I tend to buy cameras and equipment from time to time, as I’m sure most of you do too. In my case, I’m usually scouring eBay for good deals on old film cameras or darkroom equipment. eBay is a great place for this, but I have more than one issue with it from a photographer standpoint.

RutsCameras

Jeff Rutman also had issues with existing sites and services dealing used photography gear, so he did something about it. RutsCameras is a camera & equipment auction site similar to eBay, but it’s only for photography stuff. He’s just getting it started, but it could be a very good marketplace if enough people get on board. Here are some of the strong points of this new site:

  • IT’S FREE! At least for now. I know, “free” usually sounds too good to be true, but this guy seems legit. No seller or buyer fees.
  • NO JUNK! The problem with eBay is that you have to wade through tons of crap in order to find what you’re looking for. No more searching for a camera model only to find 800 listings on a screwdriver of the same model and 3 camera listings buried in there.
  • SWAP GEAR! I noticed on a few of the listings that swap offers were accepted. I would assume that this means you can swap gear if you have something the seller is looking for too. Pretty cool option.
  • JEFF LISTENS! He actually wants feedback and suggestions when it comes to shaping the site. This is way cool because you’re more likely to “have it your way”. The site even has a forum for feedback and general discussion.

At any rate, I just wanted to give a shout out to RutsCameras in case some of you are looking to buy or sell photography stuff. I haven’t tried the site myself (I don’t have anything to buy or sell at the moment), but I’ve been poking around for a day or two. If you’re looking to buy or sell any time soon, maybe give it a try. And, as with any online venue, make sure you read the fine print and that you understand what you’re signing up for.

8 responses


Do you want to comment?

Comments RSS and TrackBack Identifier URI ?

Thank you. I’ve seen this now and there are a few more getting ready to “open” within the next 4/5 months.
I have to say, the problem will ALWAYS be “payment” “Chargebacks” and “fraud” seems almost impossible to overcome.

I will say that Ruts is not really designed nor engineered very well. But, best of luck to them…. I still feel that If I can use craigslist, feel it, touch it, I’m not owning it……
t

December 1, 2009 8:13 am

First Brian thank you very much for writing this blog about my site, I really appreciate it! It is extremely difficult to get the word out about a new site and as you mentioned the more people aware of this site the better it will be!

Second Tom, Thanks for taking a look at the site….What do you think should be changed about the site? I agree it needs some work and I continue to improve it based on user suggestions. Do you mean the way the site is constructed on the backend or the features the site offer…or both? This is my 2nd site as the first one was rejected by PayPal and it would have taken a significant amount of money to offer all the same features this site has today.

I certainly can’t say this site is perfect or has every feature but what I can say is I will take any and all feedback seriously and do my best to improve the site to make the user experience better. As Brian mentioned I started this out of frustration when I was trying to sell a few lenses so I certainly know the challenges of buying and selling equipment online. I have my own concerns about Craigslist but I will not air them here because I really like that site. Many people will continue to use it if it works for them and I wouldn’t expect them to start using RutsCameras.com unless it is beneficial for them.

As you mentioned the biggest challenge people face buying and selling on the internet is fraud and scams. I don’t have a perfect solution but I do think about it all the time. RutsCameras has a built in option to identify users as “Verified” which I will use but only once I can be sure the user is trustworthy. Also I am working on a way to incorporate an option to hold payments in escrow until the product is received. This will only be an option as I know most sellers will not want to use this but it will be another tool to try and eliminate scams. If you have some ideas around this please let me know as my main goal is to provide a safe and secure forum for buying and selling photography equipment.

In saying that I appreciate the feedback and if you can get more specific so I can improve the site I would love to hear it.

I can be reached through the contact us page on RutsCameras.com or directly at
Jeff (at) RutsCameras (Dot) com

Thanks again Brian!!
Jeff

December 1, 2009 8:03 pm

I am super excited about this site! Thanks for sharing, Brian, and thanks for the dream, Jeff. I wish you the best!

I just listed my first item (a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 for Canon) and thought the process was very nice, and simpler than Ebay. I liked the options available too!

I’m excited about this, now we just need to get the word out.

December 2, 2009 7:01 am

Hi Brian,

Loving the ruts site, I think ebay is too big and this is the problem with it silly rules/policys

But you can always grab a bargain on ebay this is what makes people come back time and time again, hopfully ruts will be the same in the future, site layout is nice and easy to navigate.

December 5, 2009 3:17 am

Hey Brian, in a bit I’ll give you my view, which does not make it the right way, in how I see the “shopping” flow which is what I noticed first.
But…. Your largest hurdle, bar non, will be the use acceptance of Paypal, They are in total disaray and I feel the number one issue that is hurting eBay right now…

Have you thought of partnering with such as Google Checkout. I have found them to be of huge professionalism. But make no mistake, Paypal system between buyers will get you right into the middle of a lot of issues.

T

December 5, 2009 11:08 am

Thanks for the feedback guys! I really appreciate it!

I completely agree with your thoughts on PayPal and I have had serious issues with them for no reason. They froze $2000 in my account when the only transaction was me transferring $500 from my personal account to my business account. The worst part is I even paid 2.4% to transfer money into my own account. It took me over 2 months of emailing every executive at PayPal that I could find an email address for.

Anyways I wanted to give you a heads up that RutsCameras.com offers 10 different payment gateways. This was actually the reason I chose this solution as I wanted to give people choice. Some people have great experiences with certain payment options and other do not.

So here are all your options on RutsCameras where direct payments can be made…..

PayPal
Google Checkout
Amazon
Worldpay
2Checkout
Nochex
Ikobo
Protx
Authorize.net
Moneybookers
Paymate

Keep in mind that the site is set up to handle direct payment for all of the above but also gives the option for offline payment like Western Union or a separate CC charge, local cash exchange or anything you want. It is up to the seller to accept whatever they want. I know some people like the option of meeting locally to exchange cash so you can choose to do that when you list your item or set up your seller account.

I was looking for all those options so I am trying to bring what I wanted to everybody.

Hope you like it and please help me spread the word so we can get more and more products listed and more people looking to buy equipment.

As I mentioned above feel free to contact me at Jeff (at) RutsCameras (dot) com

Thanks!!
Jeff

December 5, 2009 11:24 am

Paypal states they will back the Seller and the Buyer . No, they don’t, they would not stand behind me as a buyer for a non-delivery and only when I asked my CC bank for help did I get any attn.

Craigslist is the only way I will buy equipment or another face to face. For used online they only ones I trust is B&H Photo. Not even KEH.

December 5, 2009 11:54 am

Tom,

I agree completely that face to face transactions with Cash are a great way to sell or buy equipment.

That is exactly why I made that an option on RutsCameras. You do not have to complete the transaction on RutsCameras, you can arrange it locally while you use the site to get connected with the buyer and the seller.

Hope you can find some use with RutsCameras as the members and listings continue to grow!

-Jeff

December 6, 2009 4:33 pm

Comment now!
















Trackbacks