The New Way to Buy Gear: Make Money, Save the Planet, Get Your Kit

The New Way to Buy Gear: Make Money, Save the Planet, Get Your Kit

The industry has been putting out some really hard-to-resist gear these last few years. Ever since Sony released the a7 mirrorless line, it’s been a tsunami of gear upgrade options that seem too good to pass by. Whether it’s the new tack-sharp, image-stabilized Canon RF lenses, the 61-megapixel Sony a7R IV, or the new "creator-ready" Nikon Z 30, it’s not just a case of “Shiny Object Syndrome”: these developments in technology really do reflect in the quality of the work creatives can produce. That’s where MPB comes in.

If you haven’t heard of MPB yet (do you live under a rock?) they are the world’s largest online platform for used photo and video kit.

MPB specialist inspects a camera.

Founded in 2011, they recirculate more than 300,500 items of used kit a year. They buy modern photo and video kit, including DSLRs, video, compact systems, mirrorless, action, digital rangefinder and digital medium format cameras, as well as most lenses and flashguns. The brands they carry include Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm, Panasonic, Olympus, GoPro, Blackmagic Design, RED, Leica, Hasselblad, Phase One, and many more.

Have you ever bought used gear?

Some creatives hesitate to buy used gear. I have bought both used and new. The truth is, I’ve found the used gear to be a better value. One of the offerings that sets MPB apart from the competition is that after every piece is inspected by their product specialists. Your purchase also comes with a six-month warranty. They want to give their customers peace of mind that buying used doesn’t mean sacrificing reliability. In addition to buying new gear, you can sell your gear with MPB. Many creatives love using MPB as an all-in-one selling and buying stop to upgrade their kit. 

How Selling to MPB works

Step One: Get Your Quote and a Box

You, as a seller, will fill in an online form for an instant quote on your kit. MPB will make their initial quote based on the information you provide them on this form. The next step is to package your gear for inspection. MPB makes the process convenient with free doorstep pickup. Next, their product specialists will check your kit and confirm its condition. Based on this, they may adjust your quote up or down; most of the time, it stays the same. You can then accept or decline this final quote. Selling is commitment-free until the final sale is made.

Step Two: Get Paid

After MPB checks the items and confirms the quote, they will send the money to your bank account within two days.

Additionally, getting a quote from MPB is commitment-free. You can change your mind at any point in the selling process, right up until when they pay you for your kit. Another reason to buy used is that it’s better for the planet.

How long do you think it takes for electronics to decompose? The consensus among ecological studies is unanimous: it takes one to two million years for electronics to decompose. Trading in not only provides money for your purchase, but it helps keep our landscapes intact for the next generation of photographers.

If preserving the planet, making money, and upgrading your gear sounds too good to be true, you can check it out for yourself on their website or their Instagram page.

I know where I’m going for my next purchase! 

What are your thoughts on buying used gear? Have you ever bought used? What was your experience? Share in the comments below. 

Michelle VanTine's picture

Michelle creates scroll-stopping images for amazing brands and amazing people. She works with businesses, public figures, sports & products. Titled “Top Sports Photographers in Miami” in 2019 (#5) and 2020 (#4), she was the only female on the list both years. Follow the fun on IG @michellevantinephotography @sportsphotographermiami

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I purchased three lenses from the Canon Refurb shop. All three looked like they hadn't been used. I wouldn't hesitate to buy used from the likes of MPB or KEH though I never have. I did sell to KEH and it was a good transaction.

Thanks for the feedback. I've bought refurbished from Canon and unfortunately, I had to send it back. Shockingly I've bought successfully new from Ebay, but I always feel very on edge as there's no backing. I think next time I'll try MPB. I loved that it has a 6-month guarantee.

I will never use MPB again. I have traded and purchased from them several times and everything was ok until it wasn't. First, you should know that they have an explicit policy not to return any of your items to you after you agree to a that was really awful to find out after I sent them 3 lenses and 2 bodies for 1 lens (Canon 50mm 1.2L) that arrived to me not working at all right out of the box-- so obviously not working that anyone who picked it up would have realized it. The motor was squealing loudly, and the aperture did not work, could only shoot 1.2. I told them immediately and still there is no way to get your trade items back. If this was communicated up front, I would have opted to sell instead of trade. Second, their customer service is terrible. They really give you the run-around, do not follow up with email or any official ticketing system if you are even lucky enough to get on the phone with someone. Over the course of 1 whole month trying to get refunded for my defective lens, I was NEVER allowed to speak to a manager and was always told he was not around or was too busy. Nobody called me back, nobody emailed. It all felt very scammy and I was left very disappointed. I don't trust them as camera gear professionals or customer service professionals and could absolutely never recommend them after my experience. Look them up on Better Business Bureau-- compared to KEH who've been in business far longer, MPB has many more complaints... KEH is accredited, MPB is not.

Hi Sam, we're really sorry to see you were not happy with your trade-in service and want to help find a positive outcome for you. Please could you send us a private message so we can locate your details?

In Europe, MPB is as expensive as grey market new gear (if not more expensive). So you really need to want to save the planet! If you are not lucky, you might even get some used grey market gear? Then, the manufacturer might even refuse to repair it if needed. I wonder though if MPB check the origin of the gear?