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How Would You Do This?

laddad

Kinston, NC, US
1368 posts

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laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 14th Nov 2005
Thu 04-Oct-12 02:41 AM | edited Thu 04-Oct-12 08:28 PM by laddad

A few months back a professional photographer in my community died unexpectantly. Sometime later I commented to his wife that if desired I would help her assign values to some of his equipment should she decide to sale it. He was a Nikon user and I have been a Nikon aficionado for over 30 years. I felt that I was most appropriate for the task. Now it appears to be more of a task than I originally thought. Thirty-five millimeter film cameras, Medium format cameras, digital cameras, manual focus lenses, autofocus lenses, enlargers, filters, caps, etc. It is simply amazing how much equipment someone can amass in thirty or forty years.

I explained to the widow that assigning a value was only part of the task and making a connection to the potential buyer was just as formidable. First the equipment needs to be evaluated and lenses cleaned etc. I also explained that some of the older equipment that may have been dear to him may little value in the marketplace. Options for direct sales include: Nikonians, EBay, Used counter at the local camera shop. Quick sale but less money would be liquidation through dealers like KEH etc. One benefit of volunteering to help is that I get to review the collection of wonderful camera gear before it goes on the chopping block. I have chosen to purchase a well-used Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8. I will honestly assign a value based on KEH criteria and pay her for this item. There are many items that I would love to add to my present Nikon collection but I’m not sure that I could ever justify them to my wife!

My question: If you were to help this lady liquidate the huge collection of camera equipment, how would go about the task? This is part of his legacy and her profit needs to be maximized. How would you do it?

agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#1. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 0

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Thu 04-Oct-12 01:52 AM

I think that old film equipment (cameras of all kinds and sizes, very old lenses, enlargers, dark room gear and so on) is not worth very much. So maximizing its value is only possible if the collection contains some truly rare items of interest to advanced collectors. Chances are there's little of real value, but you never know.

The last sort of what I think might have been similar lots that I saw come up at auction about 18 months sold below the already low market value. Original cost - somewhere north of $75,000. Used value - items sold individually today - somewhere south of $6,500. Auction revenue - gear sold in a number of separate lots - $3100 IIRC.

Check eBay, Kijiji, eBids and so on for identical equipment. These days, I think you'll find either actual sold values, or you'll find nothing at all on some of the items which means there's no market for the them anymore.

Recent digital camera models (manufactured some time over the past five years), stil hold some value. It's easy enough to check eBay, the Nikonians "I Want To Sell" forums and various other sources to get a handle on current actual sold prices for almost any relatively current gear you can think of.

If the collection contains more than 25 major items, consider checking with a reputable auction house to get some idea of who might be interested in the collection, and which auction houses handle camera gear in your general area. When you find a reputable auction house which knows something about photography gear, invite them to appraise the collection and consult with them on the best way to move it.

The problem with selling a large amount of gear through eBay or Kijiji is that someone has to deal with the back & forth email communications, transactions, packaging & insured shipping, traveling back & forth to the post office (or UPS or FedEx), worrying about whether or not a package is going to arrive in one piece (or at all), etc., etc.

So going through retailers such as KEH or going through an auction house amounts to a one stop shop. There is a huge value in that which is difficult to calculate, but it amounts to less stress, less effort, and less time having to deal with old gear that is depreciating in value every day.

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Howard Carson

laddad

Kinston, NC, US
1368 posts

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#2. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 1

laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 13th Nov 2005
Thu 04-Oct-12 11:19 AM | edited Thu 04-Oct-12 11:58 PM by laddad

Thanks! Your thoughts are helpful. The majority of his equipment is modern digital which does have value. As you might guess there is lots of old stuff that he has held on to for many years for some reason or another. I did tell his wife that we should put a premium on the sale of newer high value items like D7000, D2x, Nikon AF-S 70-200mm, Nikon AF-S 300mm, etc.

yelcab

San carlos, US
924 posts

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#3. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 2

yelcab Silver Member Nikonian since 30th Nov 2006
Thu 04-Oct-12 07:09 PM

I would ...

1) evaluate it, list it on ebay with reserve, act as an agent, take my 30% like everybody else.

