Thursday, August 25, 2022

on buying used gear...

Some good news, something interesting about Dolphins, and in the "Another banned book" department...

I'm a firm believer in recycling where boat gear is concerned for a variety of reasons. Some of which might surprise you.

For most, the main reason to buy used gear is just simple economics. Recycling older gear is less expensive than new and that alone makes it a good thing. That said, looking at older gear on eBay often finds the cost of old gear is as expensive as new, and what's up with that?

A lot of second hand gear, especially electronics if still working, just might last forever while the exact same model new from WEST or their ilk might not work at all. Electronics are funny that way.

As someone who has worked in the marine consignment business, I quickly learned that for the most part, the main reasons folks brought stuff to us was that it did not work, they did not need it, or that they simply wanted something newer and shiny to keep up with the "cool" kids.

Then there's the element of mystery. Why is someone selling the object in question? There's almost always a story behind why someone is selling something that sometimes is surprisingly interesting. Or, to paraphrase Rod Stewart... 

Every boat bit has a story. 

Some of those stories can be quite compelling.

Romantic musings aside, I do have some rules in buying used gear. In general, they are:

  • the item needs to be working or fixable, 
  • the object is something that's needful rather than just something that was cheap,
  • they should cost no more than 50% (but preferably less) of the product when new.

I've noticed a trend in folks pricing their gear at 90% of new. It might work for them since there is no shortage of idiots with boats these days, but if you want to actually get rid of unneeded gear, you'll find that 50% of new is the sweet spot, and I have a lot of consignment experience to back that up. Which is a roundabout way of saying it pays not to be greedy.

Listening to some Jethro Tull coverage

So it goes...