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How To Sell a Used 3D Printer (5 Best Places)

Gadgets and devices like cameras, laptops, and gaming consoles continuously evolve, with manufacturers endlessly churning out updates and better versions. The same goes for 3D printers. So if you want to sell your current 3D printer because you’re eyeing to upgrade to a better model or because of any other reason, it helps to know the best places to sell it.

You can sell a used 3D printer online or offline. To sell it online, you need to post or list it on trading websites, forums, or social media platforms. The five best places to sell a used 3D printer online are:

  1. Craigslist
  2. eBay
  3. Reddit
  4. Facebook (groups or marketplace)
  5. 3D printing forums

Read on as we talk about all the best places to sell your used 3D printer in more detail. You can also sell it in places other than on online platforms. I will also share with you some tips on how you can put your 3D printer up for sale.

1. Craigslist

Craigslist is a popular classified advertisements website where many people buy and sell all sorts of stuff. The site has dedicated sections for jobs, services, housing, gigs, items wanted, and items for sale, among many others. Initially based in the U.S., Craigslist now has a presence in many other countries. Some cities and regions also have their own Craigslist sites. 

Craigslist is relatively a breeze to use and navigate, and listing items is easy and quick. The platform makes selling easy, too, even if we’re talking about large and high-value items. And because its regional audience creates a local community, you can sell your 3D printer to someone within your area. That means you no longer have to add shipping costs to your item.

2. eBay

eBay started out as a site where sellers can trade or auction off rare and hard-to-find items, and buyers purchase or bid on these items. It later became a global marketplace where people could buy and sell almost anything. 

If your used 3D printer is now a hard-to-find model and you know many people are looking for them, you would want to sell it to the highest bidder. You can also find a potential buyer to purchase it immediately.

3. Reddit

Reddit is more than just a social media platform and discussion site. It’s also a web content rating and social news aggregation website. One cool thing about Reddit is that it has “Subreddits,” specific online communities within the site dedicated to a particular topic or interest. You can sell your used 3D printer in certain Subreddits

However, be careful when posting about your item in a Subreddit because not all of them allow direct for-sale threads. For instance, while there’s a Subreddit for 3D printing hobbyists and enthusiasts of all skill levels, you’re not allowed to create a thread offering your used 3D printer. You can try to sell it through an appropriate comment in such Subreddits, but you need to be very careful that your comment doesn’t turn into or qualify as spam.

As such, you’ll have to look for the Subreddits that were made for buy and sell or trading, such as Hardware Swap and Deals Reddit.

4. Facebook Groups or Marketplace

One of the best things about Facebook is that you have access to groups and marketplaces where you can sell pre-loved items. One of these places is the 3D Printers Buy Sell Trade group. 

Ask to join such groups, and then you can post an ad for your used 3D printer so other members can see it and send you private messages or comment on your post if they’re interested. There are also more localized groups and marketplaces that cater to your area, making it easier for you to sell your printer.

This option is really great if Facebook is your social media platform of choice and you’re always on it. This way, you no longer have to log into and check other sites just to see if somebody is inquiring about your listing. 

Of course, there’s always our email for this kind of notification, but if you get tons of emails every day, especially from work, it can add to the clutter.

5. 3D Printing Forums

If you belong to 3D printing forums and communities, you can try listing your used 3D printer in the marketplace section. Or, if there’s no specific section for trading, try making a thread directly, provided that the forum allows for-sale posts. 

The good thing about this particular option is that the people in these forums are interested in 3D printing and familiar with the materials and equipment.

You could sign up with 3D Print Board, which has a wealth of information about the 3D printing industry. This forum has over 60,000 members, with thousands of users being online at any given time. It has a General 3D Printing Marketplace section, where members are allowed to buy, sell, or trade 3D printers, printer parts, filament, and other related merchandise.

Other forums you can check out include 3D Printers Forum and 3D Print Forums.

Other Options for Selling a Used 3D Printer Online

If you’re on various social media platforms and have a lot of friends or social media contacts who are into crafts or making models and prototypes, it’s also a good idea to offer it to them first. 

For example, you can take a photo and post it on your wall, timeline, or page on Facebook or Instagram. You can even Tweet about it. It’s always a nice thought that your beloved printer that has served you well goes to someone who’ll take good care of it.

There are also classified ads websites with more local scopes that allow you to look into such sites for the city, state, or country you’re in. For instance, there’s Gumtree in the UK, which is also available in AustraliaSouth AfricaPoland, Germany, and Italy.

