If you're camera obsessed like I am, you probably search Craigslist and eBay for great deals on equipment; I check daily! There's another resource that I've been keeping quiet, but I won't be selfish anymore... After all, I want everybody to be as pumped about film cameras as I am!
There’s just something about thrift stores, isn’t there? You never know what you’re going to find, or if you’re going to find anything at all! It seems that everyone else has tons of luck finding great vintage and toy cameras; Why can’t I? The local Goodwill and Salvation Army shops near me rarely have camera equipment. After a long series of unsuccessful visits, I’d all but given up on finding any photographic gold.
Wouldn’t it be great if I could browse a thrift store’s inventory without having to make the trip? Wouldn’t it be great to have an affordable assortment of film photo equipment available online? Well, my wish was granted about six months ago when I discovered ShopGoodwill.com.
Just as it sounds, you can actually browse the inventories of Goodwill stores across the nation! There are HUNDREDS of items available for dirt, including SLRs, rangefinders, toy cameras, TLRs, medium format equipment, lenses, flashes, filters, and more!!! I almost died of happiness, they had so much available. You can limit your browsing to just film equipment, or even use the search option in case you’re looking for something specific. I, personally, love to look at which auctions are “new today” before I go to sleep, and I always check “ending today” to see if I can get something before it disappears!
The site is auction based (like eBay). Of course, you need to register to start bidding. There are a few items available as “Buy It Now”, but the good stuff goes to the highest bidder. As I write this, there’s a Nikon SLR with two days left for $21!!! An Ansco ReadyFlash that ends tomorrow, $4! The list goes on! Some of these items go without bids and stay at $5 until they expire… Don’t let them get away! Expand your collection and save them from the dumpster!
One note: be sure to read about the condition! Some of these cameras will only be good for display, and some can’t be tested since film is scarce (Polaroids, medium format, 110 cams, 620 cams, etc). There’s great stuff for collecting, but there’s stuff to shoot with!
Seriously, guys and gals. You have to check it out… Your next camera might be just a few clicks away!
Keep film alive!