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Gear Swap Etiquette
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J Dos Antos
(Damager) - M

Locale: Redwoods of Santa Cruz Mts
Gear Swap is great! on 03/18/2013 08:54:54 MDT Print View

Though I'm new to BPL, I've been a UL backpacker for years, and I'm so grateful I've found this site and the Gear Swap section. Like other posters have previously stated, I now finally have the opportunity to experiment with gear at a fraction of the cost of buying brand new gear. I've landed a couple pieces at a discounted rate.

The OP also mentioned that sellers say items are used 1, 2, or 3 nights, and it's a frequent occurrence, maybe too frequent. Actually, doesn't it make perfect sense that most of us have to buy our UL gear sight unseen from cottage companies, then test it on an initial trip and see if it works for us?

For instance, I bought a SMD Lunar Duo 2 for my GF and I, then we broke up after we used it for one trip. So I sold it on here for a great price. I didn't want to return it to SMD, since it was a brilliant piece of gear with no defects. It's not SMDs fault I'm lousy at relationships.

It's up to us to ask questions, and ask for detailed photos. That's what I did. For the most part nowadays, if you're savvy enough to buy and sell gear on forums, you probably have a camera of some sort. I post plenty of photos, and ask for photos from all angles. Problem mostly solved.

Oh, and I also think it's up to us to make sure if a seller is consistently posting misleading ads or selling bad gear, that we make sure the BPL community is aware of that fact.

Anyway, I'm glad to be a part of the BPL community after all these years, and I thank all of the posters who post accurate, honest info. This is the type of site that makes the internet such an incredible resource.

Kurt Lammers
(lammers8) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Thank you to everyone who responded on 03/18/2013 12:03:00 MDT Print View

I think the occasional caveat emptor is appropriate in this space; for me I think it's really important that first time sellers take note that many of us won't bother even PMing about an item that isn't well represented w/actual photography. For example there's an item FS today that I might have been interested in, that's posted w/stock photography.

Assume that your educated BPL audience knows what the item in question is: what we'd like to see is precisely what condition yours is in. I don't think that's unreasonable, your idea of "like new" and mine may differ. The items I've carefully purchased from the swap were always well represented, and have always been received meeting 100% of set expectations.

Edited by lammers8 on 03/18/2013 17:44:54 MDT.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Gear Swap Etiquette" on 03/18/2013 12:09:24 MDT Print View

This is one of the reasons that on gear like tents, jackets or backpacks I won't consider an ad that doesn't post photos of the actual item. For one, it's just good practice to show a buyer what they're getting and not expect them to google it. And the photo needs to be the item being sold, not a stock photo off the seller's website. Tents should be set up when the photo is taken.

One thing I wish people would do is not delete the sale price after they sell it. I often search gear swap to find out what an item has recently sold for to determine if a price is good or not, and it's getting more and more common for the sellers to delete that information.

Edited by EagleRiverDee on 03/18/2013 12:54:36 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: "Gear Swap Etiquette" on 03/18/2013 12:12:36 MDT Print View

Dena,

I think the reason folk delete the price is they often may have accepted a low ball offer.

Karple T
(ctracyverizon)

Locale: Mid-Alantic
"Gear Swap Etiquette - Photos on 03/18/2013 12:23:15 MDT Print View

I can understand posting Photo's of a fairly used item that has some wear and tear but if something is in new or near new condition what more will you get from the owners photos? (I have items up now with stock photos)

If you have done your research on an item and know about what you are buying and can get it in great shape for less than buying from the retailer I have never needed photo's of the original item. I often get a much better idea of what it looks like off the manufacturers site than from photos any a seller here has posted.

There are times of the year and weather conditions when I am not setting up gear outside to take pictures : )

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: "Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/18/2013 17:15:41 MDT Print View

One thing I have noticed when doing business via PM on gear swap is a lot of folk never say hello or thank you.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: "Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/18/2013 23:48:50 MDT Print View

"One thing I have noticed when doing business via PM on gear swap is a lot of folk never say hello or thank you."

Since we're on the bitching track... many posters on this forum don't give thanks for responses either -- but simply continue with the next batch of questions.

Marcus Strohm
(afterburner2020)

Locale: SE Texas
Re: "Gear Swap Etiquette" on 03/19/2013 06:46:11 MDT Print View

"One thing I wish people would do is not delete the sale price after they sell it. I often search gear swap to find out what an item has recently sold for to determine if a price is good or not, and it's getting more and more common for the sellers to delete that information."

Pitching in my $.02, I usually remove prices due to the fact that the items don't always sell for the stated prices in the thread so I find it easier to remove it rather than change it. I also feel that each transaction is individual enough (sellers in different areas, items in different conditions, etc) that sellers and buyers should find their own prices, not go off comparing to everyone else.

If you don't like the price, ask the seller if they will come down. In my case as long as its reasonable (not lowballing "will you take $20 for that Trailstar thats in great shape?") I'll come down on my price and find the gear a new home.

Edited by afterburner2020 on 03/19/2013 06:47:45 MDT.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: "Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/19/2013 07:05:41 MDT Print View

"One thing I have noticed when doing business via PM on gear swap is a lot of folk never say hello or thank you."




I think that is more a function of the terrible pm system. Its seems like a very non personal way of communication. I find when you switch to email after the initial pm people use better grammer, full sentances and more polite langauge

Edited by GregF on 03/19/2013 07:07:16 MDT.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Re: "Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/19/2013 10:53:30 MDT Print View

Well I for one would like to thank each and every one of you who I've bought gear from...I've never had a bad experience and everyone has been so nice! And for all the help I get on the other forums. I've pestered so many of you with so many questions and have gotten great responses, including several that make me pee my pants with laughter. Love you guys...