You can also try 3D printing websites that allow you to list your used 3D printer, like 3D Printer Boom. Or sites that allow you to trade machines, equipment, and computer parts like Machine Seeker.

Where To Sell a Used 3D Printer Offline

The best place to sell your used 3D printer depends on what type of printer it is. According to users on Quora, if you’re talking about a hobbyist or enthusiast printer, or even a cheaper and small-scale industrial one, you can sell it online, such as through Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. This way, you and your buyer don’t have to worry about logistics or delivery.

However, if it’s a professional or heavy-duty industrial 3D printer, the best option is to sell it to a local community college. You can also look for architecture firms or art and design schools in your area and send them a message or set an appointment to visit and show them what you’re offering. You might also know of a local business that would benefit from having such equipment. 

Challenges of Selling a Used 3D Printer

Some people on Quora advise against selling a used hobby-level 3D printer online if you expect good value out of it. You’d be lucky to get a third of the original value of your printer if it’s in excellent condition and you haven’t used it too much. 

Moreover, 3D printers at this level move fast, and people can get this type of machinery cheap from China. As such, if you sell an old 3D printer to earn money for whatever reason, you can get far more from actually printing 3D objects with it.

Selling a used 3D printer also has other challenges, especially when potential buyers are kind of wary or cautious. For one, unlike a used car, a used 3D printer won’t allow the new buyer to get a comprehensive record of its service history, including how extensively it has been used and for what purpose. So buyers can only trust your word, and it better matches the printer’s general working condition when they use it. 

A potential buyer might also hesitate to buy it without knowing for sure that the printer isn’t yet close to the end of its product cycle. Will they be able to get firmware updates? What happens if they would need to get spare parts?

Another thing that could make selling a used 3D printer difficult for you is if the manufacturer’s warranty period has elapsed. If that’s the case, it’s another chip off the price tag.

Tips on How To Sell a Used 3D Printer

Here are some tips on how to successfully sell your used 3D printer: 

Provide 3D Printer Information and Specs

It’s good practice for buyers to do some research before purchasing any gadget or equipment. So make it easy for potential buyers to do that by providing relevant information and the specs for the exact 3D printer model you’re selling. This way, your post or listing will serve as a one-stop-shop for them, and they wouldn’t need to search and look it up. You can also provide links to user reviews about the printer.

Aside from the model specs, you also need to provide truthful information regarding your use of the printer and its history. It includes when you bought it or how old the printer is, how much you have used it, the kind of maintenance and repair work it has received, the issues you’ve encountered while printing, and why you’re selling it. 

This way, you’ll give any potential buyer an insight into the printer’s general condition and an idea of what to expect even before they actually see or use the item. You would also let interested buyers determine whether the price you’re asking is fair and reasonable.

Allow Interested Buyers To Inspect Your 3D Printer

It helps to indicate in your post or listing that you’re open to having potential buyers check your used 3D printer. This would prove to them that you’re selling a used product in good faith. 

Besides, it’s also another good practice for buyers to inspect and test a 3D printer, especially if we’re talking about a professional- or industrial-level unit that still costs hundreds or thousands of dollars even if used.

Facilitate the Inspection

When the potential buyer is there to check your used 3D printer, you should facilitate the inspection. Do it in a step-by-step manner and encourage the buyer to take their own inspection notes. Ideally, here’s how it should go:

  • Show them the print head. Demonstrate how the print head can be moved easily by hand with the power turned off.
  • Show them the frame. It should still be sturdy and must not have any prior damage.
  • Print a quick test object. Make sure to print using a fast speed setting to highlight any mechanical issues or lack thereof. And when the print is done, use a pair of calipers and verify if the quality is good and the size is accurate.
  • Try to change the filament. This is to show the buyers that there are no problems like stripped filament.
  • Let the buyers check the heated bed’s temperature. This way, you’ll show them that the heat is distributed evenly.
  • Talk the buyers through the printer’s history. That should include the maintenance works done and the upgrades.

Tell Potential Buyers What They Can Expect Post-Sale

Tell them the truth if the buyer asks whether you can offer troubleshooting support even after the sale. If you can, let them know the best way to contact you and the extent of support or advice you can give. If you can’t, give recommendations on who to call. You may want to provide them with the name and contact number of your maintenance and repair company.

Key Takeaways

Many online buy-and-sell or trading platforms allow you to put up used and pre-loved items for sale. People looking for bargains and specific pre-loved items purposely check out these sites, so you have a good chance of selling your 3D printer to whoever needs it.