Ice climbing season is wrapping up, and you may be wondering where to sell used ice climbing equipment before next season.
Maybe you tried it and didn’t like it. Or maybe you bought used ice climbing gear this year and feel ready to upgrade for next season.
You’re in luck. Most ice climbing gear, which can include anything from ice tools to crampons to boots to harnesses, resells easily online or in used gear shops.
Whatever the reason may be that you’re looking to sell ice climbing gear, I’ll teach you how. Read on to learn how to sell mountaineering equipment and ice climbing gear.
Plus, by learning to sell your gear, you’ll also know what to look for when buying used ice climbing gear!
The typical rule for reselling climbing gear is that you can almost always resell hard goods, whereas soft goods are not as easy to resell. Hard goods typically last longer and are easier to repair, whereas soft goods can be harder to distinguish wear and tear and this gear is also very critical for safety.
Hard goods include things like crampons, ice screws, carabiners, ice axes, belay devices, and more. Hard goods last for a long time. You could technically buy gear from 20 years ago that still would work just as well today, from a safety standpoint. That is definitely not the case with all used climbing gear, so use caution and keep reading to learn how to tell if used ice climbing gear is safe to use.
Soft goods are — as they sound — soft. This includes ropes, harnesses, clothes, boots, and any sorts of slings or webbing. Unlike many hard goods, soft goods are not designed to last for extended periods of time.
Typically with climbing gear, about 5 years is average for the life of soft gear, with moderate use. If you use your gear more often, that might be down to 2-4 years. Even if you never use your soft goods, most manufacturers recommend that safety gear (harnesses, ropes, slings) be retired after 10 years. This is because the material can potentially break down even with no use at all.
When you’re dealing with life-saving equipment, it is best to stay on the safe side. It's often hard to resell harnesses or ropes unless they are new with tags or barely used because you never know how someone took care of their own soft goods.
However, boots are the one sector of soft goods that are easy and great for reselling. Mountain boots are expensive, and many people buy them for one-time use and then don’t need them anymore. Besides, hiking boots already broken in are significantly more comfortable! It’s often very easy to resell or buy used ice climbing boots, and you don’t need to follow the deadlines of other types of soft goods. Sure, boots are important. However, if they failed or broke, you wouldn’t die, unlike with other types of soft goods.
Despite the rules of thumb, I spelled out above, there are still ways to tell if your gear is worth reselling other than just keeping track of the date you bought it.
Inspect your gear thoroughly for any cracks or tears. Cracks in carabiners or ice screws make them unsafe and therefore not re-sellable. Look for tears or abrasion spots on any soft gear like harnesses or ropes.
Please don’t ever try to resell gear that you wouldn’t trust or use yourself. This is an easy way for someone new to the sport to get taken advantage of while just trying to get a good deal on expensive gear.
Once you have decided your gear is good enough to sell, make it as appealing as possible (this could help you get more money for it!).
If a prospective buyer sees that the gear has been well taken care of, and recently maintained, they might be more likely to buy your gear at a higher price.
There are lots of great places to sell crampons and other ice climbing gear. Of course, we recommend Rerouted, where you can easily take photos and upload your gear in less than a minute from the mobile app.
However, if selling online isn't for you, look for a local outdoor gear resale shop near you. Most big cities and outdoor-focused towns have used gear shops, which can be a perfect place to resell and buy affordable used gear.
Make it look good! Well-presented, properly lit photos of your used gear can make the difference between someone puzzling over a dark dingy photo and deciding not to buy, and immediately clicking “buy now”.
Use natural light if possible
Find a clean background without lots of distractions
Have at least one of the entire product
Take close-ups of any possible damage spots or interesting features
Think about what you would care about if you were on the other side of the transaction. Then make sure to share those things visually or in your description.
Pricing your gear depends on a lot of factors, including everything we’ve already talked about. The age of the gear, the condition, how much use it's gotten, and the original price all go into the price you choose.
Remember that even the best quality gear can typically only be sold for 50% of retail value. Like new or new with tags on products may be able to be sold for 60% of retail value, especially if they don’t lose functionality over time like crampons or ice axes.
Price lower for a quick sale, or price slightly higher if you’re interested in negotiating.
Your description is going to help sell used ice climbing equipment as much as the photos do.
This is a great place to be objective — yeah, yeah, your jacket has traveled around the world and back with you, but will the new owner care about the stories you have to share or the actual gaping holes ripped in the jacket?
Spoiler alert, the buyer cares about how the gear is going to help them, and not what you’ve been through with the gear.
However, that’s not to say that you can’t use the description as a place to inspire and paint a picture of the awesome adventures that the buyer can have with this piece of gear.
Your description needs:
Selling your used ice climbing equipment is a great way to make a few extra bucks at the end of the season, or help a new ice climber get ready for next year. It’s easy to do through apps and websites like Rerouted.
Plus, you can also buy new-used gear for next season’s sport! Rock climbing or mountain biking anyone??