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Old August 21st, 2015, 02:24 AM   #1
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Thinking of buying a second hand camera

Never bought second hand and I'm worried that the camera might have been a stolen one. Is there a way to check a serial number?
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Old August 21st, 2015, 10:22 AM   #2
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Re: Thinking of buying a second hand camera

Start asking questions. Where'd you get it? How long did you use it? What did you buy that you're selling this one? If you get answers, it's a legit camera.
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Old August 21st, 2015, 11:56 AM   #3
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Re: Thinking of buying a second hand camera

Is there a way to check a serial number? That is a good question.

Havenít found any good government site where serial numbers can be checked but there are some private sites that try and collect information where people can post serial numbers of their stolen cam. Unfortunately, itís a hassle checking them and if one has to give out personal information to log in then who knows how good or safe the site is.

In the case of Sony USA, in one case I did call them, I think tech support, with a serial number question of a cam I was looking at and they checked their database and found it was unregistered. Unfortunately (again), this doesnít mean it wasnít stolen, only that it was never registered and a lot of people donít register their gear. He did give me the date of manufacture so I could compare it with what the seller was telling me. He suggested asking to see the original sales tag (a good idea) but for the more consumer cams how many people keep their sales tags? In this case the seller said they didnít have it.

If the cam being advertised doesnít have some of the accessories, like the OEM charger, lens hood, owners manual, etc., that can be suspicious. If the price is really low and the seller says they need the money itís probably because they didnít want to run the ad very long in case the original owner discovered it.

Like Mike says, asking questions and trying to get a good feeling about the deal. If theyíre nervous it could be a sign, or, maybe theyíre just on drugs.

With a more pro-model cam thatís used for business I think it would be easier in one respect because the seller should keep a receipt for their tax records.

Iíve bought a lot of used gear over the years and havenít got burned yet; however, there is always a first time.

Hereís an thought: If buying a used cam one needs to make sure the functions work. Take some video while talking about it, recording the audio, and include a picture of the seller in the video. If they donít like that then, for sure, donít buy it.
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Old August 21st, 2015, 11:56 AM   #4
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Re: Thinking of buying a second hand camera

Also try to find out what sorta video work they did. Google their name/email/ph#. You should be able to tell just by their answers & interest level.
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Old August 21st, 2015, 12:35 PM   #5
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Re: Thinking of buying a second hand camera

Is there something that's making you suspicious right off the bat?

While I've never personally bought a used camera, I have bought lots of other stuff that's used (through Ebay and CL) and have never had any concerns myself.

I know if buying "grey market" there are concerns, as someone shared a story from petapixel where a guy bought a "new" Nikon, but he had to send it in for service and Nikon told him the SNs on body and FW didn't match...

As noted earlier, ask a lot of questions, do some google work and see if the guys stories match up etc. That's about all you can do.
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Old August 24th, 2015, 09:13 AM   #6
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Re: Thinking of buying a second hand camera

Nothing making me feel dodgy! The seller insisted on talking by text - it turns out he is partially deaf, so it was his preferred method of chatting. Very nice chap, bought the camera!
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