Here's why we don't do "ballpark estimates"

We are often asked if we can provide a guesstimate, or a "ballpark estimate," or an approximate value for equipment without inspection.

We understand that some folks may want to know whether it's worth the trouble to bring equipment in for evaluation. We will always comment on whether a camera has potential for offer, but we have chosen not to provide estimates pre-inspection.


Because we have found that making this sort of determination without inspection is unreliable.

Our business is testing and evaluation. We take equipment through our process and provide an offer based upon actual equipment condition and market pricing at the time of evaluation.

But we have found in the course of our business that it is difficult to know actual condition of equipment without systematically checking function.

A camera can look perfect and make all the right sounds, but still be defective in a way that prevents us from making an offer; a lens may have issues which are not visible or diagnosable without close examination. Some of these issues may be fixable, but they will all affect valuation. In some cases, that means that we will decline to make an offer.

Our evaluations are always free and without obligation. Our testing methods and pricing decisions are transparent, and we are always happy to answer questions about either. But because we do not want to mislead anyone about the value of their equipment, we do not provide estimates before we have had a chance to inspect the equipment.

You can read more about our testing and evaluation methods here: How We Test & Price Equipment.

If you are looking to establish approximate values on your own, there are public sources of information that can help you decide whether you want to move forward. The simplest is eBay's "Advanced Search" option, which can be set to display only sold items, and may be able to provide you with a range of values for equipment similar to yours. We offer based on market pricing, which takes these figures into account.

Thanks for your understanding.