2) list no reserve on ebay, take my 30% of what I get

3) Sell it all to KEH, get what you get, take my 15%

4) give her a list of what things are worth. tell her to find an ebay dealer to list and sell it for her for a cut. Pay for the 17-35mm lens and gracefully back out.

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laddad

Kinston, NC, US
1368 posts

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#4. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 3

laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 13th Nov 2005
Thu 04-Oct-12 11:56 PM | edited Fri 05-Oct-12 01:57 AM by laddad

Hey....she is a widow! I'm not interested a percent of the sales! Sometimes we just help folks because it is the right thing to do!

agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#5. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 4

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Fri 05-Oct-12 12:15 AM

If the local camera shop is reputable, suggest hauling the whole load over there and asking the shop owner to sell it on consignment. That way you get to assign values (in discussion with the shop owner, and which I think was the original request by the widow), the shop owner gets a nice load of used inventory to flog, the widow gets the stuff out of the house and out of her sight and ends up with some revenue, periodically, as items are sold. You could help out a bit more, if you're in a position to do so that is, by giving the shop owner your phone number in case he has to call with a customer offer that is lower than the consigned price. You or the widow could also notify some of the photographer's former local colleagues and the local camera club(s) to let them know about the consignment load at the local shop. After that, it's just a matter of time.

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Howard Carson

laddad

Kinston, NC, US
1368 posts

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#6. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 5

laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 13th Nov 2005
Fri 05-Oct-12 01:56 AM

Excellent local camera store, probably the best in eastern NC. On the used counter, price stuff as you want and they get 25%. I figure I would sell the newest here on Nikonians, next local camera store next to KEH or something like that.

JBS101

Canberra, AU
596 posts

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#7. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 0

JBS101 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Apr 2009
Fri 05-Oct-12 08:28 PM

Laddie,

I think most of the options have been canvassed here. One thing to be careful of, particularly if you personnally buy anything, is to ensure that you are protected against any suggestion of either ripping off the widow or giving bad advice that leads to her getting less than what she or others might subsequently think was an appropriate price. That could occur if a well meaning friend makes some poorly informed remarks or the widow subsequently sees a particular item sold elsewhere for more money.

A friend of mine got caught this way while helping with the disposition of a large and valuable collection of model railway equipment. The nub of the problem was that the local church minister told the widow that people should be paying her the full retail price of every item not the wholesale value. Unfortunately, the widow took this well meaning but ill informed advice to heart.

Of course, I don't know any of the personalities or actual circumstances that may apply in your instance. Still, I believe it does need to be considered.

Regards,

John

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

kennoll

Seattle, US
953 posts

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#8. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 0

kennoll Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 07th Feb 2011
Sat 06-Oct-12 01:38 AM

What I would do is first take an inventory including manufacturer, body models, lens models, flash models, etc. List by digital or film. If digital bodies then determine how many actuations. Add serial numbers and a guesstimation of condition. Use a re-sellers (KEH, B&H, etc.) range of used condition descriptions.

Once the inventory is taken then valuation can begin. A lot of work? Yes! But, without knowing what you have you cannot put any realistic prices to anything. Perhaps a local camera club could help with this? Could end up with a few sales there.

Once the inventory is done then submit it to a number of re-sellers to get their input. If all the re-sellers are looking at the same inventory list then the resultant bids are based on common ground.

In the Seattle area there is a "Annual Camera & Photographica Sale, Swap, & Show" where a lot of collectors invite the public to gather to buy/sell photo equipment. A lot of older, film pieces and digital as well. While you don't want to wait for a show like this perhaps you can query local photo shops to see if there are collectors in your area that would like to look at your inventory. That's how I found out about this show.

Anyway, I believe a good, accurate inventory is a major first step and will be a big help.

