My Experience at a KEH Camera Buying Event

I was so excited to see that KEH had scheduled a local buying event right in my own neighborhood! I’ve seen their posts for buying events on Facebook for the last couple of years, but I never had any gear to sell. This time I did have some gear that I wanted to let go of (thanks Marie Kondo!).

I gathered an interesting collection of items t to offer them. I was curious to see if they would be interested in some older gear (an old, well-used XA2), as well as some newer plastic cameras (like a Diana), and even a Nikon SLR that just wasn’t getting much use in my collection. I was also intrigued to meet the buyer and see what the overall process would be like.

I packed my gear into a bag and headed to meet them at a local camera store. The store had a sign set up to let me know I was in the right place, as well as lots of chairs for the sellers to wait in. To my surprise, there was a very crowded room when I arrived, and I was a little concerned about how long the process would take with so many people. Some had boxes of gear, others just a lens in a box, or a camera body. There was an incredibly diverse spread of gear around the room. From Leica’s to very vintage Kodak to nearly new digital gear. I put some time into cleaning and testing my gear at home before going, which they recommend.

To help expedite the buying process, a gentleman approached me and asked if he could quickly test the function of any gear in my bag. He turned each camera on, tested flashes, checked screens, etc. Don’t forget batteries, so they can successfully confirm that gear is functioning. One young guy brought a few camera bodies with no batteries, but the gentleman scurried to find a battery to use so they could test the cameras for him.

While the wait was a little on the long side, we didn’t mind sitting and watching all the cool gear go by. John Izumi, the KEH buyer, got through a lot of gear in front of us in a short amount of time.

When my turn came, I sat down across from John, and put my gear out on the table. John looked over the gear and confirmed with the other gentlemen that it was all working. He did some data entry on an iPad, and very quickly offered me a price on each item. I did get a chuckle over the plastic cameras, but he gave me a very fair price on them! I went in expecting a certain amount for what I had to sell, and he honestly came out significantly above what I expected. That was a great surprise!

Regarding the payment, he offered a to write a check that I could take straight to the bank. He also offered a 10% bonus on the amount if I preferred a store credit to use that same day at the local store. That’s a great bonus if you are looking to trade-in for an upgrade or other gear!

The process of selling my 4 cameras at the table took less than 15 minutes, and it was fun chatting with the buyer about some of the gear and his travels. He made clear that I had the option of selling everything, or only certain items, or none at all. I happily accepted the offer and took a check for gear.

You can trust that these buyers know what they are looking at, and also have a database at hand to assist with the offer. They are clear and up front and there was no haggling on prices from what I saw. This was such an easy way to go make some quick cash, while giving another life to some unwanted gear from my stash. The entire process was easy fast, and even fun!

I’d definitely attend another event should I opt to get rid of any gear in the future. If you subscribe to the KEH emails, you’ll know when an event near you is coming. You can also keep an eye on the KEH Events page for an event to pop up in your neighborhood, then go make some easy money! And don’t forget your battery!

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