“I don’t buy used gear,” says the company reps. “I only buy used equipment I can return back to the manufacturer. I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of cameras, especially video recorders. I like to get the best from a system, and that’s why we only purchase used gear.”
This is, perhaps, the hardest question – as I know that the B&H reps’ experience with selling used equipment is almost entirely in the US. Here in Europe, there are a lot fewer laws banning the resale of used goods, because, to a lot of people, a used camera isn’t a used camera. “In Germany we have the law against resale,” B&H’s sales manager Andreas Wiegwer tells me. “In the UK, the same holds.”
And why should the UK be any different? After the EU referendum the EU’s high court decided that it could allow British courts and the EU parliament to legislate for a system where goods could be traded on the open market. After that, the UK could then choose whether or not to adopt or continue the EU’s system. The outcome is uncertain, and in any case the courts could decide that British courts, not EU politicians, should set that, and British politicians could decide that EU-wide legalisation should be left to the courts. There’s no chance that the EU will let anything happen so soon before Brexit. The UK will either have to wait until the end of Brexit and start the process all over again or go through a second referendum – which would be another way of saying, “Fuck you, you’re better off not talking to me!”
In general, the UK’s own laws are far better for video cameras than the EU laws that it’s trying to adapt and change – they say that it’s illegal to be in the public domain and to be doing something that isn’t legal. (This was an issue for us, too, but we had to put in special paperwork, and after consulting our lawyer we found that it wouldn’t be an issue.) The US won’t change its laws for new digital gadgets, even though Apple is getting into the business. B&H’s sales reps I spoke to also pointed out that the “buy used” thing would take more than a year to implement. “We’d need to make some very good stuff to justify the expense,” Mr Wiegwer admitted.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
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