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Gear Swap practices
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just Justin Whitson
Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 17:15:31 MST Print View


Edited by ArcturusBear on 01/26/2014 21:23:43 MST.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 18:12:46 MST Print View

>> what you folks think about selling gear at gear swap for more than you paid for it later on down the line?

In your shoes, as the buyer, I wouldn't care.

The "value" of an item is what I'm willing to pay for it. For me, that's based on the current new retail price, the condition, and maybe the age. How much the seller paid for it at one time doesn't affect the value *for me*.

But I think, for you, the value does include what the seller paid for it. So you made a counter-offer for what it's worth to you... and the seller, as is his prerogative, declined your offer.

IMO, I think that's exactly how "gear swap practice" is supposed to work.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 18:21:44 MST Print View

I don't see anything unethical about the price.

Lots of people make their entire life around buying low and selling high. That's the way that the stock market works, at a minimum. Besides, some people buy a commodity at a market price, then hold onto it until the value goes up, perhaps in a different season.


Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 18:32:48 MST Print View

It's a free market. BPL does not have any official position on this.

PS: the stock market analogy is a good one.

Brian Mix
(Aggro) - MLife

Locale: Western slope, Sierra Nevada
Re: Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 18:39:08 MST Print View

Buy low sell high whatever. I do that with some aspects in life but when it comes to gear and backpacking and this forum I don't. I feel if I can pass on a deal to a fellow hiker then I will. Sometimes I will opt for Ebay to off an item. So on principal I don't agree with it and as a seller I can and will choose my buyer. If I look at your posting history and it is only in gearswap buying many similar and redundant items, plan for me to skip right over you. My items, my decision etc...

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Gear Swap Practices on 01/25/2014 18:47:50 MST Print View

Justin - Sadly, there are a lot of Adam Smith, Ayn Rand laissez faire types that see the Gear Swap Forum as "market place" and not part of the BPL "community." I wish they would all go to Ebay where they belong. I feel that the Gear Swap Forum is part of the BPL community and I am not looking to profit off of fellow BPL members when I sell gear. I think having quality light weight gear available at low prices aids and enriches all BPL members as we fiddle and experiment with our kits. I say shame on those members seeking to profit off of other BPL members.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 19:13:02 MST Print View

Agreed Sumi. Something costs what people will pay for it. Stuff can be difficult to find, has long wait lists, is discontinued, whatever...all those things make a difference in what something will sell for. If you don't want to pay that then don't...your prerogative.

Speaking for myself, I've had a few catch and release items and to be honest, I frequently don't remember what I paid for it. So I guess...based on what I think I'd pay for it. No malice there at all...just a lack of desire to look up what I paid for it.

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 19:23:59 MST Print View

Granted, I don't know how close the price was to what the last buyer paid, but since you said the asking price was close I would say it may be to cover shipping to you so he/she doesn't lose money.

Stephen Collins
(stephencwcollins) - F

Locale: New England
Could go both ways... on 01/25/2014 19:25:25 MST Print View

[edit: apparently as I was writing this others made a lot of the same points, so sorry for the repeat!]

The economics major in me agrees with Sumi. It's just two parties doing a transaction. What price the seller is willing to sell for is his choice, and it's up to you whether you want to accept it. The past is the past; doesn't matter if he acquired it for free or paid $1 million for it.

Compare swapping gear to the stock market, where buy-low sell-high transactions take place all the time. One person will buy a stock at a certain price, say $10 per share, and then sell it for a higher price later on, say $20 per share. No one I'm aware of questions whether this is ethical.

HOWEVER I think Justin brings up a good point about this being a community. It's not the stock market or any other typical market. And personally, buying low from one BPLer and selling high to another BPLer strikes me as pretty sketchy. It doesn't sit right in my stomach.

But circumstances can vary, and I think intent matters.

