The astronomy classifieds are a great place to find used telescopes and other astronomy and photography equipment. I have purchased many items from the amateur astronomy community, including most of my first complete deep-sky astrophotography rig.
Below, you’ll find a list of quality astronomy classified sites to buy and sell telescopes, cameras, and accessories for visual observing and astrophotography.
Buying used astronomy equipment from a classified site is a great way to save some money, and browse a wide range of great equipment. With patience, you may be able to find a great deal on a telescope, eyepiece, or even a computerized tracking mount.
All of the astrophotography equipment shown above was purchased second-hand.
I have personally had great experiences purchasing used telescopes and cameras from many of the websites listed below. I purchased my first astrophotography telescope (a used Explore Scientific ED80) from AstroMart back in 2011.
My first astro-modified camera was purchased from Canada-Wide Astronomy Buy and Sell (Astro Buy-Sell) in 2016. My Sky-Watcher HEQ5 GoTo equatorial mount was purchased second-hand for $700 in 2014, and I still use it today.
If you are looking to trade-up to some new astrophotography equipment, selling your current gear can be a great way to fund your next build. In my experience, the used astronomy community is honest, fair, and happy to answer questions.
For every website, you will need to create a profile with your personal information including location and phone number.
Canada-Wide Astronomy Buy & Sell (Astro Buy Sell).
I asked the members of the AstroBackyard Facebook page what they thought were the best astronomy classifieds, based on first-hand experiences. The top three choices were Cloudy Nights Classifieds, AstroMart, and Astro Buy Sell.
Nearly everyone that commented on this topic had a positive experience. Some users are not happy about the membership cost to use AstroMart (Subscription fee), but I think it could be worth it for the right piece of astronomy equipment.
The classified site you’ll find most useful will have a lot to do with your current location. Unless you are willing to pay for costly shipping charges, it makes sense to browse items located as close to you as possible (pick-up is best).
I paid the 1-year membership fee for AstroMart so I could buy an 80mm triplet APO many years ago, and it was well worth it.
- Cloudy Nights Classifieds (USA)
- Canada-Wide Astronomy Buy and Sell (Canada)
- AstroMart (USA)
- U.K. Astronomy Buy & Sell (U.K)
- Ice In Space Classifieds (Australia)
- Telescope Trader (USA)
Astronomy Dealer Used Equipment
- Used Telescopes and Astronomy Equipment | OPT (USA)
- Used Telescope Collection | High Point Scientific (USA)
- Telescope.net Used Telescopes (USA)
Photography Dealer Used Equipment
You can also browse your local classifieds (Craigslist, Kijiji, etc.) and eBay, but be warned that there is a lot of “junk” listed here. The websites listed above specialize in used astronomy equipment, and the sellers take pride in the quality of used gear.
I recommend picking up the equipment in-person whenever possible. This allows you to talk directly with the previous owner and get additional information about the item.
Cloudy Nights Community – Classifieds Section.
Shipping heavy items such as telescopes or mounts is expensive. You also run the risk of damaging the gear in transit.
I have driven up to 4 hours to buy used astronomy equipment. The cost is gas is less than shipping, and I can inspect the item before paying for it.
When You Should Buy New
There are advantages to buying new, of course. This includes the convenience of shipping to your door, product warranties, and knowing that your item has not been misused in any way.
For big-ticket items including large apochromatic refractor telescopes, you may appreciate the idea of having a factory-tuned instrument. Premium telescopes will usually include a test report documenting the quality of the optics.
If a warranty is important to you, you’ll need to confirm the timeline of the product warranty from the dealer or manufacturer. For certain items (such as my Canon EOS Ra bought new from B&H), this aspect is more important than others.
Be strategic about the items you purchase, as there is an element of risk and the unknown when purchasing used gear.
For popular products, you may never find a used model available online. In this case, you may even have to get on a waiting list to purchase the item.
The astronomy classifieds and online forums will often have cameras listed for sale. They may be dedicated astronomy cameras, or daytime DSLR or Mirrorless cameras.
I purchased my modified Canon EOS Rebel T3i on Astro Buy Sell. It is common to find astro-modified DSLR’s on the used astronomy equipment sites and can be an excellent place to find your first astro-camera.
I have also purchased used DSLR camera bodies from Henry’s used camera gear section (I got a great deal on a well-used Canon OS 5D Mk II). In the USA, the B&H used photography department can be a great place to find a new DSLR or Mirrorless camera.
B&H Photo Used Camera Department.
Spencers Photo is another website to check for used astronomy cameras. They specialize in astro conversions of some of the top DSLR and mirrorless camera bodies.
Purchasing a camera lens used is a great way to save some money. Lenses can be very expensive, but you can often find a great deal on a used lens if you are patient.
The tough part is, finding the exact lens you want. Popular lenses are popular for a reason, and the best camera lenses can be hard to find as the owners have no interest in selling theirs.
Canon Refurbished Lenses is a great place to find a deal on a certified Canon refurbished lens at a great price. You will likely find a better deal on a general astronomy classified site, but these lenses are professionally serviced by Canon.
Lenses are built to last, and with the right care, can last a lifetime. Most of the Canon EF lenses I currently own were purchased second-hand including my Canon EF 300mm F/4L and 24-104mm F/4L.
My Canon EF 300mm F/4L was purchased used from my local classifieds (Kijiji).
Telescopes and Mounts
This is where some expertise can really make a difference. If you are unsure about the condition of the telescope or equatorial mount, I suggest asking the seller lots of questions and requesting detailed photos.
Optical equipment is fragile, and misuse can lead to problems such as poor alignment. I suggest asking the seller for photographs taken using the telescope if possible.
Most sellers are knowledgeable and will be very honest and transparent about the telescope for sale, right down to any cosmetic knicks or scratches.
You may want to buy used telescopes from a reputable dealer such as OPT or High Point Scientific. These companies service and inspect the equipment to ensure there are no surprises.
A computerized equatorial telescope mount is a big investment, and you’ll want to make sure that it has not been “tinkered” with by the previous owner.
Amateur astronomy enthusiasts like to open up their GoTo telescope mounts to re-grease and “tune-up” their mounts, often creating new problems in the process. Be sure to confirm that this has not taken place before buying a used telescope mount on an astronomy classified site.
The telescope (Orion 8″ Newtonian) and computerized mount shown above were purchased used (Astro Buy Sell).