Don't get burned!
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Don't get burned!

Photography gear is pricey, and buying used is a great way to keep your wallet from getting too thin, but it also comes with quite a few risks. The high price associated with photo gear sometimes attracts unsavory folks disguising themselves as reputable sellers as a means to part you from your hard earned cash. Thankfully, it's pretty easy to avoid this from happening.

I've been buying gear on a budget for thirteen years now, mostly via eBay and Craigslist, and in that time have come up with a basic set of rules to protect myself from getting burned. And after recently reading a gear-buying horror story, I felt compelled to write down my rules – with the input of my DPReview colleagues – and share them with you.

Note: There are exceptions to these rules and following them does not necessary guarantee you won't get burned by a bad deal. As with any big-ticket purchase, common sense is the best and safest policy.