I’ve often been asked where is the best place for purchasing a second hand tent and what to look out for while shopping for a used tent. Well, personally I never buy used camping equipment because you never know whats it’s been through and how much wear and tear may not be clearly visible. Also the savings are very little when compares to buying new. Usually so little that I’d just spend the extra thirty or so bucks and get a new tent.
Local Classifieds Are The Best Option
However, if you are determined to buy second hand then the best place to look is the local classifieds because you can see and examine what you are considering for purchase before making the plunge. The local newspapers classifieds aren’t what they use to be but try looking in your local free classifieds that come out weekly such as the Thrifty Nickel or Greensheet. A good online classified site to search for used gear in your area is Craigslist. They have many categories and serve most areas of the country. Your area may also have a local classified site like southeastTexas.com. These are a few examples from my part of the world but your part surely has similar sources.
Online Sellers Offer Used Goods
One obvious place to look is Ebay. But it can be difficult to judge quality over the internet and you never know who you are buying from. If you go this route, make sure to check the sellers ratings and history and that it is mostly positive. Also be sure that the listing has a lot of good photos so that you can get a good idea of what you are buying.
An often forgotten about source of used items is Amazon. I’ve only bought books used from there, never larger items, so I can’t vouch for their used goods. If you notice near the listing price on items there is usually a link that say available used. I’ve seen this often when shopping for tents but have always bought new.
What To check For When Buying Used
When making the purchase there are a few things to check before hand. First check to make sure all the parts are there. does it have all the poles and stakes? Are the instructions still there? Does it have the rain fly? Check for tears and rips on the entirety of the tent. Small wholes and tears can possibly be patched but not the lager ones. Especially check the seams for damage, as the seams are near impossible to repair. Also insure that the zippers on the doors and windows function properly by testing them yourself. Check the exterior for water damage and dry rot.
Wrap it up
To conclude i would generally avoid buying used tents, but if you are determined there are plenty of options available. And when you think you’ve found a good deal be sure to check the brand new price to make sure it’s worth it.