Buying kids’ sports equipment is expensive. To make matters worse, because the kids are growing, you usually have to buy new equipment every year. And you usually have to buy them before you’ve gotten any real wear out of the old equipment. Or, worse, your child was really excited about the sport last year but has since lost interest, leaving you out the hundreds of dollars you spent on equipment.
Plus, schools are getting less and less funding these days. Not only do teachers have to spend a lot of their own funds on school supplies, but sports teams are also feeling the pinch. More schools are going to a pay-to-play system where parents have to pay fees for their children’s participation in school-sponsored sports programs. Or some schools are eliminating sports, leaving parents to paying league fees. For some families, those fees are enough to make it difficult to buy the equipment their children need.
Sports consignment shops can help defray the costs of outfitting your child in two ways: you can buy equipment at lower prices than new, and you can sell your old equipment.
A set of Reebok Fleury can set you back $99 at a standard sporting goods store, and you can find similar pads for less at a consignment shop, or find deals on cheap goalie pads online.
Consignment shops check the merchandise as it comes in for signs of damage or excessive wear, to make sure that you are getting equipment that is not only affordable, but safe and functional. This means that when you buy your equipment, you can be sure that it’s of good quality and that it does the job intended. And you can find equipment for a variety of sports. So, if you are looking for deals on cheap goalie pads, sports consignment shops are the way to go.
Some schools require specific models by specific manufacturers, either for aesthetics or because those are the products approved by the school or athletic league. If the criteria has not changed drastically from one year to the next, you have a good chance of finding the brands you need at a consignment shop and can save yourself a lot of money.
If you have old equipment that you need to get rid of, you can bring it in for cash. If you are dropping off and buying equipment, you can get a store credit that you can apply toward your purchase.
Some tips for buying used equipment:
Always check the equipment for signs of wear. Yes, the store does check but this is your child, and your child’s safety, so it’s always good to double-check for yourself.
Check with the school or league to for the exact brand names, and models, of equipment they prefer. Saving money does you no good if you’re not allowed to use the equipment.
Some tips for selling used equipment:
Ask the store about their policy on odd sizes or unusual equipment. Some stores might offer a premium on difficult-to-find sizes or equipment, others may not, it depends on the demand in the area.
Clean the equipment before you trade it in. The store may clean it anyway, but dirt and smudges could make the equipment look more worn than it is, and that will determine how much you get for it.