars.

Alternately (and this is my preference), you can be very generous, understanding, and clear with your return policy, allowing the buyer enough time to shoot and develop their own roll of film. 30 days should be plenty. Sure, you may have to occasionally need to accept a return and eat-it on the shipping costs, but this has been surprisingly rare with me. Even better, the buyers who have purchased cameras that eventually were revealed to have light-leaks or something were so pleased with my full-refund policy that they left positive feedback.

not my photo

And why stop at cameras. I've made some great flips by picking lenses. accessories, and even unexposed (yet expired) film. Old 35mm cameras that are fully functional but no longer being used are all over the place.Go out and get em.

Stay tuned for my next Part Time Picker post where I share a few of my favorite big camera scores.

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