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Recently we started working on a project that required a secondary flash for one of our cameras. Now because this project was for B Squared Media and we may only use it a few times, we didn’t want to spend too much money. It was important that the flash was in good working order, obviously we didn’t want a dud, so I started doing some research online. In the past we have purchased some used gear from B&H with good results, so I started my search there.

Being in the production business is expensive and requires a lot of equipment. Nowhere does it say that every piece of equipment has to be brand new, especially if that equipment will only be used on a few projects. Now I will say that you usually get what you pay for, and you should be cautious when purchasing used equipment from unreliable sources. B&H is one of the, if not the biggest, seller of audio and video equipment in the world and I find them to be pretty reliable.

On the top portion of B&H’s website you can select the Used Department and search all their used equipment for sale. To help you in your selection process they have rated all the used equipment using the following scale:

N Brand new/Never used – In original manufacturer’s packaging
OB Open Box with full manufacturer warranty
D Never owned – Used for demonstration purposes only
R Refurbished by the Manufacturer to original company’s specifications
10 Preowned equipment, but appears as new
9+ Shows little or no signs of wear
9 Shows signs of use, but very clean
8+ Shows moderate wear or finish marks
8 Well used – may exhibit “dings” or finish marks
7 Shows considerable amount of use – More than average wear
6 Useable, but has considerable optical or mechanical imperfections.

As you can probably figure out, the better the condition the more expensive the equipment, but it’s still cheaper than buying new, and often significantly cheaper. B&H is not the only company out there that sells used gear, but they are the only one that we have purchased from multiple times with great results. So the next time you don’t need to buy new, make sure to check out the Used Department at B&H Photo.