Saving cash: Ashland company sells used cameras

If you're thinking of buying a camera before your spring break vacation, a local company can save you hundreds of dollars. An Ashland couple has grown from selling used cameras from their home on eBay, to becoming one of the largest used camera dealers in the country.

Rather than pay full price for a new camera, you could pay half price for a used camera that still works.

Seth Schmidt is President and CEO of "A relatively current model may be roughly 50% to 60% of the cost of a new one. As they get older, you can get 25% to 30% of what camera originally retailed for as your price."

Here's how it works: buys cameras from people who want to sell theirs. Said Schmidt, "Get an instant price quote, then they print their own shipping label, pack it up, send it in."

The company checks to make sure all the bells and whistles work. "We have questions that the inspector answered. So on a digital point & shoot camera, we would say does it turn on? Does it zoom? Does it take a picture? Does the picture display? Does the video work?" said Schmidt.

They take photos of the cameras, then sell them through, and on eBay and Amazon, through the company name Shutterblade. They sell each camera with a 60 day warranty.

Schmidt got the idea back in 2000. "I bought my wife some camera gear on eBay and I noticed how big eBay was in that category. Ended up starting a buy and sell right on eBay," Schmidt told us.

Now, from an Ashland warehouse, Schmidt says they buy and sell 30,000 cameras a year, including managing camera trade-ins for Ritz Camera, Best Buy, Yamaha, and Olympus. And if you don't know what type of camera you want, customer service staff can help you figure it out.

"We also point out features like screen size, zoom range, so people can make an educated decision," said Schmidt.

The camera business was doing so well, Schmidt decided to branch out in 2005 into buying and selling used musical instruments, through the sites and, again saving consumers hundreds of dollars.

So whether you want to set a moment to music, or capture it on camera, you can do it while saving money with a local company.

"We have a more Virginia approach to the business," said Schmidt. "We're friendly."