Spring Clean Your Gear by Selling to MPB

Spring Clean Your Gear by Selling to MPB

Have you got equipment you don’t use? Do you need to upgrade your gear bag? There are surprising reasons why MPB is the answer to clearing your clutter, bringing in some welcome cash, and enhancing the tools of your visual storytelling craft.

Why You Should Use MPB

You have probably heard of MPB, even if you haven’t used it. It has an excellent reputation in second-hand camera and lens retail. It’s a service I’ve used myself both to buy and sell gear. But there’s a lot more to the business than you might realize.

MPB is not a marketplace. We’ve all heard horror stories of buyers defrauding sellers, and sellers cheating buyers by abusing the inadequate protections in place on those websites. Then, there are the hefty commission charges now levied, and those costs are often hidden; we only find out when it's too late. There’s also the increased risk of buying stolen goods that can later be repossessed when using those unmoderated channels. Goods bought that way rarely come with guarantees, either.

In comparison, MPB’s trustworthiness is a breath of fresh air. If you have equipment that you no longer use and want to sell it, then it is much safer to sell it to MPB than via online auctions and marketplaces. They buy our redundant gear. Then, they sell or trade this used photography and videography equipment to their other customers.  

Selling and Trading Your Gear With MPB

It’s an easy process to sell or trade your gear. In fact, you can do so without even leaving your home. After entering the equipment’s details and condition on the MPB platform you get an instant free quote from MPB that is valid for fourteen days; there is no difficult negotiation process. Once you accept it, the parcel you send it in is collected for free; MPB never adds hidden fees.

The prices MPB offers and sets for selling are based on a data-driven dynamic pricing engine, software that looks at supply and demand. It constantly studies wider market data and different pricing factors, positioning values accordingly. The age and popularity of the model, brand, or product type, plus the cosmetic condition of the gear, affect both the purchase and selling prices. Therefore, it can offer a fair price both to sellers and buyers. A team of product specialists then evaluates each piece of equipment, ensuring it meets their required standards.

MPB will buy and sell most brands and models of camera.

Buying Equipment from MPB

That pricing process means that, on average, you can buy gear at around a third less than the current new retail value. Meanwhile, those who want to pass on equipment get an average of $900 each time they sell to MPB. In other words, it’s a fair system. You are not going to be cheated by being offered too little when you sell your gear or paying too much when buying.

Buying from the MPB Platform is safe and easy. The photos on the platform are of the actual item you are buying and not generic images, so you can inspect the equipment. There may be a variety of options for a particular model depending on its cosmetic condition and previous use; the better the condition the higher the value. There is a shipping fee to add, but this is reasonable and reflects the cost of an insured courier service.

Importantly, the equipment you buy from MPB comes with a six-month warranty. That’s far longer than you will receive from many retailers and plenty of time to check that it is working properly. Returning faulty equipment to them is done without any quibbling. I've found their customer service is first class.

There is a constant flow of cameras being sold to and bought from MPB.

How MPB Check Equipment

MPB is comfortable offering that six-month-long warranty because they undertake a thorough ten-point inspection process of their cameras before being approved for sale by their product specialists.

  1. Quote & Condition
  2. Components
  3. SD Card
  4. Settings
  5. Sensor
  6. Cosmetic Condition
  7. Functionality i: Shutter, Drive, Flash, Buttons, Auto focus, Stabilization
  8. Functionality ii: High ISO, Aperture, Zoom
  9. Shutter Count
  10. Battery Recharge RateVideo Cameras have a similarly comprehensive checking system.
  11. Quote & Condition
  12. Components
  13. Sensor
  14. Glass
  15. SD Card
  16. Functionality i: Record image, ISO, FPS, Button response
  17. Functionality ii: Zebras, Frame Rate, Audio Recording, 4k/8k Recording, ND filter
  18. LCD
  19. Cosmetic Condition: Mount, Surfaces, Tripod Mount, Eye-Cup, Hot-Shoe, Buttons
  20. Hour count & Battery Recharge rate

All lenses undergo a thorough 8-point inspection process before being approved for sale.

