Now isn’t the time to buy a used Sony A7II (A7III is likely on the way in 2018)

What we learned from the A7RII market after the A7RIII’s announcement

Rumors of a forthcoming Sony A7III have been floated for months, but if you pay attention to how Sony handles pricing at the new-retail level, the fact that Sony announced a price drop of the A7II in early December should indicate that those rumors are starting to have merit.

What does this mean for those in the market for a Sony full frame mirrorless camera? If you’re considering used, you should hold off buying an A7II.

Sony’s A7III announcement – A case study in timing the used market right

In late October, Sony and its partnered retailers announced a significant price drop of the A7RII. This announcement came before an A7RIII was even announced. Sony dropped the new retail price from $2899 to $2398. Their obviously put downward pressure on the A7RII in the used market (it was trending at over $2000 used). But the subsequent announcement of the A7RIII not only forced the pricing lower, but created a glut in the market of used A7RIIs.

Since these announcements, we’ve seen a steady decline in the A7RII’s secondary market value. The $2398 retail price represents a very strong value for it’s features in the new space, and the market saturation of used product created a run on the price. From mid-October 2017 to mid-December, the A7RII’s value fell around $280 dollars – or around 15%.

What this means for the A7II

If you don’t need the rumored features of the A7III (4k video, bigger battery, better auto-focus), you should consider three options:

  • One, take advantage of the bottom falling out of the A7RII (or buy new) in the used market
    You can get a good condition used A7RII for around $1750 right now. Given that an A7III would be around $2000 new, the A7RII at $2398 is also an interesting competitor if you’re buying new. It’ll have much of the rumored specs of the A7III, while also having a 42mp sensor instead of 24mp.
  • Take advantage of the A7II price drops and buy new
    The A7II at $1298 new represents a tremendous bang for your buck camera if you don’t need 4k video or super fast autofocus. These price drops are permanent and likely won’t dip lower for the foreseeable future, so if you’re buying new, you can jump on one now without worrying that you’ll get stung in the future.
  • Hold off buying the A7II used until the A7III is announced
    If we learned anything from the A7RII’s price drops, buying the A7II now would be bad timing. Now, we don’t expect the price of the A7II to drop as significantly as the A7RII did because it’s an older camera, with a little bit older tech, so a lot of the price reduction is baked in. But if you can hold off, you’d likely be able to save $100 or so soon after the A7III is announced.

If you’re selling an A7II, sell now…Sell right now

If you’re mulling an upgrade from a current A7II, you should sell now. Its used value is the at its future peak right now.

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