Now someone please buy my stuff.

Jane Howe
(janeclimber) - MLife
feedback on 03/19/2013 11:14:18 MDT Print View

A topic is being brought up again and again, that is because people are interested in it.

So far I have got good experience using Gear Swap. Here is my two cents.

I usually post a note on the original thread and thank the seller publicly if I am 100% satisfied with the transaction. This is my way of thank the seller and (I hope) to help the seller to build his/her reputation for future transactions.

Michael Gillenwater
(mwgillenwater) - M

Locale: Seattle area
Making an efficient marketplace on 03/19/2013 12:46:11 MDT Print View

On the point of deleting prices... Actually, it is one of the fundamental aspects making a marketplace more efficient, fair, and honest that prices should to public and transparent. This is why we have exchanges, and why secret proprietary trades often lead to market failure and corruption. I am not saying we have issues with corruption here. But my economist antennae got perked up by the comment below. Price discovery and transparency is fundamental to a good and fair marketplace. So I would argue that publishing the price for which something sold is to the benefit of the community and should be considered good practice.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Gear Swap Etiquette" on 03/19/2013 13:55:09 MDT Print View

I, too, have had nothing but good experiences on my purchases off of gear swap.

On the pricing thing I mentioned, my reasoning is similar to what Michael said but more basic- Gear Swap can be an amazing research tool to determine market value of an item. But it's useless if people delete their final asking price out of the ad. The seller has that right, but if everyone does that then Gearswap loses part of it's usefulness to the community. I suppose you can just say every item is worth what a buyer will pay for it, but I sure prefer to know the price range the item has sold for previously, especially if it's not an item I'm very familiar with.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pricing on 03/19/2013 14:09:30 MDT Print View

The pricing issue is interesting. One example really doesn't tell you much and there are many variables: condition, color, size, model changes and variations, rarity, recent manufacturer discontinuations and buyer urgency.

I use a rule of thumb that a used item in good condition is worth 60% of its street value, +/- the variables listed above.

Do keep in mind that there are offers and counter-offers behind the scenes and that the price shown in the post my not reflect the actual sale price.

Also consider that shipping can be a significant part of the sale price, particularly with large bulky items like a framed pack.

Aaron Davis
(ardavis324) - F
Re: Re: Pricing on 03/19/2013 14:13:25 MDT Print View

"I use a rule of thumb that a used item in good condition is worth 60% of its street value, +/- the variables listed above."


I definitely appreciate and agree with this. I often find it absurd when items are being listed at 90%+ of original cost. I'd never pay more than 30% off a piece of used outdoor equipment. I know they get sold at a premium here, but I find it laughable. Only good thing is if I want to sell something, I guess this is the place to do it.

Edited by ardavis324 on 03/19/2013 14:19:17 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Pricing on 03/19/2013 14:49:53 MDT Print View

Aaron,

I've found that people are usually willing to pay for quality UL products at 80% value or thereabouts -- if the items are in essentially new condition. It's significant savings for much the same thing.

Edited by ben2world on 03/19/2013 14:52:29 MDT.

Kurt Lammers
(lammers8) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Pricing on 03/19/2013 15:01:33 MDT Print View

"The pricing issue is interesting. One example really doesn't tell you much and there are many variables: condition, color, size, model changes and variations, rarity, recent manufacturer discontinuations and buyer urgency."

I'd add seasonal use to that good list, as with retail you'll often find bargain value here on say snowshoes in the Spring; when I've compared prices in the past on my own items I've considered listing I look for when it was sold to help determine reasonable pricing. Unfortunately I haven't been willing to part w/any gear yet :)

J Dos Antos
(Damager) - M

Locale: Redwoods of Santa Cruz Mts
Pricing on 03/19/2013 15:24:03 MDT Print View

It makes some sense to me that people want to see the price of what an item sold for, but there are many variables such as condition, shipping, etc. My policy is to offer an item for a fair price based on use and condition, not extract the most dollars out of my fellow ULers' wallets. I'm on as tight a budget as anybody on this forum, just about.

I have no problem going back to my sold items and including the price, but then it seems I have to include the original photos and at least one paragraph, maybe two, detailing the exact condition of the item. Otherwise, without detail, it seems to defeat the purpose of reposting the price. You're just saying this user bought X item from that user for Y amount.

However, if it's the general consensus of BPL forums, then I will go back and update the final sold price in my posts. Forgive me, I'm still learning the proper etiquette.

doug thomas
(sparky52804) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Iowa
Trying to follow GS protocol on 03/19/2013 15:34:48 MDT Print View

Ed Z. I received th Katabatic quilt today, opened it up and found a box full of feathers.....Just kidding, LOL. The quilt arrived in great shape. Looks brand new. The straps and cords look like they have never been used. I'm very happy with the purchase and look forward to many years of use. Thanks for everything. And the trashbag you sent it in will be put to good use too! Just wondering what the gumlike substance was. Looks like silly putty, but smells like bazooka joe. Thanks again. Doug

Edward Zwibel
(YetiEddie) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
lol on 03/19/2013 15:53:04 MDT Print View

Sorry doug. Silly putty! Doh! The straps and such were never used. One trick pony 4 me. No quilts. Sad thing is I bought three brand new. Ah well. Happy trails friend!