Just get it out of my garage, please.
March 31, 2015 8:35 AM   Subscribe

Divers - why is it so difficult to sell used dive gear? And where/how is the best way to do so?

I have been trying to sell some used dive gear for, oh, more than a year now. I've been to every dive shop in the area (which all sell used gear), posted on CL, and posted on some local FB groups that are sort of "online garage sales".

These items were purchased at a garage sale by my husband when he was taking his certification. It was a few years ago and he's moved on in his hobbies, and has given me the go-ahead to get rid of this stuff, while himself wanting to take no part in the selling process.

I get that some gear is iffy to purchase used, like the tanks and the regulator, but I've also got 3 wetsuits, fins, booties, and a variety of accessories. I'm pricing everything as a lot (and way less than what he paid). And still not one bite.

I desperately want to use my garage for parking again instead of storage. Tips for the best way to reach willing buyers much appreciated. I'm in Los Angeles (and willing to travel to OC) if it matters.
posted by vignettist to Shopping (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If it's not selling as a lot, I would assume there's little market for those particular items sold together. First step would be to break up that lot. Sell what you can and put the rest on Freecycle.
posted by jessicapierce at 8:46 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]

Put it on eBay, starting price $0.99?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:47 AM on March 31, 2015

Find a forum for divers. There might be a "classifieds" section.
posted by pyro979 at 8:59 AM on March 31, 2015 [1 favorite]

Did the dive shops all decline to buy it? Did they give you a reason?
posted by insectosaurus at 9:01 AM on March 31, 2015

Definitely break it up - most of your purchasers will be regular divers who need to replace something, not newbies who need absolutely everything. If I needed new fins there is no way I would want to be saddled with somebody's old wetsuit as well. Even if I wanted a wetsuit anyway, you're really limiting your market. Somebody would need to be your husband's exact same height, weight and shoe size to want his job lot - you're much more likely to find somebody who just wants large fins.

Secondly, I always got much better results using the classifieds in the back of Sport Diver magazine. They also have website ads. I don't know what the U.S. equivalent is, but presumably your husband knows. That way you are targeting people who actually want diving kit. The wetsuit may sell on Ebay, lots of people need wetsuits. But for the specialised kit you need to target divers.
posted by tinkletown at 9:02 AM on March 31, 2015 [2 favorites]

First - you will probably have to break it up.

Second - how much are you charging for the various items? My guess is the price is too high for used ocean equipment. Just because you're pricing them lower than what he paid doesn't mean they're low enough for someone to bite. If they were purchased at a garage sale, and then used by your husband, and all of this was a few years ago, people might not want to save a bit of cash for older equipment like that. The salt water can be really hard on equipment if it's not really well cleaned and stored.

Third: consider the specific things you're trying to sell. Wetsuits are hard to sell: I don't want to drive 30+ minutes to try on one or two used wetsuits, with unknown condition and odor. I'd rather go to a single dive shop and be able to try on a bunch of sizes. Wetsuits are kind of hard to fit based on listed size alone. How much are you selling the wetsuits for? Same with fins: I can get really nice brand new fins for $100 or so. I'd rather do that than save $50 on 5+ year old fins with buckles in possible disrepair.

Fourth: Specialty items often require specialty forums or selling locations. Have you tried posting on LA-specific diving and surfing listservs? Find dive-specific listservs, forums, Facebook groups. I'd also contact some dive schools, and try to distribute it as a package for another new diver.

Five: What are your posts like? Have you taken good photos, with good light and at various angles? Do you have good descriptions on them? Measurements, ages, any issues carefully documented? Are they clean and in good repair?

Finally: I don't know, these might be hard to get much money for. Most divers are not super stingy: they want equipment they can trust, and that fits their specific quirks and needs. Might be hard to unload without a personal network to exploit.
posted by barnone at 9:05 AM on March 31, 2015

Price it individually, and, "way less than what he paid" should be a given because the stuff has been sitting around in a garage for a few years. You probably need "way, way, WAY less" here.

I don't know much about dive equipment but I buy and sell loads of used goods. That nobody bit on CL+ for over a year means your price is at a point where nobody could buy it and re-sell it in a more specialized market at a even a modest profit. You're asking too much.

Or. Since the dive shops didn't touch it and apparently people have not been sending you lower offers, it's possible that the stuff has simply aged to the point where it has no monetary value. Since neither the shops nor the entirety of a large CL thinks they can make a buck off re-selling it, this is not at all unlikely.
posted by kmennie at 9:14 AM on March 31, 2015

Yeah, one needs to price things on CL very very low. The buyer has to want the stuff, put in the effort to drive to your house -- not knowing if it will be worthwhile, since he can't actually see/handle it until he arrives -- get the cash together, etc., and then he's not even getting something new and guaranteed.

You could try selling through some kind of diving club or school, maybe. A more specialized market.
posted by amtho at 10:19 AM on March 31, 2015

You might try to see if the items are currently being sold on Amazon and if so list them on AMZ used. Very likely will get sales there if so. Doubt you would get much for either dive regulators or dive computers that were a few years old however. Dive computers get outdated pretty quickly, and regulators, well other people have been breathing into them and your a malfunctioning regulator can be a life threatening event, so I think many would not want a used one.
posted by jcworth at 11:10 AM on March 31, 2015

You must sell them individually, no one is going to but as a lot, I'm afraid.
posted by smoke at 1:58 PM on March 31, 2015

Response by poster: Thank you all for the answers and good advice. I think you are all right and I will have to break up the lot, I don't know why I didn't really think of it before; I kind of thought if someone wants the wet suits they'd be happy to have the accessories too. But I'm not a diver... Anyway, appreciate all the input.
posted by vignettist at 4:29 PM on March 31, 2015

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