  1. Quote & Condition
  2. Internals: Fungus, Dust, and Marks
  3. Functionality: Auto Focus, Manual Focus, Stabilizer, Zoom, Aperture Ring
  4. Front Glass Condition
  5. Rear Glass Condition
  6. Cosmetic Condition: Grips, Barrel, Filter Thread
  7. Further Cosmetics: Distance Indicator, Window, Contacts, Mount
  8. Components

MPB Buys and Sells Recently Released Equipment Too

It seems obvious that older gear will be available from MPB. It’s a good thing it is because those on a restricted budget can pick up pro-grade cameras and lenses from several years ago, often for less than new entry-level equipment. I’ve pointed art students to MPB when they have longed for a good-quality camera to use for their studies and haven’t been able to otherwise afford one.

However, more recent models are available from MPB too. On average, newly released items are available within three months of them appearing on the market. If you have bought something and since changed your mind about it, using MPB is a fabulous way to trade in that gear and buy something different. Furthermore, camera retailers can use MPB for passing on their barely used demonstration models.

The choice is huge. In the US, there are over 16,000 pieces of equipment for sale on their website, and they sell over 8000 items there every month. Globally, there are over 47,000 products available. It’s not just cameras they sell. Camera grips, tripods and monopods, shoulder rigs, gimbals, bags, audio equipment, drones, and a host of accessories for all these items appear on the platform too.

Looking at these figures, it comes as little surprise that MPB is the largest global platform to buy, sell, and trade used photo and video gear.

MPB is an Ethical Business

Sustainability is an important factor for many photographers. I always check that and the overall ethics of any company I want to use write about. MPB is a business I happily use.

There are clear environmental benefits to buying used equipment instead of new, and MPB actively promotes what it calls “circularity.” That means it promotes sustainability, diversity, and inclusion in everything it does. All its packaging is 100% plastic free. MPB sends zero inbound or operational waste to landfill, and its cloud-based platform uses 100% renewable energy.

Like most businesses, it has further to go to reach a zero-carbon footprint. It should reach net zero carbon for all its buildings within two years and its data centers by 2030. It plans to fully switch to using carbon-neutral courier services by 2035.

MPB prioritizes inclusive recruitment, and it supports its employees with extensive training and development, which is clearly reflected in its high level of customer service and the depth of knowledge of its gear experts whom you can speak to or chat with online. After all, MPB has served over 625,000 visual storytellers. It also has excellent employee reviews on Glassdoor and Indeed, and its robust recruitment and interview process ensures it recruits the best staff. It is little wonder they are trusted by customers in the US and worldwide seen in the enviable 5-star rating on Trustpilot

So, if you are a photographer, videographer, or content creator looking to lighten your gear bag and find new equipment to expand your craft, the MPB platform is a fantastic place to start. It's spring cleaning time, after all.

Ivor Rackham's picture

A professional photographer, website developer, and writer, Ivor lives in the North East of England. His main work is training others in photography. He has a special interest in supporting people with their mental well-being. In 2023 he accepted becoming a brand ambassador for the OM System.

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I've bought and sold through MPB and have been totally impressed with their operations. I will use them whenever possible, and will avoid eBay.

I used MPB 5 years ago when it was still operating out of Brighton. At that time I was satisfied with the buying and selling prices. In the meantime, the purchase prices are relatively low - highest 40% of the new price, even for cameras or lenses that are only a few months old. In private sales, I achieved at least 65% of the original price.

When buying from MPB, the selling price is often 70% to 80% of the original price. This is basically the new price of the lens or camera without VAT. In plain language: as a private person, I save the VAT and only receive a used object. As a commercial buyer, I pay the same price for the used equipment as for brand new equipment. In private purchases, I pay at most 60% of the new price for as-new lenses or cameras, usually only 50%. You should not underestimate the local dealers. Ebay is always risky, of course. But there are also more serious marketplaces.
For me, at least, MPB is no longer an option. As the company has grown, the gap between the buying and selling price in favour of MPB has grown to such an extent that both are no longer worthwhile for me.
Even though the simplicity of buying and selling at MPB has really been very customer-friendly for years, one should really check in each individual case whether one is not being lulled too much by the peace of mind.

