Good new inline skates can be very expensive - sometimes the cost may keep you from skating. Many are afraid to try used skating equipment, but sometimes used is a much better choice than really cheap new skates. There is a lot of used inline skating equipment sitting around in closets, garages and on shelves in sports resale shops like Play It Again Sports . There is also a lot of good equipment for sale online at Ebay or off-line in your local thrift store.
Many of these used skates may still have life in them, and may offer better quality and more features at a price that is a fraction of the cost of new economy equipment. Occasionally a pair of like-new premium inlines will surface, because the original owner was not fitted properly, picked the wrong model or decided on another activity. These are rare finds and should be considered a top choice, if the fit is right. Usually, used equipment is just another short-term solution, but if you shop carefully, a pair of recycled inline skates can get you through the first season or two of basics.
Consider these things when buying used equipment:
- Check that all buckles, straps, Velcro and laces are intact and working. Laces are simple to replace. Buckles and other closures are not always easy to install.
- Make sure that the lining is complete and in reasonable condition. Replacement liners can be purchased, if the skate is worth it.
- Check all wheels for excessive and uneven wear. If the wheels are in bad shape, consider the cost of replacement wheels plus the selling price to determine if you have found a good deal.
- Make sure that all wheels spin freely and evenly.
- Check the boots for major surface defects like cracks or major chips. Scratches and scrapes will not affect skate performance.
- Avoid buying used inlines online unless a seasoned skater can help you. That adventure should be reserved for experienced equipment shoppers.
- Make sure to get new protective gear (helmet, wrist guards, knee pads).
Use these tips to get a good deal:
- Ask around. And ask around first. The best deal and safest purchase will come from a friend or relative who has outgrown skates or moved into new equipment.
- Visit skating rinks, skateparks and sports centers. Read board posts and leave a post of your own stating your skate needs, since a good deal can also come from another skating enthusiast who has equipment to sell.
- Shop around. Go to resale shops and garage sales in your community. Find out when new shipments arrive. Check for skates early spring, end-of-summer and after Christmas when equipment replacement is likely.
- Don't be afraid to negotiate. Some sellers will not barter. But, it never hurts to try - especially if you have a cash sale.
- Don't be afraid to leave your neighborhood. If you are in a neighborhood with few skaters, there may be opportunities in a nearby community with a lot more skaters unloading gear.
Take your time. You don't need to move a pair of useless skates from someone else's skate bag into yours.