How to Get a Free DSLR Camera

An Easy Way to Get Your DSLR Camera for Free

I’m not talking about stealing it or winning it.  For a start stealing is definitely not free if you are caught and winning a camera is sheer luck!

I am going to tell you how you can buy your camera in the next five minutes and it will be free – or at very least inexpensive.  I know because I have just done it.

I Rushed Into Buying My Camera

A friend of mine knew I was thinking of buying a camera and sent me an e-mail promoting specials on a number of cameras.  The timing was bad as I simply did not have the money to splash out on a new DSLR at that particular point.

The trouble is the deal on the Nikon D3200 which was being promoted was irresistible, and I only had 24 hours to make up my mind.

What was I to do?

Being the impulsive person I am, I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and buy it on credit card in the full knowledge that I had at least 4 weeks to pay for it.  Maybe I could sell my tired old body in that time and make a couple of hundred bucks towards the purchase price.  Looking in the mirror it became clear to me that wasn’t going to happen.

The following day (a Sunday) I started doing some research on the camera I had bought and comparing it with other models and makes.

It’s not a good idea to do your research after the fact – save yourself buyer’s remorse and do your research before you buy.

The good news is that I was happy with the camera after some preliminary research.  The Nikon D3200 is a great camera with 24.2 Megapixels – the highest for any DSLR and great for printing large images. But I preferred the Nikon D5100 with 16.2 Megapixels but a slightly longer battery life and an HDR facility (I might write a separate blog on this later).  Both cameras are excellent entry level DSLRs and you could virtually toss a coin and be happy with the either.

I contacted the vendor and asked them if I could change my order – the cameras were the same price – and they were happy to oblige.

How to Pay For My New Nikon D5100

This was the overriding thought as I waited for delivery of my new toy.  The thought of the bill dimmed the anticipation somewhat!

However the solution was close at hand.

I had other “stuff” that I hardly ever used but that others would be happy to pay for.  That’s what sites like e-bay and Trade Me are all about.  Now I started getting excited and my creative juices started flowing.

  • If I was getting a new camera I wouldn’t be needing my old “point and shoot”
  • A spare set of golf clubs, with bag, that I had been keeping for years “in case” could go. Who would ever have thought the “in case” was in case I wanted a camera?
  • I had two Gaggia coffee machines.  I only need one.
  • And then I remembered that I had also hung onto and stored my old Pentax MX 35mm SLR film camera with extra lenses, a camera bag and a few other odds and ends.  That hadn’t been used or even looked at in over 10 years.

I was on a roll, and I still am!

I put all of the above on Trade Me (the New Zealand equivalent of e-bay) and some of it has sold while the rest is still on auction – closing this week.  :)

  • The point and shoot digital camera fetched $27.00
  • The golf clubs fetched $80.00
  • The golf bag fetched $42.00
  • I expect to get $370.00 for the coffee machine
  • My Pentax camera should sell for $120.00 and
  • The lenses between $25.00 – $30.00 each

Wow this is all adding up pretty quickly but I am still a bit short.


The coffee machine didn’t sell because the reserve wasn’t met.  This is a big blow but I will simply put it back on auction with a new sales pitch and see how we go.  At least I know someone is prepared to pay $200.00 for it.

The Final Push For A Free DSLR Camera

This I thought was very clever.

Because I know a bit about golf I bought two sets off trade me that weren’t marketed very well.

The first was a full set with a bad and the seller was selling for a charity with a very low “Buy Now” price.  I snapped the set up for $40.00 which went to charity.

I then sold just the irons for $160.00, the bag for $84.00 and the putter and drivers as separate lots for a total of $26.00

Total profit after all costs on the first set was $210.00

I then bought another equally badly marketed set (including bag) for $111.00 plus $15.00 delivery charges.

The bag sold on its own for $106.00

The auction for the irons closes tonight and I expect to get between $100.00 and $160.00


These irons sold for $110.00

And there is still a 3 wood that I need to put on that could get anything from $20.00 to $50.00

My Camera is Going to Cost Me Nothing!

And what is more I will be funding all future photographic purchases on this basis.

Let’s see now I need:

  • A wide angle lens
  • A telephoto or zoom lens
  • A spare battery
  • An extra memory card (I kept the one from my point and shoot)
  • A sexy camera bag
  • Some lens filters
  • A decent off camera flash

So go do it.

Go Get Your DSLR Camera For Free

Do your research for the camera you want and then find a way to exchange the stuff you already have but don’t use or other people’s stuff to pay for it.

And I highly recommend the Nikon D5100 or any other Nikon – although my research told me that the Canon range is pretty awesome too.  Thank goodness I only need one camera.


Facebook Comments:

Leave A Reply (6 comments so far)

    4 years ago

    i need a dslr camera. All of my frnd use this type of camera. I dont have ability to buy this camera. But i like to take photo.

    • Lawrence
      3 years ago

      Hey Aminur – I was in the same boat. If you want it badly enough you will find a legal way to get it.

  2. Hafzal Azeez
    4 years ago

    I am from india. I have a wonderful dream to get a DSLR as my own. I have a great ambition to be a well known photographer.. plz kindly give me a reply

    my email id:

    • Lawrence
      3 years ago

      hey Hafzal good luck with your dream. India is a wonderful place for photography and the rest of the world are fascinated by everything Indian

  3. Joe
    3 years ago

    That’s good thinking there mate. Thanks for the tip. May I add one piece of advice that was missing which is ‘be patient.’

    I myself am an impulse buyer too and find it hard to make an informed decision before buying

    Your tip on scoring deals from trade me then reselling is a great idea! Reminds me of the guy that traded a paper clip for a.pen then the pen for a paper weight and so on that eventually each trade gained in value to the point he ended up with a house.

    Thanks again for helping me find another option to finance my current photography dream of owning a Nikon D800.

    • Lawrence
      3 years ago

      Yeah I remember that Trade – it was widely followed here with the whole country rooting for the guy.
      Thanks for your comments