If you're patient, I've found my best buys were from local sales sites, like Craig's List, UsedVictora (Canada), kijiji, etc. Even FacePlant Marketplace, although it is poorly organized and a pain to search, compared to Craig's List.

There seems to me more of this in Canada. In the US, you seem to be limited to Craig's List and FacePlant Marketplace.

Craig's List is especially adept at searching and notifying. I set up a filter for the bit I'm interested in, and CL sends me an email whenever it gets one within a certain driving distance. Wonderful!

Also, when searching for something rare, you can use page-change monitors (Watchete.com is one) to let you know when a page changes from "Not in stock" to anything else. I've pounced on some rare bargains on KEH with this technique.

All in all, I think meeting a person and seeing the equipment perform before money changes hands is the best way. I've walked away from wonderful-looking stuff because the person raised my "spidey sense." If they understandably don't want you to come to their home, agree to meet them in some busy, public place. (Most have been willing to meet me at their home, or even to deliver.)

That's interesting. Thanks. Do you ever get a guarantee with stuff bought through Craigslist? I don't think you do, but haven't used it. The peace of mind from buying through a reputable retailer like MPB is worth the little bit more for me.

If you're at all good at reading people, the "guaranty" you get from face-to-face transactions is, "Would you buy a used car from this person?"

Plus, you get to bring your own camera and try the lens out before money changes hands.

Never sold to them but I have bought from them. they have some pretty spanking deals. i got Nikon 105mm Macro lens with the Nikon Extension tube for a great deal. Out of all the places I've purchased gear from they pack your stuff the best. I even still use the box they packed my lens in before putting into the shipping box. They are also pretty all about security too. They called me to confirm that I was who I was to make sure no one was trying to rip me off.

That's really good to hear. My experiences with them here have been pretty good too.

Recent bad experience with MPB. Shipped gear for sale evaluation and 1 of the packages was never delivered. MPB demanded that I provide sensitive personal info to enable their "security team" to resolve the issue even though Fedex took ownership. Since the shipment was on MPB account I cannot get much info from Fedex and MPB refuses to act.

Gear evaluation was typical of online buyers - many issues found with my lenses. Lenses were Canon L's with recent inspections from CPS. I declined the offers and my gear was returned missing several items which I immediately reported. I have been over a month trying to resolve any of this with no success. Communication with MPB has been extremely poor. Only the "agent" who handles your request responds to emails and that agent always has to "reach out" to specialists that never respond directly.

I am sure it is possible to experience a good outcome when dealing with MPB but it appears that issues in the process turn the experience into a poor one.

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Fortunately, that's not the experience that most people seem to have, judging by verified online reviews. Of all the retailers they are near the top for positive reviews on TrustPilot and elsewhere. However, inevitably things can go wrong with any business transaction. There is an escalation process if you ask the person who handled your inquiry so you can speak with someone higher up the ladder.

I've had gear upgraded by MPB from my original estimate of condition. It's hard to judge how good your equipment is, compared to their gear experts (not "agents") who do it all the time.

I think asking for personal information to verify who you are is usual for businesses these days as they are targeted for fraud, the same as anyone else. This would normally be information you have previously provided.

Good luck with sorting it out.

Yes, I can confirm that there are from time to time problems with MPB when you refuse an offer and the camera, the lens is to be returned. Then very often the decisive "little things" are missing, such as a lens hood, the lens bag from the original packaging, sometimes even the front cap. It has cost me a lot of effort each time to sort out the error from MPB. In the end, I decided not to do business with MPB anymore, also because of these "business practices".

I can only echo your experience when selling to MPB. The first quote is decent given the gears age and state, but when it is inspected (after a long period of silens and no update or information if the package made it to MPB) the payout is reduced to 30-40% of normal used market prices of the same gear. Poor communication and hard to reach, takes a few tries to get response and cancel the transaction and ask for your gear back. When you get it back small bits and pieces are missing.

The MPB webpage looks professional and informative but it does not reflect my experience so I can not recommended MPB to anyone for selling gear, and I will not use it again.