If, for example, someone came in here and bought a bunch of 3-season tarps and clothing in the dead of winter (when demand for 3-season stuff is lower) without the intention of ever using them, and then sold them at a profit in the summer (when demand for 3-season stuff is higher), that might strike a lot of us as unethical.

In comparison, if someone buys, say, a stove 10 years ago for $25 and now it's a rare and coveted stove, would it be ethical for him to sell it for a profit? Personally I would have no qualms whatsoever with that.

Even in the first example, where someone is buying stuff with the sole intent of profiting off it, I think there's an argument for it being ethical. The guy is providing a service to the seller by taking it off their hands, and providing a service to the buyer by selling them something that's worth it to them at that price.

For example, say I posted a tent on gear swap this week and really need the cash. I wait a week and no one is biting. Then some guy comes in out of the blue and buys it. I'm relieved. I got the cash I needed to buy those new winter boots I wanted. Fast forward six months, summer is here. Guy who bought my tent hasn't used it once and posts it on gear swap again. He ends up selling it for $100 more than what he paid for it.

Is there anything wrong with that? I'm happy because I got the money when I needed it and no one else was biting; he's happy because he made $100; and the buyer in the summer is happy because they got a tent they wanted when they wanted it at a price that was agreeable to them. And put yourself in the poor gear swap profiteer's shoes. He lost the opportunity cost of the money he paid me for the tent and took a risk. He had no guarantee that he'd be able to sell the tent for a profit.

That being said, it still strikes me as kinda skeezy to take advantage of the goodwill of community members who are willing to sell their stuff at a good price for the sake of giving other members a good deal. So think what you will...

Edited by stephencwcollins on 01/25/2014 19:27:03 MST.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Re: Gear Swap Practices on 01/25/2014 19:26:25 MST Print View

I recently had a bad experience with a dishonest individual regarding the return of a stove. I googled the persons name and several listings on the google page showed that person to be here at BPL. I then searched his name and the only forum he has ever participated in was the gear swap. Buying and selling is all he did. In one of the threads a member was in disagreement with him on a sale. It was mentioned the individual was also using other website sale forums. I'll be watching closely his sales format from now on. PM me if you want the name of the individual.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Could go both ways... on 01/25/2014 19:29:03 MST Print View

I will add to my previous statement and say that I, a liberal commie pinko, also think it's not necessarily NICE to jack up prices. I get it, I understand why people do it, but I like being part of this community. I also kind of feel weird when people's only participation is gear swap. This is NOT ebay or craigslist, and I appreciate the folks here quite a lot.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Could go both ways... on 01/25/2014 20:11:06 MST Print View

Both ways like if someone bought it for $100 and was offering to sell it for $50? Would you then offer to pay $100 so he wouldn't lose? I think not :)

Other things to consider: were improvements made to the product, like seam sealing, adding guy lines and stakes? Do you know that actual selling price? You really have no concrete idea what kind of deal or trade was made.

In this case how much are we really taking about? I can't imagine there being some huge amount involved with an item that sells for $135 new. There can't be much room for villainous profiteering with an item like that.

Good bargaining tactics would dictate that you make an offer from your informed position. If you know what he paid for it, make a counter-offer based on your knowledge. Taking someone to task on what price they bought it at just makes them defensive and sours the deal as appears has happened. There's a little poker playing in all of this.

I think the real issue to be concerned with is the integrity of the seller: is the item in the stated condition, shipped promptly, etc? If there are issues, will the seller back it up? The market will level out the asking price if it is too high.

If this is all so bothersome, why not support SMD's good work and buy a new one?

Steven Diogenes
(stevenn) - F
+1 for community on 01/25/2014 20:24:33 MST Print View

While you may not find anything wrong with upcharging on something you got at a discount, I think there is something to be said for the choice you make. I'd rather help one of you folks than try to make $50 off of you.

I like the idea of cooperation and kindness more than profit. I like the idea of giving what you don't need to those who do need it. Hiker boxes, free boxes, Really Really Really Free Markets, and gifts are good examples.

