Buying any kind of tech can be a whirlwind at the best of times, let alone second-hand gear. Setting aside the dizzying number of makes, models and brands that exist for just about everything, how does one begin to consider fair pricing?

And sure, it's rarely going to be the latest piece of kit on the market, but if you're willing to settle for something slightly older, you can save yourself quite a few shiny dollars. 

Buying second-hand can be a tough trot, but if you remember a few basic rules, you'll come on top every damn time. 

Here's what you should keep in mind. 

DO SOME RESEARCH 

First off, you should have a bit of a dive into the specifics of what you're after. For example, if you're shopping around for a second-hand camera, consider what you want to do with it and base your research on that. No point in shelling out for a pro-level camera if your pics are only going to social media. 

The best part of buying older tech is there will be plenty of feedback on just how good the unit actually is, as opposed to newer tech that could have widespread problems emerge down the line. What I'm saying is, let's not forget a certain exploding phone.


Once you have an idea of the which units will work best for you, you can begin to look at ones that fall within your price range. Which brings us to our next point. 

COMPARE PRICES

The main thing to remember here is to note the make and model of the items you're comparing. Obviously, prices will differ between different iterations of the same make, as well as the condition it's in, so just be mindful of that. Just because it's cheap as fuck doesn't mean it's worth your money.

Suss a whole bunch of prices across a number of sellers and platforms (eBay, Craigslist, Gumtree etc) and create an average based on the list. This will give you a good idea of what the hardware is going for and provide a nice base for negotiation. 

You should also compare these with prices from specialised second-hand retailers who may be able to offer a better deal. 

TIMING IS EVERYTHING 

Being aware of what's going on in the tech world will help you nail a great price. 

For example, I sure as shit wouldn't buy an iPhone 7 right now because Apple will be announcing a new iPhone in September. If I wait until after that announcement, the price of an iPhone 7 will damn near plummet. 


Be weary of the tech climate and use it to your advantage. 

DON'T GET BLOODY SCAMMED

We've all heard the stories. Some poor cobber just wanted to buy or sell something on Craigslist and it turns out to be something totally different or it never shows up at all. 

This can be avoided by in a few ways. The first is to bite the bullet and buy from a reputable re-seller. You might pay a little more for what you want, but it's probably worth the peace of mind if you're dishing out a lot of cash. 

You should also stick to reliable payment services like PayPal and if the seller requests you come and pick up the item, you can always meet them somewhere public if you're especially nervous. 

Photo: Flight of the Conchords.