We’ve all got that piece of gear that we don’t know what to do with.
We bought it on a whim because, well, “I’ll find a use for it somewhere.”
Or, “That’ll be handy on so many projects.”
Now, four years down the line, the piece of gear is not only not getting used, but it’s rapidly declining in dollar value.
What to do?
Selling Video Production Equipment
When I get hold of video production equipment, I don’t have any intentions of getting rid of it. I want to keep things as long as I can. I still believe that there are a lot of video production owners who have the same attitude when it comes to buying gear.
The downside is I only get to use 25% of everything I have while the remaining 75% stay in the studio and lose their value every day.
I have so much stuff that I barely use all of it. I only get value out of the gear that I frequently use on projects. The other stuff only accumulates dust while they are stashed away.
While figuring out how to eliminate expenses in my studio, I saw that my girlfriend kept on selling her old clothing, precious jewelry and other items on eBay.
That was my realization point. I knew that I had to sell the video equipment that I wasn’t making use of.
Why must I sell video production equipment?
I mentioned lots of times on the site that I’m not a ‘next shiny object’ kinda guy, and that so many people in the film/video communities seem to have an unhealthy obsession with gear.
It’s a combination of keeping up with the Jonses and a reliance on gear to make up for technical inadequacies, when you should just be getting your filmmaking skills up to par.
Video production equipment assets depreciate over time. If I decided to sell my computer last year rather than this year, I would have been able to sell it at $300 to $500 higher.
I have cameras, software, video and audio cables, speakers and a lot more that can sustain three to four studios. That’s how much excess equipment I have.
If you are trying to think of ideas to make money because:
- you need a bit of extra cash.
- work is a little slow right now (happens to the best of us).
- you want to fund an equipment purchase that really will make a difference to your bottom line.
- or for any other reason…
…take a look at your studio, find things that you want to keep and consider selling the rest.
Furniture and fixtures, old cameras and other filmmaking equipment that has been lying in your studio for a couple of years have to be sold. If you think that they will not be useful to you anymore, consider selling/giving away.
Think of it this way: if you haven’t used something in 2 years, when’s the next time you might use it?
For most people, 2 years is a kind of cut-off point. If you haven’t gotten value from the equipment in the last two years, it’s unlikely you will in the next two years.
Therefore, it’s time to sell it.
A Practical Example
A friend of mine recently made $30000 selling superfluous gear. He didn’t have the time to make detailed listings and post them on eBay or Craigslist, though. So he ended up giving the task to an intern.
Although there’s a benefit in this strategy, be cautious not to sell something that is being used as collateral on your current bank loan.
If you don’t know, take the advice of your accountant. Ask for your options.
Depreciated assets listed in your records also have different tax computations. Make sure that you talk to your accountant about this as well, in order to avoid any discrepancies with your video production equipment listings.
If everything works out right and you decide you have a few items knocking around that could be more valuable to someone else…it’s time to sell.
But where do you go to sell video production equipment?
Places to sell
There are a few obvious places that you’ve no doubt used in the past to buy and sell. Then there are a few more specific services that allow for the buying and selling of video production gear.
Here’s a short list of paces that you can sell video production equipment:
Most people will be familiar with buying from the first two (eBay and Amazon), but these services also have robust systems that allow you to sell used goods on their platforms.
Setting up accounts with eBay and Amazon are simple and most people reading this will already have one for buying. You can use your account to setup your listings, add photos and a detailed description to capture attention of your would-be buyers.
Most people have heard of Craglists, a site that remains one of the biggest portals for localized buying/selling of goods and services. Every major city around the world has a Craigslist portal, which will allow you to sell used equipment, setup a detailed description and field offers.
The last two on the list (CVP and B&H) are two of the biggest buyers/sellers of video production, filmmaking and photography equipment in the world. They have offices all over the world, but if you’re USA and UK based especially, they offer a safe, industry-standard mode of buying and selling equipment.
If you are selling somewhere else, protect yourself and your clients by using a bill of sale – it’s easy to create (for example, here is online bill of sale form) and it will protect both sides’ interests in case any questions arise
The detailed review systems on these industry specialized sites add that extra level of authenticity, too.
I’ve included Gumtree as a sixth option at the end of the list. As far as I know, it’s UK only company, but for UK readers it’s another great source for selling equipment within your local area (and further afield, if that’s what you want to do.)
Gumtree is also notable for being a company owned by eBay, so you have the security and comfort of knowing you’re covered by an international company with a reputation for looking after its sellers.
I hope you’ve found this article on how to sell video production equipment helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments below. And please use the share buttons to share this post on your social media accounts.