Selling your Camera Gear with KEH


This post may contain affiliate links.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from
qualifying purchases. (Disclosures)

This post may contain affiliate links. (Disclosures)
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Selling your Camera Gear with Keh

As your photography skills improve, you may be looking to trade-in to trade-up on your camera equipment. I tried out the KEH Camera Sell your Gear process and found the process to be a cinch.

France Paris - View of Louvre

Paris, France – The Louvre
Photo: Canon 6d with Canon 16-35mm F/2.8 L II USM EF Mount Lens (New purchase from KEH)

The older I get and the more I travel, the more streamlined I want my life to be, especially with my camera equipment and technology. I would not say I fall into the category of minimalist, but I certainly do not like or want things hanging around if they are not needed or used. And let’s face it, technology equipment loses value fast. So it’s important to sell it quickly if you are not going to use it.
In late 2016, I made the decision to upgrade from a crop-frame Canon Rebel T3i, my first DSLR camera, to the full-frame Canon 6D. My decision was two-fold.

First, my Canon Rebel T3i had earned its retirement. I had traveled with it for almost 3 years taking 100-200 pictures a day. The shutter was starting to stick and I knew it was near it’s 100,000 frame expected lifetime. For the ~$378 I spent for it including the lens, it had certainly been worth the money. That’s less than half a penny per picture. This camera had been with me to 40+ countries, countless flights, trains, cars, and let’s be honest, a few drops.

The second reason, my photography skills were progressing and I was ready for the next level of DSLRs. I no longer used the Automatic option, and was well on my way upgrading my photography knowledge of aperture, shutter speed and other functions.

I had already purchased by Canon 6D and 2 lenses (the nifty 50 and Canon 24-70mm f/2.8) when I went on the hunt to offload my old camera and lenses that were no longer compatible with the full frame camera.  I also wanted to streamline the numbers lenses I carried.

This is where I turned to KEH to trade in my gear. The process was rather simple and straightforward.

France Musee D'Orsay view of Seine

Paris, France – Musee D’Orsay view of the Louvre.
Photo: Canon EOS Rebel T3i with Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens

Keh Camera Gear Trade-in Process

On the KEH website under SELL GEAR, you can quickly enter in your equipment including lenses and camera bodies.  With each item, you give it a condition rating based on a set of criteria.  My lenses were in pretty good shape, my camera… not so much.  I rated them according to the KEH rating system, a quote was generated and I shipped my equipment.

The list of original equipment I would be trading in included:

  • Camera & Lens 1: Canon EOS Rebel T3i 18 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera and DIGIC 4 Imaging with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens
    • Purchased new in Jan 2014 for $378.73
  • Lens 2: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon Digital SLR Cameras
    • Purchased new in Jan 2014 for $201.13
  • Lens 3: Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Digital Zoom Lens (for Canon EOS Cameras)
    • Purchased new in Jan 2016 for $450
  • Lens 4: Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
    • Purchased in May 2016 for $279

Total value of new equipment: $1,308.86

Sell your Gear with KEH Camera

A few weeks later, I received an email from KEH with my quote.  I had a few questions about their ratings and gave them a call where a technician walked me through each item.

My rating for the four lenses and camera were fair for the amount of wear & tear my equipment had seen over the years.

  • Lens 1 & 2: The first two lenses were from the original Canon Rebel T3i kit.  These lenses have seen 3 solid years of action and traveled to 40+ countries. They still rated Excellent condition and had a trade in value $50.
  • Lens 3: The Tokina lens rated Excellent Plus. I likely did not get as much value out of my Tokina lens but this was part of my decision to streamline my equipment.  I spent $450 on it new and received $200 in the trade-in.
  • Lens 4: The wide lens I had purchased handled a lot of photography over a 2016 summer trip to Europe. I could have gotten a lot more mileage out of it, but it did not fit my full-frame, so again a decision to streamline my lens collection. It also had a significant nick on the lens rim from getting run over in Chillon Castle in Switzerland and dropping my entire camera. The nick meant that it would not longer accept filters and that down-graded the rating. C’est la vie!
  • Camera: Their review found several issues with my camera body that needed some significant repairs. It was only given a value of $37.   I decided to have the camera body shipped back for free and would give it to someone who could play around with it until it officially died.  A photographer’s pay it forward.

So in total my equipment trade-in value for the four lenses was $362 and I received a bonus for putting it on a gift card for a trade-in for a total of $381.15.  I received an email with a unique gift card code and was ready to shop!   

Sell your Gear with KEH Camera

Keh Camera Trade-In Shopping

With my credit from the 4 lenses I sold, I was able to apply it to the purchase of my a wide lens on KEH.

  • Canon 16-35mm F/2.8 L II USM EF Mount Lens {82} – With Caps – Excellent Plus

This lens was a refurbished and certified trade-in and I have been extremely happy with the quality.

This process was so simple.  I picked out my new lens, applied the credit, paid the difference and received my new lens in the mail in a few days. As I about to leave on a trip, I opted for the more expensive two day shipping. The KEH check-out process provides several options for shipping.

Keh Sell your Gear and Purchase Summary

Overall, I found the KEH trade-in program straightforward and fair. I shopped the value of my lenses with other trade-in programs on the market and all pricing was competitive.  A few lenses got me a few more dollars and a few less on other programs. The trade-in extra credit was really the kicker for me which cemented my decision to use KEH for my camera trade-in.

My one caution is that the entire process does take a few weeks.  This is the same as for other programs as well. Between shipping your equipment, getting the quote done, asking a few questions and then getting your gift card, there is a few weeks turn-around dependent on the amount of orders in queue.  They do a very thorough job of checking the equipment, which I appreciate as a buyer, but give the process the time needed for both the sell portion of the order and then the buy portion.

In total, I spent net $927.71 over 3 years and 2 months on my photography hobby.  It’s generated well over that in income from my blog, photography, etc. and has been a creative outlet that I desperately needed after leaving Corporate America.  When I calculate that my hobby has cost me $24.41 per month… well let’s just say that’s a lot less than my coffee bill per month – though we all might say that is therapy also.

The cost of my photography equipment will increase over the upcoming years as I continue to increase my skills and desire for more specific & more expensive equipment, but I will be using KEH again to facilitate my upgrades to lessen my overall costs and also re-cycle equipment.

A great value any way you look at it!

BlueSkyTraveler worked with KEH Camera to review their camera equipment trade-in program, however all opinions are my own. This article contains affiliate links and I will receive compensation if you click and purchase. Thank you for your support and I hope you found the information of value to you.

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