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“Kayak has been used two times.”
“11′ paddleboard, never used. Original cost $1010, selling for $699.”
“Hyperlite wakeboard, used once.”
Are you the type of gear buyer that has a treadmill in the corner of your basement collecting clothing or dust? Or maybe you bought a kayak that has only seen the water a handful of times? Don’t fret- you’re not alone. In a 2009 Consumer Reports survey, found that nearly 40% of surveyed people said they did not use their newly bought gear as often as they expected to. But we aren’t here to make you feel guilty about buying new gear, we’re here to show you that buying used gear is a great option! Most used gear is lightly used and affordable, perfect if you’re new to a sport and don’t want to fork over big bucks just yet. And-bonus!- used gear purchases keep some of those treadmill/clothing racks out of the landfill.
Play it Again Sports is probably the best-known chain that sells used outdoor gear, with around 300 locations in the United States. The pros: Most stores have a big selection of gear for all kinds of sports, and they closely inspect equipment before offering it for sale. The cons: While you can find items for 40 to 60 percent of their original retail price, the deals aren’t as good compared to buying directly from sellers.
For buying used gear online, we like GearTrade, a site based in Park City, Utah that’s owned by a group of skiers, mountain bikers and snowboarders. GearTrade has a few useful features, like condition ratings and estimated savings off retail. And if you find a large item you really want, you can save hundreds even after paying for shipping. We browsed a few kayaks and found they shipped for around $100-$150. Some sellers even offer free shipping.
If you’d rather make a deal in person, there’s always Craigslist. Or, check out these apps that are designed to connect people with local sellers. Please be safe when meeting people you don’t know, always meet in a well lit and busy public place and bring someone with you.
Some people love and coddle their gear. Some people treat their stuff like trash. When you’re considering a purchase from a private seller, ask:
Also, do your research ahead of time. Know how much a comparable new model costs, and know the exact size and style you need. If it’s everything you’re looking for, shake on it! Then strap on your Cudas water shoes and get to paddleboarding, canoeing or kayaking. Happy summer!