Bargain ... MFDB ... hmm, they don't often go together ... but has anyone noticed the recent trend of used MFDBs being cheaper from dealer's than privately? Ok, trend is maybe not the right word, but there are certainly some deals to be had. Not sure why this is - the large number of trade-ins for IQ backs, or the advent of 36MP Nikon's ... whatever, the end result seems to be the same - you can enter the MFD world today for a lot less than even just a couple of years ago.
As an example, here's a P45+ for £7495 = $12k (US) from a UK dealer. Most that I see privately for sale start at $12k. All things being equal, if a dealer is selling one for $12k, a private sale should be significantly less, otherwise why bother? Taking my general rule-of-thumb that a private sale should be at most 80% of what a dealer is asking, for gear in the same condition, this means that mint P45+s should be going for around $9.5k privately.
Another one: Optechs digital had an Aptus II 12 for sale a few weeks back for $20k - cheapest I've seen privately is $25k - another great deal. Surely these should be going privately for around $16k? Optechs just had an IQ180 for $33k - which should mean privately they're going for a lot less...$26k...but they're not. Here's a UK dealer with an IQ180 for $29.8k...so privately this should be $23.8k. Cheapest on eBay that I've seen is $32k (didn't make its reserve however). Why would anyone bid $32k if for $2k less (in the UK) or $1k more (in the US) you could buy from a reputable dealer like dtek/optechs (respectively)? P25+s seem to sell privately for $7k+ well here's one with only 3500 actuations for $6.8k - from a dealer. DTEK just sold one with only 460 exposures for the same price. Both with 1 year's support. Again, as a private sale - with no support - they should be going for significantly less ... I'd say around about the $5.5k mark.
So, it seems to me now that now, more than ever before, it's worth checking with a dealer if you're interested in a MFDB, rather than just assume a private seller is going to be a more economical proposition. If the private seller is wanting nearly as much as the dealer (or more), then it's gotta be the dealer every time - for the added support they bring to the table.
P.S. I realise that different warranties can add value to used sales - be they a dealer or private seller - but private sales of used P/P+/Aptus backs rarely seem to come with any of the 'added value loaner back' type warranties, so the warranty you get from the dealer - usually 30 days -> 1 year makes a dealer an even more attractive proposition.
P.P.S. I also realise that private sales may allow for tax avoidance, which makes them more attractve to non-professionals - who are generally registered for sales tax (VAT in the UK, HST in Canada etc.) and can claim it back. However, even taking that into account, I still feel a lot of private sales are pitched too high, and that dealer's shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.
P.P.P.S. If anyone spots any great deals to be had at (reputable!) dealers, why not post them here and let everyone know? It'll sure it'll be more tempting than the usual 'phone for price' (à la buying a used car) scenario.
P.P.P.P.S. I'm not a dealer.