Are IR Camera Sales Dead

I’ve heard several guys say they’ve advertised their Flir B50 / B60 or Fluke TiR or TiR1 for 2-3 months on varied sites and not even an enquiry on price or condition.

There are a many home inspectors (and “entrepreneurs”) that do not do any research before they make a decision to purchase a thermal imager. Buying a mid-range camera, getting “infrared certified” and getting rich from it overnight just ain’t how it works out. Serious thermographers purchase higher end cameras.

Personally… if you aren’t going to disclose the price for the item you are selling in the advertisement, you will not be getting an **inquiry **from me! My experience has been, that if there is no price listed, it is way overpriced. I don’t play those games.

Nope! Certainly not dead. Most guys are asking unrealistically high prices for their used imagers so they are stuck with them. The guys who have cash to buy them are not going to pay close to or above retail for a used unit. If you buy an imager without real training or a business plan, be prepared to join the ranks of the guys who are hoping to recoup most of their ill advised purchase price.

Like Jeff said, a classified ad with no price might as well say “don’t waste your time”.

I’m purchasing one, but I have been looking into it for the last six months. I have four choices of training also decided on. About three months ago I narrowed the choices down to two cameras and just in the last month I took another look at my finances and went up one step in the model I had chosen. I know(for now) the extent of how I want to use the camera in my business but I have a model which can go further if I decide to do more.

The choice of camera is certainly important, but since new models and prices change about every year, I just decided the business plan of what I want to do and the training will be more important. I quit worrying about the model I choose becoming obsolete because I know it will. I still want to be careful about what I spend and be responsible with my finances. This business upgrade is more about staying current with inspection technology and standing out from my competitors than it is about making money. Thermography can improve/expand my home inspection services without breaking the bank, after looking at it for years I decided it was a logical next step. I have zero desire to get into energy audits, the camera will be just another home inspection tool.(with GREAT potential!) Chuck is right, if you try to expand your business without research or a plan you are shooting yourself in the foot to be sure.

Are IR Camera Sales Dead ,
Yes at least in my section of Canada it looks that way to me .
I sold mine 3 years ago and have never been sorry .
I do not much advertising and the major one who was constantly saying how good it is Had his camera for sale and is no longer doing inspections.

This is sad as many in Canada who invested a lot of time and money now it seems to have been wasted

If you want actual numbers…no. We sold more cameras last year than in 2010, but it was lower volume due to camera prices coming down. I actually expect that trend to stop this year. I am seeing companies and individuals that now have Linus’s view of buying higher end cameras. With Flir and Testo making 640x480 in the sub $20k range those cameras are now starting to move. I am getting a few days with a T620 in the next few weeks, I will get you guys some images. I love the app that allows tablets and phones to “log into” the camera and use it. There are a lot of uses for that.

I am going to start doing remote demos with cameras. It will be cool to make it so people can actually use the camera before buying it and to be able to do that from anywhere.


I have seen camera sales go up and the prices of new IR cameras coming down. People selling used IR cameras try to sell them at a price that is too high, compared to what you can now buy a new one for, via our dealers.

I honestly don’t understand how a home inspector can actually justify NOT owning an infrared camera? On nearly every other home I inspect, (if not more during these wet Utah Winters) I find something that would have almost never been detected without the use of IR. If it wasn’t so late, I’d go through my images from just the last week and easily prove my case.

I believe I’ll prove my case tomorrow by just posting some of the stuff I’ve found over just the last 7-10 days. I make an IR believer out of nearly every client I do an inspection for. I even make it a point to ask the client “how could I or any inspector out there see what I’m showing you without this thermal imaging technology?”

I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as alot of folks on this site and especially the IR guys on the NACBI site concerning the capabilities IR, but I’d be willing to challenge any non-infrared home inspector out-there claiming they can offer the same quality of inspection as someone properly trained using a high resolution IR camera in addition to following the InterNachi SOP.