Ken
Seattle, WA
My Gallery

laddad

Kinston, NC, US
1368 posts

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#9. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 8

laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 13th Nov 2005
Wed 17-Oct-12 10:57 PM | edited Wed 17-Oct-12 11:00 PM by laddad

Thanks for all of your input! Here is the plan:

1. Grade all gear by established standards as used by KEH, B&H etc.
Thoroughly evaluate all gear especially camera bodies, glass
etc. (I have created a worksheet for this)

2. Establish price via KEH, B&H, Adorama, Ebay, etc.

3. Reduce price by 15% for quicker sale and No Return Policy.
(The lady just wants to liquidate the gear with few hassles)

4. Try selling on Nikonians first.

5. If no bites then try "Used Counter" at the local Camera store.
(They get 25% of sale price)

6. If no bites then liquidate through KEH or similar place.

7. For "Specialty Items" (rare & exotic) try my hand at Ebay.

8. If no sale of useful items consider "Donation" to local Community
College "Photography Classes"

First sale today was a pristine AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6. Next pristine D700. Soon some goodies like AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8 and AF-S 300mm f/4

kennoll

Seattle, US
953 posts

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#10. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 9

kennoll Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 07th Feb 2011
Wed 17-Oct-12 11:30 PM

So, when will we, Nikonians, see a list of items? Need to save my pennies for a good, fast, medium prime. Maybe even a 80-200 f/2.8?


Ken
Seattle, WA
My Gallery

laddad

Kinston, NC, US
1368 posts

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#11. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 10

laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 13th Nov 2005
Wed 17-Oct-12 11:51 PM

I need to price them. I will try this weekend. I have three 80-200mm at least. Here are just a few of the stuff I have gotten to so far:

AF-S 300mm f/4
AF-S 80-200mm f/2.8
AF 80-200mm f/2.8D
MF 80-200mm f/2.8
AF 135mm f/2D DC
AF 50mm f/1.4
AF 50mm f/1.8 x2
AF 20mm f/2.8D

D2Xs, D100, FE, FM, 6006 x2, F3, F2 x3, FTN, Nikkormat, Nikon rangefinder/lenses, Nikon Prisms for F & F2, Bronica, Numerous MF lens and more stuff that she has not gotten to yet. My birthday is coming and I'm interested in the 135mm but I don't think I can afford it! Yes, I will pay market value! My benefit getting to see the stuff first. This is time consuming but fun!

RockyIII

Raleigh, US
3272 posts

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#12. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 0

RockyIII Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 27th May 2006
Thu 18-Oct-12 12:23 PM

I think you can get a fairly reliable price for used equipment by searching eBay for "completed listings." That gives you the actual sales price rather than the asking price.

KEH is very convenient, but they pay substantially less that what you can sell it for yourself if you take the time and trouble. Even so, I would probably sell to them anything that may be questionable due to age, wear and tear, etc.

Rocky

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10631 posts

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#13. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 0

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Thu 18-Oct-12 02:00 PM

Sounds like you are off to a good start. Some of the odd names of old gear may be highly valued by collectors. I have a neighbor with a box of old gear. Most of it was worth just a few dollars, but one old body and lens was worth nearly $500. Even the case for one old camera was worth $50. Most of the boutique items have user groups that can be located on the internet. Typically there are dealers active in those groups who can appraise and sell items on consignment.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops - Smokies Oct 2012

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

laddad

Kinston, NC, US
1368 posts

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#14. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 13

laddad Gold Member Nikonian since 13th Nov 2005
Thu 18-Oct-12 03:59 PM

Thanks Rocky and Eric for your insight!

Laddie

ericbowles

Atlanta, US
10631 posts

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#15. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 14

ericbowles Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level skills in various areas, especially Landscape and Wildlife Photoghraphy Writer Ribbon awarded for for his article contributions to the community Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Nikonian since 25th Nov 2005
Thu 18-Oct-12 04:31 PM

Here is one more place to consider. Laurie Excell has a good reputation. She gets a cut of 20% plus expenses. She also provides an estimate of value. I think you already have the details to submit the worksheet.

http://www.equipmentlady.com/index.html

Using this approach, you could easily calculate the cost for any item you want to buy. And you know how much negotiating room you have through other channels.

Eric Bowles
Nikonians Team
My Gallery
Workshops - Smokies Oct 2012

Nikonians membership — my most important photographic investment, after the camera

Nitehawk5169

Williamstown, US
347 posts

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#16. "RE: How Would You Do This?" | In response to Reply # 4

Nitehawk5169 Registered since 22nd Feb 2010
Thu 18-Oct-12 08:01 PM

Laddie,

<Hey....she is a widow! I'm not interested a percent of the sales! Sometimes we just help folks because it is the right thing to do!>

This is only one of the reasons I think, "Your The Man"!!

Mike

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G