Out with the old summer gear, in with the new (or slighly used)
Special to the Daily
Too good to be true
If you’ve ever seen a deal that looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Protect yourself from scams and nefarious scenarios by employing these tips from Detective Lieutenant Dan Loya, of the Eagle County Sherriff’s Office.
“If you can’t speak to (the seller) face-to-face, don’t buy it,” Loya said. The best way to ensure a legitimate sale is to meet in a public place and do a hand-to-hand transaction, he continued. If the seller is unwilling to do that, then walk away.
Be wary of unbelievable prices — the item might be hot. The sheriff’s department has a database of items, like bicycles, that have been reported stolen. “If you have a gut feeling that it’s stolen, don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement,” Loya said. Look for any distinguishing marks or a serial number so that law enforcement can compare the item you’re considering with their database.
Ask a lot of questions. “If you’re a mountain bike enthusiast and you start asking questions that they (the seller) can’t answer, that’s a telling sign,” Loya said. The item may be stolen or a forgery. Do your research and make sure that the seller can back up their information, too.
It’s that time of year again: Time to complete the transition from winter to summer gear. Sure, there are a few places where skiing is still acceptable, but now is the time to store those snowboards and break out the bikes, kayaks, boats and hiking boots for the warm season.
When those summer toys once again see the light of day, the inspection soon follows. Is this item still functional with three layers of duct tape? Does it still fit the way that I remember? Do I really need four different tents?
Then there’s the inevitable, “I know I had a (camp stove, retractable paddle, harness, etc.), but where is it?”
Gearing up for the summer is a multi-step affair: inventory, inspect, discard, plan and purchase. The purchase part can be expensive — and getting rid of unwanted stuff can be a pain — but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some options for not only finding the gear you want at a reasonable price, but also scoring some cash on the stuff you no longer want.
Out with the old
First things first: Figure out what you no longer want and need. Not only will you have space to store new stuff, but you can purchase said new stuff with the money you make from selling your old stuff.
There are many opportunities to part with your old gear, such as posting an ad on Craigslist, donating it to the thrift shop or taking it to the annual Ski & Snowboard Swap in October. However, there are a few options that take some of the hassle out of sites such as Craigslist, and will pay you for your gently used gear.
Threadlyte, a company based in Breckenridge, is an online consignment site that buys and sells used outdoor clothing for men, women and kids. Unlike the traditional consignment model, Threadlyte pays for the clothing up front, so you have cash in hand for your unwanted items.
A scan of the site shows brands such as Patagonia, Lululemon, Cloudveil and The North Face. All of the items are inspected for condition, said Brian Flickinger who, with his wife Michelle, founded Threadlyte. There are no holes and all of the zippers and snaps work; there might be some small signs of wear, but the items are in good condition, Flickinger said.
“The people we’re buying from, and the people we’re selling to, are two different customers,” Flickinger said. “The people we’re buying from, they aspire to be outdoors, but they don’t use it (the clothing) as much and it doesn’t get beat up.”
The people who buy from Threadlyte, he said, are people who will use the items a lot — and they’re looking for a better deal than retail.
“We offer a premium brand and a premium performing piece of clothing at a great value,” Flickinger said. “We’re taking the search out of the thrift store.”
For hard and soft good gear, check out The Pro’s Closet. Focused on buying and selling used bikes and assorted gear, The Pro’s Closet operates mainly online but has drop-off locations in Denver and Boulder.
If you have a bike to sell, then simply go online and fill out a form. You’ll need to submit photos of the drive side and non-drive side of the bike, but that’s the most complicated part of the process, and it’s not complicated. The Pro’s Closet will contact you with any questions or an offer; you review the offer and, if you accept, make plans for shipping or drop off. Ta-da: Your bike is sold. Someone else will love your old friend, and you have cash to make a new two-wheeled buddy.
In with the new
Now that you’ve created some space for new gear, consider whether you want brand-new items, or if something used might be the ticket.
The Pro’s Closet is the largest online retailer of used bike parts (the site also sells full bikes, accessories and apparel) in the country.
“Used bike parts are cheaper, generally work just as well as new bike parts, and can be just as easy to obtain,” wrote Bruce Lin in a post for The Pro’s Closet. “… Buying used bike parts not only allows you to save money, but extends the life cycle of quality components and gear. It’s the type of thing that keeps a sport like cycling thriving, and helps keep cyclists like me thriving as well.”
If you’re set on something new, take a look at online sale sites such as The Clymb, which offers deals up to 70 percent off retail prices through a flash sale model: When the time runs out, the deal is gone. There’s no guarantee that you’ll find a specific model or color in brands such as Oakley, KEEN, Big Agnes or others, but if you’re on a general search, then there is opportunity for serious saving.
Other websites, like Steep and Cheap (outdoor gear) and Whiskey Militia (surf and skate gear), are deal-at-a-time sites. These sites show one highly discounted product at a time until it sells out. It requires some patience and a willingness to keep one eye on the site (though Steep and Cheap has a browser plug-in that will flash new deals as they occur), but the rewards can be significant if you find that perfect product that you’ve been waiting for.
Other options for finding cheap gear include discount sites like Backcountry.com or making friends with someone who has a pro-form, a handy code that allows the bearer to get discounts on gear from manufacturers. The bottom line is that there are a myriad of ways to get a good deal on the stuff you need for summer. Just get out there and enjoy it.
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