Expensive Flagship Cameras Means the Second-Hand Market is Expected to Boom in 2024

Retro cameras

The CEO of MPB Photographic has predicted that the second-hand camera market will have a bountiful year in 2024 thanks to the sky-high prices attached to flagship cameras.

MPB, which is the largest used camera platform in the world, recently released a report entitled: “Second-Hand, First Choice: The Psychology of Recommerce.”

MPB teamed up with Retail Economics to release the report which predicts the global recommerce market will grow by nearly 80 percent in the next five years.

Recommerce, which is short for reverse commerce, refers to the buying and selling of previously owned items. A survey conducted across 6,000 households in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany found that 71 percent had bought or sold used products in 2023.

Second Hand Camera Market

In an interview with Creative Bloq, MPB Photographic CEO Matt Barker says second-hand technology is particularly important for photographers.

“It’s absolutely the case that the new market for interchangeable lens cameras and lenses has become more expensive and more premium for sure,” Barker says.

“The average retail price of a mirrorless camera in three or four years, has gone from approximately £700 ($884) to £1,700 ($2,146) — in terms of just the average offering across Canon, Sony, and Nikon ranges — and that’s just the body, right?

“We’re now regularly seeing lenses come into the market like the new Canon RF 24-105mm lens which is £3,400 ($4,292). I remember when the first 24-105mm lens came out and it was maybe £900 ($1,136). That’s a massive, massive leap over 15 years. So there’s an affordability gap. Plus there’s a cost of living issue that we’re all going through at the moment while the economy’s not in great shape, coming out of COVID, and for sure I think there’s a conscious consumer in terms of looking for value in the second-hand market.

“Obviously if the new market is becoming more expensive, it does encourage people into the recommerce market. I think the consumer is less obsessed with the latest and greatest now, and more concerned with diversity and creativity. Once you drop into the secondhand market, you get more choices. It’s cheaper, but you also get to be the one turning up with, you know, that particular lens or ‘that’ particular camera.”

MPB is based in the U.K. but is doing more and more business in the U.S.

Talking to Creative Bloq’s Beth Nicholls, Barker reveals that the Canon 5D Mark IV regularly tops the list of most purchased second-hand cameras along with the Sony a7 III — but they’re not necessarily the most sought-after.

“The most in-demand camera of the present day and up to the end of this year is definitely the Fujifilm X100V. And I think it’s just freeing up in the new market now. But not many people have got their hands on that this year [in 2023],” says Barker.

“So I think it shows as well that it’s not always about the new thing with all the bells and whistles, the look and feel of the X100 series has always been a really compelling thing, and we’ve always seen huge demand from the original X100 through to the F and then the V.”

Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.