Canon Photographers Biggest Secret Exposed

Canon Photographers Biggest Secret Exposed

A couple months ago, I made a post explaining the uses of the Canon Professional Services that is available to all Canon photographers using more than a couple pieces of professional equipment. The post got some backlash from some non-Canon users, exclaiming that their service was nothing special. Well, I'm back again, to drop the bomb on what makes it a class above the rest.

Canon Loyalty Program

Odds are, you probably haven't heard of this feature. That is because Canon does not advertise it anymore, however the program is still very much still intact. What it is, is a program that enables you to get an additional 20% off of refurbished Camera Bodies.


The Canon Loyalty Program provides the opportunity to trade in old or broken Canon gear in exchange for a discounted price on a Canon DSLR. The program initially required the product you trade in to be broken (Which meant you just had to drop it a few times before shipping), but then changed to simply being out of warranty. Rumors say that this recently changed to broken digital cameras, but some people still claim to have used film cameras.

What Camera Bodies Are Available?

Canon 60D (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 60D with 18-135 IS Kit Lens (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 60D with 18-200 IS Kit Lens (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 7D (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 5D Mark II (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 5D Mark III (As of May 18th 2013)

What Are The Prices?

Canon 60D - $639.99 (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 60D with 18-135 IS Kit Lens - $831.36 (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 60D with 18-200 IS Kit Lens - $894.99 (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 7D - $1,023.36 (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 5D Mark II - $1,583.28 (As of May 18th 2013)
Canon 5D Mark III - $2,379.33 - (As of May 18th 2013)

The Process

Enrolling into this program is simple. The two requirements are that
1.) You do have a broken or out of warranty Canon product to return to them.
2.) You have not used this program more than 3 times.

Now to use this feature, you simply call the CLP number that is 1 (866) 443 8002. Then select Option 2. This number is open 7 days a week, 8:00AM til Midnight Eastern Time.

At that point, they'll tell you the availability of which camera you’re seeking and likely get a serial number for the broken camera gear you'll be sending in. (Tip - eBay and Craigslist is always filled with broken Canon digital cameras for under $50). Then they'll get a mailing address from you, and a credit card number (if one is not already on file) to process your order. You can expect your refurbished camera to arrive in the mail within 5 business days.

More Info

What is included with the camera?
Everything you'd expect from a camera purchased in the refurbished Canon store. Your camera will arrive in a white Refurbished labeled box, with a complete set of accessories (battery, charger, strap, cables, CD, manuals, etc).

What does "Refurbished Camera" mean?
Refurbished is a vague term used for any item that was brought back to Canon for any reason. These reasons can include -- dealer overstocks, damaged packaging returns, test units pulled from production, and customer returns. All refurbished cameras are calibrated and hand inspected from a Canon tech, and in most cases cannot be distinguished from a brand new product. The large majority of the cameras purchased from Canon's refurbished system have well under 1,000 shutter actuations.

What is the warranty?
The warranty included with all refurbished Canon gear is a 90 day warranty program. All servicing within those 90 days must be done through Canon. Any Out of Box issues will be address by Canon with a replacement. Aside from the 90 day warranty from Canon, many third party warranty programs such as SquareTrade will be able to offer a 1-5 year warranty on all CLP products.

I don't own any broken Canon products that would be eligible for this program, how can I still enroll?
I'd check Craigslist/eBay and purchase a broken Canon point and shoot. That camera should be eligible for exchange as part of this program. Please note that the quality of the camera you purchase does not yield a higher discount. An old Point and Shoot will yield the same discount as a broken Canon 5d Mark II.

How is my camera shipped?
Standard shipping is FedEx Ground. If you are in a hurry, you will have the option of either 2nd Day shipping for an additional charge of $24.99, or Next Business Day shipping for an additional charge of $34.99. Shipment will be "Signature Required" (You will be warned that FedEx will NOT leave it at your door if no one is home). Shipping cutoff is around noon Eastern, so if you order early morning and there are no credit issues to hold you order, chances are your camera will ship the same day.

Are Lenses or Flashes available?
Reports have came in where people are able to purchase one additional refurbished lens, and one refurbished Speedlight from the following list with the same discount. Please note, this is only available with the purchase of a Canon camera body.

EF 17-40 f4 L
EF 24-105 f4 L IS
EF 28-135 f3.5 IS
EF 50mm f1.4
EF 50mm f1.8
EF 70-200 f2.8L IS USM II
EF 70-300 f4-5.6 (Non-L)
EF 75-300 f4-5.6
EF 85mm f1.8
EFS 10-22 f3.5-4.5
EFS 18-135 f3.5-5.6 IS
EFS 18-200 f3.5-5.6 IS
EFS 55-250 f4-5.6 IS
EF 2x Extender II
Speedlight 430 EXII

These prices are set at 20% off the refurbished price that can be found in their refurbished store. It is believed that each of these purchases qualify towards your 3 item limit.

How long will this program last?
No one has any idea. Canon started this program in 2010, and has not published any expiration date for this program, nor have they advertised this program in any way. Articles like this are likely only shortening its life however, so act quickly.

Can I check availability of cameras without calling?
Of course you can. Simply go to the Refurbished store on Canon's website to check the availability of the products they have.

Am I limited to the amount of times I can use this program?
Yes. You may only enroll into this program a total of 3 times.

Is this program available to people outside the US?
Sadly, no.  This program is currently only available to people located in the United States, however Canon Canada has been considering putting together a similar program.

Do you have personal experience with this program?
Yes, I do. I purchased a Canon 7D from this program about 2 years ago. The camera I received was in absolutely mint condition, with the plastic covers on the screen still intact. I did a shutter count check on the camera, and found that it had a total shutter count of 27.


