Instead of making your garage an homage to your formative years, trade in your used gear for some new, better, faster goods, or just some fresh cash. Conversely, if you’re in the market for some new-to-you stoke, there are many sweet deals out there. How much money can you get? A good rule of thumb is to divide the retail price in half and then take 30% off of that. Be realistic. There probably isn’t a huge market of potential buyers for your ski boots that were already semi-crappy when you bought them, so be willing to negotiate.
You can sell your gear yourself online using a site like geartrade.com. When your item sells, they take a 12% commission. However, they handle the payment processing for you so you don’t have to worry about collecting money. All you have to do is ship the item to the buyer within five business days.
Black Diamond’s (blackdiamondequipment.com) bi-annual flea market style swap is so fantastical that purveyors arrive well before sunrise to get a spot and set up their trunk shops. There are plenty of pre-dawn gear hunters too.
They arrive with their headlamps on in search of the best booty and early morning deals. Be prepared to barter, try to keep in mind that the benefit is in the aggregate and you get to keep 100% of the cash! See a list of gear swaps on page 15.
2nd Tracks (2ndtracks.com) arrival on the scene in late 2009 has changed the game for gear trading. They take a 30% cut, but you set the price they sell it for, and it’s a non-binding contract so you can pull your gear back at anytime. You can leave items there all season, but after 90 days the price drops by 10%, and after 120 days it drops by 30%.
IME (imeutah.com) also has a small outdoor gear consignment shop, which primarily trades in climbing gear. When your gear sells, they take 20% commission if you want store credit, or 40% commission if you want cash back. Generally speaking, it’s not smart to buy safety items like climbing ropes and cams from strangers. You never know if other people have taken care of the gear, and you wouldn’t want put your life or someone else’s at risk because you found a great deal.