I really appreciate the folks here who try to help people and sell their stuff at cost/below cost or PIF instead of just trying to make money off of trade. Of course, some people have to recoup their losses or whatever, no problem, but it's the really blatant profiteering that is unfortunate.

The whole idea of the Gear Swap board being full of arbitrage and not community members helping eachother out is a sad one.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 21:36:58 MST Print View

OK, so I am trying to sell a $600 down jacket for $400 (I don't like it/need the money, who cares why)
Now Joe Citizen is advertising the same jacket for $200 because he bought for that from someone else here ,however it does not really fit him very well.
Eventually Joe Citizen does sells his for $200 (because he is a nice and ethical guy) so by doing so he forced me to drop my price by $200.
(why are you asking $400 when J Citizen just sold one for $200? question from concerned BPL member)

I am starting to dislike that Joe Citizen and all of his nice ethics.

Note that by now 3 of those $600 jackets have been sold for $200, so that is the going price.
So now, the original seller, Joe Citizen and myself are heros in the eyes of some and villans in the eyes of others.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 21:48:02 MST Print View

"Eventually Joe Citizen does sells his for $200 (because he is a nice and ethical guy) so by doing so he forced me to drop my price by $200."

Joe did not exactly force you to drop your price at all. His cheap sale put some pressure on you to drop your price, but you were not forced to do anything. Won't some buyers buy from you just because of your sterling reputation?

Besides, if a seller is seen continally lowering prices, then he gets a reputation for continually lowering prices, so his original higher prices all start seeming overblown and will be ignored.

I guess that is just a harsh reality of the free enterprise system.


Steven Diogenes
(stevenn) - F
Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 21:54:18 MST Print View

Franco, I don't think anyone is saying you'd be a villain for selling a jacket for less than you bought it for. I think that would be cool of you.

If people were just coincidentally deeply discounting the same jacket for no reason other than to help BPL members, and you couldn't/didn't want to sell it for less, then there are other options like eBay or GearTrade. I honestly don't see that really happening though.

I think that's sort of an exception that doesn't really disprove the general idea of an ethos of helping each other out.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 22:00:32 MST Print View

No , Joe Citizen was gone by then.
It was Mr Concerned BPL Member that shamed me in dropping the price by pointing out in my for sale thread that the same item just sold for $200 less.

Just to make it clear for some, my example was just about how others may perceive these kind of transactions.
We have had here,within BPL Gear Swap, both people complaining that items were advertised at too high prices as we also have had others complaining that some were posting too low prices therefore devaluing what they had to sell.
The reason for the high or low price is not all that relevant
None of the above has anything to do with me, my way of thinking, ethics, ethnic background, religious affiliations or not, it was just an example.

Edited by Franco on 01/25/2014 22:59:33 MST.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 22:02:26 MST Print View

Franco, get a new sales manager.


Mark Heiser

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
ehhhh on 01/25/2014 22:45:38 MST Print View

This is a market of people highly aware of brands and what a given piece can fetch in terms of price.

I think it makes more sense to list a piece for sale at around "market price" and perhaps accept a lower offer (even if is garners slight profit) than to list a piece for a slash and burn deal which really only hurts other members trying to receive a fair price for their product (as opposed to a PIF which I think is awesome and should only be taken advantage of by people who will likely get good use out of the piece). I don't know if it's most ethical, or if it serves the greater good, but that's the way I would operate.

The one other caveat I will provide is that I would feel terrible, and would never take advantage of someone selling their gear because of some hardship they've suffered only to turn around and sell within the same community to turn a profit. I would prefer to pass on the deal to let another capitalize and benefit from the enjoyment of actually using that gear piece.

just Justin Whitson
Re: Re: Gear Swap practices on 01/25/2014 22:48:08 MST Print View


Edited by ArcturusBear on 01/26/2014 21:24:16 MST.