No, IR is not necessary to maintain a quality inspection according to our absolute minimum SOP, but for someone to think they can provide the same quality of inspection without IR as someone with IR is a challenge I welcome.

I’m not saying anyone that doesn’t use IR is any less of a knowledgeable SOP inspector. I personally don’t care if other inspectors use it or not. I realize there’s tons of way more experienced and knowledgeable inspectors out there than me not using IR. Heck, IR scares away just as many agents if not sometimes more than it will gain you.

I’m just saying that I find concerns nearly every week using thermal imaging that many of the best inspectors out there would have easily missed.

Feel free to tell me I’m wrong.

Good post.

Not wrong, just confused.

For our Office, we perform Home Inspections and Offer IR as an Ancillary service. Just like Radon, WDI and IAQ, Construction Phase, Architectural Review and Engineering… etc…

To answer your question,

  • A trained and qualified Thermographer performing an IR Scan / Inspection should be showing the images to the client.

It is important to distinguish the difference between Inspection Types and what is being contracted for.

Of course if you are going to waive an imager around and tout your IR prowess to prospective clients, you had better have real training in the principles of thermography and decent equipment under your belt.

If you are going to be reporting on thermal anomalies or exceptions, you should be knowledgeable in and compliant with accepted IR reporting standards.

If you are going to be pointing out moisture issues, you had better be confirming them using a moisture meter or other definitive testing means.

If you are going to be pointing your imager inside an electrical panel and calling out thermal exceptions, you had better have a clamp meter and be knowledgeable and compliant with accepted infrared electrical testing standards.

If you are going to be calling out issues with the building envelope you had better be knowledgeable with accepted infrared building inspection standards and apply an appropriate protocol to ensure appropriate conditions for such an inspection.

If you haven’t done these things, you shouldn’t call yourself a thermographer. If you have done these things, you will realize that performing an infrared inspection goes well beyond the scope of a home inspection and involves a great deal more than traipsing through someone’s house waiving around a camera only to “smack the hornet’s nest and run away.”.

If you have made the investment in equipment, experience and training, both you and your clients will realize that thermography is a professional service that adds significant value and is worth paying for.

Professional Thermographers don’t perform thermographic surveys for free and they don’t try to sell barely used cameras, hoping to recover a portion their unrealized investment.

Be Professional!

So basically you’re training your local market to “not hire home inspectors” and only hire “IR techs” because an HI can’t see chit without
the IR! And you wonder why you are having problems growing your business! :roll:

Those chimney marketing pictures is a great idea, Chuck.


Well Said…

Brandon - Good post, BUT …

I’m with Joe on this … If in a VISUAL home inspection it did not show up NOBODY missed anything. Thats what the SoP and my inspection is based on. VISUAL only at time and date of inspection.

My IR is a separate service that customers pay for separately NOT hey folks I added $20 to my home inspection fee for use of my $7,000 IR camera as we know many guys do.

So you charge $179 plus $20.
What a rip off.:slight_smile:


For this area, we routinely and automatically add Radon Testing to every Inspection at an Ancillary fee of $150.

At $600 per monitor to purchase, your investment is quickly realized. (4 Inspections)

From a Business sense,** if you were to offer a Service (Included without Fee)** would not Radon over IR be more cost effective and beneficial to the Consumer and pose less Liability risk to the Inspector than free IR scans?

Your market may vary…

We Offer IR Scans as an Ancillary to the Home Inspection by Certified and Trained IR Thermographers at a rate of $450 minimum (2 hours).

IR is a Professional Business just like Home Inspection and it is treated and described to Clients as such.

=D> and there is why I am guessing IR is profitable for you. Most of you guys charge too little and it is treated as part of a home inspection. IR is IR. HI is HI.

I cannot tell you how many times I have sold customers in the same city that are in the same line of work. Within six months one is selling their camera and the other has bought two more. This not only goes for IR, but just about anything. Businesses that fail with IR would fail with anything else.