Buying used gear: What happens if the gear breaks down?

Buying used gear: What happens if the gear breaks down?

There is no doubt buying used gear is a great way to save money. There are certain hesitations and anxieties related to purchasing used gear. My MPB experience helped me to understand what happens if the gear breaks down.

When I am exploring my options on used gear, the first thing that goes through my mind is, “I wonder why they got rid of (the item)?” The following is my personal experience with purchasing used gear from MPB.

I am writing this article from my own experience with MPB. All opinions are my own.

Buying used gear: Choosing where to buy from

Let’s be honest, there are several retailers who sell used gear. First, there is B&H Photo Video, followed by KEH, and then for me MPB. There are many others, but these are the ones I have had the most experience with. I have been known to peruse all their selections from time to time. I became familiar with MPB from their ads in photography magazines. A friend of mine who has a history with MPB, suggested I give them a try.

Familiarize yourself with the return policies, most give you up to 2 weeks to return the item. With that in mind, read their warranty repair sections. They vary from 90days to 6 months. Both of these are very important to know if something goes wrong with your gear.

Buying used gear: What happens if it breaks down?

I am always buying, selling and trading up. Since the 1970’s, I have purchased used gear. My first pro camera was a Nikon F. I loved that camera! I bought it from a local man who no longer wanted it. Fast forward to now…I was upgrading my gear and decided I wanted a smaller, lighter-weight, backup camera to take with me on trips. I prefer to have 2 bodies with me when I travel, you know, just in case something goes wrong.

Searching for the right gear

My search lead me to MPB. I was serious about the Lumix G100. The camera is micro 4/3 and the lenses are compatible with my Olympus system. When the Lumix G100 originally came out, I was following a photographer who used it exclusively. I knew then, I had to have one. Made for vloggers, which I am not, the video capabilities are great, but I liked the image quality.

Originally, I looked at B&H and then KEH, but they were selling it bundled with a lens and tripod kit, which I did not need. I went to MPB and they were selling body only. I clicked BUY and excitedly waited for my new little camera to arrive.

The packaging that MPB uses is awesome! It arrived safe and sound in its personal cocoon; fully protected for the journey.

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Photo by ShareGrid on UnSplash

Then it happened

I had the camera for about a month before I could really play around with it. I took it out one morning and I noticed the electronic viewfinder (EVF) was distorted. It was a misty, cool morning and I suspected maybe I had condensation on my lens. In a little bit it cleared and started working as it should.

The following week, I took it on a day trip and the EVF was not functioning the way it should. I could not visualize my composition or tell if my exposure was correct. I was dismayed by this, thinking I had no recourse in the situation. The camera was used after all. I liked the camera, but not being able to use the EVF was troubling.

My friend told me to look at MPB’s warranty/repair policy. What a relief to find out the policy was 6 months. I immediately emailed MPB my problem and a copy of my receipt. In about 72 hours, I received a reply. While I could not return the item (beyond 14 days), I could send the camera in for a repair/replace option.

Buying used from MPB
My little Lumix G100. A great addition to my gear.

Easy process

MPB emailed a shipping label. The camera was packaged and returned to them. Again, within about 72 hours, I had a reply. They were sending out a replacement right away. Within about 4 working days, I had my “new” camera. This time I did not wait to play around with it!

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Photo by Jeff Hopper on UnSplash

Buying used gear: Final thoughts

Knowing and understanding the return and warranty/repair policies is a benefit to buying used. In my opinion, buying used is a great option if you desire an item that compliments your gear. If you are into vintage, buying used is definitely the way to go.

Having had this experience with MPB, I definitely will purchase from them again. The experience was no hassle. Customer service was easy to work with. They communicated well every step of the way. Bottomline: Read the small print, you’ll be happy that you did. Also, do not delay, as I did, trying out that new gear.