PSA : I'm STILL not endorsed, sponsored or paid by Canon in anyway whatsoever. 

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Clinton Blackburn's picture

Are you sure about the CPS membership requirement? I made CLP purchases before I joined CPS. As most recently as December of last year I called to ask about prices and at no time was I asked about CPS membership.

Luke Schneider's picture

Great to know seeing as I have been considering either a 6D or 5DIII, now with the refurbished and CPS deal I think I can swing the 5DIII!

Lukas Biba's picture

Nice, but not in the Czech republic:-( We have CPS here, but there is no advantage from membership.

Michael Willems's picture

How did you do the shutter count?

BDWT's picture

There are websites and exif readers online that allow you to upload a photo taken with your camera and it will tell you a ton of info that's hidden in your files, including shutter count.

Micke Andersson's picture

This URL shows a really good and working software to read out the accurate shutter count from most cameras, that I been used quite some time, this software works in Mac OS X and Linux, surely there is a port into Windows if thats your OS.

Lloyd Grace's picture

So is this what makes Canon owners the most condescending and snobbish of all?

BDWT's picture

I really don't think there is a condescending or snobbish vibe specifically from Canon users, I think it's between all users and all brands. It's a feeling that's buried in those who are insecure about their brand commitment so their instinctive reaction is to defend their choices and depending on the person, that comes in the form of bullying other brands and their users.

I thought, we (the people of the internet and photo blogs) had unanimously agreed that Nikon and Canon were pretty much on par with each other now. Let's drop this whole who's better than who debate and just focus on actually using our gear.

Gia J's picture


Lloyd Grace's picture

I don't know what blogs you frequent, but the dozen I used to go to were nauseating. This is one of the few that I spend time with anymore because I'm sick of the attitude. I will never understand how a purchase decision makes you a superior person, but that was certainly the implication. Kinda like Mac users.

BDWT's picture

"Kinda like mac users"? That sounds as aggressive as your Canon comment, as if you're fuelling for another endless, senseless debate about which is better. At the end of the day we all spend too much money on products that can all do the same thing, let's leave it at that.

Lloyd Grace's picture

Not fueling - just stating sad facts. I AGREE. You need something, you make a choice, you buy it. End of story. But there ARE those who will belittle anyone that didn't buy what THEY bought as if you're some kind of moron. Their superiority complex tells me how insecure they really are but the attitude exists and I'm sick of it. I'm 59 years old and have been a photographer for 31 years - not a newb.

Dood you killed it... :)

Justin Haugen's picture

I own Canon but shoot Nikon at my day job. It's all tools to me.

William T.'s picture

Is it available internationally?

BDWT's picture

Apparently not.

C S's picture

CPS is not a requirement. I used this program 2 years before I was in CPS. Also keep in mind that not all items in the refurbished store are available in the loyalty program. They take items on and off.

Geoff's picture

Really informative post, and I can see how this is a nice way that Canon are supporting their users. It seems to me that the scheme is meant to help out loyal customers as a piece of goodwill when their kit breaks. So I personally don't like the advice of buying knackered kit online just so I could use this scheme to get a bargain. I don't think it'll last very long if people start trying to use it this way

BDWT's picture

Once again, Canadian consumers get shafted.

James Jenkins's picture

Which is really unfair when you consider that they already had the misfortune of being born in Canada. ;-)

...I kid, I kid.

Gia J's picture


BDWT's picture

Hahah, got me there. At least I can still cross border shop while our dollar is on par! If I lived closer to the border I'd probably drive down for groceries too!

daniel Rodriguez's picture

does it need to be a camera or could it be a lens that you return in as broken?

Martin's picture

Come on Canon UK, plenty of us photographers would use this service if it was offered to us here in the UK

Brian Hursey's picture

I did this about a year ago with my Canon 60D. Got a refurbished 60D body for 639.. It had a total shutter count of 4 clicks. It was a complete mint kit except it came and a plain white box. You only get a 60D warranty and can not return it just because you don't like it. However its totally worth it. I traded in a broken canon P&S A70 that my daughter had in her toy box. They did not even require to read of the S/N which was good because it had warn off.

Webitect's picture

Canon Singapore has this, for years now also, body only I think. Not a secret and unit can be in any working conditions (last I checked). You don't need to be a member of CPS to use this feature and the unit you are buying is new, not refurb. I think what you can trade in and what is available for purchase is limited to a range of items.

Evalani Stockton-Nieto's picture

Thank you for the post! I just bought a Canon mark iii :) I would have spent more somewhere else! Thank Fstoppers you rock my socks!

Spy Black's picture

20% off to buy used gear. Yeah, that's special...

Clinton Blackburn's picture

My 5D Mark III cost $2500--compared to $2900 at Amazon--and had only 50 actuations! Canon does an amazing job of refurbishing their products. Usually refurbished just means a customer returned the item and Canon could no longer legally sell it as new.

alg1000's picture

So the replacements are "refurbished"? I am not paying $2000+ on refurbished! That's crap...

mingyang sun's picture

I purchased a Canon 5D II two years ago with CLP, at that time the price was $1800 (shutter count was 34...almost new! )...I can't believe the price now is only $250 cheaper than 2 yrs ago...

OstentatiousFilms's picture

What sort of information do they ask for when you register? I'm not a US citizen but will be there for a few weeks, would love to get in on the deal ;)

Jenne Chanthaboury's picture

Don’t get mad about not having it in your area; I just spoke to a rep from the program 3 minutes ago. You get a maximum of $60 off your refurbished item. That is not as amazing as a program as they’re trying to make it sound. You’re better off buying a new body somewhere else unless you really can use the extra $60